Chris Mortensen continues to insert himself into the Deflatefate drama that has engulfed NFL fans for the past eight months.
WEEI.com published the following story Thursday night detailing Mortensen’s comments regarding his incorrect Tweet that he finally removed from his account but now “stands behind ” the story.
TAKEN FROM WEEI.com:
The ESPN reporter, who backed out of a planned interview with WEEI earlier this month where he was invited to come on the “Dennis & Callahan” to discuss his Deflategate coverage, appeared on 98.7 FM in Arizona on Thursday.
Mortensen didn’t back down from his initial report, but said that it was Patriots coach Bill Belichick who implicated Tom Brady. He also said Robert and Jonathan Kraft had reached out to him to apologize “for just the way this thing has gone down.”
Mortensen was asked about his initial Tweet, which seemed to fan the flames back in January.
“Where I get into trouble is the fact that I tweet the two pounds under,” Mortensen said. “We clarified and simply went to significantly under inflated. By the way, it was 11 of 12 footballs. The Princeton professor who was hired to disprove the Ted Wells report agreed on which gauge was used, so even then we’re talking about five balls in the 10 [PSI] range, another five that were in the low 11 range. And not only that, we also know the league itself didn’t even get it right when they sent the notification letter to the Patriots and said that one ball was as low as 10 PSI.
“I will add this, and I’ll let it be,” he added. “[I] never implicated Tom Brady. Never had a source implicate Tom Brady in the original report. And also, didn’t even suggest that the balls were tampered with ….The first person who ever implicated Tom Brady — it was a non-media type and it wasn’t me. It was Bill Belichick.”
Mortensen acknowledged he could have been clearer, ultimately said he will “stand by [his] story” when it comes to the disputed Tweet.
“Two pounds under PSI — listen, if I could have changed the tweet, and I should have changed the tweet, simply to the dialogue I used [in the story], which was 11 footballs — that was my focus — not the PSI, 11 footballs were in fact confirmed to be under inflated. And you can argue whether they were significantly under inflated or not. But I stand by that story.”
He added: “In the meantime, I understand the passion of the fanatical nation that is in New England, and certainly anybody who’s going through this. I’ve had both Krafts — Robert Kraft and Jonathan Kraft — call me and apologize for just the way this thing has gone down.”
However, that last point seems to be in dispute.
The Dennis and Callahan Twitter account posted this comment Thursday night:
@DandCShow: Just spoke with the Patriots and once again Chris Mortensen is wrong, the Krafts did not apologize. Details tomorrow morning at 6.
This should make for must listen to radio Friday morning on WEEI.