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May 12, 2015

Tom Brady Patriots Punishment #Deflategate

Rhetorical Debate of the Day: Tom Brady and Patriots fined / punished for DeflateGate. Please consider these rhetorical questions:

1. Does the NFL subscribe to the same rules as in Animal Farm? - "All rules in the rulebook are equal, but some are more equal than others."

2. If the refs call penalties for blocking, roughing the passer, helmet-to-helmet contact, etc. why didn't the line judges take ten seconds to use their pocket air pressure gauge when they HANDLED THE BALLS AFTER EACH PLAY to see if they were between the 11.5 and 12.5 PSI limit as called for in the rules?

3. Not one but TWO on-field officials touch the ball after EACH PLAY. If air pressure is SO IMPORTANT, why is it the opposing players noted the balls were spongy but the officials didn't?

4. Is the NFL unaware of basic physics? The PSI of the balls sitting inside the 70 F bowels of the stadium for HOURS before a game will have a different PSI than the same ball two hours later when the ball has cooled to the outdoor temperature of 37 F.

5. Why is none of this being discussed by the sports pundits on all the sports rag chew shows?


1.If you hate the Patriots and Brady, I urge you to read the excellent article by John Teti BEFORE you make a fool of yourself. Be sure to take into consideration the facts in his column so you don't appear to be a fool wearing your heart on your sleeve.

2. Please understand I'm not trying to defend Tom Brady or the Patriots in the above post. My questions are directed to the NFL. Why do they selectively enforce the rules?

3. Finally, before you comment please recall the one line from the Bible that I'm quite familiar with: "Let he who hath NOT sinned, cast the first stone." If you've never cheated in your life on ANYTHING, then go right ahead and tell us how bad Tom Brady and the Patriots are.

Posted by Tim Carter at May 12, 2015 7:34 AM


I have not heard of the tolerance you state above Tim. Thanks for that. I wonder what the deflated ball's pressure were?
Best Regards,
Dan Dewar

Posted by: Dan Dewar at May 12, 2015 10:50 AM

While I don't condone not playing by the rules, this is a stupid one, like the penalty to a golfer if the ball moves while addressing it, regardless of the outside force. Why can't all teams play with whatever psi they want?

Tim has the psi limits wrong in #2 above: It's 12.5 to 13.5, not 11.5 to 12.5.

Posted by: Jim at May 12, 2015 11:20 AM

All major league games Arn't Sports anymore,
There BIG business, someone is out to peg
Brady. " who has what to gain by all of this?"

Boycot the NFL, bet it can't be done !

Posted by: John Haven at May 12, 2015 11:40 AM

I like you Tom but you are so wrong on this. Response to your #2 - ridiculous. If no one changes the air pressure after they check by officials them it is not needed. Any pressure change due to ambient condition is same for both teams.
#3 - we are not talking about spongy. They would not be able to tell the difference unless specifically trained. and why woudl do this if no one is cheating. The balls were secretly deflated after the officials checked them. Doesn't that just sound like it is fundamentally wrong????
#4 - have engineering degrees and was responsible for very large engineering groups of multiple disciplines. You are just flat out wrong. Physics does no support that the balls could have lost that much pressure. The only technical people saying that have been paid well by patriots.
And impossible that balls for only one team are affected by any temperature difference.
#5 - it is and has seen discussed. What is not discussed enough is obviously that is not the first time he had balls deflated. And although it made no difference in this game's outcome what about other games such as Baltimore game where he through 19 of 27 in very cold weather? Definitely a ball with less air would be significant advantage in those conditions. The worst part of this is not the impact on brady or patriots but that 2 people following directions are losing their jobs and maybe there careers anyplace.

Posted by: Don at May 12, 2015 12:03 PM

These questions to the NFL are irrelevant. The question to ask is... 'Tom Brady, why do you guys let air out of the footballs after they are tested, when you low you are cheating?'

Posted by: John Walker at May 12, 2015 1:00 PM

If this was their first offence, I would agree that the punishment was severe. However, the Patriots have demonstrated a pattern of cheating. They were caught video taping two other teams practices to get their signals. If the NFL wanted integrity for the game, they should be handing down the equivalent of the NCAA's death penalty. The under inflated balls had no bearing on the outcome of that game, but in a different game it could have. Are we to assume that the only time they did this is when they happened to get caught?

Posted by: Greg Lamb at May 12, 2015 1:31 PM

First, Tim, one correction: the rules call for pressure between 12.5 and 13.5 psi, not 11.5 and 12.5 psi.

As for point #1, yes, the NFL seems to arbitrarily decide which rules they are going to enforce and which they aren't. When I heard the punishment, I was outraged and I'm not even a Patriots fan. I don't have anything against them but they are not my team. I grew up a
Redskins fan (no Dan Snyder jokes please even though he deserves every single one) and you may remember a few years ago their salary cap was hit heavily for "violating" a rule that even the NFL admits didn't even exist. Some of the owners had a gentlemen's agreement not to freely spend in a year without a salary cap. In the real world, that is collusion and illegal. But not in the NFL. Actually break a rule? Not necessary. Proof? Also not necessary. Punishment fit the crime? Of course, and messing with air pressure is obviously a capital crime. Apparently doing drugs or punching out women are not as egregious as allegedly letting some air out of a football.

Points #2 & #3: I don't necessarily agree with you that the game officials would have noticed the difference in air pressure. It wasn't that much. I don't think they would not have felt spongy.

Point #4: The NFL is aware of basic physics. At least they because aware after reading the Wells report. If they read it. My guess is that they had already made up their minds and didn't bother. The Wells report states that assuming the footballs started out with a pressure of 12.5, to which the referee testified, then based on the Ideal Gas Law, the pressure in the footballs when tested at halftime should have measured between 11.32 psi and 11.52 psi. The 11 footballs were measured using two different gauges, one of which averaged 11.11 psi and the other averaged 11.49 psi. If you average the 22 results of the two gauges, it comes to 11.30 psi. This is 2/100ths lower than the minimum allowed by the Ideal Gas Law. So the question is: does 2/100ths give someone a competitive advantage? Does 2/100ths prove a rules violation? Does 2/100ths warrant a four game suspension, a one million dollar fine and the loss of first round and fourth round draft picks? This is the result of the NFL's own investigation. As for the "crime" of letting air out of the footballs, the rule states that the pressure must be between 12.5 and 13.5 psi before the start of the game. The Colts footballs at the start of the game were 13.0 psi or above. If Tom Brady likes the pressure lower, he has every right to reduce the air pressure to 12.5 psi. Was there an intentional rules violation? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the Patriot's staff was a little too zealous when letting air out. Maybe Tom Brady told them to be. But the NFL can't prove anything. Sure, it's not a court of law and been previously demonstrated that no actual violation needs to occur in order to be punished. And in my opinion, 2/100ths does not warrant the obscene penalties imposed, especially when compared with previous penalties given out by the NFL for similar or much worse violations. They claim to be protecting the integrity of the game. If that is their intent, then the commissioner has to go because he has damaged the "integrity" of the NFL more than Tom Brady ever can. Unless, of course, "integrity" is defined as the will of the other 31 team owners.

Posted by: Marshall Stewart at May 12, 2015 1:59 PM

Tim, I respectfully disagree. I have coached 2 boys baseball teams and coached girls fastpitch softball since 1976 and no way would I teach the athletes to cheat. I raised 3 daughters and my motto that was ingrained in their heads was "I'd rather fail than cheat, lie, or steal to succeed". That is not saying that we are perfect since we all fall short. Come on there are wrong and rights and Tom Brady whom I championed knew better and is not a good example for any other athlete...and that goes for all the professional players that took and take illegal drugs. I think we lost sight of what it means to succeed.

NOTE FROM TIM CARTER: Where in the world do you see words I wrote above where I say it's acceptable to CHEAT?

Posted by: Sebastian (Babe) Carta at May 12, 2015 4:04 PM

That "this is probably not the first time" has been discussed in this analysis of the Pat's fumble stats over the past few years.
this article has some interesting observations:

Posted by: Mike at May 12, 2015 5:39 PM

Great questions !! Hopefully someone will wake up to your side of thinking.

Posted by: Larry at May 12, 2015 9:39 PM

Tim, it is interesting that a person like you who states they are not a big football fan would take such a strong stance on deflate gate....which makes me think that your New England pride has been hurt by not allowing you to use sound judgement. I did not waste my time to read the article you wanted us to read to support your New England pride. I have a question for you...If Tom Brady was a contractor and he bent the rules on certain codes because others had done it in the past and inspectors never said anything about it, would you trust Tom Brady? Tim, I am disappointed in your lack of judgement...just except that someone did wrong and got caught even though it involves a New England sports team.

NOTE FROM TIM CARTER: Brad, did you not read the above? You should do it again. You're also making a BIG MISTAKE not reading the linked article. There are rampant examples of where the NFL his been caught with SELECTIVE RULE ENFORCEMENT.

That's what my beef is. I don't condone cheating of any type, but evidently it's rampant in the game and the NFL has now been caught being arbitrary in their enforcement.

Posted by: Brad at May 12, 2015 9:48 PM

Some of the people commenting on your post did not read very carefully. You stated that there were two officials handling the balls DURING the game. Not just before the game when they were supposedly tampered with. How many balls have the official handled during their careers? Should they have felt the difference? Did they say anything? Did the opposing team not handle the ball? Did they say anything?

Posted by: Jane Metzger at May 13, 2015 10:54 AM

The NFL is a fault to start with. There should be a set of balls for each game provided my the NFL. The officials should check the balls and keep them in their possession after.

Posted by: Wally Loanmen at May 13, 2015 12:07 PM
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