Brands get in on ‘deflategate’ debate

Krispy Kreme, Charmin and Michelin are among the brands taking to Twitter to joke about accusations the New England Patriots deflated game balls in Sunday’s AFC Championship game.

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They’re calling it “Deflategate,” and it’s the biggest non-domestic violence, non-murder accusation PR disaster an NFL team has faced in a very long time.

Last weekend, the New England Patriots played the Indianapolis Colts for a chance to play in the Super Bowl Feb. 1. At some point in the second quarter, Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a Tom Brady Pass and noticed that the ball was under-inflated. He alerted the Colts coaching staff, which alerted the refs, who found that the balls, indeed, had been deflated about two pounds below the pressure that NFL rules stipulate.

Depending on whom you ask, this is either a ridiculously over-inflated (sorry) news story during an otherwise ho-hum Super Bowl hype season or a very huge deal because one of the NFL’s elite teams was caught cheating, possibly again. (The Patriots were caught filming an opponent in 2007—an incident dubbed “Spygate.”) Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Thursday he only heard about the news Monday and was “shocked” by it.

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