Bill Belichick’s ‘Rubbing Process’ Theory Holds Up Under Ideal Gas Law (Video)

by abournenesn

May 22, 2015

There’s been all sorts of hullabaloo surrounding Deflategate since Bob Kravitz first reported the story back in January. But the heart of the matter really is quite simple: Why did New England Patriots footballs have low levels of air pressure during the AFC Championship Game?

We’ve heard all sorts of theories about this, but head coach Bill Belichick addressed one head on in a January press conference.

“Now, we all know that air pressure is a function of the atmospheric conditions,” Belichick said at the time. “It?s a function of that. If there?s activity in the football relative to the rubbing process, I think that explains why when we gave them to the officials and the officials put it at, let?s say 12.5, if that?s in fact what they did, that once the football reached its equilibrium state, it probably was closer to 11.5.”

In short, when a football is rubbed, it heats up for a short period of time. And when it heats up, it gains air pressure. Pretty straightforward, right?

Apparently not for some, like Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” who after Belichick’s statement said the coach’s theory “didn’t make any sense.”

Fortunately, NESN’s Michaela Vernava was able to track down her own “science guy” in UMass Lowell professor David Willis. Willis broke down the science behind rubbing footballs and looked at if the tests performed in the Wells Report held any credibility.

Check it all out in the video above.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images

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