The American Thinker posted an article today about the recent controversy regarding the footballs at the recent playoff game in Foxboro, Massachusetts. First of all, I would like to mention that one of my daughters will tell you when asked what she learned from her mother will say, “Denver wins at home.” A realize that for some reason that is no longer the case, but in the early days of mile high stadium, that was generally the case. It is also the case when New England or Green Bay play a southern team outside in the winter in New England or Green Bay, the home team generally wins. That may be due to a loss of pressure in the footballs (which incidentally happens to both teams) or that may be due to the other team wanting to get out of the cold and go home. At any rate, cold weather and an outdoor stadium do affect football games.
The article at the American Thinker explains:
Assume Tom Brady‘s footballs were all inflated to the maximum allowable, 13.5 psi gauge. We need to convert gauge pressure to absolute pressure. At sea level we add the atmospheric pressure (14.7 psia) to the gauge pressure (13.5 psi), we discover the initial absolute pressure was 13.5 + 14.7 = 28.2 psia).
Multiplying the initial absolute pressure at 75 F (28.2 pia) by the ratio of absolute temperatures (510/535 = 0.95327) we find the absolute pressure on the field is (28.2 x 0.95327 = 26.88 psia). Converting absolute pressure back to gauge pressure we need to subtract the atmospheric pressure of 14.7 psia. The field gauge pressure then becomes (26.88 -14.7 = 12.18 psig).
I am one of the least scientific (and sometimes least logical) people I know, but this makes sense to me. It’s time for all of us to conclude that this whole discussion is made up by the media, buy the nachos and wings, and enjoy the game tomorrow!