Professional sports is about money. Lots of money. King Midas amounts of money. Winners get more of that money than losers. Many in sports try to gain an advantage. Baseball players have been known to cork bats. Pitchers sometimes get accused of throwing spitballs or shineballs. Some players of various sports have been known to chemically enhance their own bodies.
The New England Patriots are winners. Since Tom Brady took over as quarterback and Bill Belichick has been coach, their record has been unsurpassed. They are hated by many because they are that good. The fans of other teams hate them because when the Pats win their team loses. Other teams hate them because, even if they have a bad day, they find ways to win.
Through all of this, Belichick is taciturn and unsmiling. But, unlike some coaches, he never whines and complains. "The circumstances are what they are. Don't get distracted. Just keep trying to score." That is the Belichick motto.
Tom Brady is one of the classiest players in pro football. He works hard. He doesn't act out. Best of all, he doesn't make a fool of himself doing stupid commercials. For some unknown reason, many broadcasters keep touting others as the greatest quarterback in football. Peyton Manning and Aaron Rogers are a couple of current favorites. But take all of the stats and count up the division championships and the Super Bowl rings, it is impossible not to put Brady's name at the top of the list.
So why were they playing with soft footballs? Belichick and Brady both deny involvement. How could it happen. So here is a possible scenario. Equipment guys want to please their quarterbacks. Pats equipment guys know Brady likes the footballs a little soft. So when they fill the footballs, in a nice warm room, they fill them to the minimum 11.5 lbs. Maybe they even hedge a little so it is a barely noticeable tad under the minimum. Maybe they even use a pressure gauge that reads a little high. Now they bring those balls out onto the field where it is very cold. The temperature change causes the air in the balls to contract and the pressure goes down a little more. Voila, 10 psi.
OK, so maybe this is a fantasy thought up by a dedicated fan. But, hey, it makes a good excuse doesn't it.