Should Tom Brady be suspended?
Debate Rounds (1)
I think it's obvious that Brady should be suspended. I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan and I used to be be a fan on Brady. I went for Seattle solely because of the deflate gate. He should be suspended for the first 5 games and the playoffs? Your thoughts?
First, in order to provide some context, I'll quote from a web site that analyzed this in detail:
"On January 18, 2015, the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts played in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts to determine which team would advance to Super Bowl XLIX. During the first half of the game, a question was raised by the Colts concerning the inflation level of the footballs being used by the Patriots." (1)
This site also states the following:
"The conclusions of the Wells Report are, at best, incomplete, incorrect and lack context. The Report dismisses the scientific explanation for the natural loss of psi of the Patriots footballs by inexplicably rejecting the Referee’s recollection of what gauge he used in his pregame inspection. Texts acknowledged to be attempts at humor and exaggeration are nevertheless interpreted as a plot to improperly deflate footballs, even though none of them refer to any such plot. There is no evidence that Tom Brady preferred footballs that were lower than 12.5 psi and no evidence anyone even thought that he did. All the extensive evidence which contradicts how the texts are interpreted by the investigators is simply dismissed as “not plausible.” Inconsistencies in logic and evidence are ignored." (1)
This web site also includes links to 56 other stories critical of the handling of "deflategate". (2)
There are also links to 30 scientific articles and videos (3).
I'd like to provide some of the more interesting details from an article by Ross Roberts of Stanford University, who covers some of the technical details. First some context: all the football's were checked prior to the game and were ok. They were rechecked at halftime because a Colts player claimed the ball felt soft. It was the data from this check that raised all the issues.
Roberts first shows why the NFL thought there was a violation:
"Remember the very first reports that ESPN leaked from the NFL office? That 11 of 12 footballs were measured to be under-inflated. That the NFL was reportedly furious with the Patriots for cheating. Look at the data. All of the balls are below the legal minimum. Many of the measurements show balls below 11 psi. One is at 10.5 psi. That’s TWO POUNDS of pressure below the minimum. Seems like an egregious violation" (4).
However, Robert's continues:
"The problem is that as far as I know, no one in the NFL had ever measured the psi of footballs at halftime of a game in January. As a result, they didn’t realize that balls lose pressure when it’s cold outside. As the Wells Report states, the Pats balls, assuming they started the game at 12.5, should actually have been between 11.32 and 11.52 at halftime simply due to weather. The measurements in the second column are mostly in that range. So those balls are mostly in compliance once you take into account the effect of the weather." (4)
However, there were two gauges used to take readings, and when you sort thru all the data, it comes down to which gauge was used at half time:
"So as Mike Florio points out, the real question is which gauge was used to measure the balls before the game. If Walt Anderson used the Logo Gauge (the one that measures high), then the pressure of 8 of the 11 balls measured at half-time is above 11.32 psi which means the under-inflation can be explained by physics. To make it an apples-to-apples comparison, you’d have to add .3 or .4 to the measurements shown above in column 1. Over 70% of the balls fall then fall within the range predicted by the physics and the others are not so far away. That pretty much ruins the case against the Patriots." (4)
However, an investigator that reviewed the case decided that the non-logo gauge was used. This is based on the fact that the logo gauge consistently read too high, so they felt that gauge couldn't have been used because they would have noticed when they measured pressures at the start of the game. Note that the two teams used completely different gauges to initially set the pressure before the game started, and those readings were consistent with the refs.
Now, as Roberts points out, these gauges have a fairly wide margin of error, especially as they get used more and more. Even a brand new gauge measured a true 13 psi in a range from 12.5 to 13.2.
I fail to see why Brady should be punished at all. The investigation seems quite suspect and the "proof" is shaky. If anything, the only outcome should be that the NFL should tighten up their procedures, including acquiring more accurate gauges and ensuring balls are not transported between locations with large temperature changes.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Hayd 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The Pro side does not make any arguments, only personal thoughts and questions. The argument that Con made about the cold air making the balls deflated was the argument that won me over. It gave me an extremely valid and obvious reason for the deflation of the balls, proving that Tom Brady was not the cause, it was the weather. Due to the fact it was only one round, Pro had no chance to rebut anything, so I must take it as is. Con wins for more convincing arguments.
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