I was thinking about it last night. Are the game balls weighed or is the psi of the game balls checked before the game and again at half time? Think of the tires on your car. You don’t weigh those. You use a pressure gauge to check the psi to see if they’re properly inflated. I checked, and that’s precisely what the officials do pre-game with the game balls. See for yourself in this SI video.
Joe Theismann, former Redskins quarterback extraordinaire, decided to do a test with balls with 11 psi and 13 psi. USA Today quoted Theismann in a Jan 21st article, “I asked our equipment guy to pump one football up to 13 pounds per square inch and another to 11 psi,” Theismann told USA TODAY Sports. “I wanted to physically handle the footballs and see if I could tell a difference in them. And I couldn’t.”
In the same article, Hall of Famer Steve Young is quoted, “The issue fundamentally is that there’s a rule – officials check the footballs,” Young said. “And somebody had to go in after the league did their checks and nefariously take some air out of those footballs.
“It begs the question, ‘Why would you? And who would go in afterwards and do it? And with the Patriots Spygate history, they needed to be perfect.”
He’s certainly correct about that. The entire episode becomes curiouser still with USA Today on Jan 24th reporting that Belichick said, “it was a combination of atmospheric conditions and the pregame inflation by the officials that contributed to the discovery that the Patriots’ footballs were underinflated. He said that he believed the balls returned to their “equilibrium” in the hours between when they were weighed pregame by the officials, and when they were checked at halftime.”
It seems logical that a football filled to 2 psi less than it’s supposed to be would be hard to miss, BUT, if we assume Belichick meant to say the the pressure was checked pregame and at halftime, AND we also assume that all involved parties are neither cheaters nor morons, that begs the question: Did anyone check the accuracy of the pressure gauges used to check the game balls before the game and again at half time?