Patriots euphoric after Super Bowl despite 'Deflategate'

Mon Feb 2, 2015 5:59am EST
 
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By Steve Keating

GLENDALE, Arizona (Reuters) - The New England Patriots rallied to beat the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in what will go down as one of the greatest Super Bowls of all-time but who the real winner is could well be debated for decades to come.

The buildup to the Super Bowl had been dominated by a controversy over deflated footballs used by the Patriots in a blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC title game that earned them a trip to Arizona.

A whiff of scandal continued to hang over Sunday's game even as the Vince Lombardi Trophy was hoisted and confetti fell from the roof of the University of Phoenix Stadium still trembling from New England's heart-stopping win.

"We won that (AFC) game 45-7, we won today 28-24," defended a defiant Patriots owner Robert Kraft through the celebratory din. "Our people didn't touch the balls. I love our team, I'm proud of our guys.

"We’re going to carry on and hopefully continue to do well.

"Every year if you’re privileged to get to this game, hard things happen. I'm so proud of (Tom) Brady and (coach Bill) Belichick for handling things the way they did.

"I love them. And all our Patriots fans should feel very good."

As the NFL's investigation into "Deflategate" continues, the spotlight of suspicion remains firmly fixed on the Patriots with some fans even questioning why New England was allowed to play in the Super Bowl at all.   Continued...

 
Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA;  New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is dunked with Gatorade after defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports