NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league found no issues with proper inflation of footballs while checking balls at various games during the 2015 season.
In response to Deflategate, the NFL decided this year to check the PSI of footballs at some games. Goodell said in an interview with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that testing the footballs wasn’t about researching the way air pressure can respond to temperature and game conditions, it was simply about ensuring that teams weren’t manipulating their footballs. And those spot checks found no violations.
“It wasn’t a research study. They simply were spot checks. There were no violations this year. We’re pleased that we haven’t had any violations and we continue the work, obviously, to consistently and importantly enforce the integrity of the game and the rules that are designed to protect it,” Goodell said.
But maybe the NFL should have done a research study, and not just spot checks. After all, some scientists have come forward to say that the low PSI measurements on the footballs used by the Patriots in last year’s AFC Championship Game could have simply been a result of the footballs being used during a game played in cold weather. A thorough study might have revealed that footballs drop in pressure in games played in weather conditions similar to those of last year’s AFC Championship Game, which would strongly suggest that the Patriots and Tom Brady did not deserve to be punished for Deflategate.
The NFL, however, did punish the Patriots and is still seeking to overturn a judge’s ruling that prevented them from suspending Brady. Goodell doesn’t sound like he’s going to back down on seeking to suspend Brady, which means that if the NFL wins in court, Brady could be suspended for the first four games of 2016.
“I have great admiration for Tom,” Goodell said. “I know him personally. Obviously I respect his playing ability – he’s an extraordinary player – a sure Hall of Famer and I have nothing but admiration for him. But I have to make sure that we continue to do the things that are necessary to protect the integrity of the game and I will do that without compromise.”
The Patriots would argue that if Goodell really wants to protect the integrity of the game, he should have seen to it that the league did more than just PSI spot checks.