Robert Kraft, professors support Tom Brady in deflate-gate briefs

Frank Schwab

The deflate-gate fight is barely about the facts of the actual case anymore. The never-ending appeals seem to be all about Roger Goodell's power and the NFLPA fighting back against it.

But there is a never-ending argument about the facts of the case among fans and observers, about what New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady might have known or not known. Since Ted Wells' report uncovered no facts that give us any idea what Brady did in the ordeal, we're left to guess.

But there is a group of more than 20 engineering and physics professors who think that the controversy can be explained entirely by the science of natural deflation in cold weather, and said so in an amicus brief filed by Washington, D.C. attorney Eric Delinsky this week, according to the Boston Herald. The professors come from a number of universities including MIT and Stanford, the Herald reported.

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The brief centers around the science of footballs naturally deflating in cold weather. The balls tested during the AFC championship game two seasons ago were found to be under-inflated at halftime. The professors say that is normal, and “So-called ‘deflation’ happens naturally when any closed vessel, such as a football, moves from a warm environment to a cold one.”

Tom Brady is still fighting deflate-gate (AP)
Tom Brady is still fighting deflate-gate (AP)

Brady, who is currently suspended four games, wants to have his case reheard in court. The suspension was overturned last year, only to be reinstated by a different court this spring.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft also filed an amicus brief this week in support of Brady and his appeal request, the Boston Globe reported. It's rare to see an owner publicly fight the NFL, but Kraft has supported Brady at every step after giving up the team's fight over its punishment in deflate-gate.

We all know Kraft's support of Brady, so that part isn't surprising. The professors' brief is a little unusual.

“As professors, we cannot fathom how it is permissible to impose punishment for the possibility of a negligible increment of pressure loss, when underinflated footballs are common to NFL games, when laws of physics cause much larger pressure drops, and when the very possibility of an additional increment of pressure loss was generated from assumptions of the league’s choosing rather than data,” the brief says, according to the Herald. “In the name of science, we support the petition for rehearing.”

The fiasco of deflate-gate has been dissected from every angle, and has resulted in an unheard of punishment that has been argued in a few courts now. Legal fees were reportedly set to go beyond $20 million in the case. And we're not done arguing it yet.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!