The PSI of the footballs used in the AFC Championship Game two weeks ago helped fuel the conversation leading up to today’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and Seahawks. In short, there’s been a lot written about the situation and if you’re a sports fan let’s assume you’re fairly aware of what’s been going on. Even so, it doesn’t sound like we’ll get an official answer into whether or not the Patriots intentionally deflated the balls during their game with the Colts for a couple of weeks while Ted Wells completes his investigation.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport filed an update on the situation earlier Sunday. Rapoport confirms that someone, whom he describes as “elderly” took two bags of balls into a bathroom at Gillette Stadium for 98 seconds. There’s also this new nugget in the report, which if true, adds a wrinkle to everything the sport’s world has talked about over the last two weeks.
Eleven of the 12 footballs used in the first half were judged by the officials to be under the minimum of 12.5 PSI, but just one was two pounds under. Many of them were just a few ticks under the minimum.
Why is this wrinkle potentially significant? If 11 of the balls were “just a few ticks” under the required PSI that would lend some credence to Bill Belichick’s impromptu science lesson last Saturday. Also, compare that to what ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported this about the situation last month:
The NFL has found that 11 of the New England Patriots’ 12 game balls were inflated significantly below the NFL’s requirements, league sources involved and familiar with the investigation of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game told ESPN. The investigation found the footballs were inflated 2 pounds per square inch below what’s required by NFL regulations during the Pats’ 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, according to sources.
That’s a big difference from one ball to 11 being significantly under-inflated, right? Suffice to say, it’ll be quite curious to see which of these two version of the story — if either — end up in the Wells report. If the report from today is accurate it looks like everyone potentially wasted a lot of time.