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City of Baltimore has deflated football history

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The Baltimore Sun writes about a high school game in 1925 that featured a deflated football and controversy.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of talk about deflated footballs over the previous two weeks. Did the Patriots purposefully deflate footballs to gain a competitive advantage? Or did the atmospheric yada yada science stuff that Bill Belichick gave as a possible explanation cause these footballs to lose air?

Of course, this isn't the first controversy in the sport's history to involve a deflated football. In fact, the city of Baltimore has its own tale on the subject.

According to The Baltimore Sun's Mike Klingaman, a 1925 game between Boys' Latin and Friends featured a deflated football that has been the source of ire from one side for nearly 90 years.

The issue occurred on a 40-yard punt from Boys' Latin's Steuart Woodward. The ball deflated in mid-air with players losing track of it. Ferris Thomsen caught it, with Friends running a trick play on the return. Boys' Latin were confused and ended up surrendering a touchdown. Friends won the game 9-0.

Boys' Latin claimed the play should have been blown dead when the ball deflated. The referee declared otherwise, since the play began with an inflated ball. Woodward, the punter, stayed upset about this game until the day he died, according to his daughter Tilly Dorsey.

"He was very kind and wise, but he'd cuss about the [player] who scored the touchdown. He referred to him as 'that S.O.B.,' which were pretty harsh words for my father."

Ninety years later it's still apparently a source of controversy among the surviving relatives of the players in that game. And thanks to New England's rule-breaking or strange coincidence, this story has been brought back to the forefront in the city of Baltimore.