Chris Mortensen of ESPN will address his initial story that 11 of 12 New England Patriots' footballs were 2.0 pounds under the 12.5 PSI minimum in the AFC Championship Game. The story turned out to be false.
Mortensen has never addressed or explained the story publicly, but he'll do so Friday morning on WEEI radio.
At a minimum, the NFL failed to dispute or to correct the erroneous report, with the Patriots not knowing the true reading until late March and the rest of us not knowing the truth until the release of the Ted Wells report in May.
Adam Schefter appeared on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday, and he addressed the criticism of Mortensen’s 11-of-12 footballs report.
“First of all, I’ve never had in-depth conversations with Chris about the story,” Schefter said. “Chris is as good a reporter as there is. And he’s been a pioneer in this industry. So when he decides to do things, he has a reason for doing them. And I’ll just stand behind him as a reporter and as a man. I love him.
“And I don’t know the particulars of what happened. I really don’t, OK?. But I can tell you this, somebody wanted information out. You’re blaming him. But I will say this. Number one, I’m sure he has an explanation. Number two, any reporter in the country, if they have high level people calling them, giving them this information, almost anyone’s gonna run with it.”
Someone must have lied to or misled Mortensen.
“If that is indeed the case that one, two, three high-level individuals intentionally misled him to try to smear the Patriots, I saw more shame on those people than Mort,” Schefter said.
The NFL has quickly corrected other information with which it disagrees, such as Schefter's report that Tom Brady only had four hours to present his case on appeal. But the NFL didn't correct the record on the PSI report from Mortensen.