The Truth Revealed, Definitively

I couldn’t resist this comment, which finally puts to rest the entire fabricated “Deflategate” controversy. As I have said almost from the beginning (see my Blogs to that effect), it was a fabricated attack fueled by ignorance and resentment directed at the New England Patriots — but its wider ramifications concern the ability of established forces to use the media to fabricate a reality for ulterior motives. That’s why I long ago linked it to the Bush Adminstration’s fabrication of a case for its criminal invasion of Iraq. With the so-called “Deflategate” controversy, however, we now have a patently clear demonstration that this alternate reality was fabricated. (Will Mike Francesa at WFAN ever apologize for his outrageous behavior in condemning the Patriots from Day One, and in refusing to countenance any alternative comments on his radio program? But I doubt it.)

For the details, see today’s New York Times article by Joe Nocera;

True Scandal of Deflategate Lies in the N.F.L.’s Behavior


A scientific consensus that deflation of footballs in the 2015 A.F.C. title game could be explained by physics has not done anything to mitigate the Patriots’ punishment.

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Here’s a brief excerpt from that article:

“John Leonard is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who roots for the Philadelphia Eagles, listens to sports talk radio when he is exercising, and teaches a class called Measurement and Instrumentation. When the Deflategate story broke after last year’s A.F.C. championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts, he found himself fixated on it, yearning to dig into it from a scientific point of view….

Numbers in hand, (finally,) Leonard went to work. He bought the same gauges the N.F.L. used to measure p.s.i. levels. He bought N.F.L.-quality footballs. He replicated the temperatures of the locker room, and the colder field. And so on. When he was done, he concluded that Exponent (the company hired by the NFL’s investigators) had made a series of basic errors. Leonard’s work showed the exact opposite of Exponent’s conclusions: The drop in the Patriots’ footballs’ p.s.i was consistent with the Ideal Gas Law; the smaller drop in pressure in the Colts’ balls was not. (Leonard surmises that because the Colts’ balls were tested after the Patriots’ balls, they had warmed up again.)

By early November, he had a PowerPoint presentation with more than 140 slides. By the end of the month, he had given two lectures about Deflategate, the second of which he had videotaped and posted on YouTube. A viewer who watched the lengthy lecture edited it down to a crisp 15 minutes; Leonard agreed to let him post the edited version.

The edited lecture went up on YouTube on Dec. 1 and has been viewed more than 17,000 times. It is utterly convincing. Leonard told me that if an M.I.T. undergraduate made the kinds of mistakes that Exponent made, “I would force them to repeat the experiment and correct the analysis.” Based on his study of the data, Leonard now says: “I am convinced that no deflation occurred and that the Patriots are innocent. It never happened.””


2 thoughts on “The Truth Revealed, Definitively

  1. The stories around the lead-up to the Iraq invasion were deliberated fabricated for an ulterior purpose. Do you think this was also the case with Brady or do you think it was more of people wanting to believe something because of a prior animus?

    1. You are certainly correct about the Bush Administration’s fabrication of the evidence with respect to Iraq. There is no doubt in my mind that the almost glee with which the media and most football fans piled on to this story — and still to this day, regardless of the evidence, refuse to give up their belief that this is but one further example of the fact that the Patriots are cheaters — is rooted in resentment at their continuing success. It is also, sadly, further evidence that most people will cling to the beliefs they want to have almost completely without regard to the facts. But as to the initial charges against them, while there may well have been a few individuals who consciously fabricated the data, I suspect that it was a combination of more or less random bits of hearsay evidence (which people were so disposed, and pleased, to believe that they did not even try to check the facts) with the more pervasive ignorance of (and lack of general respect for) of science, in this case, the Ideal Gas Law, that led them to jump to the “obvious” conclusion. While that is somewhat understandable for the general public — though certainly not for the media and sports talk radio, such as Mike Francesa at WFAN — what is continually disturbing is both that such a REALITY can be created, but that once created, people cling to it, and refuse to let the illusion die.

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