Six years ago, New England’s win over the Colts in an AFC Championship became marred by #Deflategate. From an erroneous report (undoubtedly leaked by the league to set a narrative) regarding 11 of 12 footballs underinflated by two or more pounds to the flawed investigation that followed to the suspension of Tom Brady to the litigation that delayed it for a year to the three additional Super Bowls won by Brady and the Patriots post-#Deflategate, history has vindicated Brady.
One aspect of that vindication will play out at halftime of today’s NFC Championship, if someone happens to measure the air pressure in the footballs used by the Buccaneers in the first two quarters.
If the Bucs inflated the balls at the minimum of 12.5 psi before taking them outside into the elements, the Ideal Gas Law means that the reduction in temperature will reduce the air pressure. Given the external temperature, the balls by intermission could be well below 12.5 psi.
But you’ll hear nothing about it. The league has managed to guard successfully any and all measurements taken over the past six seasons, due at least in part to the fact that, on some occasions, the measurements taken at halftime would have looked a lot like the measurements taken of the New England footballs. (The NFL did not respond to an email asking whether the spot-checks of halftime PSI continue, or whether it would happen today.)
The outcome of the original #Deflategate should have been that the evidence of cheating on that specific day was inconclusive. Today, the NFL would never disclose the air pressure at halftime of the balls used by either team, due in part to a desire to keep the public at large from ever realizing that #Deflategate was a results-driven effort to prove cheating by Brady and the Patriots when, all things considered, the NFL failed to develop and present adequate proof of it.