New England quarterback Tom Brady let out a laugh Monday when asked about the NFL's investigation into whether the Patriots deflated footballs to try to gain an advantage in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.
The morning after the Patriots dominated the Colts 45-7, Brady chortled a bit when asked what he knew about the accusations.
"I think I've heard it all at this point," Brady said while making his regular appearance on the Boston radio station WEEI. "Oh, God. It's ridiculous."
He later added: "That's the last of my worries. I don't even respond to stuff like this."
Brady said on the show that he was previously unaware of the controversy.
NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirmed that the league was looking into the matter.
New England coach Bill Belichick said he was unaware of the accusations until Monday morning.
"We'll cooperate fully with whatever the league, whatever questions they ask us, whatever they want us to do," Belichick said during a conference call with reporters.
Asked if the Patriots were using deflated footballs, Belichick said, "The first I heard about it was this morning." Asked whether there could be an advantage using deflated footballs, Belichick said: "Look, you're asking the questions. I'm just trying to answer them."
Bob Kravitz, a former Indianapolis Star columnist who now works for WTHR-TV, was the first to report the story Sunday night. During the game, CBS' referee expert, Mike Carey, posted on Twitter, "2nd half delayed a bit to trade out a kicking ball for a regular one."
The game was played in what was at times driving rain, and deflated balls would be easier to grip in the wet weather. According to NFL rules, each team is required to make 12 balls — inflated to 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch —available for testing by the referee 2 hours 15 minutes before kickoff. Some balls are designated for kicking only.
Patriots players said Monday that they knew nothing about the accusations. Left tackle Nate Solder, who caught a touchdown pass from Brady, told reporters: "I don't know anything about that. I'm glad I caught it." Wide receiver Julian Edelman added, "I think it's just a story."
In November 2012, the Pacific-12 Conference fined and reprimanded Southern California, then coached by Lane Kiffin, for using deflated footballs in a game against Oregon. An investigation by the university determined that one of the Trojans' student managers intentionally — and acting on his own — deflated the footballs. He was fired.
In 2008, the Patriots were docked a first-round draft pick after the NFL determined that the team had videotaped opponents from 2002 to 2007. In what has come to be known as Spygate, New England also was fined $250,000 and Belichick was fined $500,000.