Originally Posted by skiNEwhere
ESPN has been going to town on this issue.Patriots don't have a good track record after the "spygate" controversy, so now teams will report the slightest thing that appears off. Personally, I think the 40ish degree temps had something to do with the footballs being under inflated.
There was a quote in the Boston Globe today from somebody looking into the physics of the balls deflating themselves. His conclusion (as I recall) was that a ball that started at 12.5psi (the league minimum) would be down to around 11.8psi by the end of the game. Apparently these balls when measured were much, much lower then that. More time had passed... was that enough? If so, why did only 11 out of 12 balls get deflated?
Speaking from my experience with road bike tires -- I keep mine at around 100psi. If they leached air at anything approaching the percentage drop those footballs did, I'd be riding on flat tires before the end of a lot of my rides. I don't buy the atmospheric angle; this was intentional.
Originally Posted by Scott43
Aren't there a dozen balls from each team and then they're randomized? Doesn't that really give both teams the same advantage?
My understanding is that the home team (the Pats in this case) supply all the footballs which are inspected by the refs prior to game time. Each team then gets an allotment of balls (apparently 12). The Colts had theirs, the Pats had theirs. The "smoking gun" question here is what was the air pressure in the balls kept on the Colts' sidelines?
I have no idea what the NFL rules book says the punishments are for something of this nature. Sean Payton (Saints coach) was suspended at one point for being aware of the team's bounty program. Not really the same offense, but there are obviously ways to suspend coaches. I think that would be a good start. I would like to think that with Belickeck's history of "bending" the rules and with the public relations disaster that the NFL has had this year (see: Ray Rice) that the commissioner would finally grow a set and institute some harsh punishments, but I don't think that the commissioner will. There will probably be some lame draft pick loss and a small fine. I'd like to see suspensions (long ones) and draft pick losses (lots of them).