DeflateGate: The Smoking Gun


The NFL insists that science alone cannot explain the Patriots’ pressure drop.

Therefore the ball attendant must have deflated them — and quarterback Tom Brady must have known.Gauges

Much depends on which gauge the referee actually used to measure the balls pre-game. The referee remembers using his longer-needled (LOGO) gauge.  But the “independent” investigator/consultants rejected the referee’s recollection.

Do the gauges resemble each other so much that the referee would mis-remember which he used?




How much longer exactly is the longer needle?  See for yourself.   Examine the independent consultant’s own close-up: What do the rulers tell your eyes?

Look again.  (Yes, they shifted one ruler .2” to deflate the difference!)  The longer, LOGO gauge needle really measures TWICE AS LONG as the shorter one.

Would an experienced referee who used one of these gauges 24 times that day, mistake it for the other?

But wait!  There’s another trick in this optical illusion:  Are the needles both “slightly bent” as Exponent’s caption suggests?

Or did the “independent” investigator/consultants earn their millions by shooting a photograph specifically to eliminate the greater bend of the longer needle?  This further deflates the difference.  Look carefully.  The truth lurks in the shadow.

How could these sophisticated scientific/engineering PhD statisticians with all their complex simulations and graphs somehow misalign two simple rulers?  Accident — or con job?

Once you credit the referee’s memory here, and reject one other pseudo-scientific piece of twisted logic, science can fully explain the entire pressure drop.

Leaked mis-information, implausible assumptions and daring distortions obscure the truth.

Deflategate is a sham — an NFL cooked-up fraud.  So who cheated:  The quarterback or the League?

29 thoughts on “DeflateGate: The Smoking Gun

    • Thanks and other bloggers such as Robert Young are finding more hidden tricks. Really disgraceful, but the truth will out.

  1. Nice pick up on your end. I have considered the differences and conclude Andersen would have remembered which gauge he used. Consider this. Here is a question I have on the Wells report and investigation. I have read the report
    numerous times. I am in the aerospace business and have been involved in many failure analysis where every bit of evidence is crucial to determining the fault. Based on the Wells report and the appeal transcripts I can’t understand why the intercepted ball was not given more review. This is the only piece of evidence that the NFL had ( and still does) that was not contaminated by the halftime fiasco and subsequent inflation of the other 11 balls. The Wells report said that ball was measured on the sideline by the Colts with a pressure gauge and then brought into the locker room and was measured 3 times by the NFL using the Patriots gauge. All 3 readings were above the Exponent calculated minimum per the Ideal gas law of 11.32 psi. When questioned about this ball during the appeal, Wells contradicted his own report and indicated there was 2 gauges used and the data from this ball was not used in any of the statistical analysis because there was a question as to if the Colts may have deflated it. This makes no sense. Since the critical point is what gauge did Walt Andersen use pre-game then why didn’t anyone think to stick the Logo gauge into that ball when it was back to it’s equilibrium state. This ball according to the Wells report was handed over to Wells from Weiss for the investigation. My bet is that it was gauged and read about 12.5 psi. The shell game with this ball and the vague explanations about it make me very suspicious. Why didn’t this happen? Could it be that Wells hid this information knowing he had a 3 Mil payday in front of him and knew exonerating the Patriots at that point would end the investigation? I have not read anything about this. Am I missing something? Your thoughts?

    • Good point. See ELGEE at backpicks blog. He extracts a similar usefulness from the intercepted ball.

      Often when Wells report discounts evidence it’s probably because its not useful. What happened to the Colts gauge and Patriots gauge. Conveniently lost. What attempt to find them?

      Intercepted ball’s three separate measurements used as evidence that a particular gauge can vary.

  2. Thanks for pointing this out. Although I’ve read through numerous documents relating to this “controversy,” the appendix section of the Wells Report made my eyes glaze over, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who easily missed this or skipped over it. Surely, Dr. Marlow couldn’t claim this exhibit as being “A+ kind of work.”

    • Isn’t that the truth. I picked this up only on the fourth reading, and I was scouring the Exponent appendix to find the basis for their support of the sequence. Could find none — all probability counts against them. The patriots balls were measured, then reinflated, then 4 Colts balls measured.

      It’s so much easier to bury stuff in an appendix.

      • Wrong. Read the report again. The Patriots’ balls were not reinflated until after the Colts balls had been tested. You are inserting assumptions to try to discredit experts who are trained in these things. Exponent made assumptions about the data, and then went back and checked to see what it would look like if they ‘undid’ their assumptions (The Colt’s 3rd ball anomaly). I don’t know what your bias is in this whole thing, but I am certainly glad you are a lawyer and not a forensic engineer . . . you would not be a very good one. Engineers have to state and justify their assumptions, yours would not pass that justification part.

  3. You don’t use a ruler to measure bend. You use a ruler to measure length. You would hold the ruler to match the angle of the needle to get the most accurate measurement of length.
    The fact that the gauges look nothing alike is interesting to find out but don’t add bad info to try and make it more than it is.

    • You missed my point. Perhaps I didn’t explain it clearly. Exponent photographed the longer needle (LOGO) gauge to diminish the angle, not because it makes it longer, but because it makes it less distinguishable from the other gauge, thus lending false credibility to the caption below figure three that both needles were “slightly bent”.

  4. The NFL “case” against Tom Brady is an attempt at reputational lynching.This story transcends the NFL and sport generally, going to the heart of how the arrogance of power in our culture, in big and little ways, has become increasingly more ruthless because it believes it’s not only not going to be held accountable to fact and ethical values–but also because it believes it can manipulate both the mechanisms of accountability and what people value through the most invidious kind of Orwellian diktat.

    The under-the-radar effort to fleece nearly $2 million dollars from Brady, with no compelling evidence of wrongdoing, should be exposed for what it is: theft.

      • It’s the character assassination of a decent and INNOCENT man- something that will now ALWAYS be attached to his name- due to the vast majority of people, it seems unfortunately, that refuse to believe otherwise, and have absolutely no interest in hearing the truth. There are different opinions on how active his “involvement” allegedly was- but there are few, more than 20 miles out of Boston, that don’t believe he was a part of this circus side show- thus labeling him a “cheater”.

        THAT is the travesty and disgrace of what Roger Goodell and the NFL has done to him and the entire Patriots organization with this conjured up fiasco!

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  6. That photo is deceptive but representative of this entire debacle, from the sting-like approach taken by league executives and the head official on game day (all shirking their duties and/or deviating from accepted practice) to the blatant bumbles, miscues, invalid and unsupported assumptions in the Wells investogation.

  7. There’s other variables at play too. The Wells Report doesn’t actually state the effect of wetness on ball pressure, it only infers it within graphs. The graphs state that its around 0.2 but you can’t be sure as the graphs are quite vague. SmartLabs analysis months ago showed that it was up to 0.7 psi effect.

    There’s another factor too. Wells report states that 2 balls failed inspection and were reinflated. What if those balls used the lower gauge?!? If you look at the Prioleau numbers, there is clearly 2 balls that are noticably lower than the others.

  8. Why did no one ever consider the gauges were switched pre-game after inflating the Patriots ball? They were definitely switched at halftime, we all know that and assuming Patriots logo vs Colts non logo pre-game would explain every 1/100th of a psi of difference

  9. If you really think that Exponent purposefully turned the needle to obscure the bend in the longer needle in the photo on page 175, then why in the world would they clearly show the larger bend in Figure 2 and Figure 4 directly above and below, respectively, the photo that you are choosing to focus on? Seems like you try to imply that they are really sly in trying to slant their evidence, but then make a middle-schooler’s mistake in showing in the photos above and below what you claim they were trying to cleverly hide in the middle photo. Instead, I think it is you who is trying to make a big issue about something that is, in fact, absolutely nothing.

  10. Was there ever a test between the two gauges to identify the difference in calibration between the two? I would assume that by manufacturer’s specification the gauges are calibrated when leaving the factory (not to say that they could lose calibration with use). Does the needle length really matter if the error of the measurement isn’t significant? Even if you can’t remember, you could fairly easily compare the combination of using each gauge to determine whether the differences in error (or lack thereof) correspond to the differences in the deflated footballs couldn’t you?

  11. Also, it looks as if the longer needle was screwed tightly into its housing while the shorter one appears to be a turn or so unscrewed. (If you looks closely, you can see one or one-and-a-half threadings exposed at the short needle’s base…and none at the long needle’s base.) That seems inconsequential on its own. But when combined with the ruler-shifting and the manipulation of the angles at which the needles were photographed, it certainly seems as if Exponent was trying to fudge some visual support for their finding that Mr. Anderson’s “misremembered” which gauge he used pregame. I always thought it odd that Exponent and the NFL accepted verbatim Mr. Anderson’s unaided recall of the exact pregme pressures, within a tenth of a PSI, of 24 separate footballs, but then rejected his recall of the one gauge he used to record those pressures. (Exponent’s explanation basically boils down to: It would have been easy for Anderson to be wrong about which gauge he used pregame because the gauges were so similar in appearance. 2. We only have measurements for 4 of the 12 Colt balls, and we discount one of those measurements because it would mess up our calculations. (Also, shhhhh….we measured the Colt balls after they had been sitting and warming up in a 72-74 degree locker room for 15 minutes, but we won’t account for that in our calculations) 3. But, if Anderson were not wrong about the pregame gauge, our data doesn’t support our hypothesis. 4. Therefore, Anderson was wrong about the one pregame gauge. But precisely right about the 24 pregame pressure measurements.

  12. This has been bothering me for a long time as a Patriots fan and really believe Brady was not the culprit in this case. Nice investigating, Robert and just another fact leading to the sham of the NFL bias. Everyone knows that Goodell and his henchmen are NY oriented with ties to NY Jets….uummmm….talk about bias…..And one very important aspect to the comment “Generally Aware”….If they thought Brady was generally aware the footballs were low on pressure….wouldn’t the referres, who handle those footballs more than anyone else in the game, also be “generally aware” and change balls…This whole process was a sham to begin with against the entire organization, not entirely against Brady. As I write this, the NFL is still planning on pursuing this case and the appeal. Unbelievable….When its all said and done, Brady should sue the NFL, for deformation of character, slander, discrimination, obstructing justice, tampering with evidence…did I miss anything?

  13. There is something else fraudulent in the photos. Note the size of the rulers. The one at the bottom is noticeably smaller. That indicates that the photo was shrunken slightly…just enough so it would go unnoticed. If you bring it up in size so that the rulers are equal, the larger needle is even more markedly distinguishable.

  14. In support of your thesis there is an additional obvious bias indicator. Look at the rulers. The ruler in the photo for the larger needle is smaller than the ruler in the photo for the smaller needle. This could only happen if it was zoomed in more. This approach makes the larger needle look smaller.

  15. A sham! That’s what “Deflategate” is. And as this is 4 months down the road now, it’s clearly known that the NFL/Goodell lied AGAIN in a court of law.
    The NFL said that they would be testing footballs during games this year…Then the NFL said they’d do “random” testing!

    Has anyone seen or heard about any of these results. Don’t worry you won’t, because the PSI testing favors New England, so the NFL will NEVER release those PSI stats.

    Happy Holidays all.

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