The linebacker whose interception of Tom Brady started ‘Deflategate’ just wants his football back

"I had already started visualizing where I was going to place that football on my mantle."

D'Qwell Jackson, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski Deflategate
Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson intercepts the pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski that began "Deflategate." AP Photo/Julio Cortez

On January 18, 2015, with 9:21 left in the second quarter of the AFC Championship Game, Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted Tom Brady’s intended pass for Rob Gronkowski.

Though at the time the turnover had implications in a game deciding which team would represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, its short term ramifications paled in comparison to the long term chain of events it inadvertently set off.

Jackson took the ball to the sideline, where he gave it to the Colts’ equipment staff. From there, the story took a life of its own. The Colts used the football, which they found to be under-inflated, to start the “Deflategate” saga.


Yet lost in the whole story was Jackson, who simply wanted to keep the football he’d intercepted from a Hall of Fame quarterback.

In a new video from Uninterrupted, Jackson read a letter he addressed to Brady asking for help getting the football back.

“I had already started visualizing where I was going to place that football on my mantle,” Jackson said. But the NFL kept the football as part of the league investigation into the allegations of the Patriots deflating footballs.

Caution: Strong language.

“Roger Goodell probably has my f***ing football on his damn mantle,” lamented Jackson.

He plainly admitted the Patriots were the better team. He just wants his football back.

“Look Tom, you beat our ass fair and square. I’ve accepted it and I’ve moved on. But now I’m asking you, man to man, father to father. Please help me get my football back.”