After further review, a theory on how #DeflateGate initially unfolded

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The problem with the real-time news cycles is that anyone who presses pause on the generation of content to process information, to gather more information, and to carefully consider the situation fails to serve the audience — and in turn loses money. People want instant analysis; if one content provider isn’t providing it, the people will go to a provider that is.

At PFT, the goal is to provide instant analysis but also to keep an open mind, which means that analysis can be adjusted based on further information and consideration. It’s not easy to balance immediate-term and longer-term thought processes, but it’s necessary — especially when a story is constantly changing and evolving.

A full seven days into the life of the Ted Wells report, I’m ready to set forth a theory as to what happened at the outset of the investigation. The following assertions are opinions based on facts that have been reported and information I have gathered via many phones calls and other communications with league sources.

1. Before January 18, 2015, football air pressure had never been a big deal for the NFL.

Rule 2 of the official NFL playing rules states:  “The ball shall be made up of an inflated (12 1/2 to 13 1/2 pounds) urethane bladder enclosed in a pebble grained, leather case (natural tan color) without corrugations of any kind.” For decades, the 12.5-to-13.5 PSI range had been the prevailing standard. It’s the way it always was, and no one ever gave it much thought.

Despite the intense scientific analysis applied to the air pressures measured at halftime of the AFC title game, the issue of air pressure was not, as former NFL official and former supervisor of officials Jim Daopoulos said on Tuesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, an exact science. Daopoulos added that officials generally didn’t know that footballs lost air pressure in cold weather; thus, even though Rule 2 seems to mandate that the ball “shall be” inflated in the range of 12.5 PSI to 13.5 PSI at all times, many games over the years were played with footballs at significantly lower pressures — especially when officials set the pressures to the lowest end of the range before kickoff.

“The practice has been to for the officials to check the pressure pre-game, then play the game,” a league spokesman told PFT on Tuesday. This means that, consciously or not, the NFL has allowed hundreds of games to be played with footballs having an air pressure that was increasingly less than 12.5 PSI.

2. Teams routinely make complaints to the league office before games, few of which are taken seriously.

Early in the development of this story, the fact that the Colts had alerted the league office to concerns about the Patriots tampering with football air pressure had considerable significance. The league’s receipt of the complaint and failure to act on it before the game created the impression that someone from the NFL had set a trap for the Patriots.

It was a compelling and troubling notion. In lieu of warning the Patriots and reserving the right to spot-check air pressure during the game, the NFL apparently opted to allow the game to proceed with non-complying footballs, in the hopes of catching the Patriots in the act.

The more likely reality is that the NFL simply didn’t take the complaint seriously. The league didn’t take the complaint seriously because teams routinely make complaints about opponents, whether due to paranoia, delusion, or gamesmanship.

The best evidence of the league’s failure to take the complaint seriously comes from referee Walt Anderson’s failure to insist that the footballs be kept out of play after the footballs went missing for the first time in Anderson’s 19 years as an official. If Anderson regarded the complaint as credible, Anderson likely wouldn’t have allowed the game to be played with footballs that may have been deflated during the time that they were beyond his supervision.

3. The Colts weren’t hoping to catch the Patriots cheating.

The Colts chose to share the information with the league the day before the game not to catch the Patriots in the act but, I believe, to ensure that the Patriots would be prevented from tampering with the footballs.  The timing of the complain suggests that the Colts hoped the Patriots would have minimal notice of the change in procedures, and in turn minimal time to adjust to not having the footballs at the preferred pressure. Based on the traditional nonchalance that applied to the filling of footballs with air, the Colts also may have been hoping that the officials would simply put extra air in the footballs for good measure, which would have resulted in the balls being inflated well above quarterback Tom Brady’s preferences.

4. Walt Anderson made a big mistake after losing track of the footballs.

Rule 2 states that “the balls shall remain under the supervision of the Referee until they are delivered to the ball attendant just prior to the start of the game.” That didn’t happen prior to the AFC title game; for the first time in Anderson’s 19 years as a game official, he lost the footballs. When he found them, Anderson used them.

He should have required that the alternate balls be used, and he should have ordered that the original balls be taken inside and tested. This would have avoided the use of potentially tainted footballs during the first half, and it would have provided much better evidence regarding whether the air pressures had been deliberately reduced below 12.5 PSI.

5. The game officials and league executives didn’t know about the application of the Ideal Gas Law.

The Wells report explains that, after the Colts made another complaint based on the perceived reduction in air pressure in the football intercepted by linebacker D’Qwell Jackson in the second quarter, two alternate officials (Clete Blakeman and Dyrol Prioleau) tested the pressure in the footballs, with league officials Alberto Riveron and Troy Vincent present. The 11 Patriots footballs were each below the 12.5 PSI minimum; the four Colts footballs tested by the officials were in the vicinity of 12.5 PSI. (It’s unclear whether the men conducting the testing or observing it realized that the Colts’ footballs had a higher initial inflation amount of 13.0 to 13.1 PSI.)

Based on the explanation on Tuesday’s PFT Live from long-time game official and supervisor of officials Jim Daopoulos that officials generally weren’t aware that air pressure shrinks during cold-weather games, the visceral reaction at that moment by the folks in the room quite likely may have been that the Patriots had been caught in the act.

6. The NFL initially made the numbers seem worse than they actually were.

Fueled by PSI measurements that seem low to someone who doesn’t instantly realize that air pressure drops significantly during prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, the league promptly launched an investigation. But NFL executive V.P. Dave Gardi inexplicably told the Patriots in the initial letter explaining the investigation that one of the balls was determined to have a pressure of only 10.1 PSI, even though none of the footballs had a pressure that low.

Then, someone from the league (it surely wasn’t someone from the Patriots) leaked to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that 11 of the 12 balls were a full two pounds below the 12.5 PSI minimum. The measurements reveal that this information was false.

The false information leaked to Mortensen gave the story more traction and a higher degree of significance. It also placed the Patriots on the defensive without the Patriots knowing the specific PSI measurements against which they were defending. If true and accurate information had been leaked to the media or given to the Patriots, coach Bill Belichick’s notorious Mona Lisa Vito press conference would have been far more persuasive, because the data from one of the two significantly conflicting gauges used to determine the air pressure generated measurements in line with the expected loss in pressure during 90 minutes in the elements of a January day in Foxboro.

Think of how different the narrative would have been if, in the early days of the scandal, the prevailing information from one of the largest sports-media outlets in America had been not that 10 of the 12 balls were two pounds under the minimum but that all 12 balls (including the one that had been intercepted by Jackson) tested within the range consistent with the application of the Ideal Gas Law.

Also, think of how different the narrative would have been if, in the early days of the scandal, the league had acknowledged that the officials used two different gauges with dramatically different readings generated.

It’s impossible to know exactly what happened within the confines of the Ted Wells ensuing investigation without having access to the raw transcripts of interviews and the full range of text messages. For now, though, it’s clear that this investigation proceeded aggressively despite a history of less-than-zealous attention to air pressure, an apparent lack of immediate understanding regarding the Ideal Gas Law, and a non-accidental attempt to make the tampering seem more obvious than the facts suggest it was. And that makes it hard not to wonder what other flaws may be lurking within the 243-page report and the underlying evidence on which it was based.

300 responses to “After further review, a theory on how #DeflateGate initially unfolded

  1. Dean Blandino steadfastly denied in February that he was made aware of the Colts’ complaint prior to the game itself.

    The Wells Report proved he was lying.

  2. This is a very well-thought-out piece. It’s staggering how poorly this has been handled by the NFL.

    An obscure rule, barely bothered with by anyone, muddy-at-best data on how the rule was or wasn’t followed in one game, flimsy circumstantial evidence of any wrongdoing, witness testimony ignored in favor of a narrative created by the investigator, and a league office that has now embarrassed itself, its most successful team, its current champion, its arguably all-time-greatest player, and the sport itself.

    That is pretty much the definition of a disaster. Goodell and his entire team should be replaced.

  3. Deflategate unfolded from the Patriots being systematic cheaters for the last 14 years and the NFL being afraid of the implosion that would happen if all of their transgressions were revealed (hence the destruction of the Belichick tapes in 2007).

  4. It’s only a big deal because it’s the Patriots. If it was one of the worst teams in the league, people wouldn’t blink an eye. The reason Brady got penalized so hard was to give the rest of the teams in that division a fighting chance.

  5. Good article Florio. Thanks for all the detailed info, I feel like you’re the only one who reports the very small details that I love to know.

  6. Check out Peter Kings tweets on this in the last few minutes. Makes mention of the mess the NFL has made of this whole thing just as Mike has said here.

  7. This is what is incredibly frustrating. Anyone with a mic in front of them states gossip as fact! ESPN is the most unprofessional organization in the world.
    Just turn on the camera and bash away. Notice the Patriots or BB never cry foul to the media, a loss is a loss!
    A SB and perfect season lost to a helmet catch and non called in the grasp. Nothing but congrats to the better team that day…fact.
    Also the myth of spygate and taped walk through all proven false!
    But hey if you say it enough you believe
    Regardless TB12 will get number 5 before he is done!

  8. The biggest question I have is why did the Colts complain at all about the ball pressure?

    Did Baltimore tip them off because John Harbaugh was miffed about the “illegal formation”?

  9. Obviously this was about more than just this one game. It seems like most teams that play them regularly believe the Patriots have cheated for years. Players on ESPN were saying everybody in the NFL knows they cheat in various ways. My guess is Gooddell talked to a number of teams about the Patriots deflating balls and found wide spread indications that this has been ongoing for quite sometime.

  10. I agree with the Fox annalist on FBN who railed against the NFL for their overhanded pursuit and penalties when the actual data and proof of guilt was way too suspect to warrant any punishment let alone the severe punishment handed down.
    The Commish was on a mission to resurrect his own image of doling out some kind of punishment to show he is the man, he is in charge.
    I mean really, a ball outside in the cold not deflating on its own. Really. The tires on cars deflate significantly in cold weather. For those balls to not be underinflated would be suspect that they were over inflated to begin with.

  11. The fact that there was “little attention” paid to air pressure is probably why Brady felt brave enough to try to circumvent the rules and manipulate the balls after they were approved by the refs.

    The strongest evidence in this case is really in the text messages they uncovered. There was a guy who called himself “the deflator” before the season threatening to go to ESPN because Brady was pissing him off.

    The average of all measurements of the Pats balls were 11.29

    The average of all measurements of the Colts balls were 12.53

    The Pats had SEVERAL balls below the highest estimates of the “Ideal Gas Law”. Their balls were significantly less than the Colts in the same weather…

    But most importantly, the uncovered texts, as well as Toms unwillingness to hand over the requested docs (while never needing to hand over his actual cell phone) is most damning of all.

    In order for Tom to not be considered guilty… ALL of the evidence must have a reasonable explanation… instead they sound like Aaron Hernandez’s attorney trying to poke small little holes in a couple of the pieces of evidence. The problem is when you look at EVERYTHING, it’s pretty clear to most unbiased people and fans that he was manipulating the balls after the refs approved them.

  12. The officials didn’t know balls lose pressure in cold weather?!?!!!

    If they are that stupid, they should not be officiating.

    This is something we learn when we are kids. It’s why our sports balls all lost air in the winter. It’s why car tires can give a much lower reading in the winter even though they have no leak/hole in them… Until they’ve been driven on long enough to warm up the air inside.

    But hey, great article. I clicked. I read. I commented.

  13. Here’s the deal, a spongy footfall is much easier to catch and hold onto. It is easier to throw a spongy ball if the temperature is cold. All the statistical numbers suggest that the Patriots have been gaining this “competitive advantage ” for quite some time. 4 games is fair. A loss of draft picks seems unrelated. Banishing the locker room attendant and ball boy is overboard if Brady only gets 4 games. It was deliberate and Brady needs to admit it so he can restore his reputation and go down as one of the greatest.

  14. Florio, from one lawyer to another, thank you so much for your objective perspective. It is beyond refreshing in the face of all these mob-mentality induced fools I’ve had to suffer through the last few days. Although I can’t say for sure what happened one way or the other, all I ask for and expect out of the media is a fair, unslanted/unbiased perspective (i.e. Fairness). If the Pats did something wrong (coming from the biggest fan of the team), we deserve to be punished. However, this whole situation had been blown so far out of proportion the Patriot haters have lost all touch with reality, and so have the Pats fans, defending our teams’ integrity and most beloved athlete. No matter how you feel, Brady was clearly punished for Belicheck’s past transgressions and received a completely excessive penalty (I.e I compare it to being convicted for manslaughter for a speeding ticket). The penalty needs to be reduced, if not completely rescinded in relation to #12 (but I feel the Pats should be modestly punished for their failure to completely cooperate). This whole thing has been absurd. Thanks again, from Pats fans everywhere.

  15. Glad to see you’ve come full circle on the topic. Although it’s only after you’ve handed out the pitchforks and whipped the lynch mob into a frenzy but it’s something.

    The investigation was fatally flawed. I’m a Patriots fan but actually was more convinced there was wrong doing BEFORE the report than after. If there is any sort of independence on the appeal, I’m betting the penalties are almost non-existent compared to what they are now.

  16. The Patriots and Brady are innocent. Complete exoneration will be forthcoming. And Brady is going to be a much, much wealthier man.


    So you have a mishandled investigation which results in fines and suspensions. Great work by the league

  18. It would be interesting to know if the response would have been different… BUT what’s all this about 2 staff people working with Brady to deflate balls?

  19. None of which changes the fact that Brady did not live up to the rules by failing to cooperate with the investigation. In the end, that is what he and the Patriots are being punished for.

  20. Bravo Florio. No Pats lover here but your analysis is consistent with all other serious critiques of the Wells Report.

  21. If the Patriots had nothing to hide they would’ve cooperated fully with the investigation, like they said they were going to do. The text messages were pretty damning, as was Brady’s refusal to provide evidence from his phone.

  22. Thanks for putting the time in and doing some honest analysis. Listening to the blowhards on ESPN radio spouting so much circumstantial nonsense is a bit depressing.

  23. But very little mention that 3 of 4 balls tested for the Colts were similarly below the 12.5 minimum and if all were tested 9 of 12 would have been so it more probable then not the Colts tamper with their balls also. Humm

  24. “The problem with the real-time news cycles is that anyone who presses pause on the generation of content to process information, to gather more information, and to carefully consider the situation fails to serve the audience”

    aka the entire basis for this website.

  25. What ever happened to the locker room attendant that went into the bathroom with the footballs? Does the report even mention this or try to figure out what happened?

  26. If nothing really happened Tom Brady wouldn’t be suspended 4 games, Kraft wouldn’t have lots a million bucks and draft picks wouldn’t have been taken away.

    Don’t make excuses for cheaters.

  27. Seems clear enough that Brady and Pats rode too close to the fire on inflation pressure. Intentionally. Like everything else they seem to do, they find the rule, they snuggle up next to it, and they play great football. If the Colt’s footballs were also underinflated there would be no case. The texts clearly indicate that the Pats were deflating the footballs as much as possible. Maybe below 12.5, maybe right at it, knowing that the balls loss pressure in cold weather. In any case it must be clear to anyone who does not really care whether Brady and company are guilty of misdeeds that Brady and company are guilty of misdeeds. Maybe minor, maybe more than minor. Also ridiculous to think that Belichick did not know, though he may not have specifically OK’d it. Tom says, “I like the balls a little short of air.” Belichick says, “I don’t know. You’re the quarterback.” That kind of knowing. Me, I like the punishment. It’s serious, substantial, and suggests that the league seriously disapproves of teams skirting the rules. Yes all QBs prepare the balls. There’s a limit to that practice. Bill and Tom and their poor relations at the bottom of the team ladder surely exceeded that limit. They should take the penalty and go back to work. If Brady’s appeal goes forward and he wins it will suggest that the Pats have more influence than they should. You figure Staubach did this? Montana? Marino? Elway? Bradshaw? Aikman? Tarkenton? You do the rest of the list.

  28. It doesn’t matter. Text messages prove Brady was crying and making sure his ‘bribe’ was being accepted…so that the deflation would continue. Guilty. Once a cheater, always a cheater. No legitimate Superbowls!!!!

  29. I just can’t understand how the NFL can be so laxydaisy on such things. Really, it’s all nonsense and fiddlesticks. I am a Patriots fan, but something just doesn’t sit right with me.

  30. Has anyone spoken with the maker of the football? Its Wilson, right? What do they think? I would like to hear what they say? Do they recommend adding more air pressure on a cold day?

  31. As I said before, and of course not printed, put pressure on Chris Mortenson to produce his cell phone records.

    Lets find out who wanted this gas onto the fire.

  32. that’s a stretch and misleading. anderson didn’t lose the footballs. McNally took them into a bathroom that where he says he used a urinal. there was no urinal in said bathroom.
    McNally was known as “The Deflator” Wells wanted a 2nd interview with McNally, and was denied by the team.

    quit worrying about the flaws in the Wells Report, worry about the flaws in your own reporting

  33. Good write-up Florio. I personally do want instant news but I’m losing trust with the media. I understand you have a job to do and a boss to answer to. It would be nice though if there was breaking news if you reported the story but mention the story is still unfolding. Sadly, there are too many stupid people who can’t think for themselves who buy anything the media says. So granted, you probably have to offer an opinion and pick a side on every story but doing so you are also and maybe unintentionally, forming a bias opinion amongst your readers. Granted, it’s not your job to tell people how to think or more importantly help them think for themselves, but stating what you know, have heard, pieced together without drawing a conclusion is just as vital as trying to gain readership by judging a story/topic before completely gathering all the facts.

  34. This is a thorough theory which probably contains a great deal of truth. But your background as a lawyer is causing you to focus on the least significant details of the investigation.

    In a court of law, if the process of obtaining a piece of evidence doesn’t adhere to a certain standard, that evidence and anything that sprung from that evidence can be ruled inadmissible and summarily discarded. If this were a court of law, then murkiness surrounding the air pressure numbers might matter more.

    This isn’t a court of law. This isn’t a criminal investigation. Quibbling over whether the Ideal Gas Law can explain the pressure differences in the footballs is not actually relevant at this point.

    The investigation unearthed evidence that Tom Brady had been providing gifts of merchandise and shoes to a Patriots employee, who calls himself “the Deflator” in his communications. A reading of the texts has no other logical conclusion than one of Brady bribing the employee to reduce the PSI of the Patriots’ footballs after they’ve been inspected by the referees. Not just once; the text conversations carry references as far back as last year, and who knows how long it had been happening before that.

    You can’t just turn a blind eye to that, if you’re the league, based on which pressure gauge may or may not have been used. They set up a system to cheat the game. They got caught. They stopped cooperating when they realized the league had turned up evidence of what they had done. They got punished. This is the way it’s supposed to work.

    Keep in mind also that if this were a court of law, Brady could have been compelled to turn over the evidence he was hiding on his phone during the investigation. And we’d have a much better idea of his involvement in the process.

  35. Narrative should have no impact on justice. This is why both the Brady suspension and penalties levied on the Patriots should be taken to court and overthrown, as the “conclusions” those penalties were based on were clearly farcical. Ted Wells should be taken to task for fraudulent behavior for declaring a verdict in an investigation that yielded results that are as unclear as could be asked for (in fact, using the same standard that he was so fond of, it is “more probable than not” that he was hired with a predetermined verdict in mind and to assemble a case to meet that conclusion, and he should be treated accordingly). And the NFL and especially Roger Goodell should be put under greater scrutiny than ever before for inconsistent behavior and arbitrary punishments that clearly trample on the rights of players and teams.

    The whole thing has been a massive joke of process and justice. And worst of all: it’s all about a practice that, had it been done by any other team or been asked about six months ago, people would have shrugged their shoulders about.

    Pumping in crowd noise, a practice many NFL fans have bemoaned about, for a full two year period, netted only a lost fifth round pick. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting to hear about any kind of penalty for the early 2000s Panthers that were caught red-handed for the ultimate form of non-fixed-games cheating, PEDs.

    This has been a terrific exercise in revealing the biases people have and how blatantly idiotic people become based on those biases. If you have felt that any kind of justice has been served in this process, you are a blathering biased fool. You literally cannot thumbs down this post without proving my point.

  36. So we have to invent that the balls were under inflated by using the gauge the ref said he did not use.

    Then we play the 2nd half using under inflated Colts balls and properly inflated Patriots balls.

    Smoking Gun -the NFL League Office is the Keystone Cops and the least likely to preserve the integrity of the sport.

  37. Thank you Mike for a taste of sanity to this debacle. The anger and vitriol coming from almost every one is so out of balance. Reasonsble people can disagree whether there is absolute proof that ANY tampering occurred, but with so many questions about the path to Wells conclusion that there was tampering, reasonable minds would not treat it as automatic that there was

  38. Mike… Appreciate the input but to be honest based on comments made by Grigson to Keisell & how THEIR stories differ with Blandinos as to when who knew what it still sounds to me like it was an internal botched sting operation….
    It also sounds like upon your further review into the Wells report you are seeing that there are so many flaws & skewed analysis that you are making excuses for the League to find a way out of this hatchet job of an investigation..the sad & honest truth of the matter is that the damage has been done as perception is reality in the eyes of the public….I absolutly believe that after reading the report( & I’m no lawyer, just a very logical & somewhat intelligent individule) that Ted Wells team was not qualified to do this investigation based on the science as well as there knowledge of standard as well as intrical operations both outright & behind the scenes of football operations
    Most everything I read starts with a basis of guilt & works backwards from there & when options became available to be interpreted it always seemed he/ they aired on the side of guilt & worst case scenarios…. Not very independent in it’s approach….
    I believe Brady will fight this vigoresly & Mr. Kraft will soon follow suit….reputation on many levels have been damaged beyond repair & I believe things are just getting started & about to get real ugly for the league & Mr. Godell….& now an oppology won’t be enough for either Brady or Kraft… Just my opinion & I guess we’ll all see soon enough

  39. A few comments:

    Anderson (the ref) made a huge mistake in not measuring the PSI when the footballs mysteriously went missing. This is is especially so given that both he and the league had been put on notice about the Colts’ complaint and Anderson’s statement that this was the first time in his 19 year NFL career that this had happened.

    The assertion that this was a sting operation and the league should have notified the Pats ahead of time is absurd. To make sure that under inflated footballs were not used in the game, Anderson clearly should have measured the PSI again after they went missing. My guess is that he was more concerned about getting the game started for TV.

    The league and the QBs are concerned enough about this issue that the league has a rule and Manning and Brady both lobbied the league to change procedures.

    Is there anyone who seriously thinks that McNally and the other guy came up with this on their own without Nrady’s blessing?!? One of the reasons why the Pats have been so good is that they and Brady pay attention to every detail. This is no different.

    In the words of Tom Brady just a week earlier:

    “Maybe those guys gotta study the rule book and figure it out,” Brady said. “We obviously knew what we were doing and we made some pretty important plays. It was a real good weapon for us. Maybe we’ll have something in store next week.”

  40. The simple answer lies with the reason why McNally ‘The Deflator’ took the game balls into the men’s room in the first place.

    Is that a common practice the League should accept?

    Until you get a plausible answer to that step of the process, the whole scenario sucks.

  41. If balls lose air pressure in the cold, im sure it wouldn’t be that much lower. Kinda like car tires, the psi goes up some with heat.
    So why do they say that footballs become solid hard and difficult to handle or grip in the cold if they are supposed to lose psi???
    Those balls disappearing out of the officials supervision should be a dead give away that something was going on.

  42. No new observations here, but only one incorrect one.

    #4. I think it is wrong to blame Walt Anderson for losing the balls when the well-known Referee Locker Room attendant of many, many years stole the balls from the Referee Locker Room. I mean, do you really expect Anderson to handcuff himself to the ball bag because that is the only way he could have stopped McNally from grabbing them and slipping out the door.

    Furthermore, when Anderson found the balls again with McNally on the sideline of the game 15 minutes before kickoff, Anderson no doubt felt total relief after a 15 minute panic search for the balls. To expect Anderson to suspect the balls had been somehow been deflated by McNally the moment he found the balls with McNally is not realistic.

  43. The similarities in the rush to judgement, skewed narrative and hired gun to commence a report of Joe Paterno and Tom Brady are kind of crazy. Obviously different subjects but can’t help to notice how painfully similar both are. Both forced to fight for their reputation in the aftermath. It will be a long, painful and mostly fruitless fight for Brady to undo the or convince otherwise of preconceived opinions just like it has been for Joe Paterno who was unjustly slaughtered bc of some paid report that gave the buyer exactly what they wanted.

  44. You want more flaws in the Wells report, here’s a HUGE one: Figure 22 in Exponent’s report gives an experimental account of how the pressure increases as a function of temperature during half time. It shows that if you measure the Patriots’ footballs 2 minutes into halftime and the Colts’ footballs 9 minutes into halftime (as probably happened), you get a .7 psi difference in the amount of deflation, because the Colts’ balls had more time to heat up. That .7 psi happens to be exactly how much more the Patriots’ footballs deflated than the Colts’.

    But Figures 24-28, which are used to condemn the Patriots, inexplicably use a model with different curves than the experimental one. In these curves, you only get a .3 or .4 psi difference for measuring earlier. And that’s used to say the Patriots’ extra deflation can’t be accounted for. MIKE FLORIO AND THE PATRIOTS, PLEASE PUBLICIZE THIS DISCREPANCY!! There’s no reasonable explanation for it that I can see. The experimental curves in Figure 22 exonerate the Patriots, so Exponent made up curves without explanation that look worse for the Patriots!

  45. “The Wells report explains that, after the Colts made another complaint based on the perceived reduction in air pressure in the football intercepted by linebacker D’Qwell Jackson in the second quarter, two alternate officials (Clete Blakeman and Dyrol Prioleau) tested the pressure in the footballs, with league officials Alberto Riveron and Troy Vincent present. ”

    So, let me ask you this. If the league wasn’t really all that concerned BEFORE the game, why were Troy Vincent, executive vice president of football operations for the NFL, and Al Riveron (head of officiating) there to witness the measuring of the balls? There was another game that day, and it’s not like either makes a regular appearance at games anyway. If they weren’t there specifically to investigate the Patriots for the charge made by the Colts, it’s an amazing coincidence! They didn’t know the original inflation of each set of balls. They didn’t understand the ideal gas law or how balls could deflate naturally during a game. They just knew the Patriots were accused of cheating and that the evidence would be that their balls were underinflated at half time after being checked by officials before the game. They got their evidence and told that to the commissioner. Nevermind there is no baseline for what balls normally look like at halftime. Nevermind that the Patriots balls were deliberately (and legally) inflated lower than the Colts balls. They saw all they needed to see to justify the allegation they believed to be true. The rest is history. But there is no evidence to justify the claim that a person did anything at all. But the evidence does seem to prove the point if you start by assuming the Patriots cheated. It just doesn’t hold up if you ask even the most simple questions to challenge the base assumption.

  46. Goodell sucks, the NFL is a toilet under his watch, that clown and ALL his minions in that front office need to be kicked to the curb. This is a case study of how to take a good thing (the NFL) and totally turn it into a turd by putting morons and goons in charge of a multi-Billion dollar empire.

  47. If I was Kessler, the first thing I’d do is play the MMQB video of the refs squeezing balls like melons and then tossing them in the bag, without checking PSI. It’s very possible the Pats turned 12.5 or slightly more deflated balls, leaving it up to the refs to make the correction (as it is the refs’ job to verify and correct if necessary – not the team)… And that the refs just didn’t care, considering it more of a preference than a competitive advantage. In that scenario, how is that different from Aaron Rodgers’ admission, except one guy is calling himself An Inflator and the other is calling himself The Deflator? League is covering it’s ass for having no credible procedure in place, which looked idiotic from the moment the news broke. The league doesn’t even know what the balls started at, and can’t account for what gauge was used, drastically lowering the efficacy of the evidence.

    All in all a sad witch hunt to distract and dominate the news cycle, pure and simple … and one aided and abetted by a media attracted by shiny objects, but yet easily confused by manipulative 243-page reports.

    Much of the rest of the league may be enjoying golden boy Brady’s schadenfreude, but one day Goodell will screw their team, too.

    Not even counting his inexplicable errors in discipline, he’s still also managed to avoid pushing the Redskins into the 21st Century, anything resembling a rational head trauma policy (see: Football, Thursday Night), and somehow stands on the precipice of ruining extra points, trying to turn everything into a 2-pt conversion. Someone please get this guy a new hobby, such as cribbage. Truly never thought I’d be possible for one single prick to mess up the NFL so badly, but it’s happening before our very eyes.

    Unfortunately, the majority of the owners have no reason to change the status quo. Nothing will change until fans rise up to say something about him. Until then, we wonder if next time it will be your team that lands on ‘Bankruptcy’ when spinning The Wheel of Goodell Fortune.

  48. Nice read. Good analysis and theory.

    I think it’s a disgrace the way Tom Brady was made to look like a villain in this when the NFL refs were probably pencil-whipping their ball routine on game days.

  49. Did Ted wells interview Mortenson, or even care to figure out who leaked out egregiously incorrect information?

    Seriously, why didn’t the league just say… its a 1/2 pound, who cares. Why is this a big deal at all?

  50. Goodell has pretty much given the media the power to spread propaganda, then impose punishments on said propaganda. I swear it won’t shock me if the Eagles are docked a 1st round pick next year for not starting Tebow at some point during the season.

  51. If people that hate the patriots would just open their eyes and see things as they really are then they would realize Deflategate is a total farce- wake up people!!! Don’t you realize that this is Roger Goodell’s Waterloo!

  52. Also, the refs gauges were 1/2PSI off… the Football was 1/2PSI under(after adjusting for temp changes). That should have been enough to exonerate the Patriots. But they still got hammered.

    That’s BS. That’s like a cop pulling you over for driving 5MPH over, admitting that his Radar gun is 5MPH off… and the Court still finds you guilty.

    Its ridiculous.

  53. Am I missing something??? The rule still states you CANNOT tamper with the footballs after the referees have prepared them. Even IF, as this lame article is suggesting, the PSI was closer to 12.5, a rule was still broken at Brady’s behest. I suppose the loon who called himself “The Deflator” (and joked about going to ESPN with the story) just took the balls with him into a bathroom with no urinal to adjust his jock-strap for a minute and 40 seconds, and then continued on to the field. Give me a break.

  54. The league should never allowed each team to have their own balls. One group of balls to be used by both teams.

  55. First of all, the Patriots have already admitted something wrong was done by essentially firing the ball boys. Then of course taking no action against Brady. Which is the ultimate example of trying to have it both ways.

    It’s pretty much what I thought. They’re handling it just like Spygate, letting the little guy burn. Once again, we’re supposed to believe that the most anal-retentive, detail-obsessed organization in football is suddenly unaware of what’s going on under its noses.

    You buying it?

  56. Surprisingly insightful article.

    Though the Wells Report is immensely flawed, it does a top notch job at showing how incompetent the NFL is at managing their league.

  57. Thoughtful and complete. Brady’s and Kraft’s lawyers thank you. I was also alarmed to see that Troy Vincent, apparently the one coming up with the ridiculous penalty, was an active at-game party to the Kensil’s maverick sting. Talk about a conflict of interest!

  58. Goodell knocks Brady out and Pats into AFC Wild Card slot.

    NFL announces today AFC Wild Card game will be Simulcast on ABC with ESPN. Kraft gets his team on two channels, and more than makes up for 1 million dollar fine.

    Garropolo gets his audition, and Pats trade him for a 1st and 4th rd pick to the Browns or Beangles or Jags next year. Goodell gets some parity for the league, and NE drafts another middle round back up next year.

    Anonymous owner pushes the notion that today Kraft and Goodells relationship is dead. No it’s what they want you to believe. They just made each other some cash.

  59. My amusement with all you dirt bags crying foul of the Patriots knows no bounds. I used to love football, but now I am relegated to counting the days till it is gone. I can’t wait. I also can’t wait to see the dirt bags that perpetuated this situation figuratively hang. Kraft will give Belichek the green light to unleash ALL THAT HE KNOWS AND DID NOT SAY DURING SPYGATE. If you think they aren’t lining that up for the rest of you trolls, you have lost your mind. Yeah, your team is as clean as the driven snow——-IN MARCH!!!! I am not a Pats fan, either. Just a fan of justice. I wish I could just run around accusing people of “probably dissing me”. I could hose a lot of people. A LOT. Here is some news for you stupid Phucks. The league will lose their rear ends on this, because fans like me are done. For good. I will refuse to patronize one business that supports the NFL. If that means buying a Kia, I will. I will drink only expensive European beer as well. If my employer required me to provide my cell phone for anything, I would sue their ass. Probably isn’t FOR SURE and under the circumstances presented by the Well’s report, constitutes opinion, not fact. Well’s report is ridiculously scued because he basses a majority of his decision on Brady not providing his personal electronic information, which, by the way, is protected personal information. The NFL is not bigger than the law. It is just comical and truly sad, that so many of you truly believe that he OWES IT TO YOU to give his personal information. He owes you nothing, ever. Not even a hello, much less an autograph. The hypocrisy of it all is that if he was within five feet of you, you be trying to lick his balls and get an autograph, despite what you might have written here. This website and the obvious ridiculous reaction to this BS situation is an indictment on people in the US at large. Contrary to popular belief, most of you are not good people, most are complete dirt bags.

  60. First, I’m not a patriots fan, but this report is unfair. The way it describes how they determined which air gauge was used sounds like a bad britsh tv sitcom punch line. Just because a number is in the area of the difference but not quite exactly the difference doesn’t prove anything except that the amount of air in the ball is different than it was. That isn’t a very good argument for an investigation that went as far as to hire a handful of experts to determine the effects of the Ideal gas law(which I hadn’t even heard of until this report) on footballs in cold weather. If you want to use that kind of precision about how the pressure changes then you had better be sure you use that kind of precision when you measure the balls before the game. I do agree on the punishment for Brady, impeding an investigation or whatever it was. However, taking away draft picks based on almost zero real evidence is crazy. To top it off the NFL comes up with this hurting “the integrity of the game”. I just watched Seattle draft a known woman abuser, which is supposed to be a big deal now, and not receive any punishment…at all! Doesn’t that have a more adverse effect on the “integrity of the game”? I used to think I knew what was right or wrong, but the NFL has helped me to realize that I am not capable of determining that based on how things re handled on their end. The bottom line is if Goodell wants to play king, he needs to clean up his court.

  61. Great analysis Mike, have been wondering why Walt Anderson was so nonchalant but this makes sense.

    Still deserve to have the book thrown at them for non-cooperation though!

  62. Whether or not this was a screw job it’s pretty clear Brady lied and had the intention of covering it up. He got off easy, not because of the deflation, but because of his obvious willingness to break what he knew was a rule and then even lie to his coach about it.

  63. If the Patriots would not cheat the league would not have to worry about this. Patriot fans/players want to cry and point the blame about the punishment but bottom line is don’t cheat. Patriots have got away with so much over the past years their fan base expects them to be able to cheat and now they can’t so their upset.

  64. Wow, so the Patriots homer is saying that the Patriots were totally innocent based on his homeristic biased views.


  65. That’s a great summary, Mike. Interestingly, one note that caught my eye was that Troy Vincent was one of the NFL execs present when the balls were tested at half time. As you explain, the officials likely thought they had the Pats caught red-handed but had no idea that the balls could lose pressure. It seems to me Mr. Vincent may now have a conflict of interest as the punisher in chief for the NFL. After all, he may have had notions of the Pats guilt right there and then.

    Another facet completely missing from the Wells report is the original temperature where the balls were originally tested. Given the application of the Ideal Gas Law, this starting component is crucial to any analysis and is completely missing from the report. I think the NFLPA, Brady and the Pats are going to win on this alone.

  66. Great post, Mike. Well done here. I’m glad to see that you’ve analyzed this situation scientifically and reached a level-headed response as opposed to the knee jerk reaction that was displayed in the early days by you guys and ALL sports reporting sites. It was never a big deal to me because I knew that footballs (anything that you’d “air up”) lose air pressure at extremely low temps, especially when you are using them. We notice this with basketballs a lot up north. Great job here, Mike. I hope this story doesn’t fall upon deaf ears.

  67. 4. Exactly. From this point forward, the NFL should be held accountable for its blundering of game ball management.

  68. Bravo! I think that the Colts were used to handling footballs at a higher PSI then the Patriots. Not knowing about the Ideal Gas Law, a Patriots ball that came into the possession of the Colts would seem softer then their more inflated footballs. Taking a measurement would show that the footballs were lower then 12.5 psi. Not knowing about the Ideal Gas Law, they assumed Patriots were deliberately deflating the footballs.

  69. Dude called himself “the deflater” and got swag to deflate the balls.

    All the rest is just a lot of blah, blah, blah.

    Bottom line: Brady had a chance to come clean and admit he has someone reduce the air in the balls. He and he simply done that, the league would likely have given him a warning and (perhaps) a small fine.

    HE LIED.

    He lied to the league. He lied to the public. He lied to his coach. HE LIED TO THE FANS.

    And he got caught.

    End of story.

    Never commit a felony to cover up a misdemeanor. Ask Nixon (Watergate). As Reagan (Iran/Contra). Ask Clinton (“…it depends on what the meaning of is is”). We all make mistakes. We all push the limits. Stupid people make things worse by not simply admitting their mistakes.

    Nixon was not impeached for Watergate. He was impeached for the coverup. Reagan was almost impeached because his people (see: North, Ollie) destroyed evidence. Clinton was almost impeached for perjury…not of adultery.

    Brady is a bad sportsman…but he’s also just a really dumb person. He brought all this on himself and his team.

  70. Tom Brady still deserves his punishment. Deflategate and Spygate? If they reduce his suspension they are saying its okay to cheat. This is the second worst Franchise of all (behind the Vikings), can’t win without cheating.

  71. Great article. I am sure if someone paid me 5 million dollars for an investigation i would make sure the report said what the wanted it to say.

  72. And Goodell hired Wells to frame the Patriots to detract from the NFL’s contniuned incompetence by their referrees, the Commissioner of the NFL, and the League Office and their attorneys.

    This charade the NFL is perpetuating is a flat out scam and a flat out joke.

  73. I’ll make a guess Brady’s suspension is significantly reduced or eliminated and at some point over the next couple years Goddell “freely” steps down to pursue “personal interests”. To much circumstantial evidence that lacks real proof. The gas law thing in a HUGE hole in the accusing case.

  74. Who cares…this is nothing, just stupid…

    The NFL comes across like a bunch of buffoons….

    The Colts and Ravens come across like a bunch of whiners……

    An investigation for under inflated footballs…..haha just saying it makes me laugh….Just a complete waste of time…….

    For those whining about it try going out on a date, meet somebody, have some fun…sheesh

  75. Good take. Probably closest to reality so far. Unfortunately, the theme runs true all the way through it. The NFL made mistake after mistake after mistake. Starting with not contacting the Patriots before the game and culminating with the dishonesty and bias regarding the Wells report and the punishment. The league trapped itself like rats, then acted like rats to get out of that trap of its own creation.

  76. Hey tom brady, just ask NE poster boy aaron hernandez… do the crime, do the time. Hernandez claimed he was innocent. Brady hasn’t even done that.

  77. My favorite article on this issue so far. Well done, Florio. Well done.

  78. I completely understand why the country dislikes the Patriots and as a Pats fan I also get why many of us comes across as homers of the worst kind (Red Sox fans are even worse). Despite what folks will admit, consistent winning breeds hate but nobody hates the San Antonio Spurs so there’s more to hating the Pats than just their Super Bowl rings and I get that too.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that if everyone could do exactly what Florin just did and put aside the hate and thought thoroughly about all of the facts that are out there, you’d regret the many hours wasted reading/watching reports on this witchunt.

    I’m not too upset about the suspension or the draft picks (the Pats would take a 5th round rated safety in the 1st round next year, anyways) to be honest. As a Pats fan, I know that Going through these kinds of things only motivates them more. However, the reason behind this punishment is absurd.

    I’m so done with this story but appreciate Florio’s take. Now, can we get back to real football news… enough about balls.

  79. “I always take my balls into the bathroom.”
    That should be the Patriot’s lame excuse for cheating!

  80. Gardi’s “mistake” in reporting erroneous PSI information to the Patriots and probably Mortensen …I don’t believe was a mistake at all.
    And if it wasn’t Gardi who was the source for Mort,
    then there are others in the league office who get their kicks by leaking lies.
    That narrative was established early on, and people still insist that the Patriot footballs were all 2 PSI low while the Colts footballs never changed.
    That’s what they heard first and for a long time afterward.

    As for league’s ignorance on the behalf of…everyone there,
    as to footballs fluctuating, and gauges with wildly different readings in both setting and testing PSI, that is something they have not acknowledged in this whole thing.
    If the league is going to smugly cast guilt and ask the Patriots come clean,
    at least have the guts to admit you have no clue what the he ll you are doing when it comes to…pretty much anything.

  81. And yet somehow this leads to the biggest penalty in NFL history. Nothing to see here…keep on moving.

  82. Ultimately this whole thing has been a train wreck for the league and now they are trying to explain it away by handing out fines and suspensions when they need to look at their own ineptitude in the leaks and how they handle measuring and dispensing footballs.

  83. “”Give me a man and I will find the crime.”

    Attributed to Andrey Vyshinsky, State Prosecutor during the Stalin era in the USSR.

  84. Ok ok ok…. this whole thing is a joke. First let me say I’m no fan of the pats. Can’t stand them. but let’s be logical ok yeah brady cheated and deserves what he gets just based on the fact he might have cheated. And maybe lied. But to hear a person say that the Patriots organization is tainted and their super bowl wins are tainted is a complete jackass. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion to whatever they think. again I’m not a fan of any Boston teams. First spygate was a joke because some misplaced cameras getting angles of the field that a year prior were completely legal are all of sudden not legal got them in hot water. Which really didn’t matter because if I remember they had one of the most greatest undefeated season the very next year. Just to make a statement that they don’t need no stinkin cameras. And now with ballghazi or deflategate whatever… they cheated with limp balls to get to the super bowl. Sure they might have. But I’m going to tell you this. yeah brady might have kept them in games but I absolutely believe that football is team sport and that the 2014 patriots defense was as good as any championship caliber squad. I believe that they are the main reason why they won this super bowl. Start with the afccg against the ravens. playoff Joe is arguably one of the best deep accurate passers in the league. With some key stops and a game ending interception on a deep ball the pats defense barely won them that game. The afc championship Against the colts… even if you just took the 2nd half alone the pats still won 28 to 7. Now when I see a team only score 3 or 7 points You have to wonder how good or shut down the other defense was. Brady could have been benched the whole game and the defense would have still won them that game. And finally the super bowl where balls were regulated and supervised. And the best defense in the league is against brady. We all saw him pick apart that defense even with throwing 2 picks. he also had one of the greatest record breaking 4th quarter comeback. All this was possible with two key back to back 3 and out stops and game winning red zone interceptions By the defense. So tainted championships I think not. Try telling that to the defense. and a little thing to remember is that the years the pats won the super bowls They had some of best defensive squad that won them those ships…. With maybe a little help from the golden pretty boy.

  85. How in the world can all of the people involved not understand the Ideal Gas Law? I’ll admit, I didn’t know it by name, but I sure did know that pressure changes with temperature differences. Don’t any of them ever put air in their tires? I can’t imagine that none of the people initially involved ever thought to at least ask the question.

  86. The one truth that comes out of this past year, culminating in this deflategate, is that the NFL is a terribly run organization with weak and ineffectual leadership. And not just Goodell, it’s evidently full of these weasels.

    Now you’ve got Wells running around protesting way too much. This is going to get worse before it gets better.

    One question I have is with all this talk and reliance on ambiguous texts where is the one from the two BFF ball boys calling out Brady as a liar during his presser? That would be a no brainer, right?

  87. Quick questions:

    If they didn’t take the complaint seriously, then why were the balls tested at the half?

    Have they EVER tested the balls at the half before?

    Who leaked the lower numbers to Mort?

    Did Ted Wells look into these head office leaks to the media at all, as promised by Goodell, or doesn’t $5,000,000 stretch that far these days?

    And the most important question of all, who convinced Ted Wells that his mustache was a good idea?

  88. They measured the pats balls as soon as they got to the locker room at halftime but waited until right before they ‘ran out of time to get to the colts balls, and we’re only able to measure 4 colts balls. The balls were in the locker room for 13 minutes. In Figure 22 (page 44 of appendix 1), they have a graph that shows the balls will gain more than a FULL PSI in those 13 minutes, completely explaining why the Pats balls were lower than the colts at halftime. It’s all right in the report.

    But then again, who gives a PSI, we’re Champs….AGAIN!!!

  89. So I guess we just we just ignore the “deflator” text exchanges now? Come on. It’s clear that this was a repeated practice instigated by the one person who stood to benefit. No amount of legal wrangling can erase the obvious.

  90. Goodell , Wells & company don’t let the facts get in the way of a good framejob.

  91. This is nothing more than the league trying to look like the hero in the aftermath of the disastrous 2014 CTE/Domestic Violence season. The NFL looks like CRAP morally in the eyes of most right now and what says “we’re on top of things” like punishing the Patriots! It’s an easy train to ride. Kessler is going to shred this Wells report and make the league look like a frat house.

  92. It’s better late than never, but finally something that’s not just fresh from the NFL wire service.

    1. It’s easy to hate Goliaths, but this issue affects every team in the league negatively. The NFL office has interjected itself onto the field of play to affect the outcomes of games / seasons.

    2. What do your non biased instincts tell you about the link between Goodell’s approval rating, this clown car investigation, the leaks, the timing, the clever use of probable, the big deal over McNally’ s refusal to testify repeatedly (even if they cloned him and he appeared as twins, Wells was going to get him), Brady’s rule book comment, Grigson’ s texts to Kravitz, Mortenson having the ball weights immediately after the game, misinformation allowed to be posted on the league Web site? etc etc.

    3. Why wasn’t Walt Coleman fired immediately?

    4. What exactly was Kensil’s role?

    5. Why was an AFC Championship Game played with illegal balls? (ie in baseball if you are throwing a spitter, they don’t give that ball back to the pitcher)

    6. If a client hired you as his representative and paid you over one million dollars, would you be more or less inclined to portray him favorably?

    6. Couldn’t a good lawyer with unlimited funds and a media empire waiting for his word as if he were Moses, ramrod almost any lame charge through

    7. It’s not probable that Goodell was not aware of of his image as a dufus. He’s surrounded by image / media consultants who ” fix” things. By taking down the “evil empire” and golden boy, Tom Brady, Goodell is now the toast of 31 cities.

    8. The image / media consultants are not fools. They knew the risk / reward ratio for running this endeavor.

    9. They are relying on the free media to act like sheep and heed Ted Wells admonishment for those who would dare to question anything about the report.

    10. Why have Goodell and Wells been afraid to face the media and answer questions in a press conference style? What are they afraid of? Do the fans who provide a billion dollars in revenue to the league deserve answers.

    Punishment by email without facing the press is like breaking up with your girlfriend by text. It’s cowardly.

  93. And it is easy to understand why on one hand their is a lynch mob out for the Pats and then folks like me who felt it was another witch hunt based upon the history of Spygate, not actually air pressure, (never has been in the news or newsworthy for what decades?) I mean it turned into madness on every morning news talk show when it was leaked. The appearance being a frenzied effort to connect Pats with cheating. That in turn could awake the lynch mob and have their pitchforks at the ready. It seemed at the time to be a well crafted smear campaign. It looks now like they didn’t do this to the Pats on purpose, no sting operation, but rather a botched trail of incompetence that the Pats now must pay for. All the while the NFL tries to sell us that they are trustworthy, equitable in the administration of justice, and their treatment of the Pats is fair, which it is not. They should have fined Brady $50K and moved on. Now this. And its no wonder that Goodells tenure is always a circus atmosphere. What a soap opera. Shame really. HOF QB.

  94. One other flaw in the report.

    The Wells report states VP of Officiating Dean Blandino had the email from the Colts with their concerns over ball pressure PRIOR TO the AFC Championship Game.

    Blandino, in a later press conference prior to the Super Bowl, stated he was not aware of the concern until sometime in the first half of the game.

    The report must be flawed, because we know Goodell and his minions would not lie.

  95. Brady ordered his guys to deflate the balls after the officials inspected them before every game, to the point where the guy doctoring the balls had the nickname of “The Deflator “. No matter how much one thinks that gives an advantage or not he cheated and the Patriots have a history of cheating. Kraft should stop embarrassing himself like a doddering old man and move on.

  96. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm………………….Seems a little Pro-Patriots this post. At least it brings up some reasonable doubt.
    Funny…………….. no comments yet.

  97. Nobody wants to read this or even listen to it because it kinda helps the Patriots claims…no one (outside of Boston) wants that,,,everyone is happy how this all turned out so don’t provide facts or science, thats not required here

  98. The stupidity of the NFL starts at the top. How about a $100 million defamation lawsuit to make them a little smarter?

    It seems that the conclusion of Wells is based solely on the text messages, which if taken in the context of joking around (which I think it was) after Brady is pissed over using a 16 psi ball in the Jets game, invalidates the entire witch hunt.

  99. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Brady’s appeal, based on the lack of concrete evidence and that issue with the two gauges being used, I could definitely see him getting this suspension reduced or maybe completely overturned.

  100. Why don’t you mention the Pats essentially stopped fumbling after 2007 when they gained the ability to control their own footballs? Many close games were won during that timeframe aided by reduced turnovers. That’s far more significant than the colts game.

  101. This is why I keep coming back. Gotta through the bigger picture in there once in a while.

    Appreciate at least this outlet not digging their heels in, even as the story progresses.

  102. If all that is required to realize the entire Wells report is worthless is a basic awareness of NFL historical practices and a passing grade in 10th grade chemistry, what does that say about Roger Goodell?

  103. Most over-blown non-story in the history of sports. This psi nonsense is so insignificant it’s not even funny. Merely an anti-Patriot agenda by a bunch of sanctimonious haters within the league.

  104. It is hard to believe that no one in the NFL realized that air pressure drops when it gets cold – that is why in the Fall the tire pressure light in your car is often on first thing in the morning, but then turns off as the air and the tires warm up. There are all sort of other examples that we all come across in our daily lives that show this. If that is not enough we also see the converse – things when heated will expand.

    So the people who were measuring the footballs at halftime did not know the ins and outs of the Ideal Gas Law, but did they not have a tiny bit of common sense? If they did all they would have had to do is google something along the lines of “do things shrink when cold” to get the answer.

  105. After reading the entire Well’s Report, It absolutely amazes me how Wells drew the conclusions that he did.
    Apparently the league had drawn certain conclusions and, WITHOUT a scintilla of logic OR scientific support, claims the Wells Report justified those conclusions.
    After 200+ pages Wells concludes ” It is more likely than not” that Tom Brady had something to do with the de-inflation of game balls”. While certainly not a deffinative answer it does justify the punishment the league was after.

  106. I would also add: the snitching out of the Patriots was a concerted effort to drive a wedge between Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell, put in to motion by certain NFL owners- Jim Irsay for one, possibly Steve Bischotti as well. Ironically, two of the owners whose respective franchises gave the league its worst headlines over the past year

  107. A rule is a rule, but the evidence still does not clearly prove that the Patriots deflated their game balls below the minimum intentionally, nor that Brady ordered the equipment guys to do so.

    This is being made into a much, much bigger deal than it should be. Warming balls on the sidelines, using stickum, having balls that are a little soft: all can fall under “tampering”.

    And the bogus Patriots fumble statistics have already been debunked. Brady likes his balls a little soft, Rogers likes his as hard as possible.

    To me this is far less damaging to the “integrity of the game” (let’s just let that unintentionally comedic phrase die, please) than PEDs.

    If the Wells report made a better case, I’d be all for the punishment. It’s just not very convincing. And the more he shills for his own integrity, the less respect I have for Wells. This clearly was a report biased to favor his corporate masters.

  108. You need to have a closer look at the difference between the deflation in the Colts and Patriots balls. Th gauges are irrelevant since they were both used and you can compare between them. This is the single biggest question… yet you continue to ignore the difference between them… for some odd reason that I still don’t understand.

    What you continue to present as flaws… are not flaws at all. The report establishes that the Colts balls lost pressure within the expected amounts predicted by physics. The Patriots balls didn’t.

  109. “The false information leaked to Mortensen gave the story more traction and a higher degree of significance. It also placed the Patriots on the defensive without the Patriots knowing the specific PSI measurements.”

    You don’t say. Of course some of my these media hacks have to be the first to release any type of information nevermind if it’s misleading or false. I want to see these media hacks be accountable for their reporting. Maybe a $1 million fine and loss of a job. Sounds good to me!

  110. Florio, you make too much sense. This whole thing is much ado about nothing. A witch hunt to get the attention off Goodell for the horrible job he has been doing. When the real lawyers pour through the Wells report, we will know about the biases and incompetence in the NFL office.

  111. The officials were not aware a ball can lose air pressure in the elements? Did they ever go outside and shoot baskets when they were a kid? Did they ever play football all afternoon when they were kids. That sounds pretty lame.

  112. Soooo…

    The NFL is incompetent but to deflect this they manipulated the media (and most media consumers short attention span) and then further deflected the blame by burying the Patriots.

    Got it. And I agree.

  113. Greed, hubris and incompetence will be the death of the NFL. In that regard it’s much like every other institution in this country.

  114. honest question, if someone knows the answer please say something:

    do we know if the wells report investigators reviewed the cell phones for all parties involved (kensil, bob kravitz, the other NFL front office present at the game?) or just the persons investigated (brady, ball guys, ect.)

    seems like reviewing bob kravitz’s cell phone would clear up some answers as to who broke the story and under what context it was broken. especially considering the wells report screwed up the time that kravitz broke the story. haven’t heard anything on that front

  115. Sounds like a good theory to me. I’ll agree with all of it.

    As Packer fans, we LOVE seeing other teams in turmoil. I think the punishment was suitable. Time for the Patriots to slide, and the Packers are already at the TOP of the NFL. Patriots should have a really down year.

    Go Pack Go!

  116. Boston radio said McNally was warned previously for altering the footballs. Any truth to this?

  117. The NFL, for their part, didn’t bother investigating the whole thing. Wells’ investigation presumed that Anderson was correct in his presumptions of inflation standards and held him up on a pedestal. That’s all well and good, except his critical mistake is what led down this road. Wells can scream and pout about the masses questioning his independence, but he refused to go down the road of investigating the competence of the one person who could have stopped this whole thing in its tracks: the official who lost the game balls, found them twenty minutes later, and then decided to continue to use them despite the notification from the league office that something might be up. There was no investigation into Anderson’s rationale for this poor decision. Just a continued defense of the refs, who make poor decisions every week that impact the integrity of the games far more than the inflation of footballs.

    Yes, for those out there preparing to pounce with their asterisks and cheaters and whatnot, the Patriots clearly did something. Whether it was Brady ordering the two lackeys to deflate the balls or simply making it clear where he wanted them and taking it upon themselves, something went wrong. But, that doesn’t change the fact that it had no outcome on the game or any other and is no different than the scores of other “to the line” offenses that happen in every other game. The holding penalty that isn’t called; the pass interference that your defensive back gets away with 99% of the time. It’s all the same. It’s all cheating. Your team does it. The Patriots do it. Let’s move on.

    So we come to the punishment phase and we have Brady punished, more likely than not for his refusal to incriminate himself; and the Patriots for employing these two stooges.

    But, the NFL does nothing about the one problem that has been a continuing and lasting problem for years: their officiating.

    Anderson is still employed despite his idiocy. The rest of the league is still stuck with Goodell and Dean Blandino and the rest of the poor officiating we have to deal with each and every week.

    Once again we’re left with the simple and basic understanding that if a ref had done his job right from the get-go, NONE of this would have ever happened and we’d be talking about the game on the field and the players who played in it instead of some other stupid crap.

  118. Its all a theory because Ted Wells was unable to find out from the Colts who claimed “Nobody could remember where this all came from” or so it says in that multi million dollar report that raises far questions than it answers!!!

    Amazingly enough Wells with his vast experience decided how this all got started was not an important enough detail to find out!

  119. You raise one question I have been considering in particular. Why isn’t Walt Anderson being held responsible for any of this mess? Why was he even officiating a game like this?

    One of the worst officials in the NFL and when he was head of officiating in Big 12 it was worst officiating in NCAA!

    Had he done his job none of this would have happened! Punishment for Walt Anderson and Dean Blandino please!!

  120. I think we’re all focused on (over?) analyzing the reported and speculated facts. We can all debate the pressure of a football, whether it is “in range” or not,the Ideal Gas Law, and who should or should not be watching them at any given time before, during, or after the game and what that means, or if it even matters. We’re overlooking the larger issue that these are all symptoms, not the foul. It doesn’t matter until someone does something deliberately outside the rules. Ted Wells didn’t make a decision on the footballs being wrong, only that the information led him to three people that through their own social media performed a deliberate act, either in collusion with each other or not. The only debate should be whether it was done for specific advantage or not to influence a game. Ted Wells can’t be faulted for what he discovered. The NFL acted as judge based on the facts and they believed it did.

  121. Bottom line is it really does not matter, they cheated won the SB and get to keep the trophy.
    Why is it no one cares that we have a cheating team that is allowed to keep the SB trophy.
    Not once but 4 times….. What does this say about the NFL …. You cheat you keep the rewards of that cheating.

  122. That’s all well and good, but NOTHING explains away the text exchanges. Even if no violations actually occurred during the Championship, there is an established pattern of deliberate deflation that only the most myopic fool would disregard.

  123. The biggest point is that no-one is expected to have any self-integrity any more. Find any loophole you can, then exploit it. If caught cheating, deny at all costs until you can’t any more, then blame the people who should have been watching you. You are watching that unfold now.

  124. After further thought I know why no one cares about a cheater keeping the SB trophy, it is the White elephant in the room no one wants to deal with.
    This topic would surly cause a firestorm, and no one has the guts to deal with it.

  125. Great analysis…probably the best analysis of this situation that I’ve heard since this story first broke. A few comments:

    1. Regarding Item # 4 — Anderson losing the footballs: this is indeed a colossal mistake. For the NFL itself to make so many critical errors, admit to NO errors on their part, and then give the Patriots the closest thing to the “Death Penalty” they can give — is just preposterous.

    2. Regarding Item # 5 — While I don’t blame the officials for not knowing the official term “Ideal Gas Law”, it’s simply amazing to me that they didn’t realize that air pressure is lower in cold weather. How many of us just intuitively knew this as little kids playing basketball on a cold day. Did the ball not bounce as well as in the warm weather? And did we not know to give it some more air so it would bounce as high? I mean, I believe that children know this intuitively about balls — it’s just simply amazing stupidity on the part of these grown men who rule over a professional sport that they don’t even consider it. I mean, truly amazing stupidity…or perhaps they “want” to say they didn’t understand the law.

    3. Item #6 — I believe what you say about the narrative that occurred in the press and the public is very insightful. I think what the NFL has shown these past few years — from concussions, to domestic violence, and now to “game integrity” is that what they are driven by is PR and not true “integrity”.

    In EACH of these cases, the NFL sprung into action ONLY when the story became big in the media. When they know of violations of one sort or another, they will gladly turn away. But when they get bad press, they will leap like champions of integrity. Ironically, this makes many feel that the NFL leadership is actually WORSE than if they just didn’t come down as hard on offenders.

    Just like being a parent, being CONSISTENT and MEASURED in your disciplinary responses can be more truly meaningful than just coming down like a ton of bricks on cases where others know what happened.

    Regardless of what the Patriots did or did not do, I believe the NFL has very poor leadership at the top.

  126. As Neil Degrass Tyson pointed out, the only way the ideal gas law would have applied to that low of a drop in pressure is if the game were played on Venus.

    This thing stinks to high heaven. Tommy didn’t know about the rule he lobbied the league to change seven years earlier? And then he never communicated with anyone in the organization about it?

    The patriot organization fully cooperated only they never allowed Wells to interview the guy who literally called himself “the deflator” after obtaining evidence he referred to himself as such, and lied about not being in contact with Brady?

    Look if the ball is lighter and softer it’s easier to grasp.

    Like the reality they cheated and have been for a long time.

    You may not think this is a big deal, but in a game that’s decided by one or two plays just think about what the difference would be for either side if the ball slips off your reciecerves hands versus a completed catch for six points.

    Just as Al Pachino about all those inches and what they mean.

    Finally (and sorry if this went on a bit) but no team, QB, coach, or player of any kind would EVER put themselves at a competitive disadvantage knowingly. Especially when they’d be subject to discipline.

    So if it wasn’t a big deal, and was harmless, they wouldn’t expose themselves to the prospect of being punished by the league for an action that didn’t matter in the first place.

  127. Incompetence and ignorance from the men behind the shield. I never would have suspected such a thing. /sarcasm

  128. Keep digging mike. The next piece could be a theory on the deflator, and how brady came to be obsessed with 12.5, after Years of playing at 13, but refs were putting balls at inconsistent and higher pressures. Hence the entire focus was always getting to the lowest legal amount. It’s funny that Brady would want them to gives the rules to the refs but then also cheat. If you are going to cheat, do you bring attention to PSI?

    While,you are at it, you can point out that any QB playing between 12.6 and 13.4 is playing at his preferred PSI, so to argue that 31 teams were disadvantaged is wrong.

  129. Never should have gotten this far. Walt Anderson’s and the NFL’s irresponsibility had just as much to do with this troubling report than anything else. Mr. Anderson represents the NFL on the field of play and the way Mr. Wells handled all the testimony that seemed damaging to Tom Brady and the Patriots observers should be able to understand it often feels like blind hate and jealousy from fans who hate the Patriots as the driving force that keeps this sorry in the headlines. My understanding with the help of Mr. Florio’s revealing posts the last few day sure makes it look like, the Wells report is seriously flawed and should never have taken so long and cost so much to produce such a shabby and questionable piece of investigation that has the potential of ruining the reputation and brand of integrity that Tom Brady as always been associated with. Shameless in many respects to a great performer and man like Tom Brady. Also, taking in Mr. Florio’s point that until that game air pressure was just not taken seriously by the NFL and is likley that hundreds of games have been played in the NFL with balls that were lower than the permissiable limits. To those who are partial to the New England Patriots and Tom Brady they have a point that this was a completely avoided set of circumstances against the best interest of Tom Brady, the Patriots and the NFL. The Wells report in all ways seems to be slanted far too much in the direction of using facts to make their case rather than let them speak for themselves. As much as many, would like to ignore the science of the gas laws in this case you simply cannot since it has everything to do with making the case against Tom Brady and the Patriots, look very bad. When you take into consideration the punishment and penalties involved it far exceeds the scope of the “perceieved crime” in every way. Free Tom Brady and stop this Salem Witch Hunt as soon as possible.

  130. I’ve been saying it since the report came out there’s is no way that a neutral judge will let the punishment stand. If all 12 balls measured in the gas law range then maybe idk then maybe the SCIENTIFIC LAW took place on the balls and the colts balls could have been initially filled to 12.9 or whatever for luck and had decreased in pressure due to the gas law and as they weighed the patriots balls in a room temperature room the colts balls had time to return to normal pressure. I know you patriot haters think Tom is guilty and maybe he is but there isn’t one concrete point in that entire report.

  131. The Patriots broke the rules…I get it. But would this be happening if it were the Jaguars, or some team that has not been as successful as the Patriots? This has gotten blown way out of proportion, including the 4-game suspension, in the rush to punish success.

  132. And before 2001, nobody ever heard of the tuck rule, either. Nothing is going to remove the taint from most of the Patriots unearned super bowls. The one against the Eagles was won fair and square. The others are suspect. Disagree or not, that’s the perception among fans everywhere except the Boston area. Brady is Eddie Haskell. We all see it except those too young to know the reference.

  133. Mike, a few questions for you.

    Why is it proper for the NFL to publish the names of part-time Patriots employees while shielding the names of their own employees and those in the Colts organization that leaked a bogus story to Kravitz and Mortenson?

    Why haven’t they been disciplined?

    Why are your sources in the NFL not speaking on the record?

    Are your sources authorized to speak for the NFL?


    1. everyone on the planet knows the patriots will cheat to win, that is not even in question.

    2. the fact that they took the balls after they were checked by the ref and took a little air out means they cheated, PERIOD.

    3. If your caught cheating, you pay the penalty, regardless of how insignificant the cheat might have been…


  135. As to the ‘what if’ type questions from the last 4 paragraphs:
    1. Things may have turned out different.
    2. Brady may have avoided a suspension by cooperating, and the Patriots would have cooperated more as well. Which is probably why the suspensions were as they were.
    As to the assertions in the open of your piece about media competition and “fails to serve the audience — and in turn loses money”:
    1. You mentioned the audience. The audience wants realistic, objective reporting with the option to form their own analysis which isn’t available in media anymore, and the lack of objectivity is by design. Which means the rush to win financially is a systemic media problem created by the media itself.
    2. While your explanation serves this story it doesn’t serve at all as an explanation for all the stories where similar half truths are used.
    3. “At PFT, the goal is to provide instant analysis but also to keep an open mind” Ok. If this is true answer me this- Why is it, that stories about Jerry Jones, on this site, use the “glory hole” reference in every one? Is repeating a joke over and over again just ‘funny”? How about Dr. Jones? same thing? Should we now expect to hear references to not being forthright about something be called “Bradied”? How about when someone feels betrayed by another they thought they were close to? Would that be called “Krafted”? Are those funny enough? Or is it just funny because your “open mind” has a better opinion of the Patriots than the Cowboys?

  136. What a cluster…..

    If this somehow leads to the demise of Goodell then even the fans that hate Tom Brady and the Patriots should give them a big thank you.

  137. The NFL and Wells had already determined that NE was guilty before the investigation even started.

    The NFL has it out for NE because in the salary cap/free agent era they’ve done it better than anyone else without signing the “big name” free agents. And when they have signed some “big names,” see Adalius Thomas, and Albert Haynesworth they didn’t work out, and were later released. I know Haynesworth got another shot somewhere, but I don’t think Thomas ever did after NE let him go.

  138. I really wish people would stop talking about this ideal gas law as if this really had an impact.

    When the game started, it was 53 degrees. When halftime rolled around it was 51 degrees. So you are telling me within an hour and a half, that over a lb of air pressure comes out during a 2 degree difference?

    Its not like it was 50 degrees and dropped to 30. There was a 2 degree change in temperature. That’s it.

  139. So what punishment is the Indy team getting for using illegal footballs also?

  140. The NFL should not be expected to be a proficient investigative organization. It can solve problems through policy and procedures. I have not heard how the NFL will prevent this from happening again. Also any reasonable person will conclude that Brady did conspire to have air let out of the balls and attempted to cover up the same. Whether the balls were above or below the proper psi and the application of the ideal gas law is irrelevant. He tried to circumvent the rules.

  141. So what you don’t explain is how the Pat’s balls were low but the Colt’s balls weren’t. All were in the same environment so they should’ve all deflated “naturally” at the same rate.

  142. Sincerely, this is by far the best analysis of this whole mess that is Deflategate, aka a NON-STORY. The NFL NEVER CARED about under or overinflated balls.

    It shows, without a doubt, the NFL saw an opportunity to punish the Patriots (and show the fans the NFL has “fake” authority) without any substantial proofs.

    When you carefully read the Ted Wells report, it is mind-blowing to see Ted Wells dismissing all the proofs that would clear Tom Brady (recollection of the referee, under-inflated balls by the Colts, not writting down the balls pressure before the game) and keeping only what the NFL wants : Drop the hammer on the Patriots.

    Was Brady aware of something? The only conclusion that can be made is between maybe and probably but the report doesn’t prove a thing.

    Is it a good move by Tom Brady to appeal and hire a lawyer? If he thinks he’s telling the truth then yes.

    We’ll see how it goes.

  143. The fact is the balls were intentionally tampered with by the Pats “after” they were approved by the league officials. Nothing else matters really matters as the Pats knew it was against the rules and did it anyway!

  144. I wonder what emails between Wells, Goodell, and Kensith might say?

    These are valid points you raise. I wonder how well the report might stand up to truly independent scrutiny.

  145. The NFL needs to look into who leaked info to Bob Kravitz also. I am surprised the NFL didn’t push the Colts on the leaks to him. That initial report from him shows that someone within the Colts organization wanted to make sure this became very public.

  146. Or how about this:

    1. Patriots were cheating, again.
    2. Patriots got caught, again.

  147. For a bunch of very highly paid, presumably intelligent, people at NFL headquarters, who job is the stewardship of the game… there seems to be a preponderance of holes in the security of the game.

    I do not mean security as it applies to human safety, but security in the integrity of the game.

    It seems a no-brainer, a ‘why didn’t somebody think of this already’ that footballs need to be tested and kept secure before the game.

    It seems obvious that cameras need to be aligned with end-zone and side-lines to best determine if a player/ball was on one-side-or-other of these lines.

    It is disturbing, every time something like this comes up, that we all sit back, astonished, and wonder ‘why didn’t somebody see this coming?’

    I know, hindsight is 20/20. But these people at NFL headquarters are paid to think about this stuff.

    It makes me wonder, just was else is waiting out there to be exploited. What else is out there that ‘we do it all the time, and it never mattered’ and now realize it shouldn’t have ever been done.

  148. Florio, that is an interesting article. It almost sounds like the NFL caught themselves being incompetent to a large degree in the very beginning, even though there still a couple things that still are incriminating as far as the Patriots are the concerned, that being the phone and the apparent sense that they were at not cooperating. I still think the Patriots did something, but if the NFL had better controls in keeping the balls out of the hands of everyone’s hands except the officials and the players being on the field at the time, this whole problem wouldn’t have happened in the first place. The NFL blew it. Not a surprise.

  149. No, the Colts balls would not have necessarily deflated by the SAME amount. They may have been a different temperature at initial pressure testing. IN fact, you could prove they were because they didn’t go down as much.

    The Ideal Gas Law is a law of physics. Not an “idea” or a “maybe”. It says that going from 75 to 50 would decrease pressure by roughly 1 PSI. According to the guage the referees used, that’s exactly how much the Pats balls went down.

    The colts balls weren’t stored inside (as the Patriots’ were), they were brought inside from a truck (after a 3 day trip in freezing weather) and pressure tested. If they weren’t 75 degrees at initial pressure testing, then you wouldn’t expect them to lose as much pressure.

  150. You were also caught up in the hype, so admitting you were part of the problem that gave credence to initial reports and put the Patriots on the defensive would have been a nice footnote.

  151. doesn’t matter…. the smoking gun is Bradys refusal to turn over the relevant messages, that says either

    A- there was significant evidence about deflating
    B- there was evidence of something else / other kind of cheating he wanted to hide from the NFL

    either way, Tom Brady had some type of very very negative info on his cell he wanted to hide from the NFL… so much so he knew he would almost certainly get a suspension if he did it and he did it anyway

    he deserves worse

  152. So the PAtriots can blame the media for this? I find it spotty that there were two different gauges used to check footballs, both of which read 0.5 PSI difference. The officials then didn’t know which gauge was used, where the balls where, or that there is such a thing as an Ideal Gas Law.

    No wonder they’ve been firing officials left and right. This is more crappy officiating. The Patriots might have been cheating, but there is so much done wrong that I am not sure if they did.

  153. The only thing I hope this ridiculous event results in is the firing of Goodell. The rest of it is pure fabrication and raw meat for people that hate on Brady and the Pats.

  154. So what can we conclude from all this kerfuffle? Simple. The NFL is conducting a witch hunt against the Patriots for two simple reasons:

    1. The Patriots are the most successful organization in the NFL today. The NFL craves parity, so a dynastic team goes against the NFL’s philosophy.

    2. Roger Goodell is an incompetent Commissioner who is wildly inconsistent in his application of punishment. He needs to be replaced ASAP.

    Finally, Florio, I think you’re finally starting to get it. Brady and the Pats’ punishment indeed does not fit the crime.

  155. Makes sense.

    I still think this is what happened.

    The footballs WERE tampered with and Brady was aware. Why? Because the Patriots ball boys – on Brady’s orders – were “checking” the footballs to make sure they were a legal 12.5, so a 16 PSI (illegal!) incident never happened again.

    Was this against the rules? The messages show this happened after inspection so technically…yeah. Then what does this mean? If you hate the Patriots then it’s cheating. If you are objective then it’s not so clear cut. Is trying to fix the incompetence of the refs really “cheating” to get an advantage?

    That is… if it is incompetence. Or maybe there is a darker reason why those footballs were inflated by the officials to an illegal 16 PSI…it’s possible someone ordered the refs to inflate the footballs to an illegal PSI to affect Brady’s throwing and rig the game for the Jets.

    Funny how this didn’t make it into the report and Wells cut off his conference call before that topic could be discussed yesterday. I wonder why.

    This 16 PSI story isn’t getting NEARLY the play that it deserves. If a team can’t touch the footballs and the refs inflate them after inspection, what’s stopping these rules and procedures from being abused to rig football games? Doesn’t seem right to me.

  156. Thank you. People ask why Tom Brady didn’t come clean initially. The media narrative by the time he spoke that Thursday afternoon was that someone had obviously cheated because the air pressure was too low to be explained by natural causes. Brady, who no doubt heard these reports, was probably very confused because he was personally unaware of anyone taking air pressure out of the footballs. Therefore he called his equipment manager (Jastremski) to talk about what happened (I don’t see any texts or calls between him and Bird/McNally). He was told they didn’t know what happened either, and he relayed to the media that he didn’t know and he believed his equipment manager as well. The media, running with the false report from Mortensen, attacked this explanation as implausible, with lots of ex-players testing out whether there was a noticeable difference between a 12.5 and 10.5 psi (there was), making Brady’s claim that he couldn’t tell there was a difference implausible (while it may have been plausible if they were testing out the difference between 12.5 and 11.5, as the data show was actually the inflation level of Brady’s footballs).

    This is just a case of the media narrative (fueled by leaks from the NFL office) controlling the reaction by both the Patriots and the league. The Patriots were cheaters — again. And when they denied knowledge, they were liars too. Now people say if Brady had just come clean initially he would’ve been fine. That is bogus. The media were calling for his head even before they had any information. If he admitted to it it’s very likely the NFL would have suspended him for the Super Bowl to appease the mob.

    I’m glad someone has looked at how this all started to remind people of the flawed reports that made this a story in the first place.

  157. Are we really making this big a deal out of all this? The officials are more to blame than Tom Brady since they touch the balls on every play. This whole thing is pathetic.

    Signed, Ravens fan and Tom Brady hater when we play the Pats.

  158. the answer to which gauge was used is the most important. the wilson gauges leaves pats balls to be within their own scientific data of a drop in psi of 1.1 -1.3

    avg (11 balls) of wilson gauge is 11.49psi

    avg of other gauge is 11.1

    avg of both would be 11.30…. literally the drop of their expected psi in cold (12.5 – 1.3)

    the report DISREGARDs walt andersons best recollection was he used the wilson gauge. (which didnt fit their conclusion and made him admit it could be possible the other was used)

    Colts Balls at half:

    Blakeman: 12.70 , 12.75 , 12.50 , 12.55

    Priouleau; 12.35, 12.30 , 12.95, 12.15

    SO according to report, Colts started at 13psi…. How does none of the measurements match up to their SCIENCE of dropping by 1.1psi?

    My assumption is Colts footballs were much higher then 13psi, and dare I say even some were over the 13.5 limit at start. (in theory if you add 1.1)

    Even the haters I would hope yall can sees there were tragic errors in this multi million dollar “report”

  159. It’s hard to take a report seriously which didn’t explore who leaked information and why. But also concluded nobody had an anti-patriots bias.

    I’m also seriously wondering how no highly paid officials are aware of the ideal gas law. That’s like middle school science.

    I also can’t take the nfl seriously when they point the finger 100% at the patriots. I assumed that when punishments were announced, we’d also hear about changes or possible changes to fix what the nfl did wrong.

  160. What was the pressure found in each ball? When had the pressure gauge last been calibrated (produce the certificate of calibration)? Who was the tech calibrating the gauge? When did that tech last receive training/testing from the manufacturer of the gauge (s)? Who were the officials testing the balls? How much air did they let out of each ball in the act of testing, retesting? There are numerous arguments to be made.

  161. You want more flaws in the Wells report, here’s a HUGE one: Figure 22 in Exponent’s report gives an experimental account of how the pressure increases as a function of temperature during half time. It shows that if you measure the Patriots’ footballs 2 minutes into halftime and the Colts’ footballs 9 minutes into halftime (as probably happened), you get a .7 psi difference in the amount of deflation, because the Colts’ balls had more time to heat up. That .7 psi happens to be exactly how much more the Patriots’ footballs deflated than the Colts’.

    But Figures 24-28, which are used to condemn the Patriots, inexplicably use a model with different curves than the experimental one. In these curves, you only get a .3 or .4 psi difference for measuring earlier. And that’s used to say the Patriots’ extra deflation can’t be accounted for. There’s no reasonable explanation for it that I can see. The experimental curves in Figure 22 exonerate the Patriots, so Exponent made up curves without explanation that look worse for the Patriots!


    Brady was recorded on camera saying he prefers balls on the low end of the pressure range and that HE and his “equipment guys” go through “a process” of getting them the way he “wants them.”

    The few text messages made available clearly prove they were jumping through hoops to deflate balls for Tom Brady per Tom Brady’s instructions.

    Those texts are most likely just the tip of the Deflategate iceberg.

  163. Patriots lies, lies, lies cannot hide from these FACTS:

    Pats fumbling data:
    2000-2006: one fumble every 42 touches
    2007-2014: one fumble every 74 touches

    So the 2000-06 teams that won 3 SBs were a routinely AVERAGE fumbling team, despite ol’ coach Belicheat coaching them up with “muddy, wet” balls in practice as he quickly and strangely explained when Deflategate first broke in January. During the period Jim McNally was their locker room attendant (AKA “the deflator”), 2007-2014, the Pats fumbling rate drops to an amazingly low rate. The statistical chance of that happening was shown to be 1 in 5,842!

    Pats have been cheating for years. And now they’ve been caught. Again.

  164. This may just be another reason why the NFL need to have full-time officials, instead of guys who do the officiating during the season, but sell insurance in the off-season. Officials didn’t know about the Ideal Gas Law? What other things are they not aware of? People complain about the officials all the time. Maybe it isn’t that they are told to favor one team over another or that they take it upon themselves to officiate where they favor one team over another. Maybe they are just not up to it, as in just not being able to do their job correctly.

    19 years and he doesn’t know about the Ideal Gas Law and/or doesn’t know enough to remove those “lost” balls during the game? Sounds a tad bit incompetent to me. What about the other rules? The NFL is not looking good here.

  165. To let teams and QB’s use different balls is a foolish rule to start.
    Penalty should have been $5k, for ball guy going into bathroom. Then the whole league including refs and administrators should have been put on alert.

  166. “the four Colts footballs tested by the officials were in the vicinity of 12.5 PSI’

    Actually 3 of the 4 Colts footballs were below the NFL requirement. Why the officials did not test the remaining 8 footballs has not been explained.

  167. And like sensible Patriots fans have been championing since jump street….. Nothing to see here. However, the jealousy won’t die and it’s understandable. When you can’t win you just cry and call cheater cheater pumpkin eater and it makes some of you feel good about your pathetic teams. The 4 time world champion NE Patriots who have dominated you for the last 15 years are laughing at you.

  168. Ah the media speaks and the puppets dance.

    Keep on ignoring the text messages though, clearly they were “set up” and McNally never called himself the deflator.

  169. I like how the text messages were completely ignored in this article. You know the ones where McNally called himself the deflator and said he was amazed himself he hadn’t sung to ESPN yet.

  170. Forget the Ideal Gas Law for a second. The important question is:

    Hey, Anderson why the heck did you not remove the “lost” balls during the game? A 6 year old knows better. This isn’t rocket science.

  171. To everyone that likes to post these fumble stats as proof of “cheating”, please…just stop it. Use your head.

    Ideal Gas Law exists. It’s real. It’s the only way to explain why the Colts’ balls also lost pressure…unless, of course, you believe that they were also letting air out.

    So…given that science shows that footballs lose pressure during a game…how many balls do you think would come in at under 12.5 if they were measured at half time in places like Buffalo and Green Bay in games after November 1? I’m thinking damn near all of them…except Aaron Rodgers’ balls, because he likes them over 13.5…but somehow, he’s not a cheater.

    If dozens, if not hundreds, of balls are used every season that have less than 12.5 PSI in them, why is it only a competitive advantage for the Patriots? The Colts played with balls under 12.5 during the AFC Championship – it sure wasn’t an advantage for them.

  172. Florio is just killing it with the Wells report. The only question now is whether Goodell will appoint a stooge or a real arbitrator. Given Brady’s stature, he has to appoint a real arbitrator I would think. (He may secretly want the suspension reduced or eliminated in any case.)

    What Florio keeps pointing out is that the science is not just “ambiguous” or “incomplete”. It actually basically exonerates the Patriots, so its not enough for Wells to say “I didn’t rely on it.” He HAS to rely on it, because it proves no deflation. The gas law account for all of the deflation, an NO MORE. In light of that finding, the texts are really not germane. Perhaps they were joking, or boasting. Perhaps not. But you need to have some evidence of a real crime to cover up, and they don’t. Quite the opposite: the science cleared the Pats. Brady’s lawyer will have a field day.

  173. I see that there are those who still don’t get that the NFL treated the inflation rules as an after thought until this episode came to light.

    Instead of taking responsibility for their dropping the ball on this issue, they are more than happy to have a player they can hang this on. So naturally Well’s report ignores their culpability. It’s downright hypocritical and laughable.

    IMO, they should have taken this opportunity to revisit the way they handle footballs and the inflation amounts–which I think should be broadened–but that would involve them admitting that the psi thing was just a pesky detail to them and no big deal.

  174. If my theory above is right, and The Deflator’s job was to make sure Brady always got a legal ball and never got a 16PSI ball again… that explains the messages, explains the report talking about deflation but not to what level, explains the AFC Championship game incident, and it explains Brady’s awkward presser before the Super Bowl as this is a gray area with respect to the rules.

    The fact there was a 16 PSI incident clearly shows the refs didn’t take care to inflate them properly…either for nefarious reasons as I already said…or just never giving two craps about ball pressure.

    So I’m looking forward to the Patriots in the coming weeks talking about a whole bunch of other games where they were given footballs inflated to an illegal amount by the refs and had to “fix” them.

  175. I think everybody assumed the NFL was more closely monitoring the game balls than they actually were.

    But that doesn’t mean the Patriots and Tom Brady get a pass. The evidence, the recalcitrance of Brady and the impediments to the investigation from the Patriots office are enough to warrant punishment.
    If Patriots oppoopponent’s wouldld have been able to have a better grip on the ball from the start, the Patriots would have complained also.
    Brady actively cheated, lied and obfuscated. He was deliberately trying to gain an unfair advantage. He must be punished; it’s too easy to alter football pressure.

  176. This makes me believe that the ones who will take down the NFL and make it an irrelevant and/or unpopular sport as a professional sport goes will be the NFL themselves.

    Cuban is getting more prophetic as time goes on.

  177. Patriots got railroaded big time. If Brady’s appeal is heard by a true independent arbitrator his suspension will be thrown out completely…

    I’m guessing Goodell is not going to allow that to happen though and will appoint some lackey to hear the appeal (or do it himself) since every time an independent arbitrator hears an appeal Goodell ends up with egg on his face

  178. Mr. Florio – Your opinion of the matters discussed in your article come across very pro-Patriots. And that’s okay – I tend to agree with those opinions… on those matters. I just feel that it would be responsible reporting to also discuss and provide opinion on ALL matters pertaining to this whole debacle, when you offer up a theory/summary of how the events unfolded.

    You can fault the NFL for handling this poorly or the Wells report for swerving around the two different gauges and ideal gas law. But you must also fault Tom Brady for even making this an issue, as it’s his actions (or really commands) that started this entire thing. How can anyone NOT come to the conclusion that Brady wanted the footballs’ air pressure outside the allowed PSI and therefore had a locker room attendant and equipment guy alter the balls after the referees checked them? Text messages between the two guys suggest they knowingly doctored the balls, and give some kind of notion that Brady was “generally aware”. Also, why would anyone believe that these two employees would doctor the balls without some kind of “go ahead” from the guy who uses the balls?

    Why does it matter that it had no effect on the outcome of the AFC Championship game? To me it’s a weak defense of the Patriots. Tom Brady has been the QB1 of the Patriots for ~15 years now. This issue has to throw at least some suspicion that he’s done it before, and the truth is we don’t know if it would have had any effects on any of their past outcomes – but it could have. And that shred of doubt is what the NFL is concerned about when it says “integrity of the game”.

    Brady wanted the balls like that for a reason. Eli Manning stated that there’s a “noticeable difference” in throwing under inflated footballs. It provided a competitive advantage and warrants a 4 game suspension – like PED’s they effect the integrity of the game without providing a clear answer to whether or not it directly effected any outcomes of games.

    Lastly – and I don’t know this stat nor have I heard anyone talking about this – but I bet it’s easier to not fumble if you’re a running back holding an under inflated football. How have the Patriots done regarding fumbles compared to the rest of the league?

  179. Alleged “deflated” footballs resulted in a 17-7 halftime score in the AFCG. The alleged “properly inflated” footballs resulted in a 28-0 second half. What this means is the Pats have been negatively impacted by underinflated footballs….. thanks wussy Colts for pointing this out! The future looks bright for the Pats !!!!

  180. to me this whole thing is like a speeding ticket. I get pulled over for 5 mph over the limit. the cop than ignores the speed gun and writes me a ticket for 25 over because I have racing striped on my car so the speed I’m going doesn’t matter.

  181. My favorite pro sport is football, the next is hockey. That may change rather quickly the way the NFL keeps tripping over themselves.

    “Let’s play hockey!”.

  182. I think the lack of cooperation from Brady had a lot to do with the Brady punishment. The fact that N.E. has already been cold busted video taping other teams practices didn’t help. Ben R. was never arrested for the alleged rape. I know rape is A lot more serious of a charge. Still … no other union would have gotten a 4 game suspension out of that, but the NFL does what they want. In this case N.E. is accused of endangering the integrity of the game for the 2nd time. 4 games and a first and fourth draft pick. Suck it up and quit cheating.

  183. As Neil Degrass Tyson pointed out, the only way the ideal gas law would have applied to that low of a drop in pressure is if the game were played on Venus.
    And then he realized that he’d used gauge pressure instead of absolute pressure. Even NdGT makes mistakes.

  184. When the game started, it was 53 degrees. When halftime rolled around it was 51 degrees. So you are telling me within an hour and a half, that over a lb of air pressure comes out during a 2 degree difference?
    You’re only off by a factor of ten. It was 72 in the locker rooms, where the balls were filled and measured.

    If you’re trying to suggest that this is about a two degree drop, you should probably stop commenting on this subject because you haven’t been keeping up well enough to actually provide an interesting opinion.

  185. Someone mentioned the lack of fumbles by the Patriots since 2007. I’d like to point out that Aaron Rodgers’ overinflated footballs had caused him to throw less interceptions per season than Brady, P. Manning, and Brees since that time. Defenses aren’t used to catching overinflated balls causing them to conceivably drop more interceptions tries.

    This too is an anomaly that no one talks about really. Because it’s circumstantial that is what causes his lack of interception as much as underinsured balls cause less fumbles. You can say a team has fumbled less but as seen by Tiki Barber’s career, player’s can learn to hang onto the ball better as their careers progress.

    I’m sure coaches like Chip Kelly, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichik spend a lot of time in curing fumblitis.

  186. Florio, you are dead on CORRECT.

    This was no big deal and Roger “the enforcer” Goodell decided it was and began this ridiculous investigation and now he will likely lose his job for it. This is stupid and this is Roger’s history of deciding on crime and punishment as he goes along. Tom Brady is good for the game and Roger Goodell is bad. That is clear.

  187. We used gauges to prove you are cheating.
    Both gages show you are cheating.
    It doesn’t matter gages are not calibrated.
    It doesn’t matter wee got different results from the gauges.
    It doesn’t matter we didn’t test the gages against a calibrated gauge.
    Who cares about thermodynamics?
    Who cares about heat transfers?
    What matters is the plan.
    The plan is we are being paid millions to prove you are cheating.

  188. So what you don’t explain is how the Pat’s balls were low but the Colt’s balls weren’t. All were in the same environment so they should’ve all deflated “naturally” at the same rate.
    Again: the Colts balls are not a control group.

    The problem with your line of thinking is that the Colts balls were measured after NWE’s balls. That gave IND’s balls an extra ten minutes to warm up from 50F to probably about 60-65F. That’s why you don’t see the same drop.

    IND’s balls don’t matter at all. The only question is if the pressure loss of the NWE balls is in excess of what would be predicted by the ideal gas law. If WA used the miscalibrated gauge, the halftime values are smack in the middle of what you’d expect to see.

  189. Thank you for a thoughtful post.

    You write:
    “…all 12 balls (including the one that had been intercepted by Jackson) tested within the range consistent with the application of the Ideal Gas Law.”

    Exactly. So how is it concluded by the NFL that any ball was deflated after the initial referee inspection at the beginning of the game? And if no ball was deflated after that inspection, what is it that the Patriots and specifically Tom Brady are guilty of? Brady wanted balls that were legally pressured to 12.5 psi. And yet, despite having no footballs deflated beyond what the Ideal Gas Law predicted and no evidence of Brady directing that footballs be deflated outside of league rules, he is facing a four-game suspension, the Patriots are out two draft choices, two part-time workers are out of a job, and the Patriots are out of a million dollars.

    If you had told me that there was a video of Brady specifically directing the equipment staff to deflate the ball to illegal pressures, and the NFL had not a single doubt, then the penalties that were subsequently administered might have made sense, harsh though they may sound to fans of the team. Where is the NFL’s sense of proportion when the evidence is circumstantial and the engineering firm investigating the incident concludes: “In sum, the data did not provide a basis for us to determine with absolute certainty whether there was or was not tampering as the analysis of such data ultimately is dependent upon
    assumptions and information that is not certain.”

  190. “on’t explain is how the Pat’s balls were low but the Colt’s balls weren’t. All were in the same environment so they should’ve all deflated “naturally” at the same rate”

    Pats balls started at 12.5 psi, Colts balls at 13.1-13.5 as that’s where Luck wants them inflated to. This is well known at this point and disingenuous of you to ignore that fact.

  191. The fact that N.E. has already been cold busted video taping other teams practices didn’t help.

    Who is this “N.E” you speak of? It ain’t the Patriots because they never video taped other teams practices.

    Maybe you’re thinking of the Broncos, they are the only team in NFL history to be caught and fined for taping other teams practices.

  192. With 31 owners, 31 teams and 31 cities full of fans agreeing Patriots cheated and deserve to be punished, Patriot fans continue to make fools of themselves.

  193. Bottom Line…. the head of the league is a joke. It is the bafoonery of Roger Goodell that allows all of the mis steps detailed above to happen and be leaked.

    Why is it, the NFL can’t do anything without screwing it up? a.) it all stems from the top. When the commissioner is incompitent, it shows up over and over in everything below his control. And that is exactly what has been going on for the last 2-3 years.

  194. Luckily Brady had the financial resources to nail these lieing cheating scam artists Goodell and Wells.

    Brady should sue Goodell and Wells personally and make sure these 2 never get jobs ever again

  195. Come on! Who doesn’t understand the ideal gas law for crying out loud!? My first grader did an experiment with that. Take a balloon filled with air, put it in cold, it shrinks. Put it in heat, it expands or even pops. I guess I expected more from NFL referees. It’s really not that hard.

  196. everyone holds it against Brady for not turning over his cell phone to the nfl…
    Any reasonably thinking person would not do this either for 2 main reasons: 1. there is no precedent to turn over and the nflpa should and would not allow this to happen because of future actions. 2. The NFL has screwed up almost every investigation prior to this the last 2 years with leaked information to the media…
    There is no way Tom Brady, or anyone, should turn their phone over to the nfl. NONE.

    So the people executing Brady for not turning his phone over either have an agenda against the Patriots. Or they are just naive to reality of the situation.

  197. The whole point of blowing up deflategate in the media was to shield the Cowboys/friendly refs cheating against the Lions and make everyone forgot that those refs were paid off to screw the Lions.

  198. After further review he just doesn’t get it..

    Forget about the pressure of the air, and bladders, etc.

    The only thing that matters is that Brady conspired with other Patriot employees to cheat the system. Brady didn’t just try to outwit the football. He outwitted the officials, supposedly his own coach, etc, to cheat the procedure for how to handle the balls.

  199. Who cares what the temperature was outside?

    If the temperature was 70 degrees, Brady would have had a cheating plot with the ball boys to tamper with the footballs!!!

    Pete Rose gambled on the games, does it matter what the temperature was?

  200. The only thing that matters is that Brady conspired with other Patriot employees to cheat the system. Brady didn’t just try to outwit the football. He outwitted the officials, supposedly his own coach, etc, to cheat the procedure for how to handle the balls.
    We know he didn’t. The pressure data tells us this. Unless you are suggesting that they conspired to cheat the system and failed to do so, there is no conspiracy because the balls weren’t deflated.

  201. There were important words omitted from the post above entitled.

    These words are now added in capital letters.

    All you need to know about deflategate

    Brady was recorded on camera saying he prefers balls on the low end of the LEGAL pressure range OF 12.5-13.5 PSI and that heand his “equipment guys” go through “a process” of getting them the way he “wants them” WHICH IS NEAR THE MINIMUM LEGAL PRESSURE.

    The few text messages made available clearly prove they were jumping through hoops to deflate balls TO VERY NEAR, OR EVEN AT, THE MINIMUM LEGAL PRESSURE for Tom Brady, per Tom Brady’s instructions ABOUT THE LEGAL PREPARATION OF FOOTBALLS.

  202. Mike
    If you look at the halftime pressure data Blakeman lower on pats,higher on colts). If they didn’t switch gauges and switched their order of testing, it would mean that the pressure went down (ave. .4 psi) upon testing.Have the gauges themselves been tested independently. The discrepancies are too much for quality gauges.

  203. None of this changes the fact that the ball boy disregarded NFL rules and protocol by taking the balls from the referee’s locker room, then violated rules a second time by stopping in the bathroom for almost 2 minutes. THAT, in itself, warrants the 2 draft picks and the huge fine.

  204. None of this changes the fact that the ball boy disregarded NFL rules and protocol by taking the balls from the referee’s locker room, then violated rules a second time by stopping in the bathroom for almost 2 minutes. THAT, in itself, warrants the 2 draft picks and the huge fine.

  205. The “deflator” Jim McNally started operating in his role in 2007, right after the rule for the footballs was changed (in large part due to the efforts of Tom Brady), and immediately the Patriots became so fumble-proof it literally jumps off the page as so extraordinary that any good statistician has to catch their breath and run the numbers again because they are almost too absurd to be true. THE NFL IS KEEPING THE FOCUS ON ONE GAME AND ALL PATS FAN WANT TO TALK ABOUT IS THAT ONE GAME WHEN THEY WAS CAUGHT CHEATING. McNally ” the deflator” has been in the pats employ for over 30 years, and while pat fans want to focus on temp during the game any appeal will quickly turn to McNally, his texts, and the pats refusal to cooperate after discovering said texts. It’s over the best thing for brady to do now is what he should’ve done from the beginning, and that’s MAN UP, BUT NO HE WILL LET THE LITTLE GUYS TAKE THE FALL WHILE THE WHOLE PATS NATION LOSES ALL CREDIBILITY AND THE EYES OF ANYONE WITH COMMON SENSE

  206. A word about this data is really needed here because people keep repeating the assertion that “only in a narrow set of conditions” would the balls be justified based on the transient curve.
    It’s important because they used the transient curve to reject Anderson’s recollection that he used the logo gauge in the first place, but they based the transient curve data on the assumption that he used the non-logo gauge in the first place.
    The pressure drop between the two balls is based on a pregame reading they reconstruct by assuming that Anderson had used the non-logo gauge. Because they believe that he did, they state that the balls were 12.5 and 13.0. The rest of the report works off of that, including the claim that no matter which gauge was used it shows a difference.
    It’s circulus in probando, from basic college logic.
    I aver that the readings are 12.5 and 13 psi uniformly because I believe they used the non-logo gauge. I support the idea that they used the non-logo gauge by assuming the balls were 12.5 and 13 psi.
    It’s circular and every other aspect of the report works from that to progressively narrow the parameters to a situation where the transient curve pushes coincidence into a small corner.
    If you assume that the pregame readings were done with the logo gauge, you actually have to scrap the whole report because there is no basis, now, to assume all the balls were 12.5 psi and 13 psi beyond Anderson’s word. The Patriots stated an intention of 12.5 generally, but the history of balls being sent back demonstrate that it’s actually more difficult to adhere to that intention in practice, most likely because footballs aren’t precision devices, and the gauges they use are not science grade gauges, and because (as the report validates) even room to room or action to action differences in temperature can result in measurable flux.
    We can also assert that according to Brady and Jastremski it’s not a “scientific” process and is more about “feel.” We can also recollect that the referee from today said that measuring the balls has never been a scientific process.
    We understand that it is difficult to fill balls to such precise measure because the balls that were filled to 13psi at the half measured between 12.95 and 13.25 as a random sample later.
    What is more, based on the halftime reading, we KNOW DEFINITIVELY that Anderson is lying.
    If all of the balls were 12.5 it would be impossible to return balls 6-7 by the laws of physics.
    Balls 6 and 7 measured thus:
    non-logo logo
    6 11.60 11.95
    7 11.85 12.30
    If he used the logo gauge as he had stated then they would have left the locker room at this PSI range:
    6 13-13.2 12.95-13.15
    7 13.25-13.45 13.3-13.5
    If he used the non-logo gauge as Wells argues they would have left the locker room at this PSI:
    6 12.6-12.8 12.55-12.75
    7 12.85-13.05 12.95-13.15
    Readings 6 and 7 are key because only the narrowest of windows are there for either of them to even be close to 12.5.
    Anderson says that all of the balls were 12.5, but that maybe 1 or 2 were 12.6 and two were 12.4. He states rather clearly that he refilled those two the balls to 12.5psi himself. So basically all of the balls left the room measuring 12.5.
    “When tested, all of the Patriots footballs—both game balls and back-up balls—
    registered on the lower-end of the permissible inflation range. Anderson recalls that most of the
    Patriots footballs measured 12.5 psi, though there may have been one or two that measured 12.6
    psi. No air was added to or released from these balls because they were within the permissible
    range. According to Anderson, two of the game balls provided by the Patriots measured below
    the 12.5 psi threshold. Yette used the air pump provided by the Patriots to inflate those footballs,
    explaining that he “purposefully overshot” the range (because it is hard to be precise when
    adding air), and then gave the footballs back to Anderson, who used the air release valve on his
    gauge to reduce the pressure down to 12.5 psi.”
    Now, unless you assert that someone ADDED air to those two balls after Anderson had them, you are left with one clear assumption.
    Anderson lied about the average weight. Two of the balls left the officials’ room around 13 PSI. Even if you state that someone just did not let air out of them, it still crashes Wells’ theory that all the balls left at 12.5 for Pats and 13 for the Colts thus the non-logo gauge was used.
    And yes, this is independent of whether air was let out of the other balls only. It doesn’t matter if it were, because there is no scientific way to justify how a ball leaves the officials’ lockerroom that day under those conditions and comes back at 11.85 or 12.3 psi. Whether it is on the logo or the non-logo gauge this ball left the locker room between 12.95-13.05 or 13.35-13.4 to take the average of ball 7, and 13.1-13.2 and 12.65-12.7.
    None of those readings are 12.5 or 12.6. The closest you get is with the non-logo and that produces an expected result of 12.7 and 12.95. There is no way to square the ideal gas law with those two balls.
    The rest of the report treats everything as an average to overcome this hole in Anderson’s story.
    The more accurate assumption would be that they all left, from each team, in a range within .3-.5 PSI around those targets discounting the two outliers, which in my opinion had to have been filled by Anderson.
    Anderson’s recollection is off — he lied. His readings on all of the Pats’ footballs were probably between 12.6-12.9 because he was using the logo gauge. A couple came up underneath, most likely because of some error in gauging them in the lockeroom. I think this is a big reason why the Pats have trouble getting balls returned too. As the report notes:
    “Jastremski told us that he set the pressure level to 12.6 psi after each ball was gloved and then placed the ball on a trunk in the equipment room for Brady to review.”
    If they are setting the pressure after each ball is gloved, and they do it too close to the moment when the ball is gloved, then they are getting falsely high readings. Again, it only takes 10 minutes for pressure to drop, but if you move about setting it in a couple minutes, then it absolutely would read higher by a significant margin. For instance, if at 5 minutes after you “glove” a ball, you set the pressure down from 12.85 (where a 12.5psi football would be after 5 minutes of gloving) your end result is going to be a 12.15 psi football in the officials’ locker room. That of course assumes that the temperature is constant, which cannot be guaranteed.
    But because every single word Exponent and Wells write after that fact extends from that assumption that the balls must be 12.5, every other aspect is in question. The report starts from something that is a fabrication.
    Now because Anderson said he used the logo gauge and that he refilled two balls we can reasonably assume that those two huge outliers were the refilled balls.
    We can throw those out.
    1 11.80
    2 11.20
    3 11.50
    4 11.00
    5 11.45
    8 11.55
    9 11.35
    10 10.90
    11 11.35
    Even Exponent asserts that the ideal gas law accounts for 1.1-1.2 psi dropping from ~70 to ~50 degrees. They also assert that there is a reading to reading .2 margin of error on the meters even on a high-tolerance alloy manifold (never mind a rubber bladder), as well as numerous other readings. Thus later on, they resort to averaging the balls to help eliminate this error.
    The average of these readings is 11.34. If the “average” logo gauge reading for the balls that were not refilled is 12.5, then the remainder of the balls were within what is explainable by the ideal gas law and measurement error. In fact, they are almost smack in the middle of the range predicted by the ideal gas law.
    I am not even going to submit that they left at an average reading of 12.5 because I’m not sure. But I can easily deduct from this that Wells is lying to shoehorn the evidence and that Anderson is lying.
    There is no plausible way that all the balls left at 12.5 and 13.0 from those locker-rooms.
    The Colts balls measured:
    That is on the “logo” gauge at half time. If he used the logo gauge those balls have nothing to account for the loss of pressure except the numbers about 12.74 psi. But here is their rationale as to why they are so much higher– the transient curve in the officials’ room later when the temperature is supposedly 71-74 degrees.
    The effect of external temperature on the pressure inside the football:
    i. The likely temperature of the room when the pressures of the footballs were
    measured prior to the game (67–71°F).
    ii. The likely temperatures on the field during the first half (48–50°F).
    iii. The likely temperature of the room when the pressures of the footballs were
    measured at halftime (71–74°F).”
    Where do these numbers even come from? The first one is from a reading conducted in the empty locker-room on Feb 7, the other from what the thermostat was set to on Feb 7th. The only footnotes they have on them circulate back to the assumption that the balls were measured with the non-logo gauge and were uniformly 12.5psi and 13.0psi. They then use these curves on page 44 of the Exponent appendix to reestablish that assumption.
    The establish the curves by testing the balls in 72-3 degrees to see how they bounce back, but again based only on the assumption that the balls were 12.5 and 13 psi, and then on the guess that the lockerroom shower area was 69 degrees on that night. Here, again, they’ve filled in a blank with user supplied variables.
    Do they test other hypotheses, giving other transient curves for that range? No. Even though there is reason to doubt that a thermometer reading on Feb 7 tells us anything about January 19th, they don’t even run the transient curves based on alternate thermometer readings.
    Why? Because that wouldn’t jibe with the assumption that they used the non-logo gauge and the balls left at a more or less uniform 12.5 and 13.0 psi.
    Simply run a number of transient curves based on the available temperature permutations and you’ll find a number of scenarios outside of 69 in one place 72-3 in another that dramatically shorten the distance in the transient curve. If it were 71 in the shower area at measurement, and it were 74 in the lockerroom when they arrived you would produce a result that has them all matching up based on logo gauge readings.
    For instance, if it were 71 in the shower area (within their range) when the balls were measured the possible scenarios where the Colts’ and Patriots’ balls are justified in the resulting transient curve is dramatically increased. I know this because the average pressure drop would bring the Pats balls to 11.32 and the Colts’ balls to 12.80, essentially native in the middle of the current transient curve, and it basically appears as if both of the sets would read like “wet” balls. So if they were damp balls it intersects.
    Why do they limit the transient curve information to that specific range? Because it takes the scenario in time where the balls would be justified and pushes it to an extreme.
    This is not a “small hole” because they use the transient curves they develop later on to mathematically justify the assumption that the balls were 12.5 and 13 psi. If the balls were 12.7 on average (which is not out of the question based on the range from the halftime measurement) then the transient curve changes yet again and there are more series of intersections.
    13.075 and 13.8 are the “averages” produced on the refilled balls, both exhibiting a range of .3 psi. For the purposes of the rather tight narrative they’ve shown, that isn’t good enough because it would dramatically effect the transient curve data later on. According to Anderson, he refilled them all to 13psi. 13 psi means something closer to 13.1 psi I guess. And that is with everyone watching and recording information. It is also another small sample.
    But hey, if the Patriots’ balls started at an average of 12.6 or the Colts’ balls had an average of 12.9 it creates an enormous swing in the transient curve. But they do not develop that either.
    Again, these aren’t small holes. Because the transient curve information is the “crux” of their arguement that Anderson was wrong about the gauge, it’s critical. A degree here or an average PSI there presents a myriad
    Wells and Exponent were not testing to see what the pressure might have been before the game. They are working out a scenario where what we know Anderson lied about is true (the uniformity of the pressure), and what they badgered Anderson into admitting was possibly false is false (that he used the logo gauge).
    This, of course, doesn’t address the Colts’ balls being so high. I think the Colts balls too registered higher than Anderson is telling us as well. He used the logo gauge after all. It would also explain the transient curve in a much better way too. IF the Colts’ balls left at 13.3 then they would behave similar to the “dry” reading on the transient curve.
    That would also justify the reading.
    The end result is that there are numerous, completely plausible scenarios within their own parameters where “kind of close” and “at or near” just within the ranges of temperature and .1+/- could produce a much wider margin where Anderson used the logo gauge and everything is justfied on a transient curve.
    The problem is that the Wells report only pursues one extremely narrow and frankly unbelievable set of circumstances from a non-scientific process in an overly scientific way to produce a narrow window.
    To get there, they only have to violate common sense a couple times, produce a logical circle, and contradict their own witness where he is sure, but believe him where he is obviously making some really hazy numbers up.

    [object HTMLDivElement]

    Sent from my iPhone

  207. One other thing that no one really seems to think of is why Tom Brady would not want to turn over his cell phone. His wife is a massive public figure for a huge corporation. Anything that may paint her in a bad light would be a horrible conflict of interest for Brady. Sure, he was told only information pertain to the subject would be looked at but all it would take is one leaked text/picture to potentially destroy his wife’s career/image.

    I could of course be wrong in my speculation, but at least it offers a logical reason to withhold your personal texts other than cheating.

  208. It’s hilarious to analyze everything after the fact the Pat’s cheated. They cheated. No one had a hand in the Pat’s cheating but the Pat’s.

  209. I read the report and I don’t know how anyone could read it and not know that Brady is indeed a cheater and a dishonest man. I encourage everyone to read the text messages exchanged bw Brady and the equipment guys. Simply put, no matter how flawed the investigation was, Brady tried to cheat, then lied about it, and failed to cooperate with the investigation. So, maybe the League and Brady are wrong here, but Brady did indeed cheat.

  210. One of the MANY holes in the report that jump out …

    Walt Anderson claimed that in his 19 years of officiating, he had never lost track of the footballs after inspecting them.

    Then the report claims that the alleged practice of the Patriots deflating footballs has been going on regularly from some time. If losing the footballs after inspection is such a rarity, how could the practice have been going on regularly?

    So WHICH ONE IS IT?!?!

  211. If the footballs were initially inspected with the gauge that read high, then adjusted to the absolute lowest pressure allowed of 12.5, then were checked at halftime with the gauge that read low, the readings were absolutely consistent with natural pressure loss.


    And since the ball pressures were not recorded during inspection, how do we know that they were even really originally tested at all?

    Because the league said so?

    The NFL also said that they never saw the Ray Rice elevator video (even after the police said that they provided the video to them) until it showed up on TMZ.

    Is there a single person on the face of the earth that doesn’t think that Goodell wasn’t lying through his teeth denying knowledge during his presser?

    And we’re supposed to believe a league with a long history of lying to save their image … over a guy who has been an absolute model citizen for the past 15 years?

  212. Deflategate McNally explained:
    If the gauges are fair the pressure analysis shows that the balls loose .3->.4 psi each time they are checked. MacNally’s biggest fear was that the refs would screw with him and Tom would be pissed. He ducked into the lav and checked them. They all checked out at 12.5 psi.
    But they are now at 12.1->12.2 psi without intentionally letting air. Nobody cheated, they were just checking Walt Anderson’s great good work.

  213. Clearly haters gonna hate regardless of fact, science or massive discrepancies. Nonetheless the report is so full of misstatements, unfounded assumptions, circular logic and omissions that provide context and clarity that Brady and The Patriots organization have no choice other than to pursue litigation until all the facts are revealed. So far no text messages from any of the other parties to the process have been requested or referenced. I’m assuming that should this continue on to further litigation beyond the next phase those messages will be made public. Surely media members (starting with Mortensen, Kravitz et al) as well as other team’s personnel would be expected to have had many conversations that would be relevant and I’m sure they would want to share such info.

  214. Regarding Brady not turning over his phone:

    1) Brady (and anybody else for that matter) had plenty of time to delete anything damning before turning it over. Several days. This alone proves why it wouldn’t matter.

    2) What would they have found on Brady’s phone (text messages) that would not have been found on the phone of another? (ie: the two equipment guys.)

    3) If this goes to a real, unbiased investigation (court), he should volunteer his text message records be turned over from his cell provider (AT&T, Verizon) for inspection by a TRULY unbiased group, under his strict supervision.

  215. Mike
    Let me get this straight; there were a lot of games played with underinflated balls 12.5 at room temp, illegal at game temp, ah the wisdom of Aaron Rogers (coldest stadium in the NFL). The NFL did not know that their rule was being violated or they didn’t care. Oh wait did the NFL just fine a team $1000000, take away two picks and suspend the star player four games; for what? Playing with underinflated footballs. That sounds un American.

  216. God help the rest of the league. Last time everyone said the they cheated they proceeded to destroy the league with a mediocre defense and a killer offense. Everyone cheats. Patriots are just bad at it. I still do not know how willfully pumping crowd noise is only worth 500k. That seems more disruptive than playing with under inflated balls.

  217. Be said before but I truly believe that McNally took the balls into the “bathroom” and just checked to make sure that they were at or around 12.5. Mother nature (and the NFL goon squad) took care of the rest.

  218. We get it. You LOVE the Pats. And you’re scared to call them what they are. Cheaters. You can say what you like about the report but why not focus on the fact that the only way the Pats have won a Bowl is by cheating. Maybe because everyone in the media also had deflated balls? Just a theory.

  219. haha, all these responses asking Mike questions…he can’t answer your silly questions……

    He’s far too busy washing his hair…..

  220. The Golden Goose is on life support under Goodell. It’s very possible that he reached his peak as an assistant. Happens all the time…an assistant becomes head coach or head honcho and is not ready for the job.
    Owners will be faced with the question, “Is all the negative press and poor handling of situations worth keeping Goodell”. I’m beginning to think the answer is a resounding HELL NO.
    This might be the best report on this website since the dog days of Mike Vick (pun intended).

  221. 7) The Patriots have flubbed their response to this at every turn, and managed to turn a small side story that may have resulted in a slap on the wrist into a story that will dominate the offseason.

  222. Thanks for pointing out the flaws in this report Mike but unfortunately, you can’t reason with people like the Patriot haters. They keep bringing up spygate as the long history of cheating and fall back on that. They also believe nobody else taped signals despite reports from many that admitted they did it too. Mike Shanahan admitted to hiring lip readers to steal signals, just think of what the reaction would be if the Patriot’s did that? The NFL botched this up and Goodell was just making up for the Ray Rice suspension by looking for the low hanging fruit on the tree, the Patriots. Everybody hates us because they can’t beat on the field so suddenly they become self righteous and attack them off the field as if no other teams violate rules. Had the patriot’s piped in crowd noise or texted to the sidelines, the reaction would be totally different but then again, nobody can use reason when it comes to the Patriots.

  223. From Mike Reiss’s take from the Patriots rebuttal:

    “Had the Wells report accepted (Walt) Anderson’s best recollection that he used the “logo gauge” before the game on Patriots footballs — which it did for the Colts’ footballs — it would have proved that basic science fully explains the drop in psi. This point of was very strong.”

    What part of that is so hard to understand by Hateriot Nation?

  224. “Think of how different the narrative would have been if, in the early days of the scandal, the prevailing information from one of the largest sports-media outlets in America had been not that 10 of the 12 balls were two pounds under the minimum but that all 12 balls (including the one that had been intercepted by Jackson) tested within the range consistent with the application of the Ideal Gas Law.”

    This was the eye opener part of the article by Florio. All they really have on the Pats are the text messages, although they are vague. It just goes to show, whether you did something wrong or not, never joke about breaking rules. That can really come back to bite you. Due to the text messages, but lack of any clear evidence otherwise, Brady’s suspension should be reduced to 2 games and their draft restored.

  225. The smoking gauge:
    Forget the logos.How can anybody forget whether the needle was bent or not? Best guess is he tested with the low reading gauge meaning that the balls were possibly higher than tested for. All McNally did was correct the error. That is they were all set to 12.5 by Tom’s gauge.This would also bring the Colt’s balls closer to the ideal gas law predictions. My guess is Walt knew and Mr. Wells is lying. Please release Anderson’s transcript. If Anderson tested with the higher measuring gauge they were all possibly lower than tested (Pat’s balls underinflated from the getgo).
    Why didn’t Wells rig a manometer and test each gauge to verify the deviation of each from the true pressure when the manometer was set at 13.00 psi? Did he really need exponent or did he need a smokescreen? Kraft’s professor should turn in his Nobel since he ignored the “damning” conclusion that the differential pressure drop of the Colts’ balls was about half that of the Pats’ balls.
    The smoking gauge in this mess is Brady’s (McNally’s gauge). They are still out there and simple manometer test will show the deviation of all three gauges from the true pressure provided by the manometer set at 13.00 psi.
    Please note, Brady did nothing but demand balls inflated at 12.5 psi (not underinflated). It was McNally’s job to do so. At no time were the balls underinflated except if Anderson messed up (using a gauge that read higher then the true pressure).
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  226. This whole thing stinks and I hope that Brady and the Pats sue the NFL and Goodell (individually) and the NFL official who leaked inaccurate info for defamation.

    1) Disagree that Colts weren’t after the Pats.

    In the first half, they took the intercepted ball & tested it. And they reported to the NFL that the ball measured 11 PSI. Wells Report at p 63.

    That report was wrong. According to Wells Report (p70) “The pressure of the Patriots ball that had been intercepted by the Colts was separately tested three times and the measurements—11.45, 11.35 and 11.75 psi, respectively— were written on athletic tape that had been placed on the ball for identification.”

    2) The inaccurate letter & the inaccurate leak is another reason why Goodell & his entire crew of incompetents or malicious jerks must be disqualified from sitting in judgment and fired.

    3) Very disappointed with Wells & his firm. There is very little in the report that is written impartially. It reads like a prosecutorial document not an investigative document. At each turn, when faced with possible alternatives they choose the one that finds the Patriots guilty.

  227. “Think of how different the narrative would have been if, in the early days of the scandal, the prevailing information from one of the largest sports-media outlets in America had been not that 10 of the 12 balls were two pounds under the minimum but that all 12 balls (including the one that had been intercepted by Jackson) tested within the range consistent with the application of the Ideal Gas Law.”

    Thank you Mike Florio for pointing this out.

    It is the NFL Head Office and the leakers of false information that need investigating, and I hope someone like Florio has the courage to ask the major actors in this drama the tough questions.

  228. Look all that matters is this
    Get 5th! For the thumb!!!!
    Pats nation STAND UP
    😘🏈 😘😡 😂😭😂


  229. The problem with this for the Patriots is they are a good team year after year and they find a way to be at their best at the end of the season. They turn over every rock trying to get an edge and if they break a rule doing it,it doesn’t matter as long as they don’t get caught,and then they do. So deflating the balls is a silly thing that Brady had people that work for the Patriots take care of no big deal.I bet it is a big deal to the men that are out of a job now because Brady found it necessary to let them take the fall instead of backing them up from the start and taking the blame. What about the Ravens who were one play away from the championship game,one fumble,one dropped pass,after all it was one play that won Brady his fourth Super Bowl and as usual he wasn’t even on the field when it happened. You know those guys that lost their job are just like most Patriot fans,middle class,hard working and just waiting for the opportunity to be promoted and Tommy boy watched them get tossed like trash.

  230. I feel bad for the patriot fans that waited all those years to get a team like this,a great one. I met several Patriot fans down in Miami and sat in a bar with them until 2:00 am. A down to earth bunch of guys and me and my brother had fun talking about the game to be played the next day. Patriots fans waited a long time to be able to sit next to fans of other teams and talk about championships and dynasties and every time they get a chance the organization finds a way to stain themselves. If you don’t need to cheat then don’t, if you leave an area of the field with a bunch of footballs and go into hiding with them every idiot on this planet knows that you are in that position because you are doing something you know to be wrong. If you can take twelve footballs and deflate them in 90 seconds and return them without people noticing then you are good at it because you have done it before.

  231. If Brady and the Pats had not stonewalled investigators the penalties would be meager this whole ridiculous situation would be just a flicker and not am inferno.

  232. There is ZERO evidence that Brady told the equiment guys to deflate below the league standard. ZERO. Even the Wells report doesn’t make that allegation. Did Brady like balls that were at low end; yes. I don’t think that Brady would be that stupid to involve 2 Pats employees in breaking the rules. With his fame, it would be an invitation for a scandal.

    Rodgers likes balls over-inflated and he apparently has directed that they be over-inflated or so reported Phil Simms after an interview w/Rodgers last fall. But apparently it’s not an “integrity of the game” issue when the league MVP does it because he blew the game against the Seahawks.

    This whole thing is NUTS. NFL & Colts & Ravens set out to catch the Pats and then botched the measurements by not recording them, by using gauges that gave conflicting results, and by being totally ignorant that balls lose pressue in cold, wet and playing conditions.

  233. If you fail to take a breathalyzer when you’re pulled over by a cop, you’re considered drunk.

    If you fail to cooperate with authorities / answer questions during an interview, why would anybody believe you’re innocent? Why not be 100% transparent and get out of this hole you’re in. Unless, of course, you can’t get out…

  234. The one thing i dont get about the article is why it is focusing on whether a trap was set by NFL. Who cares if it was a trap? This isnt a cfiminal investigation where entrapment is illegal. Everyone hears how Pats manipulate their gamds and maybe the NFL wanted to catch them in the act which they certainly did. If Brady is so great why does he neee EVERY advantage?

  235. We had them red-handed until science ruined everything!

    Damned pesky science.

  236. The other owners are jealous because the Patriots win so much, their coaches have to come up with some excuse to save their jobs. So why not say the Patriots cheat?

    I believe the Patriots coaches and players are just smarter than the other teams. They may find ways to push things to the limit in ways the other coaches never thought off like the ineligible receiver plays against the Ravens. That was legal, but Harbaugh was too dumb to know that and he assumed it was cheating. He could not admit, his team just lost to a better team and this is true of other teams and their fans.

    Brady had one of the greatest comebacks of all time against Seattle in the Superbowl, the league looked for anything but the Patriots won because they made more plays. Especially Malcom Butler.

  237. The sooner Goodell takes out the League’s old trash the better the League will smell.

  238. And for anyone with a statistics background check out the lack of fumbles by the Patriots since 2007. It is unbelievable compared to the rest of the league and even compared to themselves before 2007.

    Something is going on here and the Wells report won’t uncover it. But some enterprising sports journalists could make a name for themselves if they checked sideline game film since 2007 to see what is happening with the game balls.

  239. Idiaman and all fumbling conspiracy nuts:

    Nothing at all is remarkable about the fumbling numbers for the Patriots since the ball prep rule change before the 2006 season.

    look it up yourself: go to teamrankings(dot)com/nfl/stat/fumbles-per-game

    Yes, the Patriots have led the league in fewest fumbles TWO TIMES in those 9 seasons.

    The Carolina Panthers also led the league in fewest fumbles TWO TIMES in those 9 seasons.

    The Indianapolis Colts had fewer fumbles than the Patriots in 4 of those 9 seasons, including leading the league once.

    In two of the last 9 seasons the Patriots ranked 24th (2013) and 22nd (2006) among NFL teams of in a ranking of least fumbles. Why did they suck so bad at fumbling in those years?

  240. “… for the first time in Anderson’s 19 years as a game official, he lost the footballs.”

    According to Anderson anyway. Granted he does not referee most Patriots games but two security guards and the ball guy all stated the same thing – about half the time over the season the ball guy carried the balls unattended.

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