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Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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Super Bull

By on January 30, 2015 in See It Here

On January 18, a football game was played in Foxborough, Massachusetts to determine whether the New England Patriots or the Indianapolis Colts was the best team in the NFL AFC conference. For those who don’t follow ice hockey–‘scuse me, I mean football–the top team in the NFC faces the top team in the AFC  in the Super Bowl.

So, it’s obvious why this was an important game. The Patriots won 45-7.

But the use of underinflated footballs has become the bigger story than who won the game. It turns out 11 of the 12 footballs selected by New England quarterback Tom Brady were underinflated (the proper football inflation is between 12.5 and 13.5 PSI in case you’re wondering). Of course, Brady and Patriots coach Belichick held a number of news conferences saying they have no clue why-how that happened, much less who did it.

So NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appointed Manhattan attorney Ted Wells to head an investigation into how the footballs selected by Tom Brady were underinflated. Almost two weeks after the game, Mr. Wells has yet to complete an investigation into who did it.

For the record, I am not an expert on inflated/deflated footballs. However, let me make a small point here that Tom Brady has played in the NFL for 15 years and I can only suggest one might notice a football feels different if it is under/over inflated. It has been said by those smarter than me that an underinflated football is easier to grab and easier to catch because there’s less resistance when handling it.

Brady picked the footballs. Someone took them from him to ensure all were available for use in the game. There’s suspicion a Patriot ball handler took the footballs into a bathroom for 90 seconds which has talk show hosts–and of course the usual conspiracy theorists– saying how fast can you deflate 11 footballs in 90 seconds? I happen to think the guy had to use the bathroom and didn’t want to leave the bag of footballs outside. Not one conspiracy theorist (or talk show host) has discussed if 90 seconds is long enough to relieve oneself, instead of football “P”SI.

Some have suggested PSI can drop as a result of changes in air temperature. In fact, there’s a way to calculate it: final air pressure (pf) =Pi X final temperature (Tf) divided by initial temperature (Ti). Yeah, I feel the same way… 

Mr. Goodell has promised “a thorough investigation” which is to his credit. But, please we’re looking at who had access to a dozen footballs. We’re not talking about Iran Contra Who-Done-It or Benghazi What-Did-Hillary-Know? It’s just a bunch of footballs touched by no more than five people if that many.

Thorough is good, but taking more than 2 weeks to figure it out suggests someone flunked physics or is unable to ask a simple question like “what did you do with the footballs?” Makes me think Mr. Wells and his team are being paid by the hour. 

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