Deflategate: Weirdest Thing about Report That Slams Brady/Patriots
Business + Economy

Deflategate: Weirdest Thing about Report That Slams Brady/Patriots

The NFL’s 243-page report on the New England Patriots’ ball-deflating scandal has plenty of juicy details. There’s club employees scheming to get Quarterback Tom Brady to give them sports memorabilia in exchange for deflating game balls beyond the limits prescribed by the NFL’s rules and documentation of Brady’s efforts to keep everybody calm after the scandal erupted.

But for pure, undiluted weirdness, nothing beats the 70+ page appendix to the report prepared by research firm Exponent in Menlo Park, Calif. The company was hired by attorney Ted Wells, who ran the investigation for the NFL, to essentially rule out the possibility that environmental or other factors might have accounted for the fact that the footballs used by the Patriots in their 45-7  American Football Conference Championship game win over the Indianapolis Colts were significantly under-inflated.

Related: Deflategate Follows Patriots to the Super Bowl

And they delivered. Like mad scientists with an unlimited expense account.

Ever wonder what a football looks like when it’s subjected to 650 pounds of pressure? Exponent’s got you covered.

Want a three-dimensional computer image of a football created by a high-definition laser scanner? No problem.

Ever wonder what it would look like if you hired some guy to put on a pair of wide receiver’s gloves and “vigorously rub” a football for 20 minutes and then…wait for it…took pictures with an infra-red camera?


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How about a graph showing minute-by-minute pressure changes in the football while it was being rubbed by some guy wearing wide receiver gloves? Oh, sure. At this point, why the hell not?

None of this is meant to disparage the work of the undoubtedly diligent scientists at Exponent. But in reading the report, you have to wonder why, once the attorneys discovered that one of the locker room attendants involved in the scandal referred to himself as “the deflator” in text messages to a colleague, they didn’t think, “You know, maybe we’ve got enough here.”

For some, the biggest disappointment in the report is that Brady, a quarterback beloved by millions, appears to have cheated. For others, it will be that the fee Exponent charged the NFL is not disclosed.

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