TIME viral

Watch This Year’s NFL-Themed Edition of Bad Lip Reading

The third in a series imagines what we certainly hope players were saying on the sidelines

“I once got a rake, and I killed a snowman.”

While Dallas Cowboys defensive end George Selvie probably didn’t say that on the sidelines to teammate Anthony Spencer, the above video sure makes it look like he did.

For the third year in a row, the folks at Bad Lip Reading have compiled clips of what NFL players could have said during this year’s season.

Check out the 2014 edition here.

Read next: What Will Katy Perry Perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show?

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Football

Patriots Coach Says He Was ‘Shocked’ By ‘Deflategate’

The coach denies any involvement in the controversy

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Thursday that he was shocked to hear about the Deflategate controversy and had no explanation for the under-inflated footballs.

Belichick said he had no knowledge of the footballs being under-inflated before the game. He also said the team practices with footballs that are difficult to handle.

“I think we all know that quarterbacks, kickers, specialists have certain preferences on the footballs,” Belichick said. “They know a lot more than I do. They’re a lot more sensitive to it than I am. I hear them comment on it from time to time, but I can tell you and they will tell you that there’s never any sympathy whatsoever from me on that subject. Zero. Tom’s personal preferences on his footballs are something that he can talk about in much better detail and information than I could possibly provide.”

Belichick said the team will put more air in footballs in the future to avoid having a ball drop below the minimum air pressure of 12.5 pounds per square inch. He also said the Patriots have cooperated fully with the league’s investigation.

The NFL is investigating the Patriots for using under-inflated footballs during the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. It was originally reported that 11 of the 12 balls were under-inflated, but former referee Gerry Austin told ESPN that all of the balls were under-inflated.

The Colts started questioning the footballs after linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted Tom Brady in the second quarter and told the team the ball seemed flat. The Colts then informed officials about the problem, eventually leading to the league’s investigation.

Several players on the Baltimore Ravens also reportedly believed balls were not properly inflated for their divisional playoff game against the Patriots.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dismissed the controversy as the “last of my worries.”

The Patriots play the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Soccer

Hope Solo Suspended for 30 Days by U.S. Soccer

International Tournament of Brasilia - USA v China
Goalkeeper Hope Solo of the USA in action during a match between USA and China at Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia on Dec. 10, 2014 Buda Mendes—Getty Images

U.S. women’s national team goalie Hope Solo has been suspended for 30 days by U.S. Soccer, the organization announced Wednesday.

Solo’s husband, former Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Southern California at 1:30 a.m. on Monday. Police said Solo, 33, was in the car at the time, but she was not arrested or detained.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Solo was held out of practice on Tuesday as it was determined if she violated any team rules.

“During our current National Team camp, Hope made a poor decision that has resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates,” U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis said in a statement. “We feel at this time it is best for her to step away from the team.”

Solo was charged in June with two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault for allegedly hitting her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew. A judge dismissed the charges last week, saying the case was “impermissibly prejudiced” by a lack of cooperation from witnesses. Solo continued to play while she faced the charges.

The suspension will cause Solo to miss February friendlies against France and England. The USWNT, which has already qualified for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, is currently in training camp in Carson, Calif.

Solo has 159 caps with the USWNT and broke the U.S. women’s record for career shutouts last September.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME tennis

The Women’s World Tennis No. 7 Got Asked to do a ‘Twirl’ By a Male Presenter

What was he thinking?

A reporter at the Australian Open is drawing a lot of flak for asking women’s world tennis no. 7 Eugenie Bouchard to “twirl” in a post-match interview on Wednesday, a request that embarrassed the young star and sparked a backlash on social media.

Channel 7 presenter Ian Cohen asked the 20-year-year Canadian to do a “twirl, like a pirouette,” and show off her pink outfit to the Melbourne crowd. Bouchard complied, albeit a little awkwardly.

“It was very unexpected,” she said in her post-match press conference. “I don’t know, an old guy asking you to twirl. It was funny.”

Others didn’t find it so amusing, though.

Bouchard, a Montreal native, is tipped as one of the rising stars of the sport after reaching the Wimbledon final last year, as well as the Australian and French Open semifinals. She defeated Kiki Bertens 6-0, 6-3 in less than an hour in Wednesday’s second-round encounter at Melbourne Park.

TIME Football

Pressure Builds on NFL and the Patriots Amid ‘Deflategate’ Scandal

The league is unlikely to conclude an investigation into the alleged use of deflated footballs until after the Super Bowl

Unless the NFL can find incontrovertible evidence that someone with the Patriots ordered air taken out of footballs Sunday in Foxboro, it’s more likely than not that commissioner Roger Goodell will defer ruling on the case until after the Super Bowl. Absent clear proof in the next few days that the Patriots cheated, there’s a simple reason: There is no rush. If Goodell decides that part of the sanction would be taking draft picks from the Patriots, the draft comes 12-and-a-half weeks after the Super Bowl, giving the league time after the season to investigate more thoroughly, particularly if that investigation does not have a clear conclusion by, say, this Friday. And it’s hugely important to the league to make the right decision here, not a more expeditious one.

Regarding the off-with-their-heads reaction: It’s too early to say what the league might do in this case. But I do know this: This has set off alarm bells inside the NFL’s Park Avenue offices in Manhattan. All hands are on deck, and there is an urgency about doing this investigation right, for the obvious right reasons about the integrity of the rules and a secondary reason: The NFL doesn’t want to risk botching this investigation and issuing a ruling it later has to amend, as happened in the Ray Rice case.

MORE O.J. Simpson and Ray Rice: How Domestic Violence Has Changed

Plus, teams are allowed to put up a defense when charged with an offense affecting the competitive balance of the game. The NFL constitution and bylaws mandate that the commissioner give the team in question a proper hearing so that the team can contest the charges if it chooses. Remember the Saints’ Bountygate charges? There were actually two investigations, covering several months; the first found insufficient evidence to charge the Saints with any football offenses, but the second look—after the league used forensic methods to analyze emails and text messages and communications inside the Saints organization—resulted in heavy sanctions against coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis, and the loss of two draft picks.

That is why the NFL will be—and should be—deliberate in the investigation of whether someone connected with the New England Patriots doctored the footballs either before or during the AFC Championship Game.

Three points are important to keep in mind as this story develops:

1. I think it’s fair to assume—though it hasn’t been confirmed by the league—that the Patriots’ footballs that were tested at halftime Sunday had less air, and the Colts’ footballs were all found to be legal. Connect the dots. Chris Mortensen reported Tuesday that 11 of 12 Patriots football had approximately two pounds less pressure per square inch than the mandated 12.5 psi required by the NFL. In other words, the Patriots’ footballs were softer than allowed by rule. The obvious deduction is that all the balls, for both teams, were measured at halftime, and that New England’s footballs were found to be softer—or else the league would be investigating Indianapolis as well, and the league is clearly not doing that. This is important because it would render moot the theory going around that the cold weather could have caused the air pressure in the balls to decrease. It was the same weather on both sidelines.

MORE Report: 11 of 12 Patriots Footballs Were Underinflated in AFC Title Game

2. There’s a difference that all these ex-quarterbacks are not taking into account when they say, “Every team doctors the footballs.” Former quarterback Matt Leinart tweeted something Wednesday that many quarterbacks were saying in different ways: “Every team tampers with the football. Ask any QB in the league, this is ridiculous!!”

Every quarterback can tamper with the 12 footballs assigned to his team in the days before the game. In the NFL, each team is allowed weekly to break in 12 new footballs as it sees fit, according to the quarterback’s preference. That includes taking the shine and slipperiness off the new balls, and compressing them and working them in to soften the leather. By rule, those 12 footballs are then delivered to the officiating crew on site 2 hours and 15 minutes before the game begins.

At that point the head linesman inspects each football with one or more members of his crew. If need be, the officials will clean off the balls. Then they will insert a needle into the balls, one by one, to ensure the balls are inflated to the proper pressure: between 12.5 and 13.5 psi. If a ball is underinflated, an electric pump is used to fill it to the requisite level. Then all 12 balls are marked by silver Sharpie with a referee’s personal preference of a mark—Gene Steratore’s crew uses the letter “L,” for Steratore’s fiancée, Lisa—and put back into the bag, and zipped. The bags are handed to the ballboys minutes before the opening kickoff. If it’s raining, or bad weather is on the way, the officials might tell the ballboys to change the ball on every play, whether it hits the ground on the previous play or not.

To sum up: Yes, the quarterback or his equipment staff can break in the balls in whatever way they want a couple of days before the game. But no, the quarterback cannot dictate the level of air pressure in the ball. Or at least he cannot do it legally. And the low air pressure in the Patriots’ footballs is why this is a story.

MORE The Patriot Way: Tom Brady Declines to Take a Stand On Ray Rice, Other NFL Scandals

3. If Belichick is found to be culpable, I think Goodell will come down hard on him. It’s early. We don’t yet know where the trail on this investigation will lead. So this is presuming a lot. But in reporting a Goodell story four years ago, this anecdote stuck out to me. You’ll recall that after the 2007 Spygate investigation into the Patriots’ videotaping of opposing coaches’ signals that Goodell fined Belichick $500,000 and the franchise an additional $250,000, and he docked New England a first-round draft pick. As part of the discipline, Belichick would have to make a verbal apology in front of the press that week. Instead, the coach issued a printed statement and refused to answer any questions on the topic. “I was given assurances that [Belichick] would tell his side of the story,” Goodell said at the time. “He went out and stonewalled the press. I feel like I was deceived.”

Belichick said at the time, “I did not make any assurances about thoroughly discussing the subject publicly. I said I would address it following the league’s review. I then did that in a way I thought was appropriate. I don’t think that was deceptive.’’

Goodell did. I doubt there’s much benefit-of-the-doubt here if Goodell finds that Belichick was involved in the deflating.

As to what difference it made in a 45-7 game that the balls were deflated, seeing that the Patriots exploded for 21 third-quarter points with the balls evidently at proper inflation: irrelevant. Rules are rules, and if the Patriots broke a clear and indisputable rule, they must be sanctioned for it. The fact that the footballs made no apparent difference in the Patriots’ offensive performance doesn’t matter.

As to what would be a proper punishment if the Patriots are found guilty, I think it’s too early to say, because we don’t know everything about the story yet. But I believe if Belichick is found to be behind it, he should be suspended for some period of 2015. It’s hard to say for how long without knowing the full story, and there will be time to find that out.

MORE Krispy Kreme Trolls the Patriots With #DeflateGate Tweet

And going forward, what should the league do differently in the future? Two things, I believe. One: Make the ballboys league employees, the same way clock operators and other ancillary game-day employees with influence on the game are. Put the ballboys through background checks—perhaps not as thorough as the checks game officials must go through, but just enough to ensure that their performance will not be compromised. Two: Tighten the chain-of-command between the officiating crew and the ballboys. I would suggest in the future that two of the game officials be assigned to personally deliver the bag of 12 footballs to each sideline, say, two minutes before the opening kickoff. I would also say that each ballboy should pass through a metal detector before the game and after halftime, to be sure he is not carrying any device that could be used to tamper with the air pressure of the footballs.

That all sounds pretty cloak-and-dagger. But the league should use this lapse in football protocol to do everything it can to see this is never an issue again.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME cities

Boston City Employees Aren’t Allowed to Badmouth the Olympics

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh addresses the media during a press conference to announce Boston as the U.S. applicant city to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Jan. 9, 2015 in Boston
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh addresses the media during a press conference to announce Boston as the U.S. applicant city to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Jan. 9, 2015 in Boston Maddie Meyer—Getty Images

The city wants to host the 2024 Summer Olympics

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh signed an agreement with the U.S. Olympic Committee that prohibits city employees from criticizing Beantown’s bid for the 2024 Summer Games, according to a new report.

The Boston Globe, citing documents it obtained through a public records request, reports that the agreement bans any written or oral statements that “denigrate or disparage, or are detrimental to the reputation” of the International Olympic Committee, the USOC, or the Olympic Games.

To keep the relationship with the USOC sanguine and Boston’s prospects for hosting the Olympics sunny, the agreement requires city employees to be “positive” about the games.

Boston was selected earlier this month as the U.S. city that will bid for the 2024 games.

Read more at the Globe


Krispy Kreme Trolls the Patriots With #DeflateGate Tweet

See the donut chain mock the Super Bowl contender

Krispy Kreme has decided to capitalize on an NFL investigation into whether the New England Patriots deflated game balls in their AFC Championship game win over the Indianapolis Colts last weekend. The donut chain tweeted Wednesday:

As ESPN’s Darren Rovell points out, Krispy Kreme’s rival Dunkin’ Donuts is a sponsor for the Patriots.

Multiple reports have indicated that the NFL is investigating allegations that the Patriots used deflated balls during their blowout win. Deflating the balls would have made it easier for quarterback Tom Brady to throw in cold weather and for receivers to catch. The NFL has not yet said anything about the probe or what penalty might be levied against the Patriots, who are scheduled to play in the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks on Feb 1.

TIME tennis

Williams Sisters Withdraw From Doubles at Australian Open

Serena Williams of the U.S., celebrates after defeating Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium during their first-round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne on Jan. 20, 2015 Rob Griffith—AP

No explanation given

(MELBOURNE, Australia) — Serena and Venus Williams have pulled out of women’s doubles at the Australian Open, where they’ve won four titles.

The Williams sisters were scheduled to play their first-round match Wednesday against Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.

A tournament official confirmed the Williams sisters had withdrawn, but did not specify a reason.

Both sisters won their first-round singles matches in singles on Tuesday.

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