There were more than a few sarcastic nicknames that arrived after the impromptu press conference called by the New England Patriots on Saturday, not the least funny of which was “Bill Belichick The Science Guy.”
But ABC’s “Good Morning America” sought out the real science guy — Bill Nye, a former mechanical engineer at Boeing and now host of TV’s “Bill Nye The Science Guy” — for some answers to Belichick’s firm prove-it rebuttal to the NFL’s investigation of his team’s ball handling.
Put straight: Nye refutes Belichick’s assertions.
“What he said didn’t make any sense,” Nye said.
So there you have it?
“Rubbing the football, I don’t think, can change the pressure. To really change the pressure, you need one of these,” Nye said, holding up a regulation football and a ball pump, “the inflation needle.”
Nye, in a light but perhaps biased and undercutting statement, then declared his allegiance for Sunday’s Super Bowl: “Go Seahawks!”
Perhaps the ABC segment was cut short, or edited, but Nye doesn’t back up his claim of the needle (and the damage done?) being the only way to properly inflate or deflate the ball. He just says it. Because he’s a science guy. Or make that a SCIENCE GUY.
It’s possible that Nye is as much an authority on ball pressure as, say, Dr. Phil is on STDs or Guy Fieri is on the ideal cooking temperature for achieving a velvety bisque — which is to say somewhat questionable at best. On his show, Nye attacks anything under the umbrella of science, from the evolution/creationism debate, to climate change. He’s put up as an expert of all things science, which, short of tapping into the mind of Stephen Hawking, feels a bit flimsy.
And there’s also the fact that ESPN pulled a segment that appeared to offer little, if any tangible difference between a ball falling within the legal parameters of pounds per square inch (12.5 to 13.5) and one that was two PSIs below that, which is where the Patriots’ balls were said to be. In fact, the far more detailed ESPN would-be segment indicates, a deflated ball’s velocity was actually less than that which was more inflated.
Anyone want to talk football? Hearing Belichick talk atmospheric pressure is about as riveting as Nye talking football, which is to say a mind-numbingly not at all.
This isn’t getting ridiculous. We’re already into overtime of that game. Time to take the air out of this ball, for the love of science.
- – – – – – -
Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter!