LOS ANGELES (AP) Ben Affleck gave former ESPN personality Bill Simmons' new HBO talk show a lively start with a five-minute, expletive-filled rant on ''Deflategate.''
During an interview on the Wednesday debut episode of ''Any Given Wednesday,'' Affleck passionately criticized the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, for suspending New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for using underinflated balls during a 2015 playoff game.
The New England-raised Affleck called the issue a ''ridiculous smear campaign'' and questioned Goodell's integrity.
Affleck's appearance is being heavily discussed on social media. Some said he appeared to be drunk, while others said he was just an angry and passionate Patriots fan.
Affleck has acknowledged treatment for alcohol addiction more than a decade ago.
A representative for the actor didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Simmons tweeted that the interview was taped in the late morning and Affleck was simply ''fired up.''