Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Price of Deflation

I am not a fan of the Patriots, although I do think that Tom Brady is among the premier quarterbacks in the league. Nevertheless, I think the kerfuffle over under-inflated footballs needs some scientific attention.

As every 5th grader knows (unless he is being educated in government schools), cold causes air molecules to slow down in relation to each other and to pack closer together. It was cold during the game between the Patriots and the Colts.

If the game balls were inflated in a warm environment and then brought out into the cold, they are bound by science to deflate. If the balls for each team were kept in different environments, the air pressure in each group might have been different---most probably so.

A slightly deflated football would be a little easier to grasp (whether significantly so or not I cannot say). It might also be easier to catch. But it would not be able to be thrown as far as a fully inflated ball thrown exactly the same, so some advantage would be lost in throwing distance. Whether grasping is an advantage over distance is something to be considered.

If the Patriots deliberately deflated their game balls, then there should be appropriate punishment. I just think the matter needs to be fully investigated, including the significance of any environmental effect(s) on the balls in question.

Perhaps some rule changes are in order. Maybe each team should be allowed to randomly pick a certain number of balls from the other's box.

Think about it.


Fredd said...

Much ado about nothing. Penalize the Pats, and get on with it. Sheesh.

Your warm air/cold air theory, Joe: doesn't hold water. That same 5th grader knows that these balls were filled inside the training facility, or somewhere heated to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Then taken out into the cold, where they suffered shrinkage, sure.

But when they were checked, they were not still out in the cold. These footballs were brought back inside, into a heated facility, where once heated to the same ambient temperature, they would return to whatever pressure they were inflated to initially.

I learned all of that stuff in 5th grade, too.

Joe said...

Fredd: That's OK with me. I just hate the way MSM decided from the get-go that the Pats did something investigation required.

BTW: I agree with your assessment of what would have happened if the balls were checked in the same conditions as when they were first checked.

sue hanes said...

Joe - If the Patriots are cheating they should be punished. But if the balls just naturally were deflated then it's not their fault. I have heard that the Patriots are a team prone to cheating.