Op Ed on Deflategate

In Financial Post here. My submitted version was a little harsher. #deflategate For related blog posts, see tag here.

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174 Comments

  1. SB
    Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    Did Dr Marlow ever respond to your letter sent on August 8th?

    Steve: no. A friend of mine in the Princeton Physics department talked to him and apparently he said that he would respond, but he didnt. I followed up twice and no response. I provided him with a draft of the Op Ed asking for comment or correction and no response.

  2. Sandi
    Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    I remember when this used to be a “Climate Science” blog.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

      I’ll get back to regular programming soon. It’s a bit hard to be interested in some of the climate stuff these days.

      • Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

        Stephen has earned his reputation in climate research, doesn’t need to do more though we hope he does, some of his forensics efforts must be distasteful, besides it is his blog.

        The football fiasco resembles much climate science – people stumbling around, people with inadequate knowledge of physics, supposed experts who don’t do thorough work, ….

        • kim
          Posted Nov 8, 2015 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

          A scrum, and the climate is slippery.
          =====

      • Follow the Money
        Posted Nov 8, 2015 at 3:41 PM | Permalink
    • Willis Eschenbach
      Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

      Sandi
      Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 1:28 PM

      I remember when this used to be a “Climate Science” blog.

      Sandi, near as I can tell this blog has always been about our good host taking pleasure in mathematical excursions of all types. And fortunately so, because his mathemagical adventure rides are almost always interesting mystery tours, regardless of where the voyage might lead us.

      Me, I jump on every train that comes past this particular station, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. But if you don’t enjoy a particular ride, don’t worry … another train will be along in a bit whose direction might be more pleasing to you.

      Best regards to you,

      w.

    • MikeN
      Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

      This is very relevant to climate science. First you have the climate affecting the pressure of the footballs. Beyond that, you have Bill Nye taking the opposite side, allowing people to evaluate the credibility and competence of both sides of the global warming debate.

      • dfhunter
        Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

        Thanks for that MikeN

        Bill Nye The Science Guy – convinced me to (go hawks)

        ???? The Science Guy – really, & I thought the BBC was bad😦

        • chuckrr
          Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

          He’s one of the the people advising our president.

      • Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

        The biggest scandal here is that Nye got the ideal gas law wrong: Although he remembered that temperature has to be measured relative to absolute 0, he forgot that pressure must also be measured relative to a total vacuum. Since atmospheric pressure is about 14.7 psi, we are talking about 1.6 psi or so out of (12.5 + 14.7) or about 6%, not 13%, even before considering the wet bulb effect, relaxation of the leather jacket from wetness, or condensation of moisture inside the ball.

        Then, he “measured” the pressure of balls he had experimentally refrigerated by squeezing them. While the balls were cooling, he confirmed his science “credentials” with a diatribe against CO2 while mugging into the camera.

        Bill Nye the Science Quack.

        As for the NFL, if ball pressure is such a big deal, why doesn’t the NFL just provide the balls? It doesn’t let each team select the referees who will officiate when they have the ball in possession! If players prefer seasoned balls to brand new balls, they can simply reuse the balls from previous games, allowing each team before the game to veto say two balls from the pool that they find inappropriate.

        • Eric Barnes
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

          “As for the NFL, if ball pressure is such a big deal, why doesn’t the NFL just provide the balls?”

          http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/01/22/brady-pushed-for-rule-to-let-visiting-team-provide-own-footballs/

          The quarterbacks are kings in the NFL Hugh, Right or wrong.

          Steve’s stance on deflate-gate is not seeing the forest for the trees. The idea that Brady knew nothing knew nothing and had no influence on the condition of the balls is absurd. He hasn’t been forthcoming and at the very least tried to get the balls as close to the 12 psi limit as possible. IMO, whatever punishment the commissioner decided on is appropriate and the judge reversing the decision damages the integrity of the game.

          I’d like to second/third/whatever the request for Steve to move on from what is an exercise in mathematical pedantry.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

          What is your interest in Climate science, Eric? Do you actually have any? There are about one hundred blogs on the internet that deal with that topic. For example, Roy Spencer always puts interesting and stimulating posts at his blog (Dr. Spencer is in charge of the UAH satellite temperature program. Earth, temperature not satellite temperature).:-)

        • Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

          Eric Barnes: Brady “at the very least tried to get the balls as close to the 12 psi limit as possible.”

          (a)The limit is 12.5 psi.
          (b)It seems that you are suggesting that Brady should be punished even for this “very least”, that is, operating within the rules. Is that correct?

        • Eric Barnes
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

          HaroldW,
          OK. A little elaboration that is hardly difficult given the text messages.
          http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/Locker-Room-Staff-NFL-Deflatgate-Text-Messages-Tom-Brady-302798731.html
          It’s very clear that Tom Brady wanted the balls very low on the psi scale and Mcnally/Jastermski had to do some very difficult work to get the balls low, but not high enough to have the refs inflate them further. Jastremski’s job depended on getting that “right” according to Tom’s wishes.
          After deflate-gate hits the news Tom claims ignorance regarding the inflation of the balls. That’s a lawyer influenced statement/position if there ever was one. Is that operating within the rules? Tom doesn’t want to fill any blanks in this picture because there is no way this looks good for him, the equipment people or the patriots.
          IMO, the league which is supposed to protect the integrity of the game is perfectly able to draw conclusions in this case. Tom should be punished for his “ignorance” to send a message to other players in the league and the fans that breaking or skirting of the rules won’t be tolerated in the slightest.
          I actually enjoy football and think that the League should be providing the balls to prevent problems like these. The emphasis on protecting quarterbacks and the passing game is ruining the game.

        • chuckrr
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

          Eric…The “integrity of the game” argument ” is laughable. For 100 years nobody gave a second thought to ball pressure. Then some twit on the Colts staff decided to try and use the issue. Either gamesmanship or an honest belief that the Patriots had some huge advantage …and the league foolishly took the bate. Here’s how I would have resolved the issue. “Tom…somebody complained that you are deflating the balls. We’ve never heard of such a thing but if you are stop it. We’ll be watching you.”

          That being said there is no evidence that Brady wanted the balls inflated below the legal limit as you seem to imply. And as Steve has shown there is very little evidence that the balls were ever deflated.

          You may worry about the rules being strictly enforced for the integrity of the game but for most fans this issue is simply amusing. Here in Minnesota we once had a pitcher get caught with a emory board falling out of his pocket. The story went national and David Letterman even picked it up. There were a few “integrity of the game” police then too. But most got a good laugh out of it and baseball went on just fine.

        • Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

          Eric Barnes –
          “Is that operating within the rules?” If the pressure was set no lower than 12.5 psi, yes. I don’t see those texts as indicating in any way that there was an attempt to go beyond 12.5 psi. Somehow you are inferring that.
          Perhaps you can respond more directly to my previous question: *If* the pressure was set to 12.5 psi, do you think that Brady (more generally, the Patriots) should be punished?

        • Eric Barnes
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

          Your question is out of context of the bigger picture, but I’ll give you what you want. *IF* all the balls were set to 12.5 psi or slightly above *and* there were no doctoring of the ball after the refs checked them *and* a valid explanation for the balls being under-inflated was presented *and* Brady and the equipment managers testified fully about the events, then sure, everyone should go home with a lollipop. Happy?

        • Eric Barnes
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

          chuckrr,
          “That being said there is no evidence that Brady wanted the balls inflated below the legal limit as you seem to imply. And as Steve has shown there is very little evidence that the balls were ever deflated.”

          Did you read the texts? You think that the officials inflated the balls because they were at just the right psi? Do you think Brady didn’t care about what psi the balls were at on game day and any old psi in the limit was OK?

          Your position is laughable in the context of the text information.

        • chuckrr
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

          Eric…Read more carefully. I never said that Brady was not concerned about the PSI level. I said that there is no evidence that he wanted it below the regulation level. Can you point out the text that shows that he did?

          Have you read any of these threads on the balls PSI at halftime? The temp, the gauges, the wet balls?

        • Eric Barnes
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

          chuckrr, ” never said that Brady was not concerned about the PSI level. I said that there is no evidence that he wanted it below the regulation level”

          Think more carefully. You think it was just an accident that the balls were below regulation level and had to be inflated by the officials?

          Steve: It is blog policy to treat to stick to issues that are as narrow as possible, as that seems to me to be the best way to analyse things. I’ve tried to focus as much as possible on the statistical issues on deflation and prefer that people discuss such issues, as more progress can be made there. I’m aware of the texts. However, I believe that it is important that the scientific points which can be made precise be made precise before speculating too much on the interpretation of the texts.

        • chuckrr
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

          Eric..”Think more carefully. You think it was just an accident that the balls were below regulation level and had to be inflated by the officials?”

          I think that is what this series of posts by Steve was about. If you want dispute his analysis why don’t you do that. You appear to be ignoring those posts as if they don’t exist

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

          Eric, this is not the proper blog for partisan and disgruntled fans. You apparently cannot comprehend the science that has been done here. If you did, you would know that the conclusion that the balls had been deflated does not stand.

        • Eric Barnes
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

          If you two can’t comprehend the below, i’ll just assume you two are trolls. Anyone who thinks about this for 10 seconds can figure this stuff out.

          http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/Locker-Room-Staff-NFL-Deflatgate-Text-Messages-Tom-Brady-302798731.html

          On Oct. 17, 2014, after Brady had complained angrily, the men exchanged these texts, the report says.
          McNally: Tom sucks…im going make that next ball a f—– balloon
          Jastremski: Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and
          said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done…
          Jastremski: I told him it was. He was right though…
          Jastremski: I checked some of the balls this morn… The refs f—– us…a few of then (sic) were at almost 16
          Jastremski: They didnt recheck then after they put air in them
          McNally: F— tom …16 is nothing…wait till next sunday
          Jastremski: Omg! Spaz
          Then on Oct. 23, three days before a Sunday game against the Chicago Bears, Jastremski and McNally exchanged these messages:
          Jastremski:
          “Can’t wait to give you your needle this week🙂
          McNally: F— tom….make sure the pump is attached to the needle…..f—– watermelons coming
          Jastremski: So angry
          McNally: The only thing deflating sun..is his passing rating
          Here was their exchange on the next day, Oct. 24:
          Jastremski: I have a big needle for u this week
          McNally: Better be surrounded by cash and newkicks….or its a rugby sunday
          McNally: F— tom
          Jastremski: Maybe u will have some nice size 11s in ur locker
          McNally: Tom must really be working your balls hard this week

          Steve: we are all aware of the texts. Do you have any comment on the scientific points?

        • chuckrr
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

          I will humbly admit that you have proved that Brady didn’t want the balls inflated to 16 PSI. You win.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

          Eric, this is not the proper blog for partisan and disgruntled fans. You apparently cannot comprehend the science that has been done here. If you did, you would know that the conclusion that the balls had been deflated does not stand.

          2nd time

        • Eric Barnes
          Posted Sep 6, 2015 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

          Steve: we are all aware of the texts. Do you have any comment on the scientific points?

          No I don’t and I’m sorry I’ve run afoul of blog policy. I think the focus is too narrow and the context of the texts makes the scientific issue nearly moot. It’s your blog, but the contrast between the subjects of climate change and deflate-gate is very stark in terms of societal import.

    • dfhunter
      Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

      short memory or wrong blog then Sandi – Steve has covered other topics when interested.

      more to the point/post – I can’t seem to open the FP link (from the UK) ?

      • JCM
        Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

        get a vpn ( only good for 5 NP articles so switch to another country on a daily basis)

      • Navy Bob
        Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

        Canadian, like Steve. Here’s the link http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/deflating-deflategate-confusion-about-basic-science-could-have-wrongly-smeared-tom-brady

        One of the many amazing aspects of this whole frame-up is the inability for whatever reason of Brady’s high-priced law firm to absorb Steve’s and others’ criticisms of the Wells report and use them to destroy it in court. Surely if someone charges who knows how many hundreds of dollars an hour to plead your case, they’ll bring every possible bit of evidence to bear on your behalf – no? Maybe I assume too much.

        • AntonIndia
          Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

          Weird that this lawyer doesn’t use Steve’s ammunition; is it ego, stubbornness or what?

    • Spence_UK
      Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

      Well, I don’t really watch sport too much – not even UK football, much less American football. But I’ve quite enjoyed watching Steve’s excursion into the sporting arena here.

      You have to hand it to Steve though, he knows how to pick his subjects. A highly emotionally charged topic, in which people choose their teams from a very young age, then stay loyal to that team year upon year, through thick and thin, rain or shine. No matter how the results turn out, they stay true to that team, never waivering in support. But that’s enough about climate, there’s football to talk about as well now.

  3. Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    I can’t say I find the subject interesting, but congratulations on getting this piece published. I think it should get a lot of people to pay attention to what appears to be a serious problem they wouldn’t have paid attention to otherwise.

  4. bernie1815
    Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    I live close to Boston and I am fan of the Patriots, though not fanatical. I have found Steve’s analysis illuminating to no end. After the evidence indicated that there was no average deflation of 2 psi, I knew that the actual level of deflation was (a) likely natural and (b) made little sense if it was supposed to give an edge.
    If I was an Intro Stats professor I would be using this as a case study – except if I was teaching in Indianapolis or Seattle or New York.

  5. Sandi
    Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    Hmm… Let me say my bad and take my licks. Thanks for the corrections.🙂

  6. admkoz
    Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

    Is it really appropriate to make statements this definite about the average deflation, when this depends on guesses about what temperatures the balls had reached prior to measurement?

  7. EdeF
    Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

    I wonder if Judge Berman has read through some of Steve’s analysis before his decision, expected to be handed down this week? Is he more interested in the facts, or the process?

  8. mpainter
    Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 12:42 AM | Permalink

    The counsel for the NFLPA may have dropped the ball by not taking these points up with the court. I feel strongly that a simple demonstration could be devised that would refute utterly any idea that the Exponent study had conclusive merit. In fact, I believe that it could easily be shown that it was just plain wrong.

    If the Exponent “science” is overturned, then there is no basis for assuming that the balls had been deflated. No crime, no criminal. I have in mind some simple demonstrations that could be done in the courtroom to great visual effect.

    In the worst way, the legal team needs to add a scientist who is conversant with the science issues and of plausible demeanor.

    • Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

      Brady can’t argue the facts of the case in court. Legally, the arbitrator having poor analysis of facts doesn’t mean anything to getting arbitration overturned. It must be overturned on procedural issues.

      This is all about whether Goodell had the authority by the CBA, and whether the punishments met the CBA negotiated standards. The time for facts was at the arbitration appeal, but I believe Steve had only started on this, and Brady’s team was only given a few hours to present a case. They had to cover lots of things, and explaining in depth statistics so everyone understood would have likely taken the whole time if not more. There’s also little indication Goodell would have cared anyway.

      The Judge could vacate the suspension and send it back to arbitration where Brady would go to arguing facts (and have time to do so). If so, I would not be surprised if Steve’s analysis is presented.

      • mpainter
        Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

        It is a matter of the legal team getting their head screwed on straight and realizing that the cause turns on the science and taking appropriate measures to expose the faulty analysis of Exponent. The whole case against Brady rests on Exponent’s prejudicial assumptions. These must be tackled head on by the same sort of simulations conducted by Exponent but with different assumptions. They then could present the court with data that refutes the Exponent analysis. A statistical critique of Exponent’s methods would not be as demonstrative. They need their own set of data.

      • Follow the Money
        Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

        The judge may say there was no “arbitration.” Also may say there was no “arbitrator,” or the persons posited as “arbitrators” were improper.

    • MikeN
      Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

      The NFL is going to be conducting a study throughout the upcoming season with its random testing of footballs. I suspect they will realize the weather effects and will quietly not report they got it wrong.

  9. mpainter
    Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

    Another theme that the legal team needs to exploit is the testimony of the Exponent witness who confessed that he had followed orders to disregard the case of referee Anderson using the Logo gauge to gauge the Patriot balls before the game. Anderson said that he thinks he did use that gauge. Ball pressures at halftime indicate that he did.

  10. Gary
    Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    The Exponent analysis was just a cover. Accusations of cheating were just an excuse for the League (actually the majority of other owners) to get some parity of results. The Patriots have won too much for their liking and parity is a foundational principle of the NFL. I find it ironic the League itself is cheating in a sense by imposing a draconian penalty without sufficient proof of a crime in order to achieve what it cannot do through the competition committee.

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

      And it appears Brady was victimized, deliberately. Funny, before deflategate, I never gave a hoot about Brady nor the NE Patriots. I have never been within a thousand miles of Boston. Now I feel great disgust toward Goodell and his sordid machinations.

  11. Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    Couldn’t this simply be summarized as follows:

    12.50 – pregame psi
    11.50 – h/t avg (most favourable to Brady)
    —–
    01.00 – difference to reconcile
    =====

    01.60 – IGL deflation (most favourable to Brady)
    =====

    With the 0.60 over reconciliation plausibly being the h/t IGL reinflation + other allowances?

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

      wthf are you tts?🙂

    • admkoz
      Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

      It does seem to be what is being said, but if when measured at halftime, the balls were in the process of warming up from 48 F to 72 F, then I have no idea how anybody thinks they know exactly what temperature they were when they were weighed and hence how much IGL deflation there was.

  12. mpainter
    Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    Steve says

    “Even under heightened half-time scrutiny, NFL officials were inattentive to gauges, leading Exponent to deduce that officials had inattentively exchanged gauges between measuring Patriot and Colt balls and later transposing measurements of a Colt ball. More of a gong show than a scientific protocol.”
    ###

    Unaware of the defective Logo Gauge as they were, they would have had no reason to pay attention to which gauge they were using. Same for referee Anderson in his pre-game pressure measurements.

    A permutation-combination analysis would show slim chance that the deflation margin was due to any factor other than Anderson’s use of the Logo gauge for the underrated balls, I imagine.

  13. Jeff Id
    Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    Cool Steve.

  14. Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    From the op-Ed, “The NFL also appears to have been unaware that cheap pressure gauges, of the type used by its officials, can get out of compliance.”

    As far as capricious and arbitrary go, this is an excellent point. The gauges that were used by the NFL official are available on Amazon for $22. Except for the fact that they indicate pressure to hundredth of a PSI as opposed to the tenth, they are indistinguishable from a tire gauge that is also available. I suspect they are no more accurate. The retrospective performance validation notwithstanding, the bent stems indicate a lack of interest in their condition. Furthermore, the whole ball pressure measuring excercise is conducted without a formal procedure and traceable documentation.

    Nevertheless fines were levied, draft picks were taken, a player was suspended (and two other employees) was suspended. To justify this action again Brady and the Patriots the NFL commissioned an expensive study which relied on a high quality gauge that’s available from Omega for around $1,000. This literally and retrospectively changed the standard to which they hold teams and themselves accountable.

    I understand the NFL will use new procedures in the future. They might consider –

    – purchasing 2 of the Omega gauges for each official;
    – acquiring NIST traceable calibrations with the instruments and have them recalibrated regularly;
    – requiring that the gauges be stored in a manner that does not impair their performance;
    – establishing criteria for removing gauges from service (I.e. Bent stems, bad LCDs);
    – adopting procedures and forms for recording game day pressure readings.

    • Jeff Id
      Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

      You know, I like this comment a lot. You have outlined both the difference between precision and accuracy that regularly escapes the notice and understanding of the population at large. Certainly the morons who ruled on this subject seemed to miss it as though the issue hardly existed.

      It also makes the point that I noticed early on in Steve’s threads that these instruments are hardly scientific grade and on a pressure measurement which is apparently WAY critical to someones thinking. When people can be hammered with multi- ten million dollar costs (draft picks, suspensions, game loss due to key players missing), a basic calibration process and decent instruments wouldn’t get past even the lowest level of industrial quality audit. Rock bottom teenie tiny companies do better than this with critical measurements on a regular basis.

      It is a truly ridiculous moment in NFL history. It makes me wonder how different officials determine whether hockey ice is up to spec. I have my suspicions about the games played with that particular sport as well.

      • Gary
        Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

        In hockey, both teams play on the same ice with the same pucks, although hockey sticks are personalized to the players specifications within league rules. In baseball the situation is equivalent. The NFL could avoid the whole problem by making both teams use the same footballs that had been prepared by the officials in the same way baseball umpires prepare baseballs before games. Or it could say football condition is trivial, like ankle-taping or hair-length and let teams do whatever they want. More contests are decided by referee calls than by inflation psi.

    • Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

      A description of the NFL rule changes can be found here.

    • Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

      Sure, there’s methods to measure balls, cleat spikes, pads, helmets, first down markers etc. to high accuracy and precision. Most of those things are largely more important than football pressure. First downs are still measured by the ref eye balling the down spot and then measuring with a chain from where he previously eye balled the down spot. That measure surely effects nearly every game in a real way despite being lazy and imprecise. Ball pressure doesn’t as far as anyone can show.

      But I think the bottom line isn’t that such precision is possible, but is it useful? It appears the NFL never cared before, balls would have ranged from 8-16 psi depending on conditions. Nobody before cared, in fact by the NFL’s admission they didn’t even know about natural pressure changes. For the last 70+ years these balls moved around wildly and nobody seemed to even notice. The process of measuring precisely is only useful in maintaining the farce that precision is meaningful, or even possible once the balls meet the outside elements.

      To me, adding new standards is just ad hoc justification for their stupidity. .2 psi became really important when they wanted to punish someone, so now they must pretend it’s important. It just isn’t, it never was, and they would make everyone’s life easier if they just admitted from the beginning it isn’t important. Football will go on being exactly the same as it always was whether, measured with laboratory accuracy, or cheap gauges.

      • mpainter
        Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

        “To me, adding new standards is just ad hoc justification for their stupidity.”
        ###

        You have put your finger on the very essence of the matter. This ball pressure business is Goodell’s self justification. IMO Goodell is of no help in the NFL’s quest for a better public image, although he might make a good deputy sheriff.

  15. EdeF
    Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    At what pressure reading either higher or lower than 12.5 psi do the footballs provide one team an unfair advantage over their opponent?

    • Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

      The teams use thier own balls, but you’re correct that the “advantage” that’s been touted is made up. Sportscience did some research on this and it was basically nothing. A couple psi less and you could in theory get like a fraction of a mm more grip, but the ball would travel a mm less over 20 yards when thrown at the lower pressure. There is no difference that anyone can point to that is measurable in football games, and if there is any evidence of a possibility than its a negative advantage to throwing.

      • joe
        Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

        There are a lot of ball control issues that arise with over and under inflated balls. This is especially true is in soccer, volleyball, basketball. The ability to grip the ball, the ability to catch the ball, etc changes as the ball gets harder (Higher psi) gets softer (lower psi). There is a reason players B____ about the inflation levels of balls.

        Inflation levels for balls used for the kicking game are outside the teams control for a reason. The inflation level significantly affects distance. It highly doubtful that that a couple of psi is only going to affect the distance by a few mm. In summary, dont place too much credibility in the SportScience research.

        • Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

          You are giving examples of balls that are struck where pressure is a factor in how it absorbs the strike. This is about a football thrown. Pressure will primarily effect it by stretching the skin and effecting the aerodynamics. But the difference between a 10, 11, 14 psi ball on the container is minute.

          The other factor claimed is the issue of grip. If someone can deform the ball while holding it they could get a better grip. But again, this is minimal in the pressure talked about. An 11psi ball feels rock hard, it will barely deform from a hand grip. If sports science is wrong then present some idea why.

          Steve: the issue isn’t the impact of 2 psi, but, at most, of 0.2-0.4 psi.

        • MikeN
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

          It could be there is a tipping point, below which football becomes very easy. Then even .2 PSI would be enough to have a big change in the game outcome.

        • Gdn
          Posted Feb 25, 2016 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

          (Well) More than half of all outdoor football games are played with footballs which are out of specifications.

          Somewhere around 1 in 10 outdoor games are played with footballs which are at least 2 PSI low, which is more than any of the balls in question were in the AFC CG using the correct gauge. This includes an averaging of Jacksonville, and teams like Green Bay, and Pittsburgh (5 games per year at least 1.6 PSI low).

          …and the variance from ball to ball from wetness alone is between 0.0 to 0.5 PSI according to the Wells report (if you look at the graphs and ignore what they don’t say), if you spritz a football (they apparently only tested this on one football) with water and then immediately wipe it dry a few times.

          This is double-down silliness.

  16. Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    Thanks JeffID and Haroldw. I work in an industry where this sort of thing is routine. The overhead cost is very low. The procedures and forms are readily available online for free. The NFL could and should do better if they really intend to enforce this rule with the sort of penalties levied against Brady and the Patriots.

    Consider the changes that are listed in the link provided by HaroldW. This rule change does little to ensure that other teams won’t be unfairly sanctioned. Indeed if those are the only changes then we are assured that the sort of rule breaking that the Patriots have been accused of will regularly occur.

    And if the judge happens to rule in favor of the NFL then that creates quite a precedent that would need to be enforced. If I were an NFL equipment manager I would acquire that Omega gauge or another one like it as a defense measure. (I’m happy to lend my metrology department to the NY Giants and any other team outside the NFC East.)

    In addition to the recommendations that I made above I would add that the officials ought to be recording the ID of the gauge being used and the barometric pressure at the time they are recording the ball pressure. On game day, January 18, the pressure in the region (Norwood – see related comment in the first CA post on this topic) fell about 0.1 PSI during the game.

    This probably means very little in regards to how the ball feels but it’s significant compared to the allowed range (1 PSI) according to the rule. Larger barometric pressure changes are certainly possible during a 3 hour time span. This sort of change in barometric pressure is enough to render a previously tested football illegal.

    • Gary
      Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

      Let’s go high-tech and embed pressure sensors in the footballs that transmit the pressure ten time per second to a feed for the tv networks to display in the game data window. Could be very interesting and open up a whole new prop bet area.

      • Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

        Undoubtedly there are people who think like that. I don’t think the ball pressure matters that much. But the NFL needs to behave in a consistent manner.

  17. John M
    Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    Judge just ruled in Brady’s favor.

    No “journalistic analysis” yet.

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150903/fbn-brady-lawsuit-6ad484a405.html

    • joe
      Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

      any link to the actual opinion/ruling. Curious what was the legal rationale. procedures, fairness/unfairness or lack of scientific evidence.

      • joe
        Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

        a link to the judge’s order

        Appears to be overturning NFL on procedural issues.

        • kim
          Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

          See p. 7 of the ruling where Berman emphasizes that the Wells Report admits the science isn’t definitive for culpability.
          ===============

  18. beng135
    Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, Steve. Perhaps you had something to do w/Brady’s exoneration. I’m not a Patriots (or really even football) fan, but it was simply that the basic physics from the start didn’t add up.

    My first reaction was that the whole affair seemed manufactured, as just in a general scenario, if balls are inflated to the min allowed pressure at 70F, the pressures would certainly be “illegal” after being out in the cold/wet for awhile.

    • Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

      Thanks, Steve. Perhaps you had something to do w/Brady’s exoneration.

      That’s my picture and I’m sticking with it. Next up, the judges in the Mann/Steyn trialathon.

  19. mpainter
    Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    Tom Brady is not exonerated but still may be “wrongly smeared”. To win exoneration he must use Goodell, NFL. If he does not, the assumption is that he was indeed “generally aware” hence culpable.

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

      Not use, _sue_, as in suit.

    • Gdn
      Posted Feb 25, 2016 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

      A standard of “generally aware”? How does one disprove that? (Although the Wells report comes close in regards the team and coaches).

      Even if you could, when has that been a standard for NFL punishment? I don’t recall punishment of the other guys in the locker room when one guy is found to be taking PEDs.

  20. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    The Berman decision http://t.co/n0UwrK7xsm is very strongly against the NFL.

    While the decision was entirely on procedural grounds, my guess is that Berman would have had a view on the substantive technical issues, though he didn’t reference them. A wise lawyer friend of mine told me many years ago that judges like to decide technically, but also like to assure themselves that there is no injustice on the substance – so arguments on substance are not generally wasted.

    Berman appears to have clearly understood that there was hair on the NFL’s technical case, though I doubt that he considered this beyond generalities.

    A procedural issue not directly argued by Brady, but which seems increasingly relevant to me, is that the NFL withheld the measurement data during the original investigation, so that Brady was unable to contest Exponent’s interpretation prior to the NFL’s original decision. The arguments later made before Goodell ought to have been front and center in arriving at the original decision.

    Because the appeal period was so compressed and the data had been withheld, there wasn’t much time to analyze the data – especially when Exponent didn’t publish all their results. For example, some of the key analysis presented at this blog took time to think about and wasn’t available for the appeal, even if the Brady lawyers had been interested in it.

    I also think that the Brady technical defence was far short of what it ought to be. Their technical expert had a good resume, but his points were easily rebutted. He’d have been better off making my arguments (though with an expert with lots of letters behind his name who understood the arguments.)

    • Carrick
      Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

      Steve, as you know, I disagree with you on the strength of some of your conclusions.

      The dispute comes down to that it’s much easier to prove plausibility than it is to demonstrate implausibility (this is why “good” experiments have a lot of control of the measurement conditions). You don’t need an 80-page document to show that the pressure data are consistent with the theory that the footballs were deflated, and the circumstantial evidence available leaves Brady and the Patriots looking poorly at best. (See though my note at the bottom: We don’t know of the degree of cherry picking that took place in the assemblage of the investigative report, and Brady’s team was unfairly denied the opportunity to review this for themselves.)

      But I think you are resting on your experience from the mining industry, where statistical models work well because the underlying physical processes of the Earth are more or less invariant, which is a vary different scenario than atmospheric measurements. I think this bias is betrayed by your interest in seeing if somebody could model the effect of evaporative cooling, rather than in seeing it measured correctly (it was done badly wrong by the Exponent group).

      I think if you did any repeat measures here, you’d find that the conditions under which the football was being tested to have a much larger variation than you assume in your modeling. My guess is if we did it a little “less wrong”, we’d find the conclusions would flip from what you are finding, but if we did it actually “right”, we’d find that the halftime measurements by themselves tell us virtually nothing, and that the Exponent report, other than the one sentence summary of plausibility is nearly worthless.

      The assumption of an underlying invariant model (so that statistical models are a good fit) is a pretty common failing that I deal with from Earth Science people (seismologists more frequently because it’s closer to the type of atmospheric data I study). The atmosphere is highly variable, there are multiple processes by which heat energy can be exchanged (convection, radiation and conduction, roughly in that order of importance). Convection in particular depends on the location of heat sources, on the geometry of the room, and yes, even the time of day or night. From my experience, you simply need to incorporate a lot more physics into the models if you want to use them to rule out a particular scenario (deflation of the Patriots footballs in this case).

      As I mentioned, the Sun heats the top of buildings in the daytime, typically resulting in a near neutral daytime profile in the interior. At night, with the absence of solar heating, the top of the building cools rapidly, creating a large negative (unstable) temperature gradient.

      Although this is well understood physics, the Exponent group showed virtually no awareness of the physics processes involved in the warming of the footballs after they were placed in the locker room. In particular their use of an environmental chamber, is a complete cosmic joke on them, and is such a bad error, I truthfully think the NFL should be refunded their money. At the minimum, the room where the original data were taken should have been analyzed, and pressure/air speed data for similar weather conditions should have been collected using several 3-axis ultrasonic anemometers (this is not as complicated as it sounds).

      At least then, you’d plausibly know the range of possible radiative forcing experienced by the footballs. And you could move forward from there to study the warming curves under realistic conditions:

      I have to emphasizethough that I think the warming data published in the Exponent report is totally useless, unless by some bizarre coincidence the balance of the physical processes involved in heat energy exchange are nearly identical in the locker room as in the environmental chamber. It’s also my belief that if you bracket the uncertainty in the measurement conditions, you are left with “plausibly the balls could have been deflated, but there’s no way to rule out tampering.” I also don’t think you could prove that tampering occurred beyond any reasonable doubt.

      As I mentioned on a previous thread, based on press reports, the Patriots football skins were treated more heavily than the Indy footballs, and quite plausibly did not absorb as much moisture in their skin. If the press reports, of course this works the wrong way for your scenario that the differences could be explained by evaporative cooling (it makes the difference worse of course). It’s why I suspect that if we did the physical tests a little “less wrong”, we’d come to the opposite (but I think still not valid) conclusion that the footballs were deflated beyond any reasonable doubt.

      The Exponent group should have looked at this critical issue, which it appears they did not. While they did look at evaporation on the rate of warming, they did so in a scenario that is unlikely to replicate the conditions under which the original measurements were conducted. Nor did they appreciate that there would likely be a differential effect of evaporation on the rate of warming. (The thought that Brady’s treatment of the football skins might influence the probability of fumbles is an interesting one, but I think there are too many uncontrolled variables to really explore what effect this has on games during rainy periods of the season.)

      One thing I’m pretty sure we’ll agree on is the lack of access to the investigative file by Brady’s team, in particular the data and access to the scientific research group. We both probably agree that the decision by Goodell and especially the punishment were handled in an arbitrary and even capricious manner. If reports that Goodell stuck to the four game suspension due to the desire of other team owners to see Brady punished, it’s hard to see Goodell’s behavior as other than purely capricious.

      I’m glad that Brady can go back to his life now. And while we disagree on some of the physics here, I think the NFL and Goodell owe him an apology for their treatment of him.

      Steve: Based on past experience, we probably agree on most things. I definitely endorse your last couple of paragraphs. I’ve paid close attention to your physics comments, even if I’ve taken a different line from time to time. My closing take on your physics observations was that the data did not permit one to exclude the possibility of deflation, but it seems to me that this falls short of showing that the deflation was more probable than not. But we’ve been round this bush and I think that we understand one another’s points.

      • mpainter
        Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

        Carrick you say:

        “You don’t need an 80-page document to show that the pressure data are consistent with the theory that the footballs were deflated,”
        ###
        I suggest that you re-read Steve’s previous posts on the issue and strive for better comprehension.

        Also, you say

        “the underlying physical processes of the Earth are more or less invariant, which is a vary different scenario than atmospheric measurements”

        ###
        You do not know what you are talking about. Earth’s processes are not “invariant”, not a bit.

        Also, you say

        “As I mentioned, the Sun heats the top of buildings in the daytime, typically resulting in a near neutral daytime profile in the interior. At night, with the absence of solar heating, the top of the building cools rapidly, creating a large negative (unstable) temperature gradient.

        ###

        Only if you pretend the building had no HVAC.

        You also say

        “Although this is well understood physics, the Exponent group showed virtually no awareness of the physics processes involved in the warming of the footballs after they were placed in the locker room”

        ###

        In fact, it is quite plausible that the Patriot’s balls did not warm. I believe that a simulation would show that they did not warm before being tested.

        You also say

        “At the minimum, the room where the original data were taken should have been analyzed, and pressure/air speed data for similar weather conditions should have been collected using several 3-axis ultrasonic anemometers (this is not as complicated as it sounds).”
        ###

        This is a joke, right? Measure wind speed inside the the officials room? Please tell us that you are joking.

        • Carrick
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

          mpainter:

          You do not know what you are talking about. Earth’s processes are not “invariant”, not a bit.

          I’m afraid you’re mistaken on all accounts here.

          Over the time scale that people do their measurements, the Earth processes are typically considered invariant. Seismologists spend quite a bit of time mapping out the arrival pattern where a new seismometer has been placed.

          Over the period of a few hours the atmosphere can change radically enough that the physics that drives heating/cooling processes can also change radically. You don’t see effects like this with the Earth.

          Unlike the Earth, the heating or cooling of an object in a room influences the air flow in it. This is one way of many ways that convection is nonlinear. The atmosphere is very messy different ways than seismologists typically deal with (temporal variations large enough to completely change the physics model you use is not something that seismologists typically have to deal with).

          Only if you pretend the building had no HVAC.

          As it happens, I’ve characterized it in my laboratory where I have my calibration equipment and can confirm it is a real effect.

          Unless you had a very specialized HVAC system, the temperature gradients will follow the pattern I’ve described. How do you suppose that, if we have the types of vertical thermal forcing that I’ve described, that vertical gradients wouldn’t get established?

          Fans tend to homogenize a room, but unless most dwellings don’t have the amount of circulation needed before you could ignore the types of effects I’ve described. This is by the way why a room gets stuffy on a hot afternoon even with working A/C and why it gets drafty at night on a cold winter night.

          And as it happens the locker room where the measurements were taken had no HVAC equipment.

          In fact, it is quite plausible that the Patriot’s balls did not warm. I believe that a simulation would show that they did not warm before being tested.

          It’s complexly implausible that they didn’t warm. Steve doesn’t make

          This is a joke, right? Measure wind speed inside the the officials room? Please tell us that you are joking.

          No it’s not a joke to use a high-resolution sonic anemometer such as the Gill R3 or the Campbell Scientific CSAT3 to measure room circulation patterns and its turbulence spectra in the inertial subrange.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

          I think, Carrick, that what you are trying to say is that the dynamics of the atmosphere are different from the dynamics of the earth and geologic processes. That I will agree to. But, believe me, geologic processes are not “invariant”, not in the sense that they lack variation. A clearer style of commenting would benefit you.

          But you seem to be saying that Steve’s approach is faulty, without giving any specifics: “fantasy football physics”.This is no contribution, but only a type of juvenile egoism based on put-downs of the the Poster.

          In fact, Steve has convincingly shown that Exponent’s analysis is not only faulty, but also partly a misrepresentation. You agree, do you not?

        • eloris
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

          Is it not the case that dinking around with things like airflow, etc, would only change the estimated rate of warming, not the starting point or ending point? Regardless of your HVAC system if the room is 72 degrees the ball ain’t gonna get warmer than that. Isn’t there already huge uncertainty as to the precise point on the transient that the balls would have reached?

        • Carrick
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

          mpainter:

          A clearer style of commenting would benefit you

          I think I was plenty clear enough for anybody who wasn’t just looking for a fight.

          “fantasy football physics”.This is no contribution, but only a type of juvenile egoism based on put-downs

          Careful how you frame this. Steve is rather prone to this turn of phrase himself (his titles are rife with similar wit). I bet he wishes he’d used this himself in reference to the Exponent’s group work, and would have if he had thought of it.

          In fact, Steve has convincingly shown that Exponent’s analysis is not only faulty, but also partly a misrepresentation. You agree, do you not?

          The way I’d put this is reality isn’t a democracy, so my opinion isn’t very valuable here. The Exponent analysis did what ever it did regardless of whether Steve has persuaded him, you or anybody else.

          What is important for me is what the Exponent group says in response. They should phrase a response that explains either that they made an error, or explain how Steve was wrong. Yes it is possible that Steve is wrong.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 7:23 AM | Permalink

          Carrick writes:

          Yes it is possible that Steve is wrong

          I am the first to be aware of the potential for error and mistake and try to avoid over-stating. I tried diligently to get Daniel Marlow of Princeton to look at the apparent misrepresentation. By coincidence, I have a (very eminent) friend in the Princeton Physics department and, despite being uninterested in football, he asked Marlow to respond, Marlow said that he would, but didn’t. My friend is quite disappointed at the lack of response.

          BTW I think that Carrick expresses himself well. I seldom have difficulty understanding his points (which I value) and, if there are points of misunderstanding, they are usually easy to clear up. It doesn’t mean that I always agree with him.

          While the lack of response can be due to other reasons, it increases, rather than decreases, my confidence in the point being right.

        • MikeN
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

          >This is a joke, right? Measure wind speed inside the the officials room?

          The report looks like they were trying to think up more tests to earn more money. I suspect they’d have done it if aware.

      • MikeN
        Posted Sep 10, 2015 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

        Carrick, do you agree that there would be a 1.5C increase in temperature inside the football when the referee reinflated?

        I am basing this on the formula for adiabatic expansion.

    • admkoz
      Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

      If the judge really thinks the Patriots are innocent, I hope somebody’s going to do something for the ‘little fish’ McNally and Jastremski who have been punished much more severely and can afford it much less.

      • mpainter
        Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

        MacNally and Jastremski were both fired by the Patriots just after May 6, I believe, at the release of the Wells Report.

        Of course, Jastremski had nothing to do with taking the balls into the bathroom, but he was fired. I have a feeling that we will hear more about this. MacNally, too, will want some justice. However, all depends on whether these people wise up to the job done on them by Exponent.

        Another issue: what about the $ million fine levied on the Patriots and their loss of draft picks? That still stands, it seems. This is another venue for getting the Exponent crowd, Marlow, Goodell, etc. before the bar.

        • MikeN
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

          The Patriots chose not to appeal.

      • Posted Sep 16, 2015 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

        According to this report, the two have been reinstated, with restrictions on their roles.

        Chris Simms believes this is evidence of Brady’s guilt.

    • Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

      Steve,
      Your article got onto WellsReportInContext.com, so perhaps you can get the following info past the folks who screen out unsolicited public input:

      The only reason the Exponent simulation (with ref’s recollected gauge) produced a higher pressure than the game-day Patriots’ balls was that the simulation freely exposed the footballs to air to warm up faster. Had the simulation been true to game-day events (balls kept in a bag), the simulation would have vindicated the Patriots. The issue was referenced by Professor Robert Blecker in his 8/31 op-ed that linked to http://www.BetterDialogue.com/Deflategate for the proof using Exponent’s own data and words.

      Please contact me at Robert.Young@BetterDialogue.com to discuss.
      -Rob

      • mpainter
        Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

        Carrick, we are here to help you out of your confusion.
        Brady has a contract with the New England Patriots, with contractual obligations toward them. Likewise, the Patriots have contractual obligations toward Brady, spelled out in that contract.
        Brady, as a member of the NFLPA, is subject to the CBA. Likewise, the NFL is subject to the CBA. To say that Brady has a contract with the NFL, with contractual obligations toward the NFL, is to say the converse, i.e., that the NFL has a contract with the players with contractual obligations toward them. Think about it. It shouldn’t be too difficult to understand the subtleties.
        Now, neither the NFL nor the NFLPA, nor did Judge Berman speak of violations of contract, or contracts, or contractual obligations, nor did anyone else in the media speak of Brady’s “contractual obligations” toward the NFL. That confused mental twist is yours and yours alone.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

          Wrongly nested, ignore.

    • Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

      PS: The only *apparently* credible reason for rejecting the ref’s recollection of the gauge used pre-game was that of all the gauges tested, only the ref’s logo gauge had the 3% bias. Thus if the gauge was highly unusual, it’s unlikely both Colts and Patriots had one like that, so since the ref’s gauge agreed with Patriots and Colts, one would question the ref’s recollection. The trick there was that Exponent acquired and tested only gauges identical to the one the ref said he did NOT use. Just like Honda’s had odometers that over-read by 2% and nobody noticed for a long time, it’s likely that the design of the logo gauge had a built-in 3% bias. Had exponent acquired only logo gauges, the non-logo gauge would likely have looked like the unusual one.

    • Follow the Money
      Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

      I read it. First thought, it contains a lot of NFL history via legal cases and the conduct of Taglibue–who is played out to be wise and reasonable, implicitly reflecting negatively on Gooddell. 2nd, the judge refers to the seemingly obvious conflict of interest of the NFL lawyers under the guise of inadequate documents production. I suppose that is a subtle twist of the verbal knife.

  21. Chris
    Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Steve:

    The bottom line is I don’t think Roger would have changed his mind if you were in there. He had his mind made up and that was that. Perhaps if it was before the original suspension but certainly not after. And Berman couldn’t rule on facts. He stayed in his decision he accepted Roger’s take on the facts.

    Chris

    • Carrick
      Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

      It’s my guess that the original punishment and the refusal to reduce it are both political decisions on Goodell’s part. This goes back to my comment of what I view as capricious behavior on the part of the NFL.

      • mpainter
        Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

        I recall that most of your criticism was directed at Brady on your presumption of his guilt and you accused him of violating his “contractual” obligations to the NFL, something that you simply made up.

        • Carrick
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

          You don’t recall correctly.

          I never assumed Brady’s guilt, and his contractual requirement to cooperate with the investigation is neither made up nor was it in dispute in the court hearings.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

          Carrick, your notion of contractual requirement by Brady toward the NFL is invented by you, purely and simply. Not even the NFL referred to contractual obligations by Brady. Judge Berman specifically cited in his ruling the NFL’s stance on the cooperation issue. He ruled against the NFL and in favor of Brady.

          I would suggest that if you improve your commenting style and tone down your polemics, you would greatly enhance your credibility.

        • Carrick
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

          mpainter, simply pointing out the obvious fact that the Judge ruled in favor of Brady isn’t evidence that Brady did nothing wrong. What the judge said was:

          The Award is premised upon several significant legal deficiencies, including (A) inadequate notice to Brady of both his potential discipline (four- game suspension) and his alleged misconduct; (B) denial of the opportunity for Brady to
          examine one oftwo lead investigators, namely NFL Executive Vice President and General
          Counsel Jeff Pash; and (C) denial of equal access to investigative files, including witness interview notes.

          Nowhere is it contested that players are bound by the CBA to cooperate with NFL investigations.

          Indeed further into the findings, the Judge states:

          In December 2010, the NFL fined Brett Favre $50,000- but did not suspend him- for obstruction of a League sexual harassment investigation. Although not entirely comparable to the present matter, this illustrates the NFL’s practice offining, not suspending a player, for serious violations of this type.

          Nowhere in his finding does the Judge question the legally of fining a player for obstruction.

          Further we have Brady himself acknowledging a failure to cooperate and admitting this to be an error.

          You might say in response that there is no specific wording that compels Brady to cooperate, but that’s not how business law works:

          It’s generally accepted that Article 46 of the CBA regarding the integrity of the game compels players cooperate with NFL investigations, because a failure to cooperate clearly is damages the integrity of the game. You don’t have to enumerate every possible way that somebody could undermine the integrity of the game, before that person can be held accountable for their actions.

          Brady knows this and admits to his error. The problem as the Judge frames it was that the fine was way in excess of what was warranted based on similar infractions, and because Brady was denied due process, rather arguing that an infraction never occurred.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

          Carrick,show the contract that you referred to by your statement “his contractual requirement to cooperate”. Do you imagine that your verbose deflection will fool others?

        • Carrick
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

          CBA 46 is a contractual requirement. Stop being a New England Patriots fanboy.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

          Carrick, we are here to help you out of your confusion.
          Brady has a contract with the New England Patriots, with contractual obligations toward them. Likewise, the Patriots have contractual obligations toward Brady, spelled out in that contract.
          Brady, as a member of the NFLPA, is subject to the CBA. Likewise, the NFL is subject to the CBA. To say that Brady has a contract with the NFL, with contractual obligations toward the NFL, is to say the converse, i.e., that the NFL has a contract with the players with contractual obligations toward them. Think about it. It shouldn’t be too difficult to understand the subtleties.
          Now, neither the NFL nor the NFLPA, nor did Judge Berman speak of violations of contract, or contracts, or contractual obligations, nor did anyone else in the media speak of Brady’s “contractual obligations” toward the NFL. That confused mental twist is yours and yours alone.

        • Carrick
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

          mpainter, you are making a distinction without a difference here:

          CBAs are regulations that govern the relationship between employer and employee. So in which Patriots fanboy universe isn’t compliance with the CBA part of an NFL players contractual responsibilities?

          Don’t bother answering, I’ve lost interest.

          Bye.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 6, 2015 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

          mpainter
          Posted Sep 2, 2015 at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Reply
          And it appears Brady was victimized, deliberately. Funny, before deflategate, I never gave a hoot about Brady nor the NE Patriots. I have never been within a thousand miles of Boston. Now I feel great disgust toward Goodell and his sordid machinations.

          ###
          My interest is in rigorous science and clear thinking. Never lose interest. Your “fanboy” epithet misses by a wide margin.

        • MikeN
          Posted Sep 7, 2015 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

          Article 46 of the CBA deals with discipline by the Commissioner, not player conduct. I see nothing in it that says a player must cooperate with an investigation.

        • MikeN
          Posted Sep 7, 2015 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

          https://nfllabor.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/collective-bargaining-agreement-2011-2020.pdf

        • MikeN
          Posted Sep 7, 2015 at 9:49 AM | Permalink

          “Player recognizes the detriment to the League and professional football that would result from impairment of public confidence in the honest and orderly conduct of NFL games or the integrity and good character of NFL players.
          Player therefore acknowledges his awareness that if he accepts a bribe or agrees to throw or fix an NFL game; fails to promptly report a bribe offer or an attempt to throw or fix an NFL game; bets on an NFL game; knowingly associates with gamblers or gambling activity; uses or provides other players with stimulants or other drugs for the purpose of attempting to enhance on-field performance; or is guilty of any other form of conduct
          reasonably judged by the League Commissioner to be detrimental to the League or professional football, …”

          To Carrick this means hand over your phone.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 7, 2015 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

          “To Carrick this means hand over your phone.”
          ###
          As a contractual obligation, no less.

  22. eloris
    Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    Summarizing what I think on this:

    1) McIntyre clearly shows (though I haven’t independently verified this, but the reasoning looks correct) that there was a scenario under which environmental factors could explain the pressure drop. He is right that Exponent should admit this, and retract any statements to the contrary. It is a disgrace that they have not.

    2) But he then takes it a step further and de facto argues for Brady’s innocence on the grounds that this scenario is the “most plausible”. That seems much more questionable.

    His scenario is the NFL used the biased-high gauge just for the Patriots prior to the game, and not for the Colts. Exponent rejected this for several dumb reasons but the one that is hard to argue with is that the measured Patriot results apparently match those obtained by the Patriots themselves, meaning that for this scenario to hold the Patriots would have to be using a gauge with a similar bias.

    Given that he argues against intentional deflation on the grounds that it is unlikely the Patriots “conspired to deflate balls by an amount exactly equal to the intergauge bias” it seems equally unlikely that they just so happened to have a gauge that had the exact same bias as the Logo gauge.

    I note that if they did use such a gauge, then they did, in fact, provide balls that were out of compliance pre-game and the officials didn’t notice because their gauge was biased high.

    He comes several times back to the point of the unlikeliness that they deflated by exactly the intergauge bias, and that seems weak to me too, because it assumes that we know both that bias and the temperature the balls were measured to an implausible degree of precision. Maybe I’m wrong on this because I haven’t run the numbers, but if that gauge bias is determined by comparing the two ref’s halftime readings then it varied by as much as 0.15 psi just during that series of measurements alone.

    Finally if we’re actually arguing for the Patriot’s innocence then all the other non-scientific evidence comes in too, which is what the Wells Report really spent its time discussing.

    In short if the standard is “more likely than not” I am not convinced that intentional deflation doesn’t meet it. (I am glad it isn’t my decision.)

    Maybe they should have had the CSI team investigate the bathroom to find out if McNally in fact made use of the facilities while he was in there. Couldn’t have cost more resources than have already been spent on this.

    • Carrick
      Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

      elof:

      1) McIntyre clearly shows (though I haven’t independently verified this, but the reasoning looks correct) that there was a scenario under which environmental factors could explain the pressure drop. He is right that Exponent should admit this, and retract any statements to the contrary. It is a disgrace that they have not.

      Not quite. The Exponent report already acknowledge that they can’t demonstrate that the footballs were deflated beyond any reasonable doubt. The existence of a scenario where the footballs were deflated does tell us anything new in that case, so there’s nothing to retract.

      2) But he then takes it a step further and de facto argues for Brady’s innocence on the grounds that this scenario is the “most plausible”. That seems much more questionable.

      I’d go as far to say that Steve’s physical assumptions are wrong. I called them “fantasy football physics” on another thread. To be fair, Steve appears to be basing his physics assumptions on the Exponential report.

      But given that e goes on to criticize the Exponent report as badly done, it’s frankly bizarre that Steve’s going to base his physics models on the Exponential report.

      This all goes back to the issue between plausibility vs implausibility: Badly done measurements are much less likely to rule out a particular hypothesis than well done ones.

      • mpainter
        Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

        Carrick you say “The existence of a scenario where the footballs were deflated does tell us anything new in that case, so there’s nothing to retract.”
        ###
        As Steve showed, Exponent faulty transient regarding ball initialization with the Logo gauge requires a corrigendum and conclusions based on that faulty curve need to be retracted.

        You also say
        “I’d go as far to say that Steve’s physical assumptions are wrong. I called them “fantasy football physics” on another thread.”
        ###

        Here you seem to be indulging your penchant for extravagant statement. I think that if you have greater comprehension skills and less egoism, you would not make such statements.

        You also say
        “But given that [h]e goes on to criticize the Exponent report as badly done, it’s frankly bizarre that Steve’s going to base his physics models on the Exponential report.”
        ###
        ?? Steve did not perform any simulations. He criticized Exponents methods assumptions, and conclusions in their simulations and demonstrated their faults.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

          As Steve showed, Exponent faulty transient regarding ball initialization with the Logo gauge requires a corrigendum and conclusions based on that faulty curve need to be retracted.

          Carrick, that’s a key point and obviously one that I emphasized. You can complain about “fantasy” physics, but that doesn’t justify Exponent’s misrepresentation of their “Logo” simulation. As I pointed out, if they had done the simulation that they claimed to have done, the transients would have been lower and the contradiction disappeared. In my Op Ed as submitted, I used strongly language than the final publication e.g. misrepresentation, but the newspaper asked that the language be made less accusatory and I agreed. Surely, you can agree on the narrow point that Exponent misrepresented the simulations in Figures 26, 27 and 30 (not argued in my Op Ed but in prior CA posts) and that they ought to have issued a corrigendum.

          I’ve speculated that such a corrigendum from Exponent would have made the entire controversy disappear. The more water under the bridge, the more embarrassing the mistake.

        • Carrick
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

          To be fair the “fantasy football physics” was initiated by the Exponent report.

          I do feel that their failure to respond to pertinent criticisms undermines their credibility, regardless of any legal requirements that JD brings up.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

        Carrick, I didn’t actually base my final position on the Exponent simulations other than their estimate of the differential between wet and dry balls at halftime. I used Colt balls (placed late in the intermission) to benchmark and made no use of information from the simulations. I don’t think that this approach is as unreasonable as you argue.

        • Carrick
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

          Okay.

          I would have used their work as a baseline for what to expect.

          But I think it’s a mistake to assume the Indy and Patriot footballs would absorb the same amount of moisture in their skins, based on what is commonly known about the differences in the way the footballs are treated by the two teams.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

      You say:

      Given that he argues against intentional deflation on the grounds that it is unlikely the Patriots “conspired to deflate balls by an amount exactly equal to the intergauge bias” it seems equally unlikely that they just so happened to have a gauge that had the exact same bias as the Logo gauge.

      I’m aware of this issue and didn’t discuss in the op ed because of space reasons. I was at word limit and couldn’t deal with some issues that I wanted to. The point has been discussed on a number of occasions and was discussed in more detail in my letter to Marlow.

      Exponent’s case on this point was based on the apparent matching of pregame measurements of both Patriots and Colts. However, if Anderson switched gauges between PAtriot and Colt balls, then Colt match is irrelevant and it is only the Patriot match that matters.

      We know that Anderson’s older gauge had gone out of compliance over time. Could the same thing have happened with the Patriot gauge? Seems entirely possible to me. The logical thing would have been to test the Patriot gauge, which was in the possession of the NFL at halftime. The NFL seems to have lost or misplaced the gauge subsequently. The Wells Report went to great pains to avoid the slightest criticism of the NFL and did not raise this embarrassment. Exponent’s gauge testing program was ludicrous. They acquired numerous copies of new Non-Logo gauges and determined that new Non-Logo gauges were not as off as Anderson’s older Logo gauge. However, the testing program proved nothing about older gauges. Also, Exponent observed that the gauges went further off compliance during the testing program itself.

      A second issue was Patriot gloving. Exponent convincingly showed that the gloving increased ball temperature and pressure, but that the effect would have worn off by the time that the referees did their measurements. Somewhere in the documents, they mention that they gloved the balls much more intensely on this occasion because of the bad weather – Brady reverting to a practice of Jastemski’s predecessor. While the effect would have worn off by the time that Anderson measured the balls, the report doesn’t say when Patriots measured the balls. If they measured the balls while they were still warm, they could have done so with a correct gauge and got 12.5 psig because the balls were still warm. On this scenario, the underinflation would have been picked up if Anderson had used a correct gauge, but it was a comedy of errors.

      Once again, counting very strongly against surreptitious washroom deflation in my opinion is the very variability that the Wells Report used to argue for it. The washroom simulations produced twice as much deflation as existed and did not produce the large observed variability. So something else is needed to explain the variability, as I argued here and elsewhere.

      • jst1
        Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 8:23 AM | Permalink

        “The NFL seems to have lost or misplaced the gauge subsequently.”

        It’s sitting right next to Brady’s old phone.

  23. EdeF
    Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    “Their technical expert had a good resume, but his points were easily rebutted. He’d have been better off making my arguments (though with an expert with lots of letters behind his name who understood the arguments.)”

    The name Steve McIntyre is sufficient.

  24. eloris
    Posted Sep 3, 2015 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    I think that if you find McIntyre’s arguments about 71F/Logo gauge plausible then yes, some of the Wells Report statements have to be heavily modified if not retracted, for instance:

    “the reduction in pressure of the Patriots game balls cannot be explained completely by basic scientific principles” – they use the weasel word “likely” but “likely” means something different when there is a plausible scenario.

    A couple paragraphs down this is even stronger:

    “According to Exponent **regardless of the assumptions made with respect to the gauges used pre-game and at half-time** the measurements recorded… cannot be explained.”

    IF McIntyre’s calculations are correct, this statement is wholly, black-and-white false, since it does not include any weasel words which allow them to rule out the 71F/Logo Gauge initialization.

    “Exponent.. could identify no set of credible environmental factors that completely accounts for.. ”

    Again with the weasel word “credible”, but they imply they ruled out 71F/Logo Gauge and they didn’t.

    This is just in the executive summary, not getting into the Exponent report itself but it is also full of such statements.

    Finally, McIntyre shows that the simulation they claimed was of Logo Gauge initialization actually wasn’t.

    That they haven’t either responded or retracted this is a disgrace.

    You said McIntyre’s physical assumptions were wrong, and I have no clue about that, but so far as I can tell what matters here is him making basically the same assumptions as Exponent and just actually executing the calculations correctly.

    You’re saying “the physical evidence doesn’t prove innocence”, and I agree, but the report strongly implies that the physical evidence proves guilt and I think that’s not warranted.

  25. jddohio
    Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

    I think a lot of people are missing an important element of this situation. Yes, the NFL botched the investigation, and its leadership is a bunch of lunkheads. However, there is strong circumstantial evidence that McNally tampered with the balls. On two occasions shortly after the game, he claimed he didn’t know why he took the balls out of the locker room unaccompanied by the officials — a thoroughly unbelievable statement to me. Second, the officials present at the game stated that it was the NFL’s practice not to permit game balls to leave the officials room without the officials being present. I don’t see anywhere where any officials or other teams have disputed this point. If this is true, it is very damaging to the Patriots and Brady. (To avoid going over the details again, I would direct people to my commentary here: https://climateaudit.org/2015/07/03/ruling-out-high-deflation-scenarios/

    The largest point I would make is that it is very possible that McNally took the balls to the bathroom and incompetently deflated them. If that happened, it should still be a punishable offense — it would be akin to attempted burglary under criminal law for instance. However, the very strong circumstantial evidence against the Patriots (and by implication Brady) doesn’t matter that much because the NFL bungled the investigation.

    JD

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

      There was no obligation of rule requiring an official to accompany the ball attendant onto the playing field. MacNally may have confused by the questions, since the interrogator put the question in such a manner as to imply there was such a rule.You seem to be fashioning a hangman’s noose based on MacNally’s trifling inconsistencies.

      • jddohio
        Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

        MPainter:

        “You seem to be fashioning a hangman’s noose based on MacNally’s trifling inconsistencies.”

        They are huge inconsistencies. Very close to the time an important function of your job was performed, you don’t forget why you did it.

        JD

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

          It is very plausible that MacNally was thinking of an urgent personal requirement when he took those balls. I think you need to put aside your magnifying glass and reflect a bit.

        • Eric Barnes
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

          And he forgot about it? Please.

        • chuckrr
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

          JD …could you read us the transcripts of those statements by McNally and the investigators so we could know the context?

          Steve: we’ve already been over this on another thread.

        • chuckrr
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

          Steve..I know, I was just trying to make a point. A little to cryptically probably.

        • MikeN
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

          Chuck, I pointed it out in the 1st thread, and I missed it.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

      JD, in my post, I’ve tried to focus attention on a step that Exponent and others omitted: if the Non-Logo gauge was used and McNally deflated the footballs, what is the best estimate of how much deflation actually took place? If one believes that there is evidence of deflation, then it ought to be possible to make this estimate. I’ve tried to estimate this as objectively as I can and my conclusion – as argued in an earlier post and stated in the Op Ed – was that it would be 0.38 psi for the majority of Patriot balls, none for two balls and an inflation of 0.5 psi for one ball. I believe that deflation of (say) 1 psi is contradicted by the information, even though the information is very inadequate (as Carrick reminds us forcefully).

      Do you have any dispute with my estimates, especially the 0.38 psi number? One of the reasons for quantification is to make analysis more precise and scientific and to see if otherwise plausible positions hold up.

      • jddohio
        Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

        Steve, I have no disputes with your estimates per se because it is beyond my expertise and you have always done high quality work. I am simply saying there is an additional perspective to this matter.

        JD

        • Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

          I’m left wondering what the Report would have said, if jddohio had led the investigation (rather than Wells) & Steve McIntyre had been appointed to look into the science (rather than Exponent).

    • MikeN
      Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

      JD, have you given any consideration to the idea that the quotes in question are quotations of notes from an interview, and not direct quotes of McNally?

  26. jddohio
    Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 12:20 AM | Permalink

    Also, there has been a lot of comment on mistakes made by expert witnesses. Under Civ. R. 26(b) reports made by expert witnesses are considered to be work product and are privileged. For example Rule 26(b)(4)(C) states:

    “(C) Trial-Preparation Protection for Communications Between a Party’s Attorney and Expert Witnesses. Rules 26(b)(3)(A) and (B) protect communications between the party’s attorney and any witness required to provide a report under Rule 26(a)(2)(B), regardless of the form of the communications, except to the extent that the communications:

    (i) relate to compensation for the expert’s study or testimony;

    (ii) identify facts or data that the party’s attorney provided and that the expert considered in forming the opinions to be expressed; or

    (iii) identify assumptions that the party’s attorney provided and that the expert relied on in forming the opinions to be expressed.”

    The point of bringing up the work product privilege is that it is part and parcel of a system where expert witnesses are essentially considered employees of the attorney who hires them; the expert is not a completely unbiased source of information. That being the case, you can’t expect the expert to correct any mistakes made without the concurrence of the attorney who hired the expert.

    JD

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

      The expectation is in personal integrity, as in the case of a university professor who teaches, such as Daniel Marlow. Or credibility, as in adherence to acceptable practices. Exponent, in another case, has defied a court order in a mesothelioma case. This case was touched on here.

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

      Also, the notion that a scientist may not be required to reveal sources or methodologies is repugnant. The Illinois judge thought so in the mesothelioma case.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

      JD, a question about work product. The NFL said that the Wells Report was an “independent” report. Presumably, in producing the report, Wells was not acting as “attorney” for the NFL. What impact does that have on privilege attaching to Exponent’s documents? Berman’s judgement, as I understand it, took the position that Brady was entitled to see underlying documents. The irony of the NFL penalizing Brady for supposed non-cooperation while themselves withholding documents from Brady does not seem to have been lost on the judge or on many commenters.

      Also, aside from civil rules, Exponent, as professional engineers, are governed by a Code of Ethics.

      Rule III(3) says:

      3.Engineers shall avoid all conduct or practice that deceives the public.
      a. Engineers shall avoid the use of statements containing a material misrepresentation of fact or omitting a material fact…

      Rule III(1) says:

      1.Engineers shall be guided in all their relations by the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
      a. Engineers shall acknowledge their errors and shall not distort or alter the facts.

      If, as I surmise, Exponent’s report contains a misrepresentation of the gauge used in their “Logo” simulations, then their Code of Ethics requires them to have avoided the error in the first place and to acknowledge and the error.

      You note that Exponent’s duty lies first with its client. Thus, Exponent would presumably be required to first notify Wells of their error. I presume that legal codes of ethics would require Wells to acknowledge the error. If Wells failed to publicly disclose the error, that would leave Exponent in a difficult spot, but it seems to me that they would, at some point, have an obligation to publicly acknowledge the error if Wells persisted in not disclosing it.

      • mpainter
        Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

        Steve makes the case very cogently. Do you have any insight into the legal implications of such behavior, JD? I am also interested in the instance of Daniel Marlow, who testified at the Brady appeal before Roger Goodell. Would he have any liabilities in remaining quiet after acknowledging receipt of Steve’s email? Perhaps some University code of conduct applies in his case (he is Professor of Physics at Princeton).

        • jddohio
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

          Mpainter “Would he [Marlow] have any liabilities in remaining quiet after acknowledging receipt of Steve’s email?”

          I am very doubtful that that would be the case. Marlow is essentially an employee hired by an attorney during litigation. His first duty is to comply with the terms of his engagement by the attorney. It is possible that Princeton may have some rules that would govern his behavior, but I have no idea what they would be.

          JD

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

          From the Code of Conduct of Princeton University:

          Academic Integrity
          The ability of the University to achieve its purposes depends upon the quality and integrity of the academic work that its faculty, staff, and students perform. Academic freedom can flourish only in a community of scholars which recognizes that intellectual integrity, with its accompanying rights and responsibilities, lies at the heart of its mission. Observing basic honesty in one’s work, words, ideas, and actions is a principle to which all members of the community are required to subscribe.

          Did Daniel Marlow inform Ted Wells of his email from Steve? Did he communicate his opinion? This is not privilege, since it was an “independent” investigation and Brady is entitled to this information, according to Berman’s ruling, it seems.

          If Daniel Marlow ignored Steve’s email, is he observing “basic honesty in his work, words, ideas and actions”? I wonder what might be the procedure for filing a complaint at Princeton.

        • eloris
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

          jdd, you’re saying he’s an expert witness for one side. But the Wells Report was supposed to be an impartial report, not one side’s brief. Who, then, does have an obligation to fairly evaluate the evidence?

        • jddohio
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 8:48 PM | Permalink

          Eloris: “jdd, you’re saying he’s an expert witness for one side. But the Wells Report was supposed to be an impartial report, not one side’s brief. Who, then, does have an obligation to fairly evaluate the evidence?”

          The judge.

          JD

        • Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

          But JD, as I understand it, the judge did *not* evaluate the evidence of (a)whether there had been tampering and (b)whether Brady had any involvement in, or awareness of, tampering. He ruled solely on whether the procedure was fatally flawed by the NFL withholding evidence/witnesses from Brady, and whether the punishment was disproportionate to the alleged offense and to previous NFL practice. So nobody fairly evaluated the evidence.

          It is now rumored that the owners will consider changes to the current disciplinary system, which (based on this case) is well overdue.

        • jddohio
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

          HaroldW “So nobody fairly evaluated the evidence.”

          True. However, if the evidence were to be evaluated, it is the judge’s job to be impartial. It is also the judge’s job to evaluate the procedural questions impartially.

          JD

      • jddohio
        Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

        Steve M: “The NFL said that the Wells Report was an “independent” report. Presumably, in producing the report, Wells was not acting as “attorney” for the NFL. What impact does that have on privilege attaching to Exponent’s documents?”

        Because this is not simple litigation with a plaintiff opposed by a defendant, this is a very subtle question. If truly independent (which is not my sense) then the privilege would be circumscribed. My point is not that Rule 26 absolutely applies but that when you are dealing with experts hired during litigation, the first issue to address is work product, which can be both by rule and by common law.

        Steve M: “If, as I surmise, Exponent’s report contains a misrepresentation of the gauge used in their “Logo” simulations, then their Code of Ethics requires them to have avoided the error in the first place and to acknowledge and the error.”

        Your point about the Engineer Code of Ethics is very interesting and could lead to a conflict between the work produce rule and the code of ethics. Under the law, an expert cannot lie, but, as can anyone, an expert can make a mistake. If the original mistake was honest, then under the law, the expert and the attorney can state that the original report was made in good faith and we have nothing more to say. Under the law, other than being honest, the expert has no obligation to the public — his duty is to the client and attorney hiring him. (Of course, in practice many attorney hired experts are extremely biased although not technically liars.) From my standpoint, I see no obstacle to whoever enforces the Code of Ethics to apply it an engineer who gave defective testimony. Don’t know to what extent an honest mistake would excuse the engineer. From what you quoted an engineer who gives mistaken testimony as part of legal proceedings, could be between a rock and a hard place.

        • j ferguson
          Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

          jdohio,

          Engineer Code of Ethics? Is this understood to be anything beyond a guideline established in one form or another by various engineering professional societies, NSPE for one?

          Would a court assume that such a code governed the giving of testimony?

          Steve,

          How would reference to this Code alter the obligation of a witness providing engineering or technical testimony? Aren’t the ordinary obligations for testimony sufficient?

          Steve: Exponent’s report to Wells wasn’t “testimony”; it was an engineering report. Engineers are subject to a professional code of conduct, a code that appears to me to be more demanding on misrepresentations than academic codes – you may recall the discussion of “fudging” with Pielke Jr, who observed that it would be well nigh impossible to prove academic misconduct for over-selling one’s findings e.g. by failing to report adverse verification r2 statistics. I do not believe that the same would apply to engineers under their code. I strongly believe that it would be mandatory for a professional engineer to acknowledge error and correct a misrepresentation of the Logo simulations.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

          Steve, you say
          ” I strongly believe that it would be mandatory for a professional engineer to acknowledge error and correct a misrepresentation of the Logo simulations.”
          ###

          I agree, if he were aware, or made aware, of the error. But it seems less likely that Exponent will ever be made to answer. I would like to see that, but the main possibility that I see is if Brady sues for defamation, which does not appear likely at this point.

          I can see one more slim chance of getting this to court.Concerning the sanctions against the Patriots ($ one million fine, loss of two draft picks) Joseph Kraft will probably appeal to the owners at the next meeting, and failing there, might take his grievance to court.

        • j ferguson
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

          Steve:

          Engineers are subject to a professional code of conduct, a code that appears to me to be more demanding on misrepresentations than academic codes …

          “subject to”? How? How are they made subject to this code?

          I don’t at all doubt that the code of conduct to which you refer is a very good thing, but as far as I can tell it (and similar efforts) are creations of professional societies and may not be binding on anyone not a member of such a society. It is possible to practice engineering, even as a chartered or Professional Engineer without belonging to one of these clubs.

          I concede that architecture is a somewhat less acute activity than engineering, but in the fourteen states in which I was licensed before i came to my senses, i cannot remember any whose regulations contained a “code of conduct” or anything like it.

          Maybe one of the many engineers who read here can correct my view on this.

          I found the professional societies in which I participated to be more directed, as noted by Adam Smith, to conspiring against the common interest – my words, not his.

          I suppose if you engaged an Engineering firm whose principals were members of the NSPE, National Society of Professional Engineers, you might be able to gain some headway in a dispute if some element of the NSPE Code of Conduct had not been observed, maybe even in court. Could this have been what you were thinking?

          Steve: good point. I recall the witty Adam Smith quote.

        • jddohio
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

          J Ferguson: “I concede that architecture is a somewhat less acute activity than engineering, but in the fourteen states in which I was licensed before i came to my senses, i cannot remember any whose regulations contained a “code of conduct” or anything like it.”

          I am certainly no expert in this area, but in the law quite often local bar associations are the entities charged with initially investigating and prosecuting legal ethical violations. It is possible that whoever licenses engineers has adopted the Engineering Code of Ethics and that anyone who violated the Code could be subjected to discipline and possibly the loss of an engineering license.

          JD

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

          J. Ferguson,
          You raise some interesting questions. A visit to their website says only that they adhere to ISO 9001, which is a management standard, apparently.

          However, they are contractors under GSA, (General Services administration), a US Gov. administrative office, registered as Professional Engineering Service. Here you will find the standards that Exponent claims to adhere to, I bet.

          Or you can email Exponent and simply ask.

      • jddohio
        Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

        I have answers to a couple of Steve’s questions, but my reply is in moderation.

        JD

    • MikeN
      Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

      So would NFL and Wells have obligation to reveal exculpatory evidence to Tom Brady?

  27. Chris
    Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

    On the science of all of this, it seems to me, based on my understanding, this is a possible way to explain the results with no tampering:

    – Patriots balls were set with logo gauge. Thus, logo gauge at halftime matched gas law.

    – Colts balls set with non-logo gauge. Thus, non-logo gauge at halftime matched gas law.

    If that’s all it takes to make sense of things, how can you possibly conclude there is ‘significant’ evidence of tampering? We know Anderson thinks he used the logo gauge on the Pats balls. Since ex-ante no one knew to care about what gauge was used to measure the balls, there is a 50% chance he used the non-logo for colts balls.

  28. MikeN
    Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    Exponent concluded that the referees switched gauges based on the measured data. Shouldn’t they conclude that Anderson did so as well?

    What if you rerun the analysis by assuming there was no switch of gauges by the referees?

    • admkoz
      Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

      Then there are two gauges. When measuring the exact same ball, sometimes the first gauge is 0.25 – 0.45 psi higher, and sometimes the other is. Switching gauges seems like a pretty solid deduction.

      • MikeN
        Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

        So is the deduction that Anderson switched gauges.

        • admkoz
          Posted Sep 8, 2015 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

          There’s not nearly as clear evidence as there is for the gauge switch at halftime, wherein two officials were standing right next to each other testing balls. Consistently, one guy was 0.3-0.4 psi higher than the other, except one time that was reversed. So we conclude they switched gauges.

          Pre-game Anderson never measured the same ball with both gauges so we have no way to know which one he was using at any given time.

        • MikeN
          Posted Sep 8, 2015 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

          Without the data recorded, they would probably have said that there was no way they switched gauges. We have data suggesting a gauge switch by Anderson that was written down, the halftime data.

  29. MikeN
    Posted Sep 4, 2015 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    While I would look to credit Steve for the judge’s decision, I suspect the real influence is Bob Kraft. Ever since Goodell upheld Brady’s suspension, Kraft has been at war. Yahoo has been repeatedly posting in favor of the Patriots.

  30. jddohio
    Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    A number of people have asked good questions pertaining to the duties of the parties, experts and witnesses that are probably based upon an incorrect premise.

    NFL v. Brady is purely a private civil dispute between Brady, the NFL and the Player’s Union. It is analogous to 2 parties who are adjoining landowners who go to court over the correct placement of a fence. Their dispute is private, but since it goes to court, the court proceedings are matters of public record that anyone can access through the clerk’s office.

    NFL v. Brady should be contrasted with matters of public interest involving the government. For instance, in criminal prosecutions, the public has an interest that wrongdoers be punished and that innocent people not be convicted. The government is a party asserting a public interest. The government and government employees primary interest is that justice be done and that the truth come out. In a private case, such as Brady v. NFL each party’s interest is to be victorious. Neither party has a direct interest that the truth prevail, although of course, the party (if there is one) that has truth on its side does want the truth to come out.

    JD

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

      JD, you say
      “Neither party has a direct interest that the truth prevail, although of course, the party (if there is one) that has truth on its side does want the truth to come out”
      ###

      Truth is not on the side of the Exponent Report, which smacks of a rigged game, believe me. The work that Steve has done on this shows that very well.

    • MikeN
      Posted Sep 7, 2015 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

      JD, can you explain the NFL’s basis for bringing the suit, rather than the Players Union? We know the real reason was to stay away from Minnesota, but what is their claimed reason?

      • jddohio
        Posted Sep 7, 2015 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

        to get a judgment to enforce the arbitration agreement.

  31. Posted Sep 6, 2015 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    It’s not just footballs … Today’s F1 race at Monza ended with some pressing questions.

    An FIA investigation into Mercedes’ starting tyre pressures made for an extraordinary end to the day at Monza, with the result uncertain for some time after the chequered flag fell. Was there any trickery – and were the Silver Arrows lucky to avoid punishment? Not according to the stewards, nor indeed Mercedes-Benz’ head of motorsport, Toto Wolff, who says the entire issue centred around procedural uncertainty rather than anything underhand…

    http://www.formula1.com/content/fom-website/en/latest/interviews/2015/9/tot-wolff-monza-tyre-rules-confusion-wrongdoing.html

    Maybe Steve should join the F1 circuit.

    • MikeN
      Posted Sep 9, 2015 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

      My initial reaction to the deflator texts was that they were taking the air out of someone’s tires. Mainly because of ‘Not going to ESPN yet’. Doesn’t make sense he would go to ESPN to report on football deflation.

  32. MikeN
    Posted Sep 7, 2015 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Comparing the two gauges, one is twice as long as the other, which they obscured by moving the ruler. They also put one at an angle so the amount of bend is less visible. Has Michael Mann thought of these?

    http://www.robertblecker.com/deflategate-the-smoking-gun/

  33. MikeN
    Posted Sep 10, 2015 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

    A commenter at backpicks says the Wells Report has the Colts inflating in their stadium 2 days prior. The temperature difference combined with the error in the non-Logo gauge should have led it to read below 13.0 for the Colts balls, and should thus be disqualified.

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 10, 2015 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

      ? At what temperature were the Colts balls inflated? I don’t follow your meaning. Were not the Colt’s balls allowed to equilibrium at the Patriot’s stadium?

      • MikeN
        Posted Sep 10, 2015 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

        The Patriots and Colts equipment rooms would have been temperature controlled, and a little warmer than the shower room.
        The claim is that they inflated in their stadium, then brought the inflated balls.

  34. Posted Sep 15, 2015 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Fox’s take on DeflateGate.

  35. jddohio
    Posted Sep 22, 2015 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

    Before this post becomes history, some of the commenters may be interested in a very long article in Espn that was highly critical of both Goodell and the Patriots. The basic thrust of the article was that the Patriots had a huge spying operation and that during the Spygate operation Goodell destroyed the tapes proving the extent of the spying for no good reason. See http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/13533995/split-nfl-new-england-patriots-apart

    Some of the more interesting quotes are: “At his pre-Super Bowl news conference on Feb. 1, 2008, Goodell insisted the Patriots’ taping was “quite limited” and “not something done on a widespread basis,” contradicting what Belichick had told him. Goodell was asked how many tapes the league had reviewed, and destroyed, the previous September. “I believe there were six tapes,” the commissioner replied, “and I believe some were from the preseason in 2007, and the rest were primarily in the late 2006 season.”\

    The Patriots had spied far more often than that, of course, but Specter didn’t know it at the time. All he knew was that he didn’t buy Goodell’s explanation for destroying the tapes — that he didn’t want to create an uneven playing field. “You couldn’t sell that in kindergarten,” Specter said.”

    *********

    “When [Senator Arlen] Specter pressed Goodell on the speed of the investigation and his decision to destroy evidence, Goodell became “defensive” and had “the overtone of something to hide” according to notes taken by Danny Fisher, a counsel on Sen. Specter’s Judiciary Committee staff and the lead investigator on the Spygate inquiry. “No valid reason to destroy,” Specter wrote in his own notes, which are archived as the Senator Arlen Specter Papers at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Goodell assured Specter that “most teams do not believe there is an advantage” from the taping, a comment contradicted by the outraged public and private remarks of many players and coaches, then and now. “Even if Belichick figured out the signals,” Goodell insisted, “there is not sufficient time to call in the play.” The senator seethed that Goodell seemed completely uninterested in whether a single game had been compromised.”

    The article marginally helps New England with respect to Deflategate,[by saying that Deflategate punishment was a make up call for the failure to render adequate punishment for Spygate) but in the bigger picture paints New England as a successful cheater mistrusted by many other NFL teams. It also paints Goodell in a very poor light.

    JD

    Steve: I didn’t follow Spygate, but there are some articles that argue that there was no rule against trying to pick up signals and that New England was wrongly punished at the time. Goodell was then fairly new and given more credibility than he appears to deserve. Steph Stradley, a lawyer in Houston who writes a sensible blog, has followed these cases for a long time and believes that the NFL has been unjust at almost every turn, not just or even particularly New England. She says that New Orleans’ Bountygate is just as bad/worse on NFL.

    • jddohio
      Posted Sep 23, 2015 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

      Steve,

      I am not defending the NFL. I called them lunkheads previously. However, I feel that what we have here is similar to 2 pigs rolling in the mud. I think there is very substantial evidence that McNally tampered with the balls, but the NFL’s investigation was grossly incompetent.

      I referred to Spygate in substantial measure to draw attention to Goodell destroying the evidence of the Patriots spying shortly after beginning an investigation. There are very few innocent explanations for this, and his was laughable.

      Also, I think Goodell’s lifetime ban on players convicted of domestic violence is an invitation to extort NFL players. Any woman can now accuse an NFL player of domestic violence and put millions of dollars of salary at risk. Although domestic violence is a serious issue, there are occasions where most people would agree that it doesn’t merit a life time ban. For instance, Carlos Hyde of OSU missed 2 games several years ago as a result of a small shove of a young woman who was harassing him in a bar. Urban Meyer said that if Hyde had been prosecuted (he wasn’t), Hyde would have been kicked off of the team. Several months ago, J T Barrett of OSU called the police to ask them to evict his ex-girlfriend from his apartment. Several minutes later the girlfriend called 911 alleging that Barrett had hit her.

      My point in bringing this up is that Goodell is making the players pay for his embarrassing mistake of not assessing a stiff enough penalty on Ray Rice. He has gone way overboard.

      JD

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 23, 2015 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

      Regarding Spygate, it escapes me how deciphering opponent’s signals is something punishable or even condemnable. If it were me, I would engage an encypherment specialist to help. And filming the bench of the opposing team is a violation? Baffling, comical, risible. You will never get me to believe that this is not long established standard NFL tactics, to decipher signals from the bench.

      • jddohio
        Posted Sep 23, 2015 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

        MP “Regarding Spygate, it escapes me how deciphering opponent’s signals is something punishable or even condemnable.”

        From Wikipedia: “In a September 2006 memorandum sent out by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson, though, all teams were told that “videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent’s offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches’ booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game.” Also, Belichick acknowledged the rule as noted by wikipedia: “Belichick issued a statement in which he apologized for what he called a “mistake” in his interpretation of the rules. However, he denied ever using videotape to gain an advantage while a game was underway, which Goodell also acknowledged.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_New_England_Patriots_videotaping_controversy

        Should add that I have also stumbled on a recent article where a former NFL official stated that McNally had acted very weirdly and that he (the official) had complained about it. He stated: ““I always thought he was an unusual dude,’’ Baltz said. “Most locker room guys, they sit there and if you need something, they got it for you. When you left the locker room, you’d lock the door and they’d stay right there. The other 31 teams, that’s what they would do. That was his job.

        “But McNally, he was running all around like a chicken with his head cut off. Asking for the balls early. What I specifically reported him for several years ago, and I thought this was really unusual, he’d run out on the field with the footballs before the game and the next thing you know, he’s playing pitch-and-catch with [Tom] Brady. Then, next thing, he’s on the sidelines right next to [Bill] Belichick, like he’s a [bleeping] assistant coach or something.” See http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/09/17/former-nfl-official-reported-mcnally-six-or-eight-years-ago/
        This official can be criticized for going public very late in the game. On the other hand his allegations can be verified or disproved by other officials.

        JD

        Steve: again, I haven’t parsed Spygate, but be careful of Wikipedia. There is ongoing dispute over whether the memorandum accurately summarized the rule as it then stood. As I recall, one of the issues was that the rule as it then stood seemed to prohibit use of tapes for the game in progress, but was silent on future games. Taping also seemed to have been pretty standard. Check out the other side.

        As to McNally walking off with footballs by himself, this seems consistent with his evidence, which Wells disbelieved. Remember the CYA testimony from officials that they always walked out with McNally, that the NFL adopted (And which seemed implausible to me.)

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 23, 2015 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

          I note that the prohibition on videotaping does not include fans at the stadium, nor could it. That’s what I would do. Enlist a fan. Stupid, unenforceable rule. Goodell is not real bright. I promise you that is what’s being done today in the NFL.

          Imagine, McNally, running around like a “chicken with his head cut off”, a fellow with his responsibilities!

        • Gdn
          Posted Feb 25, 2016 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

          Hmmm. Assume for point of argument that the Wikiquote is correct, and re-read what that memo says….in logical English.

          “Video taping {examples} is prohibited in any location {examples} accessible to club staff members during the game.”

          This would appear to support the longstanding rule that teams have only very specific access to electronic media during the game, but doesn’t address video used after games – for which there are also longstanding rules requiring the exchange of video of certain minimum standards between teams before and after games, and which don’t exclude showing sideline signaling.

          Are you really arguing that Spygate was that mangled too?

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