Deflategate has long been high comedy. And now comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” alum Jim Breuer takes it to another level.
Breuer — who clearly has no skin in the game — spoke recently to “Sports Illustrated Now” about meeting infamous Patriots equipment assistant John Jastremski while at a comedy festival in Mexico.
As you can never forget, Jastremski and fellow Patriots staffer Jim McNally were key figures in the Wells Report, which contained damaging text messages between the two allegedly discussing Tom Brady’s preference for under-inflated footballs.
The Wells report concluded that the two likely “participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee.”
Ten months after Deflategate broke, during the week of November 8-14, 2015, Breuer headlined the inaugural “Just For Laughs Resort Week” at the Royalton Riviera in Cancun, Mexico. While working out at the resort’s health club, Breuer says he met Jastremski.
Breuer says that while a report on Deflategate was playing on the televisions in the club, Jastremski — who was on vacation with his wife — approached him and introduced himself. Jastremski allegedly told Breuer that he was the guy being talked about, he came to Mexico to get away because his family was being harassed, and he wanted to move out of Massachusetts.
According to Breuer, Jastremski said the Patriots organization was “holding him down,” not letting him speak on Deflategate. Jastremski went on to tell Breuer that Brady does “so much for him” but he was aggravated at the Patriots organization for insisting that he keep quiet about what he knows.
Breuer — doing his best Mike Wallace impression — also says that Jastremski would not answer the question when asked if he deflated the footballs and lamented that he can’t get a job because this is all he’s ever done.
“He wouldn’t answer the question,” Breuer said. “But he just kept saying. ‘Tom’s my guy, Tom takes care of me.'” The comedian said Jastremski’s wife came over and tore into the Patriots as well.
The 37-year-old Jastremski — who was suspended by the NFL/Patriots for his involvement in the so-called scheme to deflate footballs in Foxborough along with McNally — was officially reinstated by the league on September 16, 2015 but it’s unclear when each staffer rejoined the team.
“Last week, the New England Patriots requested the reinstatement of both John Jastremski and Jim McNally,” the NFL said in the September 2015 statement. “The Patriots have satisfied the league’s requirements for reinstatement and the league has granted permission for the employees to return.”
Jastremski was reportedly prohibited from handling footballs as a condition of his return and McNally was barred from being a locker room attendant for officials or handling equipment. Rumors abound that McNally never came back to Gillette Stadium after the reinstatement.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said that Brady — who on Monday filed an appeal of a federal court ruling to uphold the NFL’s four-game suspension of the Patriots quarterback — once made a “very generous offer” to settle the Deflategate mess.
“Tom, I think, made a great offer to settle these cases,” Smith said on The Dan Patrick Show on Monday. “The league didn’t want to do it because he refused to throw his trainers under the bus. Look, Tom’s a stand-up guy, and he made a settlement offer to resolve this. The league chose not to take it, and that’s where we are.”
When asked what the offer was, Smith said, “I don’t want to go into details, but it was an incredibly generous offer to resolve this. The league asked for something that no man should agree to do.”
And that is the update from Day 492 of the never-ending Deflategate saga.