Is Deflate-gate the dumbest story in the history of sports, or what? I suppose it is remotely possible that someone associated with the Patriots might have deflated some footballs, or perhaps it was sabotage by the Colts–after all, the Patriots played much better after halftime when the balls were re-inflated. But speculation about such skulduggery is hardly necessary.
The NFL has been closemouthed about the facts its investigation has revealed so far, but according to NBC’s Pro Football Talk, the underinflation was minimal:
As one league source has explained it to PFT, the football intercepted by Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was roughly two pounds under the 12.5 PSI minimum. The other 10 balls that reportedly were two pounds under may have been, as the source explained it, closer to one pound below 12.5 PSI.
If you inflate a ball to 12.5 psi at 69 degrees and let it cool to 50 degrees, the outdoor temperature at game time, it will lose a pound of pressure:
Recent news reports reveal that the balls used by the Patriots were not under inflated by 2 psi but only by about 1 psi. The only ball with a 2 psi drop was the one handled by the Colts!!
Repeating the calculations above using a 1 psi loss results in an initial temperature of 69F and not 91F. A locker-room temperature of 69F seems well within normal range. No additional pressure loss due to humid air is necessary.
Additionally, the written report by HeadSmart™Labs on their ACTUAL testing of 12 footballs indicated an average pressure loss of 1.1 psi due to the inside/outside temperature differential alone and another pressure loss of 0.7 psi due to the wetting of the balls. Natural conditions alone explain “deflategate.”
It probably happens all the time that balls inflated to 12.5 psi are more like 11 or 11.5 psi under playing conditions, but no one ever tests them. Until now.
As Deflate-gate has spun out of control, the most hilarious development has been the identification of a “person of interest”–a man on the Patriots’ equipment staff who carried two bags, each containing a dozen balls, after they had been tested by the referees, to the playing field. Surveillance video–I’m not making this up–shows that on his way to his destination, he ducked into a men’s room, from which he emerged 90 seconds later.
The internet went into a tizzy. Is 90 seconds enough to deflate 12 footballs?
So a man enters a bathroom, closes the door, and comes out a minute and a half later. Hmm. Ted Wells, give me a call. I think I can solve the mystery.
As we have said before on much more serious occasions, we live in a world gone mad.