While the NFL continues to investigate whether balls were under-inflated for the AFC Championship game, Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano posted his opinions about cold weather and air pressure on Twitter.
The controversy about the balls used in the Patriots vs. Colts game grew on Tuesday after a report that the NFL found 11 balls were not properly inflated for the game at Foxborough, Mass.
But that controversy has largely hinged on the belief that an under-inflated ball is easier to throw and catch in cold weather, thus benefiting the Patriots. Gano focused on how underinflation affects the kicking game. And he says soft balls are a disadvantage to kickers. Cold weather and balls that lost some pressure were a factor in the Panthers’ home playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, Gano says.
Gano explained on Twitter why underinflation happens:
Since the whole "deflated ball" story is a hot topic right now, here is a situation that we experienced this year...— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) January 21, 2015
(1/4)When checking the game balls, the refs check the psi indoors. This is frustrating bc the ball loses some pressure in cold weather...— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) January 21, 2015
(2/4)... During our home playoff game this year I asked the official if he could check the psi outside again bc the ball felt flat and he...— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) January 21, 2015
(3/4)...said he could not. I guess you can't blame the official for that. Rules are rules. Maybe the league will make some changes this...— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) January 21, 2015
(4/4)...offseason. Sucks kicking a flat ball tho. #BombSquadNonetheless ðŸ— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) January 21, 2015
The reaction on Twitter was friendly from some people, such as a former high school football player who said he remembered the feeling of kicking a dead ball. But it also was full of criticism over the science behind PSI and temperature -- and from Patriots fans who are irritated by the controversy.
After taking it on the chin over “DeflateGate” for a while, Gano Tweeted, “Listen all you Twitter haters. I’m only talking about the Kicker footballs lol. Not the Patriots ones.”
As for the Patriots investigation, Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president for football operations, told The Associated Press that the "investigation is currently underway and we're still awaiting findings." He expects the investigation to be completed by the end of the week.