Superbowl DeflateGate Scandal Debunked Using Engineering Simulation

You can’t turn on the news without hearing about the latest scandal to hit the sports industry. The New England Patriots — the National Football League (NFL) team that faces the defending champ Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX this Sunday — are under pressure (pun intended) for using under-inflated footballs when they routed the Indianapolis Colts in the recent AFC championship that decided who would go on to the Super Bowl. One of the theories around DeflateGate is that a softer, less inflated ball will deform more when grasped, making it easier to hold. This could make for a more consistent pass, or a softer catch.

So, as simulation experts, what can we add to the national dialogue? Good question! Continue reading