Who knows about deflated balls? My mom.

Watching “deflate-gate” develop over this past week has been interesting to say the least.  I usually only blog between Thursday and Sunday so I told myself I’d wait and see what unfolds.  What I didn’t know was maybe I should have just called my mom.

What did she have to say about all of this?

A good ref can tell by the feel of the ball what the pressure of the ball is and with tires cold and heat will change the pressure.  I used to pump the balls with a gauge and seen the ref use a needle to deflate by feel, so they handle the balls after each play so they should have known – MOM

She stated football refs carry pressure gauges with them during the game so they can check the pressure more accurately than just by feel.  Even if the pressure was within the range, she would be asked to increase or decrease the pressure according to the ref’s wishes.  She also elaborated that this happens in soccer as well.  Some refs ask for more air in the balls or take some out.  She mentioned the conditioning of the balls as well.  Scuffing, rubbing, taking the sheen off the surface happens in all the sports. 

Mom worked seven years for a Division I NCAA college as a sports manager, managing all the female teams and helping out the men’s teams, too.  Not only do I trust her judgment since she’s my MOM, but she is also a professional.  What does her opinion mean?  Well to most of you, probably nothing.  You either love the Patriots or hate them.  I don’t think there is a middle ground.  She was as well mentioning what she saw at the college level and not the professional level.  But don’t most professional refs have years of experience in the college ranks?

What I did learn about this week was the conditioning of the balls by teams, quarterbacks, kickers, etc.  I thought it was like baseball and no scuffs, dings, or wear and tear.  Was I wrong or what!

In 2013 the New York Times did a fascinating story talking about the process in which the Giants prepare balls for quarterback Eli Manning, so they’re to his liking. It takes months.

According to the Times story, the balls are rubbed vigorously for 45 minutes to remove the wax and darken the leather (new balls are too slick, quarterbacks will say). The Giants soak the ball with a wet towel. Then it is brushed again. Then it’s off to an electric spin wheel for more scrubbing. Then the process is repeated twice more. They practice with those balls to break them in even further, and then the ones deemed fit for games are protected like the president. – Yahoo Sports

 And if Aaron Rodgers made it to the Super Bowl this year, would we have been dealing with "inflate-gate?"

Although much has been made of the edges that teams can get by deflating footballs (it can make them easier to grip and catch), Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers prefers the opposite. CBS’ Phil Simms said during a Packers broadcast (via CSNNE.com) that he prefers his footballs be over-inflated, and he’ll even push the NFL rules on it. Game balls are, by rule, to be inflated with 12.5 to 13.5 pounds of air per square inch and weigh 14 to 15 ounces. – Yahoo Sports

So with so many quarterbacks and kickers coming forward relaying that they like their balls conditioned a certain way, with many pushing the limits, maybe we should look back at the rules and the other professionals on the field, the refs.  They are there for a reason. Yes, they checked at the beginning of the game, but they are continually watching the players, their equipment, their uniforms, and handling the footballs.  Don't drop the ball there.  And what if some of the air was let out by the refs?  Are they allowed to do so at the professional level like they practice at the college / NCAA level?  This I do not know.

Well, it’s been almost a week and I think “deflate-gate” should be losing its steam pretty soon.  We will have to wait and see what kind of punishment if any the Patriots will receive. 

What we need to consider now is the actual game ahead of us and not the ones behind.  And on to more pressing news as to who is injured and who is not.  Gronkowski (my future husband) is ready to go, but Sherman may not be.  GiveMeSport.com stated today that "Richard Sherman's elbow sprain means he will be limited in the Super Bowl."

For the average person, an elbow sprain takes around four weeks to recover from, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. But obviously we are not talking about an average person, we are talking about Richard Sherman.

When you consider the aid in terms of expert painkillers and the sheer fact that Sherman is an athlete at the top of his profession, his recovery from injury will be faster than most. However, there is still the high possibility that Sherman will play in the Super Bowl with some kind of splint or cast, thus severely affecting his mobility and agility. – GiveMeSport.com

Who will win the big game once we get there?  Do you even care?  More of a commercial watcher?  Well I am looking forward to it all, commercials, half time, and yes, the game itself.   I'm biased, born and raised in New England and never a fair weather fan.  What, was I supposed to cheer for the Dolphins since I now live in southern Florida?  I think not.

So thanks again Mom for your insight, thanks media for finding out how different quarterbacks like their balls, and thanks "deflate-gate" for giving us something to talk about for a week.

Here is a little football humor for you.  The last one is a little colorful, but it's perfect "Boston Humah."

 

Footage of Patriots trying to deflate all 12 balls

 

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What do you think?