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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 30,527

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When would the Patriots get a chance to deflate their footballs?

This is from the NFL rulebook:

Rule 2 The Ball
Section 1
The Ball must be a “Wilson,” hand selected, bearing the signature of the Commissioner of the League, Roger Goodell.

The ball shall be made up of an inflated (12 1/2 to 13 1/2 pounds) urethane bladder enclosed in a pebble grained, leather case (natural tan color) without corrugations of any kind. It shall have the form of a prolate spheroid and the size and weight shall be: long axis, 11 to 11 1/4 inches; long circumference, 28 to 28 1/2 inches; short circumference, 21 to 21 1/4 inches; weight, 14 to 15 ounces.

The Referee shall be the sole judge as to whether all balls offered for play comply with these specifications. A pump is to be furnished by the home club, and the balls shall remain under the supervision of the Referee until they are delivered to the ball attendant just prior to the start of the game.

Section 2
Each team will make 12 primary balls available for testing by the Referee two hours and 15 minutes prior to the starting time of the game to meet League requirements. The home team will also make 12 backup balls available for testing in all stadiums. In addition, the visitors, at their discretion, may bring 12 backup balls to be tested by the Referee for games held in outdoor stadiums. For all games, eight new footballs, sealed in a special box and shipped by the manufacturer to the Referee, will be opened in the officials’ locker room two hours and 15 minutes prior to the starting time of the game. These balls are to be specially marked by the Referee and used exclusively for the kicking game.

In the event a home team ball does not conform to specifications, or its supply is exhausted, the Referee shall secure a proper ball from the visitors and, failing that, use the best available ball. Any such circumstances must be reported to the Commissioner.
In case of rain or a wet, muddy, or slippery field, a playable ball shall be used at the request of the offensive team’s center. The Game Clock shall not stop for such action (unless undue delay occurs).

Note: It is the responsibility of the home team to furnish playable balls at all times by attendants from either side of the playing field.

From other websites I've been reading, the way this works is: The home team has a collection of game-usable footballs. On the day of the game, they deliver 12 balls to the referees two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff. (In Foxborough on Sunday, that would have been by 4: 25pm.) The referees have an air pump in their locker room. They check all 12 balls to be sure they're in game-worthy condition, test and adjust the air pressure in them, and turn them over to a ball attendant who takes them to the field.

My suspicion is the balls are never in the presence of only one person at any time between when they leave the refs and the end of the game...and as open and heavily-monitored as NFL sidelines are, if someone were to let the air out of the balls he'd be seen and stopped.

'Course, when you win a championship game by 38 points, people are going to assume you're cheating.

Keys To The Matchup: Packers vs. Seahawks

From the Onion:


Green Bay:
• Given Marshawn Lynch's ability to break tackles, don't be afraid to put a seventh or even eighth man on him.
• Keep pressure on Russell Wilson by whispering to him that this is his contract year.

• Be prepared for Aaron Rodgers to quickly move outside the pocket and toward the direction of medical treatment.
• Consider benching Richard Sherman, who didn't once touch the football when the Seahawks met the Packers in the regular season.

Fine Penn State $1395 and erase almost all the rest of the penalties

I'm not going to rehash all the recent Penn State developments. Hit GD and you'll find them.

In the spirit of the thing, I have a suggestion.

Penn State built a monument to ol' See No Evil, Hear No Evil over there. It's a larger-than-life bronze statue of Joe Paterno that you can find pictures of online. This thing weighs 900 pounds.

Scrap bronze sells for $1.55 per pound. Multiply by 900 pounds and you get $1395.

I would be willing to erase every penalty, except the multimillion-dollar fine that still stands, if Penn State would cut up the Joe Paterno statue, melt it down, sell the metal as scrap, divide the proceeds among all the schools that played Penn State in football when Joe was alive for use in fighting child abuse, remove the rest of the monument with a bulldozer, never allow another monument to Joe Paterno to be erected anywhere, and never use the land the monument was on for anything ever again - including an outhouse.

That, my friends, is the only punishment that will mean anything to them.

The existence of this book diminishes us all

Some of Arpaio's former guests have compiled a book on surviving in his Olive Drab Gulag. It is available here:


Tax cuts were never intended to increase tax revenues, so stop saying that

The GOP's primary goal is to end social spending. The only way they'll ever accomplish that goal is to reduce revenues to the point where there's no money left for it, and the most time-proven way to reduce revenues is just to stop collecting so many taxes.

It's obvious we need the Keystone XL pipeline

The gas station across the street from my house hasn't cut their prices in two whole days.

Congress adjourns after two days: "There's no way we can work with that man"

WASHINGTON (Spurious News Network) -- In what may set a record for brevity, Congress adjourned a mere two days into the new session.

According to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the adjournment is a result of President Obama's refusal to compromise. "We passed three Obamacare-repeal bills, approved the Keystone XL pipeline, banned abortion, eliminated taxes on the rich, abolished welfare, banned Islam, repealed Obamacare again, made homelessness a federal offense, and quadrupled the defense budget. Not only did that uppity (man) veto them all two seconds after they got to the White House, he put them in a garbage can, poured five gallons of gasoline on them and threw in a lit molotov cocktail. Since there's no way we can work with that man, we closed down Congress. Fuck it. We're going home to campaign. We'll just see if America can get along without us."

Within minutes of Scalise's announcement, the tragic results were plain for all to see. The stock market instantly began a meteoric climb, with the Dow closing at 19050.20. The price of gas dropped a dime. Newspaper classified ad lines were jammed, with companies waiting as long as three hours to place "help wanted" ads. According to the head of the White House switchboard, people have been calling in to complain all day: "The public wants to know why Congress shut down on a day when it was too cold to dance in the streets. They want to know why Congress couldn't have been more considerate."

For his part, the president is unruffled. "He considers Congress to be in recess, so he's entitled to appoint judges and other officials to serve through 2016," said a White House official who refused to be identified, but he's a skinny 50-year-old black guy with a head of gray hair. "Taxes will not be adjusted, and spending will remain at current levels. We should be okay."

I've been thinking about Mario Cuomo lately, since he passed...

Fort Drum is a U.S. Army installation in upstate New York, and the home of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), the Army's worst clusterfuck. It's the only army base that is not on federal land - the whole installation actually belongs to the State of New York, and the federal government pays them rent. (It's also the only army base that has a creek running through division headquarters, but that is a story for another time.)

Since Fort Drum was on land that belonged to the state of New York, Governor Mario Cuomo assumed the division also belonged to the state of New York. And since we were his division, once a quarter he flew from Albany to Fort Drum to speak to all the newly assigned sergeants and officers.

As I remember, he didn't really say much of anything...he told us about his state, gave us a little information about all the National Guard and Reserve units that commandeered the Back 40 every summer - as the only large Army post in the Northeast, we served hundreds of small units that needed our base's facilities for weapons qualification and all the other things you can't do in an armory next to a supermarket - explained a little about the political system in New York, and welcomed us to Fort Drum.

I can't think of another governor that did anything like that, and it was a nice thing.

How does BITCOIN have a bowl game?


NC State University beat the University of Central Florida 34-27 in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.

IIRC Bitcoin is one of those egalitarian things with no single owner...so where did they find the (presumably non-Bitcoin) money to fund a football game?

Aircraft emergency slide question

We've all seen movies where the plane lands at an airport, is safe to stay on until airstairs arrive or even to drive to a gate, but the crew deploys emergency slides anyway. ("Snakes on a Plane" and "Airport 1975" come to mind quickly.)

And then we have incidents like the one on Tuesday, where an American Airlines plane and a Southwest Air plane collided on the tarmac at LaGuardia. The Southwest plane lost a winglet. They unloaded the Southwest plane via airstairs and the American plane at its assigned gate.

So...what are the actual rules on emergency slide use?
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