The NFL finally will know what happens inside a football during games played in extreme cold. Whether the rest of us find out is a different question.
Sal Paolantonio of ESPN reports that the NFL will implement its random PSI testing protocol at Sunday’s Seahawks-Vikings game.
The procedure entails testing all team’s footballs at halftime, taking them out of service, and finishing the game with the backup balls, which then will be tested after the game ends.
Given the conditions and the application of the Ideal Gas Law, the footballs likely will be well below the mandated minimum of 12.5 PSI. The NFL admitted within the context of the Tom Brady case that it was not aware of the reality that, when footballs are taken into the cold, the air pressure shrinks like a frightened turtle.
The league has been randomly testing PSI throughout the year. It has not committed to whether any of the numbers will be publicly released. It’s safe to say that today’s numbers may never be voluntarily disclosed.
It’s also safe to say that 11 0f 12 footballs will be at least two pounds under 12.5 PSI. Possibly, 12 of 12.