I know, I know. The last thing you need is to see another opinion on the proper inflation pressure of a football. Especially from someone like me. Someone who is a football fan for sure, but someone who is pretty ignorant of the finer details of the game.
I wasn't going to do it. It's been scrutinized to death. Still. Here it comes. I promise I'll be brief.
So Tom Brady and the New England Patriots played the first half of the AFC championship game with underinflated footballs. Apparently that's how Brady likes his footballs.
From what I've heard from the experts, no equipment guy is going to take the initiative to purposely underinflate their team's footballs without the knowledge of the QB. And this QB is pleading ignorance.
I realize I'm just a girl with a passing knowledge of the game, but I'm pretty sure that Tom Brady has handled plenty of footballs in his time. I've got to believe that he could tell if one of his footballs was extra light on pressure. But whatever.
In all my time of watching football, I've seen some pretty crazy things. By "crazy" I mean subjective.
First and foremost, those in the know say that the refs could call an offensive holding penalty on every play if they looked closely enough. I'm inclined to believe that. So why on "this" play and not the "last" play? Are the refs just missing them or are there circumstances where they are looking for them?
It's a game of inches. The spotting of the football seems to me at times to be arbitrary. Two inches forward and a team continues their drive. Two inches back and it might constitute a major swing in momentum. I know that the spotting of the ball can be challenged or reviewed, but again: subjective.
Unsportsmanlike conduct? A player can be penalized for making a disparaging comment to someone on the opposing teams' sideline. Okay. But an upper echelon quarterback, like Tom Brady let's say, can go nose to nose with a ref over some perceived slight on his part, expressing his disapproval in what is clearly an antagonistic manner, and he walks away unscathed. Subjective.
Don't even get me started on what constitutes a catch.
All subjective and I'm sure there are countless other examples.
But here's the thing: The rules of football say the ball must be inflated to 12.5-13.5 pounds PSI. It's a rule. It's an objective thing.
Do I think that the Patriots would have lost if they'd used properly inflated footballs? Not likely. But still- they should have used properly inflated footballs. It's a rule. And it's objective. If you're going to play the game, follow the rules.
Otherwise, it's just football anarchy in what's already a field of gray.