When the officials of the Kansas City and New England Patriots playoff game forgot some footballs at their hotel, the local police force provided an escort to ensure that the game would take place.
In a post-Deflategate NFL, the footballs themselves have become a much-scrutinized part of the game. This was proven again when NFL officials inexplicably forgot them at their hotel prior to kickoff of last Saturday’s divisional round playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Of course, the Patriots are likely the culprit that many jumped to blame for this questionable happening. However, this time, it wasn’t them. Bailing the officials out of the unfortunate situation was the Massachusetts State Police, who reportedly returned to the Hyatt hotel at the Logan airport to retrieve the balls and return them to Gillette Stadium before kick off was to occur.
The police force provided an escort for the balls, and they got to the stadium an hour prior to kickoff. Disaster was averted. The NFL didn’t have to postpone the game and make a nation of football-hungry spectators, not to mention a stadium full of Patriots fans and a perpetually angry Bill Belichick, wait for the game to commence. The local police must be Patriots fans. Or maybe they were just trying to avoid a riot.
This entire fiasco can be related to Deflategate, as the pregame ball policy has become increasingly strict in its wake, putting more pressure and responsibility on officials. Maybe it all became too much for them on Sunday.
The Patriots ended up winning the game, 27-20. They take on the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game on Sunday in Denver. I imagine they hope to be spared of any ball controversy then. It’s become all too familiar.