(CBS) — Did the New England Patriots cheat in their conference championship game? There’s reportedly new evidence today that footballs were deliberately under-inflated.
ESPN reports the NFL found 11 of 12 footballs used by the Patriots didn’t have enough air. CBS 2’s Jim Williams explains why a team would do it.READ MORE: Jury Selection Under Way In Jussie Smollett Trial
We took two balls, one lighter than the other, to a physics professor.
Professor Sally Laurent-Muehleisen of IIT says a lighter ball is easier for some quarterbacks to grip, allowing them to throw a tight spiral, which is very important.
“When a ball is rotating, it decreases the amount of wobble and of course the less wobble, the easier it is for the receiver to catch it,” she said.
But the professor points out other quarterbacks like Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers prefer a ball with more air.
Nonetheless, for 670 The Score host and former Bears longsnapper Patrick Mannelly, it is a violation of NFL rules if the Patriots deflated the balls during the game.READ MORE: 17-Year-Old Boy Killed, 4 Injured In Evanston Shooting; Police Believe Shooting Was Targeted
“To me the big deal is if they were deflating the ball after they were inspected by the NFL,” Mannelly said.
How could that have been done? During the game, each team controls its own balls.
“A ballboy who sits there on the sideline with his little poncho with pockets on the front and in the rain, you’d have a Gatorade towel over them and he could sit there and with needle and hold them in each one for two seconds,” said MAnnelly.
Mannelly says if true, the Patriots have a problem.
“That’s cheating, that’s going against the integrity of the game,” he said.MORE NEWS: Woman Dead, Child Among 3 Injured After House Fire In Clearing
The New England Patriots are facing extra scrutiny now because years ago they were caught spying on the New York Jets, videotaping the their defense signals, which is against league rules.