Unlike the majority of people in the United States, I don’t care for or about football. However, it’s been impossible to watch a news broadcast without seeing reference to the footballs that the Patriots used on Sunday being underinflated with the implication that someone must have tampered with them after they were tested by the officials.
But isn’t it possible the culprit was physics?
I’m assuming that the balls were prepared indoors, in a warm room, with the minimum psi allowed. The balls would be properly inflated when they were checked a couple of hours before the game. If the balls were then immediately moved out into the cold, the pressure would have dropped, given that the temperature outdoors would be fifty to sixty degrees colder. Ideal gas law and all that….
It’s the same mechanism that means that the first cold snap of the year brings a call from Grandma that her low tire pressure indicator in her car is lighting up. It’s not that someone sneaked into the garage and let air out of the tires. It’s just that the lower temperature means the air in the tires is exerting less pressure.
If that is how it happened, I guess you could argue that the Patriots followed the letter of the law rather than the spirit, but I think many fans and media are jumping to conclusions about foul play without any real evidence.
Maybe they should be shaking their fists at science.
This post is part of Just Jot It January: click the link and join in! http://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/
9 thoughts on “deflated footballs”
I don’t care for or about football either. I only watch it to bond with my dad when the Packers are playing. But your theory makes sense.
I know that it is rather unfashionable not to be a football fan, but glad the game affords you another way to connect with your dad.
I’m a huge football fan, and I hate the Patriots with a passion, but I honestly believe it was in fact the cold air that deflated the ball. Besides, as much as I hate to say it, Tom Brady doesn’t need a deflated ball to win a game.
I also heard on the news today that the deflated balls were only used in the first half and Brady had a better second half, so it looks like the deflated balls weren’t particularly advantageous. I guess you will be cheering for Seattle in the Super Bowl!
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