Sunday, January 25, 2015

Deflationgate a quarter century on

As we all know, Bill Belichek has transitioned from football to quantum physics. It's hard to imagine too many going that route but he has. Belichek, of course, was famous for attention to detail, sub-detail, sub-sub-sub detail and so on. 

What motivates him now, as in past years, is the search for the secret of the deflated footballs —  the accused if not accursed footballs from the 2015 Patriots Colts AFC championship game.

A bit of context might be in order: Michel Houellebecq, the erstwhile novelist, is now Premier of France, heading up the Paris-Vatican-Teheran Axis. Some call it the Fifth Republic. Houellebecq prefers to brand it as a twenty-first century Caliphate.

But Belichek could care less about geo-politics. He obsesses, as ever,  about football and footballs.

Belichek has submitted a few of the suspect footballs for examination at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, where he now works, along with string theorists many decades younger. Some marvel at his ability to grasp eleven-dimensional string theory.

Here, on this video, you can see the footballs spinning around in the Collider at the kind of speed neither Tom Brady nor any other quarterback could ever imagine.

Belichek can.

At Belichek's recent news conference I asked: "Prof. Belichek, what do you hope to discover about the deflated footballs at the Hadron Collider that you didn't know before?"

"They found the Higgs boson here," he said in that unmistakable groany voice of his. "I'm not saying that boson in particular was responsible. There are a lot of bosons. And then there are the fermions."

"Vegas favors bosons. You?"

"That's all I know. It's all I have to say. Go talk to Tom Brady. Ask him what he thinks."



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