For some folks, Deflategate came down to a matter of science, with the principles of the Ideal Gas Law exonerating the Patriots. Another recent scientific endeavor resulted in the opposite conclusion: “Tom Brady is indeed a cheater.”
That’s according to Ace Davis, a 10-year-old student in Kentucky whose science fair project dared to ask a question that — particularly with New England’s continued, unprecedented success — still wafts over the league: “Is Tom Brady a cheater?”
To find out, Ace conducted an experiment in which he, his mother and his sister threw footballs of varying levels of inflation and made note of the average distances they traveled. They discovered that those with the least air went the farthest, thus proving to Ace’s satisfaction that “underinflated footballs” gave Brady “a competitive advantage” in the 2015 AFC championship game.
That, of course, was the start of Deflategate. After a protracted legal battle, it ended with Brady getting a four-game suspension, as well as his Patriots accepting a $1 million fine and the loss of two draft picks, including a 2016 first-rounder. As the science fair project noted, the NFL alleged that Brady “ordered the deliberate deflating of footballs” in that game, part of what the league described as a pattern of New England staffers illegally manipulating air pressure to suit the quarterback’s expressed preferences.
Photos of Ace’s project went viral after his father posted them on Facebook, along with the caption, “Hater level: 100.” The father also claimed that his son “won the science fair,” but the website for his Lexington, Ky., school indicated that Ace had merely earned honorable mention honors, still good enough to move on to the district competition.
If Ace didn’t win the science fair, he certainly won his interview with the website NFL Draft Diamonds. Asked what message he would have for Brady, the youngster replied, “Gimme some of your money, you don’t deserve it.”
Ace said he also is a quarterback and his favorite NFL counterpart is Jameis Winston of the Buccaneers. He settled the GOAT debate by declaring Joe Montana to be the greatest quarterback of all time and offered this explanation for why his father’s Facebook post went viral: “Because it’s funny and people are tired of watching him in the Super Bowl. And Julian Edelman takes steroids.”
As for how he came up with the idea for his project, Ace said, “Because I hate Tom Brady, he’s been accused of cheating before, I want him to be caught.”
Naturally, Patriots fans and others who couldn’t help but form an opinion during the long-running, headline-grabbing Deflategate saga might agree that Brady wasn’t exactly “caught” by the NFL, which relied heavily on circumstantial evidence. In addition, the league didn’t seem to make much of the Ideal Gas Law, even after a team of professors from schools such as MIT, Stanford and Cal-Berkeley pointed out in a legal filing that footballs inflated to a certain level before a game could be expected to lose pressure when exposed to the kind of cold air present in Foxborough, Mass., during the contest in question.
It could also be noted that Ace didn’t prove that Brady was directly connected to the deliberate deflation of footballs any more than the NFL did. But he deserves credit for coming up with a creative idea for a project and carrying it out with some degree of scientific rigor, even if there were less-than-subtle indications in his work that he’s personally biased against the quarterback.
As if to spite all the haters who have emerged during their remarkable, 18-year run, the Patriots will play in yet another Super Bowl, the ninth for Brady in 17 full seasons as a starter. New England has been installed as a favorite over the Los Angeles Rams, but, not surprisingly, Ace predicted the game would not go the Patriots’ way.
“Julian Edelman pushes everyone around, [Rob] Gronkowski gets shut down,” he told NFL Draft Diamonds, "[the Rams' Todd] Gurley runs for 2 touchdowns, Brady plays terrible — three interceptions, Rams win 30-14.”
Read more from The Post: