DeflateGate: Football FlimFlammers Lead with “I’m Not a Scientist”

January 26, 2015

A recent favorite talking point of climate deniers spreads to other flim-flammers.


During an impromptu news conference on Saturday, Coach Bill Belichick reiterated the New England Patriots’ innocence in what has become known as Deflategate.

On at least two occasions as he lectured reporters about the physics of a football’s natural weight loss, Belichick qualified his description of the process with the disclaimer “I am not a scientist.”

Charles Liu is a scientist — an astrophysics professor at the College of Staten Island, part of the City University of New York. Liu, an associate with the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, is also an avid football fan, and after listening to Belichick’s explanation, he concluded, “It’s a cop-out.”

“Just because you’re not a scientist does not mean you can’t know what to do,” Liu said. “It’s kind of like saying, Well, I see somebody about to burn down your house, but since I’m not a firefighter, I don’t know whether I should stop them or not.”

At issue are the game balls the Patriots provided for last Sunday’s A.F.C. championship game; 11 of the 12 balls, which by rule are inspected and verified by the referee before kickoff, were later mysteriously underinflated by about 2 pounds per square inch, according to an ESPN report on the N.F.L.’s investigation.

Does this sound like what we hear on Fox News or what?

Belichick explained that “atmospheric conditions” might have caused the change. But Liu said, “Barring any very unusual natural situations, you just can’t get the ball down 2 p.s.i., from 12.5, by natural causes.”

“You could have inflated the ball in a sauna and then brought it out and it was cold and rainy, and then yes, you could drop 2 p.s.i.s that way,” he added. “Or if a ball was leaking, that it wasn’t quite full.”


2 Responses to “DeflateGate: Football FlimFlammers Lead with “I’m Not a Scientist””

  1. Gingerbaker Says:

    meanwhile, I heard from friends that quarterbacks from around the league were saying that they have been adjusting the pressure in their balls to their liking for years – that “everybody” does this – and the Patriots are being wrongly accused here?

  2. redskylite Says:

    Bill Nye demonstrates with balls in a fridge and discusses climate change too:

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