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January 29, 2015

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Porchlight

Another question: if the weather explanation is so obvious, why wasn't it the resounding response from QBs everywhere when the story broke? Why didn't people immediately say duh, we all know that balls are softer at the end of an outdoor game in the cold? Why didn't Brady say it? We know he can tell the difference.

Danube on iPad

"that doesn't explain why the second half balls didn't deflate too"

I haven't seen it established that they didn't, nor do I know where they were when inflated.

As you know from my initial comments on Jan. 23, I have no bias one way or another.

How do you explain the experiment shown on the video?

I believe Brady said he requested 12.5' but am no certain.

rich@gmu

everyone will be a seahawks fan for a day just so this topic goes away ...

Porchlight

Instead we have Brady saying awhile back that he likes it when Gronk spikes the ball. Indicating that it takes some effort to get a ball to deflate significantly.

Threadkiller

How do you explain the starting pressures and temperatures in the video?

Has the NFL or Ted Wells released that data?

Porchlight

I don't dispute the experiment. I just don't think it's the simplest explanation. It is also inadequate because it doesn't explain the second half balls. It was widely reported from the beginning that the Colts balls and the second half NE balls didn't deflate. That is why we are all talking about the number 11 and not the number 36.

I don't think confirmation bias applies to everyone. I was just joking with Some Guy that it could possibly apply to me.

Porchlight

Why didn't Brady say in his presser that he requested 12.5 inflation? It's almost like he didn't know he had the "weather" excuse available to him until the physics guys helpfully provided it.

Again, if cold weather predictably deflates balls, we would expect a guy like Brady to 1) notice and 2) say so.

boris

"It is also inadequate because it doesn't explain the second half balls"

It doesn't have to.

If they were initially inflated with warm air then they would lose pressure when ball temperature decreased.

If then inflated with cold air there would be no change in temperature and no change in pressure.

Re: Occam's razor ...
Unless you're on the Serengeti the following is an example showing common sense application of Occam's razor ...

"When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras".

When the subject is human organizations engaged in competition you're pretty much always on the Serengeti. Could be zebras, horses, wildebeasts, RINOs ... whatever.

Beasts of England

I don't know nuthin' bout no Occam's Razor, but I did purchase a new Braun shaver last week. Livin' life on the wild side, baby! Woot!!

Captain Hate

I'm no expert on what the correct way to apply Occam's Razor but I've noticed that different people apply it in different ways and all of them can't be correct. I'm not pointing anywhere because I'm not an expert and it doesn't annoy me nearly as much as people who use "literally" incorrectly; those people are worthy of extreme internet ridicule which I'm at least somewhat adept in providing.

Captain Hate

I appreciate Porch doing the heavy lifting in articulating anti Patriot arguments while keeping the discussion at a genteel level, at which I'm not at all adept. It's almost enough for me to forgive her worship of that pill popping hilljack interception machine.

Porchlight

Boris, why did the first half balls deflate and the second half reserve balls didn't? They were all given to the refs at the same time for pre-game inspection. Are you saying they were inflated in different rooms with significantly different temps?

Also, is the presumption that balls have zero air in them until they're inflated prior to inspection? Or are they mostly inflated all the time and then final adjustments are made at the last minute?

rich@gmu

"When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras".

Centaurs ... think Centaurs.

Porchlight

Haha, thanks, TC. I must confess I don't know who the interception machine is!

Captain Hate

#666 Brett Favre

boris

"Are you saying they were inflated in different rooms with significantly different temps?"

I have no idea what balls were inflated by anyone at anytime at anyplace under any circumstances.

Hence the loophole in drawing a conclusion from differing results with insufficient data.

Porchlight

Oh, thanks. No, I am not a big fan. I despise Green Bay and I didn't want the Vikes to take him. I did feel kind of sorry for him when it all fell apart. I thought he was a good Southern boy who was Raised Right.

Porchlight

Boris, I guess I don't understand your "it doesn't have to" comment, then.

boris

A warm ball will lose pressure when it gets cold.
That is a fact of nature.

Does it have to explain why some other balls did not lose pressure?

No, because we don't know if those other balls were warm or cold or over inflated to begin with.

You can't draw the conclusion you want if you don't know that all balls were inflated at the same time to the same pressure at the same temperature. I sure don't know that and don't know who does.

Captain Hate

Ok, I remember you cheering for him when he was on the Vikes; particularly when he had one last magic season and kept his dumbass impulses under control before uncorking an extremely ill advised pass into coverage in overtime against the Saints.

Then he completely melted down the next season.

boris

"one last magic season and kept his dumbass impulses under control before uncorking an extremely ill advised pass"

IIRC it was a 3rd down close to the goal line, a field goal would have won the game. At that point he had the game won and the Vikes would go to the superbowl. Apparently when he threw the ball it looked like another easy touchdown to him.

Maybe not the best quarterback ever ... but better than most.

Captain Hate

Oh God yes, I'd never say he was a subpar QB. But the mindless adulation by ESPN with the "he's just like a kid out there" and "the joy of playing the game" really was hard to take and created a ravenous need for them to be shut up.

When he was dialed in, he was a lot of fun to watch, like when he tore apart the Ravens defense the year after they won the Super Bowl. The trouble was when he got older he still thought he could gun the ball into triple coverage, producing a career intercaption number which surely will never be exceeded.

Porchlight

I sure don't know that and don't know who does.

Well, sure. My point is that if it is true as reported that the second half balls did not deflate, the "weather" explanation ceases to be simple.

The "tampering" explanation is always simple because all it requires is a ballboy, a bathroom and a needle. We have the ballboy and the bathroom already if that video shows what they say it shows.

Porchlight

TC, if I was rooting for Favre it was only because the Vikes are my team. It was weird watching him in a Vikings uniform.

Thomas Collins

Why all the focus on Brady when Aaron Rodgers has been so forthright about hoping officials don't deflate balls that he has had inflated above the league mandated maximum?

http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/aaron-rodgers-green-bay-packers-tom-brady-new-england-patriots-deflated-footballs-012015

Thomas Collins

Porchlight, I think you may mean someone else. I haven't weighed in on the Favre subthread yet.

boris

"if it is true as reported that the second half balls did not deflate, the "weather" explanation ceases to be simple."

The "weather explanation" is based on physics not simplicity.

Simplicity is not really a valid measure for this kind of thing, but even if it was ... ballboy/needle/bathroom is not simpler than balls were not all precisely inflated together at the same time/pressure/temperature.

As Lanny Davis might say ... you have no "poof".

The logic does not hold water air.

Thomas Collins

If only the NFL and the sports press had focused as much on why Ray Lewis got off so easily in the murder/obstruction of justice investigation as they are doing on the psi of Brady's balls. What burns me up is that the Peter Kings of the world didn't have the balls to call Ray Lewis out when Lewis suggested that Brady's prominence depended on the tuck rule.

Danube of Thought

it doesn't explain the second half balls. It was widely reported from the beginning that the Colts balls and the second half NE balls didn't deflate.

No measurement is meaningful unless we know the environment in which the ball was inflated, and the environment in which it was tested and how long it had been there. (Recall that, as we have seen, a ball that deflates in the cold and damp will re-inflate rather quickly when returned to the warmth and dried off.) All we know at this point is that the Pats' first-half balls were inflated indoors and tested outdoors three hours later.

I strongly suspect that Brady had no idea about the the laws of physics we have been discussing until a few days ago.

Occam's Razor is not a law, and there is often room for disagreement as to how it applies, if at all. One formulation of it that I have seen is that "hypotheses are to be minimized." But not always.

Threadkiller

We also know the NFL has issued no press releases regarding the Colts' footballs.

Captain Hate

What burns me up is that the Peter Kings of the world didn't have the balls to call Ray Lewis out when Lewis suggested that Brady's prominence depended on the tuck rule.

Now we're talking. Ray Lewis makes me wonder why Emmitt Smith's broadcasting skills were found to be subpar.

Man Tran

Occam doesn't necessarily lead to the correct answer. Just a higher probability all else being equal. Sasquatch tromping around up in Iggy's neck of the woods is unlikely, but if/when one shows up, then all alternate theories are kaput.

Porchlight

I strongly suspect that Brady had no idea about the the laws of physics we have been discussing until a few days ago.

The guy who can tell the difference between 13.5 psi and 12.5 psi and insists on the latter never noticed in his entire career that the balls continue to soften in cold weather if they are inflated indoors?

Has anyone asked Aaron Rodgers, who likes a more inflated ball, what steps he takes to ensure that the SkyDragon doesn't soften his balls at Lambeau?

Why wasn't "weather" the immediate "duh, everyone knows this" response from the Pats and all the other QBs? It took a guy at MIT to explain to them what they should have been easily able to notice in every cold outdoor game they've ever played?

Porchlight

As Lanny Davis might say ... you have no "poof".

There is supposedly a video of a ballboy taking the balls into a bathroom for 90 seconds. Not proof, but opportunity. (We already have motive.) 90 seconds is enough time to deflate 11 balls according to other QBs.

The weather people don't have any proof either because we don't have enough info about how/when where the balls were inflated and stored.

Porchlight

TC, so sorry, I mixed you up with Cap'n re: Favre.

boris

"The weather people don't have any proof either"

Depends what you mean. There certainly is proof that a warm ball loses pressure when it gets cold.

The temperature change explanation only has to be possible to cast doubt on the needle as the "only reasonable conclusion".

Extraneus

Did a physicist say that the water vapor inside the football condenses at 50F or that the humidity outside the ball affects the pressure inside of it?

boris

"never noticed in his entire career that the balls continue to soften in cold weather"

Suppose Brady knew that inflating the balls in a warm humid locker room would maintain heat by condensing water vapor long enough to test regulation pressure at the start ... then cool down and soften up sometime in the 1st quarter.

Would that qualify as ":cheating" to you?

Threadkiller

What does the NFL's lack of mention of the Colts' footballs cast doubt on?

Extraneus

Steve Kroft's Cheat-Texts Reveal He Was Paranoid about "Right-Wing Zealots" Finding Out About His Affair, Didn't Want to be Seen Publicly With His Black Mistress, and Learned Obama "Hated" Eric Holder

He wasn't afraid of left-wing bloggers finding out, for some reason.

Threadkiller

I don't know if that process would count as cheating, Boris, but his comments at the presser would count as lying.

Danube on iPad

"we don't have enough info about how/when where the balls were inflated and stored."

We've seen a video of a routine pre-game ball inflation taking place in the refs' locker room, and during the first half the twelve first-half balls were stored on the sideline. Beyond that we know nothing about the times or places of any measurements of pressure.

Brady doesn't say he can tell the difference between 13.5 and 12.5; he just says he prefers a softer ball, and he knows that the lower limit is 12.5 so that's what he asks for.

I suppose a wet ball cools more because of a standard exothermic reaction when it evaporates--like frost forming on your windshield even when the temperature is not below freezing.

Danube on iPad

Why, in Brady's entire career, has no opponent or official ever said "hey--this ball feels too soft?"

Extraneus

Wrong thread..

Threadkiller

Why, in Brady's entire career, has no opponent or official ever said "hey--this ball feels too soft?"

Is there evidence that an official has never said that to him?

Jane

Were the Colt's balls weighed at halftime?

Threadkiller

According to this timeline, Jane, yes they were weighed at the half and found to be compliant.
http://blog.masslive.com/patriots/2015/01/deflategate_timeline_putting_s.html

There is also mention that the Patriots were using a Colts ball in the first half because of the officials.

I do not know if the sportswriters/reporters were eyewitness or not, but nobody that I have found has debunked their claims.

Threadkiller

Correction: The witness to the Pat's use of a Colt's football was Jackson.

The same Jackson that intercepted the ball that led to the scandal.

What time was the interception and are the physicists using that time in their calculations or are they going off of half-time?

Threadkiller

The interception can be found here:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000462315/article/colts-dqwell-jackson-i-didnt-know-football-had-less-pressure

There is just over 9 minutes left in the half.

Prior to the end of the half the only footballs sequestered were the Pat's. Apparently the Refs, through what I assume was their sense of touch, believed the Colts footballs were compliant.

At least that what Occam might think.

Threadkiller

Did I kill it?

Porchlight

Would that qualify as ":cheating" to you?

Not to me. But as TK points out, it puts Brady in liar territory.

I read another report that said Jackson didn't notice anything (as a DB, why would he?). But he tossed the ball to an equipment manager who noticed and reported it.

It really doesn't matter if a ref or another player couldn't tell by feel. That's why gauges are needed for inspection. The only person whose opinion on pressure drives what the equipment manager does is Brady.

Does anyone currently believe Belichick was telling the truth when he said he didn't know about any of this until Monday morning?

Porchlight

Brady doesn't say he can tell the difference between 13.5 and 12.5; he just says he prefers a softer ball, and he knows that the lower limit is 12.5 so that's what he asks for.

So he prefers a softer ball, but he can't tell that the balls are getting softer as the game (or practice) progresses?

I submit that if weather-related softening results in significant deflation, every QB in the league would know it and would have said so right off the bat last week. And QBs would be taking active steps to encourage it or discourage it depending on their preferences. And we would have read several stories about that by now.

boris

"I submit that if weather-related softening results in significant deflation, every QB in the league would know it"

I know you're not saying ... "that physics stuff about gas pressure and temperature can't be true, because football"

... but it kinda starts to sound like it after a while.

Porchlight

Of course it's true, but how applicable is it? We know next to nothing about the conditions under which the balls are inflated and stored, as you yourself pointed out.

Why didn't anyone in the NFL mention it last week? Why didn't Belichick or Brady mention it in their pressers? Should have been a no-brainer, right? Since we know how picky the QBs are.

Threadkiller

How about saying the physics stuff doesn't work because of the Colt's football?

Porchlight

We all know there is a big difference between lab experiments and field experiments, right? If someone does a proper field experiment in an NFL game under similar conditions where normal procedures are followed and the same result obtains, I will be more convinced.

Threadkiller

Speaking of labs:

But the take away is that under the conditions of the Colts-Patriots game, all of the footballs HeadSmart Labs tested experienced a drop in pressure—and the average drop was 1.82 psi. Or, right about in the range that was observed at the game.

http://m.weeklystandard.com/blogs/end-deflategate_832331.html

1.82psi?

Does the same hold true for a ball that starts at the high end of the scale?

13.5psi - 1.82psi = 11.68psi

The Colts' footballs, assuming they were inflated to the max and used in the same weather system, had to be out of regulation no matter what, unless the majority of their psi loss occurred in the last 9min of the first half.

Threadkiller

There is always the possibility the Colts filled their footballs with air from the snow-cone machine.

Threadkiller

How about this theory:

Jackson intercepts the football and notices nothing. He takes it to the Colts equipment guy for safe keeping as a memento. The equipment guy, being sour about the pummeling the Colts are taking, does a number on the ball and drops the pressure to something so low the officials can't help but take notice. In the meantime he is ensuring that all of the Colts footballs are to spec.

After the ball sequester it becomes apparent that the average psi of the Pat's footballs is lower than the 12.5psi minimum but not near as low as the initial scandalous football.

The officials have a mess on their hands and assume that cover needs to be provided for the sake of the NFL.

Yadda, yadda, yadda...

matt

Everyone knows it was the guy on the grassy knoll who deflated the footballs. He was airlifted in by the people in the black helicopters.

Pop is truly one of the greats and the Spurs define the word team. He has a knack of finding role players who want to contribute in any way they can and they buy into the system.

I have always liked the Spurs organization. Low key, not flashy, and very, very good B-ball.

We had Sterling and now we have uber child Ballmer. The most underachieving team in the game right now. Not sure how the Doc Rivers experiment is going to work out.

GS has lightning in a bottle. It's raining treys. The Hawks are just plain amazing.

No TV for 10 days, including the super Bowl. Had to watch it on line. Even on a small screen it was amazing.

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