Football, PSI, and the Big Game

Football, PSI, and the Big Game

February 1, 2015 Uncategorized
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(Last Updated On: February 1, 2015)

The past 2 weeks there has been some controversy around the so-called “Deflate-gate,” where the N.E. Patriots were accused of intentionally deflating the footballs to gain an edge. Given their past transgressions, they were immediately deemed guilty by many.

However, what is the evidence in this case? How about a scientific experiment!

A study by HeadSmart Labs finds that the pressure of the footballs should have dropped around 1.82 P.S.I. This may explain why the footballs were under-inflated. Who knows if the footballs were intentionally deflated, but science shows the P.S.I. should have dropped.

Enjoy the Big Game!

 


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Definitions of common statistics used in our analysis are available here (towards the bottom)




About the Author

Jack Vogel, Ph.D.

Jack Vogel, Ph.D., conducts research in empirical asset pricing and behavioral finance, and is a co-author of DIY FINANCIAL ADVISOR: A Simple Solution to Build and Protect Your Wealth. His dissertation investigates how behavioral biases affect the value anomaly. His academic background includes experience as an instructor and research assistant at Drexel University in both the Finance and Mathematics departments, as well as a Finance instructor at Villanova University. Dr. Vogel is currently a Managing Member of Alpha Architect, LLC, an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor, where he heads the research department and serves as the Chief Financial Officer. He has a PhD in Finance and a MS in Mathematics from Drexel University, and graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Mathematics and Education from The University of Scranton.


  • IlyaKipnis

    The Khan Academy had a blurb about this. Gauge pressure is how much more inflated footballs are than the standard atmospheric pressure (about 14 PSI), thus given a 75 C room going to a 50 C field, the amount dropped is right in the ballpark. Thus if Brady likes his footballs on the lower end of regulation, everything adds up.

  • Michael Milburn

    The question I have is why all of the Colts balls tested normal in similar conditions. Original reports by Chris Mortenson said 11 of 12 balls were significantly underinflated, but now there’s a report that only 1 was significantly underinflated. The facts make a difference and the NFL as usual leaves it so that we have to speculate, and in the end they’ll probably put all the evidence in a box and burn it.

    You’re right, it’s the history and league rumors about the Patriots that make me not give them benefit of the doubt. But even bigger issue is I don’t trust the league oversight anymore. If the NFL can cover it up, I now tend to think they will.

  • probably true. A lot of money involved…
    I’m a die hard football fan and played the game my whole life, but there definitely seems to be a trend to hide information. The concussion dangers seems to be the biggest issue on the horizon…