PHOENIX — After more than a week of debate, we finally know who was behind the New England Patriots’ deflated ball scandal.
Photographic evidence captured at the Wildlife World Zoo, located in Litchfield Park, Ariz., showed Andi, a California sea lion, letting air out of NFL footballs.
Staff members were quick to deny Andi’s involvement, citing the water temperature as the reason the balls were measured below the NFL standard of 13.5 pounds.
“We need to look at the environmental conditions in the pool at the time the photos of Andi and the football in question were taken,” Director of Conservation Grey Stafford said. “This species of sea lion is adapted to swim in the rather chilly ocean temperatures along the California coast. Maybe the colder pool water this winter caused some shrinkage.”
Despite defending Andi, Stafford admitted he and other officials had yet to approach her about the allegations. It’s believed she was unable to answer because she was shopping for new Uggs.
Other sea lions also said they support Andi, though some concern was raised over last year’s plot to pickle all the herring at the Wildlife World Zoo.