If online nfl football betting fans think that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to uphold the four-game suspension that Tom Brady had appealed after DeflateGate was over the top, wait until you see what the plan is to keep something like that from ever happening again.
Just to review – the Patriots were fined $1 million and stripped of a draft pick – and their quarterback was suspended for four games. According to the NFL rulebook, the penalty for using a ball that violates the air pressure guidelines is a $25,000 fine.
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How does that compare to the penalties for messing with equipment in the other leagues? In baseball, if you’re a pitcher and doctor the baseball (with Vaseline, an emery board, sandpaper or some other substance or abrasive item), you get ejected from the game (and maybe suspended, if you’re a repeat offender). If you’re a hockey player and you put too much curve on your stick, you have a two-minute minor penalty and your stick is taken out of the game.
So a $25,000 fine for the team isn’t too far out of scale. But the penalties that Brady and the Patriots face have been significantly stiffer than what you would get in another sport. In keeping with that, Roger Goodell has instituted rules that are equally stiff to keep future footballs at the right PSI. As in the past, they have to be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 PSI.
Two hours and 15 minutes before game time, both teams will have to give the footballs 24 footballs (12 primary and 12 backup). In past years, the home team had to supply 24, but the visiting team only had to supply 12. They did have the option to supply 12 more if the game were being played outdoors.
Last year, the referee was the sole arbiter of the inflation of the footballs. Now he will assign two crew members to take care of it. While they’re checking the balls, they will number the balls 1-12 (four sets). The numbering is new. The officials will also keep a chart indicating the pressure in each numbered ball as they judge it.
If a ball is out of compliance, the officials will either add air or take air out until the ball is inflated to 13.0 PSI. There was not a specific PSI (other than that it had to be within the required range) for the officials to adjust the ball to in years past.
This year, the officials will also keep the six kicking balls, a job that had been the province of the kicking ball coordinator. Now, 10 minutes before kickoff, the kicking ball coordinator, a security representative and one of the officials will bring the footballs to the replay station on the field. The team’s ball crews will accept the balls with the security representative monitoring. These will stay in the officials’ locker room until it is time to use them. Last year, the security representative was not involved in the process, and the kicking ball coordinator did not have to stay with the officials the whole time before the game.
While this won’t happen every game, some games will involve testing of the game balls used during the first half. The kicking ball coordinator will get the balls at halftime and go with the security representative to the locker room, where both teams’ balls will be inspected and taken out of play. The second half, the teams will use the backup balls.
It is – given that the officials only have a six-minute break at halftime now. But at least the balls will be full.