It didn't take long for companies to try cashing in on what could be a devastating scandal for the NFL and the New England Patriots.

Before and (especially) after the NFL's preliminary investigation found that 11 of the 12 footballs used by the Patriots in Sunday's AFC championship game were under inflated, businesses have taken to Twitter to promote their products using the "DeflateGate" situation.

Here's Krispy Kreme's take on the controversy:


Dunkin' Donuts, meanwhile, had to stay quiet because they are one of the Patriots' official sponsors.

Speaking of sweet treats, the Boston Common Coffee stores created this DeflateGate concoction and sold it for $1:


The toilet paper manufacturer Charmin chimed in with this tweet:


Here's what the folks at online retailers eBay and Amazon had to say:



Even the minor league Staten Island Yankees chimed in:


And, of course, anyone associated with tires came in hot and heavy:




The Patriots will take on the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

Neither Bill Belichick, Tom Brady nor anyone who roots for the Patriots need be reminded of what happened the past two times New England went to the Super Bowl.

But that didn't stop former New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes from chiming in.

Tynes was on both Giants teams (2007 and 2011) that topped the Patriots in the Super Bowl. After New England's 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game, Tynes made it a point to troll fans.


Glendale is Tynes' reference to Super Bowl XLII, which was where the Giants ended New England's undefeated season with a shocking upset. But Tynes didn't stop with that message, he had a lot to say Sunday:




This last tweet is a reference to the proper air pressure of NFL footballs, which Tynes cleverly uses as a way to ding Patriots fans over "Deflate-gate." The "stick to helmets" reference is a shout-out to David Tyree's unforgettable catch in Super Bowl XLII.

As would be expected, Tynes received plenty of nasty tweets. He even responded to one rather disgusting one:


Tynes has been known to troll before, like when he sent out a series of tweets in October following Peyton Manning's record-breaking 509th career touchdown pass.


Not so long ago, in a land called Chicago, Martellus Bennett and Kyle Long lives happy, idyllic lives. They made absurd amounts of money playing a sport, and they had each other's friendship -- a friendship that survived offseasons, free agencies, Jay Cutler and so much more.

But it couldn't survive Twitter. Although the two are rumored to have followed one another on the social network, Long noticed this week that Bennett was no longer subscribing to his updates -- an unforgivable diss in 2015, and one by which Long could not abide.

And so, in a tale as old as time itself, the two friends Martellus and Kyle became frenemies.


A bold action. And Bennett was quick to reciprocate:




Gauntlet. Thrown.

It's important to point out that Long has since blacked out his profile picture and changed his Twitter name to "nothing to see here." Is this a cry for help? A rejection of Twitter and its social norms? Is Kyle Long metaphorically shutting his eyes and pretended this didn't just happen in front of his 120,000-plus followers? We can't be sure.

Like sands through the hourglass, so is the long NFL offseason.

Aaron Rodgers' girlfriend, actress Olivia Munn, recently revealed that the couple does not have sex on game days. Munn also panned the suggestion that she has been some sort of secret weapon for Rodgers and the Packers.

"All the good luck charms are on the field and in the stands," Munn said. "So it has nothing to do with me."

And now, after a certain sideline gesture was caught on camera during the Packers' victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, one of those good luck charms may have been revealed.

Rodgers was seen rubbing the beard of 39-year-old Jeremy Wilcox, who works for a company that provides communications support at Lambeau Field.

So forget Munn. It's this man's beard.

"It's never at the same time or same place, it's not like it's a ritual or anything," Wilcox said.

Weird, sure, but it works. Rodgers is thought to be in contention for the NFL MVP award after throwing 38 touchdowns and only five interceptions. And the Packers were one of only two teams to win all eight home games.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press published a story about Rodgers' good luck charm, and someone sent out this tweet from the newspaper's Twitter account:


It doesn't take much creativity to see why that tweet could be misconstrued. The newspaper quickly deleted the tweet:


Before long the Pioneer Press added a photo to the tweet so no one would be confused:


Pro Bowler Pat McAfee this week proved once again that in addition to being one of the league's best punters, he's also one of its top tweeters.

McAfee, who is in his sixth season with the Colts, took to Twitter to politely ask Adam "Pacman" Jones of the Bengals to avoid returning any punts or kicks during the teams' playoff game Sunday. Jones leads the NFL with an average of 31.3 yards on kickoffs and is third with an 11.9-yard average on punts.

In the teams' first game this year, a 27-0 victory by the Colts, Jones returned two kickoffs for a combined 60 yards.




Jones was clearly amused and sent the following response:


This isn't the first time McAfee has made a request on Twitter. Earlier this season he politely asked Pittsburgh Steelers return man Antonio Brown to avoid kicking him in the face.


Last season McAfee made headlines when he posted a picture of a drug test request he received after making a big tackle in a nationally televised game:


The Colts and Bengals square off Sunday at 1:05 pm ET in Indianapolis.

Old habits die hard. So even though Johnny Manziel knows his behavior is hurting his favor within the Cleveland Browns organization, correcting that behavior is much easier said than done.

So Manziel's birthday tribute to LeBron James offers a mix of good and bad for his fans. The good news is, he claims no alcohol or debauchery were a part of his night -- or at least in the time it took to produce the video below. The bad part is that his night involved a Miami nightclub -- the same sort of late-night scene where Manziel has gotten himself into hot water.

But hey, it's harmless fun -- just a little well-wishing for a Cleveland star that burns even brighter than Manziel himself.


James has served as a mentor to Manziel recently, helping his fellow star adjust to being an athlete constantly under the glare of media attention. For all of the sage wisdom James might have provided, it doesn't seem like he's made any impact on curbing Manziel's wild party habits.

The Brown management and its coach have criticized their first-round draft pick for poor decision-making that has plagued his first year in the NFL. A slew of minor incidents have established Manziel's track record of toeing the line when it comes to inviting off-the-field trouble. Recent incidents include a flare-up outside a hotel at two in the morning, as well as last week's late-night party that caused both he and teammate Josh Gordon to arrive late to Browns practice.

So forgive Browns officials if they get a little nervous seeing Manziel making rounds on the nightclub circuit. At the same time, it appears Manziel was only enjoying the end of the NFL regular season with a weekend getaway to Miami with his girlfriend:


Miami ☝️

A photo posted by Colleen Crowley (@coll_crowley) on

Manziel's reputation wasn't earned overnight, so most observers will wait to see whether his talk translates into tangible change. Given the rookie's lousy first year in the NFL, he might have more than mere public perception riding on his self-improvement.

It's been a tumultuous season for Kobe Bryant and all of his defenders.

While the 36-year-old Los Angeles Lakers superstar recently passed Michael Jordan on the NBA's all-time scoring list and is averaging 24 points, many argue that Bryant has done so at the expense of his teammates. The Lakers are 9-22 and appear destined for another appearance in the NBA draft lottery.

The debate regarding Bryant's utility rages on during many of the Lakers' games, and as Los Angeles took on Chicago on Christmas Day a few Twitter users got especially passionate. The two men, whose Twitter handles are "@MyTweetsRealAF" and "@SnottieDrippen," engaged in an ugly back and forth regarding Bryant's true value. The language in the tweets is quite vile and not fit to be printed here, but if you're interested in reading the entire exchange, you can see it here.

The dispute culminated in "@MyTweetsRealAF" driving half an hour, to Temecula, Calif., in the hopes of meeting up with "@SnottieDrippen" for an in-person fight. Alas, "@SnottieDrippen" was nowhere to be found. He claims he was in Arizona the entire time.

The Twitter dispute earned lots of publicity and resulted in @MyTweetsRealAF recording a diss track.

After the Lakers' 116-107 loss Sunday to the Phoenix Suns, ESPNLA's Arash Markazi even showed the tweets to the Black Mamba himself:



At this point, the future Hall of Famer is getting used to seeing his name defaced on the internet. And Bryant was probably glad to see that on this occasion he didn't have to provide the comeback.

Loyalty can be a rough game to play. As a sweet Christmas Day Twitter post revealed, one young Dodgers fan was devastated by the team's trade of his favorite player, Matt Kemp, to the San Diego Padres.

The boy had asked for a Kemp jersey to signify his support for the player. But where some kids would sever their relationship with a player unloaded by their favorite team, this particular boy was not swayed: Even though Kemp was gone, he still wanted his Dodgers jersey with the players' name and number on the back.

So as of Christmas Day, there's a young Dodgers fan with a brand-new emblem of fan disappointment he can wear to school on the first day back from holiday break:


But don't worry: It's a very Merry Christmas after all for that poor kid. Dodger infielder Justin Turner saw the tweet and decided the young boy needed a jersey for a current team member:


Of course, there's some lingering debate about whether Turner might moonlight as a certain Christmas character.




J.J. Watt is a filthy rich millionaire, but inside the Texans' hulking defensive end is a little boy with fond memories of the 1980s and 90s.

On Christmas Day, J.J. and his brothers are as happy as any young men of their generation could possibly be. The boys woke up to a gift feast of nostalgic presents recalling what was likely an ideal boyhood for the three of them.

J.J. walked away the proud owner of a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots game, while the three brothers now have matching replica jerseys from the Mighty Ducks movie.

J.J. also got Turbo Man, a holiday favorite among boys 20 years ago, and also among bone-crushing professional football players.





So let this be a reminder about the spirit of Christmas, courtesy of the Watt family.


See Slideshow >>

More bad news for Uber: Justin Verlander is tired of its fickle rates.

Among several forms of backlash against the car-share taxi company are growing criticisms of its sudden and dramatic rates increases that can take the standard rate and increase it by several multipliers -- three, four, five times the normal rate, and sometimes more.

Those charges make Uber far more expensive than a regular taxi service and other competing companies, including Lyft.

So Verlander is taking his business elsewhere.


.@Uber I used to love you and now your ridiculous surge charges are causing me to take my talents elsewhere. #lyft

A photo posted by Justin Verlander (@justinverlander) on

You know it's bad when a guy who signed a $200 million contract is fed up with overpaying.

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