Deflated Balls and a Little Fun

January 25, 2015



I don’t know if you have been paying any attention to the Super Bowl but there is a big controversy over did the Patriots play with under inflated balls in the Colts game. I thought I would weigh in.

I see where Belichick finally filled a football with air inside the stadium office to 12.5 PSI, the minimum allowed, and then took the ball outside where air was colder. They waited a while and then checked the PSI of the football. It had dropped 1.5 PSI or to 11 PSI, to put it simply, it had deflated. That is the law of physics at work. The pressure in the football will decline in direct proportion to the decline in temperature.

Pump up a football to 12.5 PSI at 72 degrees inside the stadium and then cool the ball to 47 degrees on the field and the PSI will drop to 8.2 PSI. (P1/T1=P2/T2)  The question should be, why did the Colt’s balls not deflate, not why did the Patriots play with under inflated balls because balls that do not deflate in cold weather are the ones that are defying the law of physics.

What is interesting is footballs have been inflating in hot weather and deflating in cold weather since the game was invented.

If a ball is filled to the minimum 12.5 PSI allowed, then temperature on the field must be equal to or warmer than the fill up temperature for the ball’s PSI to be legal, but the field temperature cannot be more than 8% warmer than the fill up temperature or the ball will become over inflated and not be legal.

If the ball is filled to the maximum 13.5 PSI allowed, then the temperature on the field must be equal to or cooler than the fill up temperature for the ball’s PSI to be legal, but the field temperature cannot be less than 7.4% cooler or the ball will become under inflated and not be legal.

Think about how many games are played where the temperature inside the stadium office and on the field is different by  more than 7 or 8% . My guess is that most games have been played with illegal balls, either over inflated or under inflated, due to the temperature on the field being different from the temperature when pumped up.

Prediction: NFL will install temperature control boxes on the sidelines that will maintain the ball at 72 degrees. Oops, atmospheric pressure also affects the pressure of the ball. Oh well, you can’t control everything.

If you want to change the pressure in the football for the game you don’t have to do anything to the ball, all you have to do is change the temperature of the room where it is filled.

Question: Did you do anything to the ball?

Answer: Absolutely not!

Remark: I was cold, so I turned up the thermostat; I mean it was 47 degrees outside.

You can get extra points if you can tell me what the ball PSI would be on the playing field if the room temperature was raised from 72 to 76 assuming the fill pressure was set to the minimum of 12.5 PSI. Remember, the field temperature was 47 degrees.

Life is so much fun to observe. I laugh a lot.

Owl update: No Owls, but a pair of kestrels showed up yesterday.  Also, Roark the red-shoulder hawk, has been seen eating grubs in the backyard when it rains.


All the best,

Carlos and Donna Royal

39 Responses to “Deflated Balls and a Little Fun”

  1. Since I have in inflate my tires in the cold weather, I thought the same for the footballs. But if those in charge could not figure that one out….who am I to tell them??? Hahahaha! Nice to hear from you Carlos! I have not seen my Red Shouldered Hawks…I think something may have happened to one. The nest seems intact. I miss them. However, birds plagued by Coopers.

    • carlosroyal Says:

      We recently made a trip to Bakersfield. When we left San Marcos it was a warm 76 degrees but in Bakersfield the temperature had dropped to 36 degrees. I kept getting a warning lights that my tires were low, so I know what you mean.

  2. Lisa Burns Says:

    Thank you Carlos!!! Lol!!!!! 😄. Enjoyed hearing about the birds in your yard as well!

  3. Sally Edge aka MollyLoverForever Says:

    Love it, Carlos! Although I am NOT a sports fan, I seriously enjoyed reading your little article – and laughed along the way! Thanks for staying in touch!

  4. OC Says:

    This was very interesting considering I don’t like to watch football, I like to sleep though it, therefore I don’t have to worry about what the temperature is.. or psi’s . Maybe all fields should be domes. This was funny, thank you Carlos , Cheryle

  5. Nancy Says:

    It’s all interesting but I’m still wondering why the footballs from the other team didn’t deflate since they were at the same temperature. Guess the temp in AZ will keep the ball inflated. =) Good to hear from you!

    • carlosroyal Says:

      I think Phoenix is a great example. In the summer it can be 120 on the field and 72 in the stadium office. Just calculate how much those balls will be over inflated on the playing field! It is a wonder they don’t explode.

  6. Betty Denton Says:

    Good to hear from you Carlos and Donna. And yep, another rule on the football field coming soon!

  7. Carol Ann Bossemeyer Says:

    Miss you guys a lot.

  8. Judy Says:

    You’re such a hoot, Carlos!! But I must say, here in Buffalo, we couldn’t disagree more. Mostly because the Patriots aren’t our favorite. It’s such a blast just listening to this debate, though. Lots of giggles!!!

  9. Dale Says:

    lol…. Fill the balls on the field, problem solved.

    • carlosroyal Says:

      What a great and simple solution. Why didn’t I think of that? Owl Box fans are so smart and creative. We should have the balls checked and their PSI adjust for the current temperature each quarter because the temperature on the field could change more than 7 or 8 percent during the game. Especially games that start at 5 PM. Keep in mind, if the ball pressure is set to either the minimum or the maximum then a 1 degree drop or increase could cause the ball to be illegal or outside the limits.

  10. Lucy Sanders Says:


    Gotta love it!!! I like the SNL skit re. Tom Brady, “Who me??? No, I don’t know anything”!!!! It is weird that Indy’s balls stayed the same and the Patriots didn’t…oh well. We are Green Bay fans so at least we have something to laugh about!

    Loved hearing from you all and your kestrels. It’s snowing here and the birds are grabbing as many seeds and suet as they can!

    Take care,
    Lucy (silent MOD from Troy, Ohio)

  11. janie2 Says:

    Carlos, now explain that to the experts all over the news. Good old Oklahoma logic is what they need. So happy to hear from you and Donna. Miss y’all so much.

  12. Judy Ellington Says:

    Don’t know much about football, but I do miss your sense of humor! Wish we could get you back in our lives!

  13. Betty Says:

    I’ll try to comment again, sorry if this a repeat. We also need to wonder why the refs couldn’t tell the balls were underinflated every time they touched them during the first half….and why the Pats scored more points during the second half when the balls were “regulation psi”….makes you go “hmmmm”

    • Betty Says:

      yeah, makes you go “hmmm” cuz everyone hates the Pats and will find any reason to say they cheat.
      KInda like everyone hates the Yankees cuz they always win… “They hate us cuz they ain’t us”!! LOL

  14. CAequuslvr Says:

    Carlos, great explanation — such fun.

    Glad to hear that Roark is maintaining his territory.

  15. Liela M. Maielua Says:

    Thanks so much for the humor and the logic of it all. So good to hear all is well with you & Donna.

  16. Darlene from Oregon Says:

    Hello Carlos. Nice to hear from you. You’ve solved the dilemma on the footballs. Now the NFL needs to figure that same thing out. It makes sense 100%.
    Hope you’ll get some owls again.
    I sent you and or Chris a message via Facebook. Hope you got it.
    Darlene Salisbury from Oregon.
    PS. I hope you and your family are all doing well.

  17. Suzanne Hannah Says:

    Hi Carlos, Sure miss the Owls. Hope you two are enjoying life. Best to you both always.

  18. Jo-Ann G. Says:

    But only the kickers ball was ok. The other 11 were soft balls.. It is strange that Indy’s balls stayed the same and the Patriots didn’t.. sounds more than just a little strange to me.. Anyway, I loved hearing about the birds…. sorry there are no owls to speak of…

  19. carlosroyal Says:

    I have been ask several times today about why there seems to be very few owls. I think the reason is simple…the drought, which has caused a lack of food. Remember, that even the number of eggs laid appears to be controlled by the amount of food the male brings the female. Hopefully, we will get more rain this year and the owls will start their regeneration. Think back, we had a lot of rain while Molly was in the box.

    Since then California is in the third year of one of the state’s worst droughts in the past century, one that’s led to fierce wildfires, water shortages and restrictions, and potentially staggering agricultural losses, not to mention very few barn owls.

  20. mlaiuppa Says:

    Why don’t they just fill the balls on the sidelines? That way they are the same temperature as the field.

    Sorry, but every year I watch The Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.

  21. Anne (CrickInNeck) Says:

    So nice to hear from you <3 the owl boxes are starting to fill again. Maybe Molly will return someday. We miss her so! My tires are playing tricks on me too here in AZ. First time I ever saw tire light on dash!

  22. Great hearing from you Carlos & updates on events in your back yard. I’m not a football fan but did relate how severe temp changes effect my vehicles tires. Why did it take so long for the experts to figure it out?

  23. robbe mcgregor Says:

    Sure miss our time together at Mollys Box! I think of how we all were so involved in their lives as birds! TY again for allowing us to join you at the box! Hope all is well with you Carlos and Donna and Austin!

  24. Sandi Wilson Says:

    It’s so nice to hear from you, Carlos. Thanks for your thoughtful scientific comments on the football controversy. :-) Also, I appreciate your update on the owl, kestrel, and hawk situation at your place. Please do keep in touch with us.

  25. Jan Halstead Says:

    So Enjoyed hearing from you and the update on your yard birds. I live in Indiana and am a Colts fan. We would have lost the game even without the inflation issue. It does seem odd that our balls didn’t deflate when 11 of 12 of the Pats did. Just inflate on the playing field and that should fix it. We aren’t stupid. Keep in touch. Hope you get some rain this year.
    Jan in Indiana

  26. Lisa Says:

    Great to hear from you, Carlos! That is so interesting and like others think it should be a simple solution to just inflate on the field. I am sitting here waiting for the Blizzard to hit. Imagine the superbowl in a Blizzard? lol Take care and hope to hear from you again soon. Love your updates!!

  27. Ginger Owlbert/FinnWV Says:

    Happy Birthday, Carlos!
    Thanks for sharing! Always love to hear from you! Thanks for the update!
    Love to you and Donna! Have a wonderful day!

  28. monkie Says:

    Thank you Carlos.. It’s always great to hear from you and the updates on the happenings in your yard. Hope to hear from you again soon.. Have a wonderful day!! ((hugz)) to you and Donna.

  29. Jodi Maher Says:

    Wonderful to hear from you and of course that makes a difference ! so simple really, but I am still skeptical about the whole story.. Reminds me of living in Iowa where temps flux so much from season to season, you didn’t want to leave any volleyball or soccer ball or kickball in the back seat or it would puff up and sometimes deform. Sure miss you and Donna and love hearing any updates from you! I just told my mom the entire Molly and McGee story just the other evening! She was enthralled :) I hope the Seahawks win the superbowl again :P GO HAWKS. xoxoxoxo

  30. YTQ Says:

    Wonderful to hear from you!

  31. Fun post and thanks for sharing that info Carlos. What I found interesting was hearing Bill Belichick say that they practice with underinflated balls because they do everything to make it harder for the players. I never knew that!

  32. Shirley Charlton Says:

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  33. Virgene Colby Says:

    Loved the post. I just had a lesson about under and over inflated footballs. So glad you are keeping us posted on your backyard birds.


  34. Wendy Says:

    It’s great to hear from you, Carlos!
    Thanks for your EXPLANATION about the footballs. As a Bostonian & lifelong Patriots fan, it’s refreshing to read a very reasonable explanation rather than the ridiculous hype!
    I hope you and Donna and Austin are all doing well. I always love your updates. Take care!

  35. Judy Sackson Says:

    Seems like a simple scientific explanation…they should put you on their payroll!
    Sometimes I think that some of this silly stuff is just diversionary…a relief from the serious stuff going on in the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: