The New England Patriots will not be taking their punishment from the NFL over DeflateGate without a fight. They launched their biggest offensive Thursday, revealing a website -- wellsreportcontext.com -- in an attempt to disprove findings of an investigation led by Ted Wells that said the Patriots locker room attendants purposely deflated footballs below the minimum standard of 12.5 pounds per square inch, and that quarterback Tom Brady was likely aware of these activities.
The website is a thing to behold. It's powered by WordPress using the "Big Brother" template. You can get to the website from other domains, including patriotspsitruth.com. And for some extra help, the Pats even enlisted the help of a Nobel Laureate.
Professor Roderick MacKinnon of Rochester University chimed in with an explanation of the Ideal Gas Law and inconsistencies that may have occurred because of different pressure gauges being used. He is also reportedly the co-founder of a company that received investment from the Kraft Group, run by Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
The most impressive thing about wellsreportcontext.com may be it's thoroughness, however. The counter-report itself clocks in at 19,318 words, qualifying it as a novella. The Patriots left no stone unturned, from the length it takes a man to pee, to the multiple meanings of the word "deflator," to the slope of the bathroom floor at Gillette Stadium.
Jastremski called himself the "deflator" because he's losing weight
Some people take a long time to pee
Jastremski and McNally were just goofing in those texts
And if they were worried about getting in trouble, it was because of sneakers
Deflating a football is way harder than you think
Which pressure gauges were used, and when, is unclear
This requires some explanation. The Patriots are alleging that the Wells report selectively used data from different gauges to make it look like the Pats' balls had deflated more than they actually had. Two gauges were used to measure the Patriots' and the Colts' balls -- a "Logo" gauge and a "non-Logo" gauge. The Logo gauge was "consistently .3 to .45 psi higher in its measurements than the non-Logo gauge." Referee Walt Anderson used the Logo gauge to determine the PSI of the Patriots' ball before the game.
This is important, because both gauges were used at halftime. The Patriots argue that the measurements taken with the Logo gauge at halftime indicate that the balls deflated a reasonable amount according to the Ideal Gas Law, and that only the measurements taken by the non-Logo gauge, which was not used on the Pats' balls before the game, suggest that the balls deflated by a suspicious amount.
Essentially, investigators chose their data selectively.
Here's where the website takes some creative license. The Patriots' balls dropped by more pressure than the Colts' balls at halftime, suggesting that temperature alone could not have been a culprit for deflation. However, the site argues that if Anderson used different gauges on the Colts and Patriots' balls before the game, just as alternate officials Clete Blakeman and Dyrol Prioleau did at halftime -- i.e., used the non-Logo gauge that consistently measured lower PSI on the Colts' balls, rather than the Logo gauge -- then it would explain why the Colts' balls didn't deflate relative to the Pats'.
The Patriots are doubling down on science
The Patriots' biggest point is perhaps that a drop in temperature from 71 degrees indoors to roughly 52 degrees outdoors could account for the drop in air pressure in the balls. Though the Wells report and others have said that temperature alone should not have reduced ball pressure as much as was measured, the Patriots argue that uncertainty whether the same gauges were used to measure balls before the game and at halftime could account for the difference.
The takeaway from all this? Whether the Patriots make some good points will likely depend on your own perspective, but one thing is absolutely certain: They're not f'ing around.