Here’s the video of Bill Belichick’s press conference in which he dispelled the controversy and solved everything:
I have a few strong feelings on this controversy surrounding the New England Patriots. The first of which is that “Ballghazi” far supersedes “Deflategate” as the best name for this incident.
I’m going to start by addressing a few of the biggest accusers of wrong-doing.
Beginning with Bill Nye, the well-known TV scientist.
Nye simply says, “What (Belichick) says didn’t make any sense.”
He does not refute Belichick scientifically. He also claims the “only” way to change the air pressure of a ball is with an air pump.
This is certainly suspicious as multiple professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology found Belichick’s explanation “exactly right”.
Nye, who began his career in Seattle with Boeing, may not have been completely objective (unlike the science he purports) because he ends his video with, “Let’s go, Seahawks!”
Speaking of Seattle, I got into an argument with a Seattle beat reporter, Keith Myers, on Twitter yesterday.
He, like Nye, fails to elaborate upon why they’re cheaters other than previous SpyGate. In a series of tweets he claims his physics college degree validates his rebuttal that the weather couldn’t have made the balls deflate. Again I bring up the MIT scientists. He also became agitated when I said that the Adderall problem in Seattle is just as much of an institutional problem as the deflation of footballs.
Even if the Patriots did deflate the balls, why is it such a big story? On the air pressure of footballs, former NFL Quarterback Matt Leinart says “everyone did it” and, earlier this season, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms commented on how Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers likes to illegally inflate balls on national television in a win against the Patriots.
Everyone from CNN to USA Today to Fox News all agree on two points. One, this story should be a non-story and two, the science is correct. Not that the deflation even matters. The deceleration from the deflation in the ball outweighs the benefit of an enhanced grip. (Guys, strong emphasis on CNN and Fox News agreeing. If they agree, it’s legitimate.)
One more science point: ESPN suspiciously has removed a “Sport Science” video from their site which exonerates the Patriots of any wrongdoing. A friendly Reddit user saved it, then uploaded it to YouTube so you can see it for yourself.
Another point I wonder about is the NFL. Why are football fans assuming that the referees did their jobs correctly by checking the ball? NFL referees are infamous for an inability to do their jobs on the field, what about off the field? Pro Football talk pins the blame for this whole incident on the NFL as well.
Some more facts about Ballghazi:
1. Bob Kravitz, an Indianapolis Colts reporter tweeted out that the NFL was investigating the Patriots for under-inflated footballs. Four days later, the NFL confirmed.
2. D’Qwell Jackson, the Colts Linebacker who intercepted Tom Brady, did not start the investigation.
3. Chris Mortensen reported that 11 of the 12 footballs were 2 PSI under the legal threshold of air-pressure, but that has not been confirmed by anyone or any organization.
4. Belichick did an internal study and said, in the press conference above, that the balls were closer to 1.0 PSI under, which Pro Football Focus agreed with.
5. Sports On Earth columnist Will Leitch wrote an article in which he brushes over – and the comments reinforce – “Wouldn’t the Colts footballs been a good control group to see if the weather really did affect the footballs?” But that question is perfectly answered by the SB Nation “Deflategate Guide”
Now, the Patriots look ahead to the Super Bowl, where they’ll play the Seattle Seahawks, who’ve been jabbing verbal barbs all week. The Patriots have had practice in the past with distractions leading up to the Super Bowl, like SpyGate in 2007.
But this Sunday viewers will finally get what we’ve wanted all along: Silence on Ballghazi and action under the nation’s brightest lights.
If the Patriots win, Ballghazi will fade away. If they lose, it’ll be remembered forever as a reason they lost, unfair to the Seahawks good defense and proof that once a narrative is applied, it cannot be wiped off.
Sam Fortier is a displaced New Englander living in New York as a freshman at Syracuse University. He likes baseball, crunchy peanut butter and using the word “wicked” as an adjective. He’s not a fan of purposefully misspelt business names (“Kathy’s Kut & Kurl”) or grammatical error’s. You can read him here every Monday, follow him on Twitter @Sam4TR, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.