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Middle school student counters Deflategate critics with science fair experiment

Seventh grader Ben Goodell used his science fair experiment to prove Tom Brady's innocence in Deflategate.

The Patriots and Tom Brady have an ally in an unlikely place – a Lynn, Mass., science fair.

Ben Goodell went on a crusade to prove Brady's innocence in the Deflategate controversy and succeeded. The seventh grader submitted a project to the St. Pius V Elementary School annual science fair called "How Weather Conditions Affect PSI of a Football" in order to prove the Patriots did not tamper with footballs at last year's AFC Champsionship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Lynn Daily Item reported that Ben properly inflated footballs and exposed them to conditions such as humidity, snow and wind chill. 

"Every time, it dropped 2 PSI. The lowest PSI recorded during Deflategate was 2 PSI under proper inflation. I had [the football] at proper inflation when I started," Ben told the Daily Item.

With a grade at stake, Ben had a greater purpose: defending his quarterback. 

"I wanted to prove that Tom Brady wasn't guilty," he said.

In an interview with WBUR's Only a Game, a weekly sports radio program hosted by Bill Littlefield, MIT professor John Leonard said Goodell's experiment is simple but effective. Leonard, a Philadelphia Eagles fan, gave a lecture in December about the Ideal Gas Law and how it relates to Deflategate, which was posted on YouTube. He has studied the science of the controversy intensely.

"As someone who's sort of studied every experiment, every data posting I can find, Ben Goodell's experiment, as sort of straightforward as it was, just adds to the evidence in my own mind that the Ideal Gas Law is pretty tried and true. And if you believe it, which I do, there was no deflation," Leonard told WBUR.

Though TB12 is still making his case to the federal appeals court judges, Goodell walked away a winner, receiving the Outstanding Project Award. 

And no, there is no relation between Ben and a certain NFL commissioner.

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