Jimmy Kimmel defended the New England Patriots on an episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Thursday night. The Brooklyn-born comedian and actor enlisted a bevy of New England-born celebrities to appear in the 4½-minute video, which addressed the issue of Deflategate, a controversy that has plagued the NFL for two weeks.
Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler and actors John Krasinski, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Chris Evans are among the stars who appear in the video, which has received more than 800,000 views on YouTube. Playing "regular guys," all jokingly claim responsibility for deflating footballs in the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts, saying “I’m the locker room guy” and telling viewers to leave New England quarterback Tom Brady alone.
“Tom Brady had nothing to do with it,” Krasinski says with supreme assurance. "It wasn't Brady, unless he deflated those footballs with his piercing baby blue eyes," says Evans' character.
Deflategate arose after it was discovered that footballs supplied by the Patriots for the Jan. 18 game were deflated to less than the NFL standard of 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch.
During the first half of the game, Brady threw an interception to Colts player D’Qwell Jackson, who handed the ball to the Colts' equipment manager to hold as a souvenir. Jackson said he didn’t feel any difference in the ball’s size or firmness. However, after league officials inspected the ball, the NFL began an investigation. Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Brady claimed they knew nothing about the balls being deflated.
Brady called accusations that he knew about it “ridiculous.” HeadSmart Labs conducted its own experiment regarding Deflategate, concluding that the pressure in the footballs could have dropped 1.95 pounds per square inch from the weather and field conditions.