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Montana on Deflategate: Just pay up and move on

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Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana might very well have deflated his game day footballs if he knew it would help.

"I wish I'd known (it could make a difference) because I couldn't throw a wet ball to save my life," Montana told Trib Total Media last Friday. "Heck, I would've thought about (deflating the ball), sure."

Montana, like many other quarterbacks who are in a similar, analytical situation at the moment have it pretty good. Regardless of whether or not he ever doctored a football, he's well beyond the point of a formal investigation that could alter his legacy forever.

While we're not accusing the legend, it's so simple for a player to throw up his hands and say: "What? That could alter a football? Well, I never ..."

Tom Brady, currently facing a four-game suspension for his role in the use of underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game, was probably not the first NFL player to let the air out. And back before the NFL was big enough to merit a giant magnifying lens over every portion of the game, there were probably many more creative solutions to get the right feel.

That's why Montana seems to be sticking up for the Patriots QB, who will undoubtedly join him in Canton one day in the not-too-distant future.

Montana called the rule "dumb" and suggested everyone should just move on.

"It is one of those things that is a rule, right?" he said. "It might be a dumb rule, but it doesn't matter. He didn't deflate them himself, but you can pick up the ball and can tell if it is underinflated, overinflated or what you like. Everybody is afraid to say it, but if the guy did it, so what. Just pay up and move on. It's no big deal."

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