January 21, 2015
It turns out tampering with footballs is not a new issue in the NFL.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson admitted to paying someone off to have game balls scuffed to help his team win Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Johnson sweated profusely and had trouble gripping footballs that were wet, cold or brand new, according to the Times.
He wore a glove during the NFC title game here in Philadelphia the week before the Super Bowl where it was 26 degrees at kickoff. Johnson said he would not have been able to play without it.
The NFL had 100 new footballs for the Super Bowl that year.
Johnson reportedly paid $7,500 to make sure the balls were scuffed before the game.
"I paid some guys off to get the balls right," Johnson now admits. "I went and got all 100 footballs, and they took care of all of them."
Tampa Bay routed Oakland, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII. Johnson was 18 of 34 for 215 yards and two touchdowns and threw an interception in the game.
An investigation confirmed on Wednesday that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs were under-inflated during Sunday's AFC title game.