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Looking back on Deflategate: Our test system shows the difference in Tom Brady’s footballs

On Feb 1, 2019

Four years after the Deflategate controversy, the Patriots will compete for yet another title in Super Bowl LIII. The Tom Brady-led team’s return to the big game for the third time since the scandal leaked has us reminiscing on the event. After all, in 2015, Ball Systems did everything we could to help provide answers to this pigskin mystery. One question we felt especially equipped to tackle: Does a deflated football really matter?

We felt invested in finding the answer. Our company has a team of talented test engineers, our hometown Indianapolis Colts were on the losing end of the Deflategate game, and our name is Ball Systems (okay, that last one is just a coincidence), so it was our duty to put the question to test. So we designed a test system to show the difference between air pressure in a league regulation football versus the Tom Brady deflated one. The system was created using LabVIEW and all readings and controls were measured using a National Instruments' data acquisition system. Steve McCreary, our Sales Engineering and Quoting Manager, shared the results with Lee Teschler of EE World in this video at NI Week 2015. Check out the video below: 

 

 

 

The verdict: deflated footballs make a huge difference. In fact, with four years of hindsight, we feel confident recommending the Patriots vacate their 2015 AFC championship win over the Colts. And since it's impossible to replay Super Bowl XLIX, we'd also like to recommend the Colts replace the Patriots and face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. It's only fair, but we understand if our resolution leaves Patriots fans' feeling...deflated. 

 

 

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