Holes in NFL’s ‘Deflategate’ Report
May 7, 2015
Exclusive: A high-profile NFL probe into the champion New England Patriots concluded that “it is more probable than not” that quarterback Tom Brady’s footballs were intentionally deflated prior to a January playoff game, but the report sloughs off scientific evidence that undercuts the finding, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
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A key assertion by people accusing Brady was that it made no sense that the footballs used by the Patriots in the AFC championship game last January – when tested at halftime – would have lost significantly more air pressure than those used by their opponents, the Indianapolis Colts. But scientists hired by the NFL discovered that measurements varied sharply depending on when at halftime the balls were tested.
According to a study by Exponent, a California-based testing firm, footballs lose air pressure during games in chilly, rainy weather, the conditions that existed on Jan. 18, 2015, in Foxborough, Massachusetts, but when returned to the warmth of a climate-controlled room, their air pressure rapidly rises close to the original internal pressure.
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At the end of the game, four balls from the Colts and four from the Patriots were tested again. Three of the four Colts’ balls were underinflated while none of the Pats’ balls were. In other words, while the Patriots’ footballs were deflated in the first half, the Colts’ balls were deflated in both the first half and second half.
Another possible factor why the Pats’ balls tested relatively lower in psi could have been the way the balls were prepared before the game. The Pats’ balls were rubbed down to remove any slickness while the Colts’ balls were left slicker or more water resistant. One of the findings by the Exponent scientists was that wetter balls recovered their psi more slowly than drier balls when brought into a climate-controlled environment.
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I “have no dog in this fight”, BUT, (and there is always a BIG butt), this seems like a lot of “hot air” with out “evidence”. (You know that stuff that fair minded people demand before anyone goes running their mouths off about stuff they have no knowledge of!)
As a baby fat old white guy injineering student in Brother Barry Austin’s “Measurements” class, we was taught that there are “errors and blunders”. But at no time do you get to just throw stuff away or throw stuff around.
It appears that in this case, there were plenty of blunders to muck up any findings.
Two gauges — one is “not accurate”. So how does one certify that the gauge your using is correct and in proper working order?
And wet balls regain pressure due to temperature faster than dry ones.
And, the whole controversy over pressure in the locker room versus pressure in the game conditions.
It all sounds like there is a lot of opinionating going on and not much evidence or factual understanding.
Hence, imho, fuhgeddaboudit! (translation from the Brooklyn dialect: “forget about it” with a sneer.)
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