When you imagine a school science fair, you might think of the classic lemon battery trick or the “make your own volcano” experiment. But one 10-year-old from Kentucky decided to eschew these elementary school traditions to take on the DeflateGate scandal of 2015 – and his dad, clearly proud, has shared photos of the project on Facebook.
Ace Davis from Lexington, Kentucky, is a big fan of American football and plays quarterback for a local team. He supports the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and, from the look of things, isn't a particularly strong admirer of the New England Patriots, five-time winners of the Super Bowl.
For his latest school project, he decided to find out whether or not Tom Brady, Patriot quarterback, is a cheater – referring to his antics during the 2014–15 NFL playoffs (DeflateGate) and not his relationship with Giselle Bündchen, we should add. He concluded that "Tom Brady is indeed a cheater".
In 2015, the Patriots – and Brady, in particular – were accused of purposefully deflating footballs during the American Football Conference Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. The idea being that a deflated ball is easier to grip, making them easier for the quarterback to throw and the receiver to catch. Following the allegations, the team were forced to pay a $1,000,000 fine and Brady was given a four-game suspension.
To find out whether a deflated football would have given Brady an advantage, Davis had his family throw footballs with differing levels of inflation across the garden. He measured how far the balls traveled and then calculated an average for each inflation level to find out how it affected distance thrown. His data (which, we should add, has not yet been peer-reviewed) shows the less inflated the ball, the further it traveled.
And Davis' conclusion: “The Patriots were found guilty of doctoring football, thus losing $1,000,000 and future draft picks. Tom Brady is indeed a cheater.”
While it might be a bit of a leap to go from "deflated balls travel further" to "Tom Brady is a cheater", Davis' work seemed to go down well with the school judges, who, presumably, are not Patriots fans either. His project won the fourth-grade prize and will be going on to the district science fair next month.
[H/T: CBS News]