That Song By Queen And David Bowie

Come on. You know what song I’m talking about.

As Roger Goodell and his NFL ilk try to figure out the ruling on Tom Brady’s appeal with the smallest amount of P.R. damage, it’s time to bring up the one aspect of this foolishness that hasn’t been called into question:

The NFL has to ditch the football inflation rule.

Listen, they can do whatever they want with the Brady appeal. They can present it to the masses like a commandment to be followed or make it into a paper boat and perform a mini Viking funeral. The rule, as it were, exists. If the NFL is willing to stick with the questionable figures of the Wells report and ignore the lessons of any ninth grade intro to physical science class, so be it. “More likely than not,” “generally aware,” etc.

But, moving forward, it’s time to get rid of – or at least greatly expand – the ball inflation parameters. A brief look at the task of enforcing this rule – which, as far as we can tell, had never been strictly enforced – tells us the reasons why.

Every football must have air pressure between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch (psi). The Wells report revealed the nonchalant nature in which these measurements take place, with officials using differently calibrated gauges while neglecting to write down measurements or numerate the footballs themselves.

All footballs must be numbered. All measurements must be recorded. All gauges must be calibrated. Sounds like we might need another official to take care of these matters.

The NFL must hire a Head of Football Pressure. He then must hire two PSI officials for every game, one for each team’s footballs (this will give each official necessary time to take halftime measurements).

Now, about that pesky science: we know that a football’s pressure in Miami at the season opener will have a different halftime reading than a football in Green Bay during Week 17. We need a physics-trained football official (PTF), one who can take game time outdoor temperature, humidity and/or dampness of each ball, time of possession (to figure time of exposure for each football), halftime indoor temperature, and – while the aforementioned PSI official takes measurements – come up with a “real” pressure loss or gain for each individual ball.

Keep in mind, the Wells Report took almost four months. But, if we can’t get a couple of people to figure this all out in 20 minutes, let’s just expand halftime another five or ten minutes and bring in another handful of officials to get it done. How about a PSI and PTF official for each football? Nothing like a few dozen extra guys milling about in a designated Ball Science room.

I mean, if they’re taking this seriously, can they stop at halftime? Don’t they have to repeat the process at the end of each game, for integrity and all that?

Yeah. Time to get rid of that rule.

Before this past January, very few people knew or concerned themselves with the specifics of football psi. Referees judged a football’s game worthiness by giving it a squeeze. Sometimes they’d pump it up themselves, sometimes with shaky results. Now, what if equipment managers could get the psi that their QBs wanted? What if they let the refs grip them before the game – right there on the sideline – and be done with it?

Ball seems too flat or overinflated? The officials say so and ask for a few pumps of air put in or taken out of the ball. During the game, if the ref finds a ball lacking, he tosses it back in and asks for another. It’s hard to see many difficulties with leaving the pressure up to the refs’ discretion. We already do that with the most important aspect of the game: spotting the ball.

Think about it: how closely can a human being determine the position of a football several feet away while it’s gripped by a runner getting knocked around by large men? If the official is off by one inch per play – which seems remarkably efficient – then by fourth and inches, maybe every one of those inches has already been accounted for. Maybe, in Perfectworld, it’s already first down.

That’s the game, though. We live with those potential inaccuracies because putting GPS locator devices in each ball and having a digital readout for each play would prove too costly and time-consuming. Kind of like hiring hundreds of new officials and building a science lab in every NFL stadium.

Some teams might try to take advantage of this non-rule by inflating footballs to under 11 pounds, making them easy to grab in harsh weather conditions. Again, officials’ discretion: if they feel a football is too soft, get another one. If they feel that the team in question continues to provide soft footballs, give a warning, then hit them with a delay-of-game penalty.

The NFL in general (and Goodell in particular) turned a silly rule infraction (that science has told us may not have occurred) into talk show fodder where the outrage seemed inversely proportional to actual football knowledge. That an improbable breaking of an oft-ignored rule became “-gate”-worthy is on them.

Getting rid of that rule would take off the pressure of trying to enforce it. But I don’t expect they will. If this fiasco has taught us anything, it’s that the NFL doesn’t really understand pressure.

Chris Warner tweets @cwarn89

Sox Ready For Second Half Surge?

The Red Sox begin the post-All Star break portion of their schedule tonight in Anaheim. Pawtucket Red Sox play-by-play voice Josh Maurer will call the games for NESN in this series and the following one in Houston, as Don Orsillo is on his scheduled (mandated) in-season break.

Red Sox Beat: A look at 5 guesses for Sox’ second half – Michael Silverman has some interesting predictions for the rest of the season.

Why Red Sox won’t be able to treat Eduardo Rodriguez like an ace – Rob Bradford looks at how an innings count is going to factor into the rest of the year for the 22-year-old lefty.

Baseball’s strike zone has expanded, and hitters aren’t happy – Alex Speier with a look at how –  to the player’s chagrin – the strike zone has indeed shifted this season.

David Ortiz explains why he was unavailable Sunday – Bradford has the Red Sox DH talking about what led to his being out of the lineup in the last game prior to the All Star break.

Yeah, just a cold.

Danny Ainge quietly upgrading Celtics roster – Adam Himmelsbach examines the offseason thus far for the Celtics, and how much progress has actually been made.

Confident Cam Neely: Bruins ‘can be a playoff team’ – Stephen Harris has the Bruins boss looking forward to see his revamped squad.

Steve Letarte gets high marks for NBC’s NASCAR coverage – Chad Finn looks at the Maine native who will be part of NBC’s broadcast crew this weekend from New Hampshire.

Finn also notes the news from 98.5 yesterday that Chris Gasper of the Globe has been named co-host of the Patriots radio pregame show, alongside his old Saturday partner Marc Bertrand. This marks a complete revamp of the program with both former hosts Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh no longer with the station or the Patriots radio network. As I’ve said before, I’m generally OK with Gasper, he at least tries to be thoughtful, and while he won’t be able to pull out his thesaurus on the air, that’s probably for the best. Bertrand, on the other hand, I just don’t get the appeal. What does he bring?

WHERE IS ROGER????

The old Fenway Park taunt of Roger Clemens seems appropriate here as we await NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling on the appeal of Tom Brady.

The rumblings have been that Goodell could issue his ruling today, which would be just perfect for Goodell, as this is the so-called “deadest day in sports” and Roger can have the spotlight of the entire sports world all to himself.

That he would arrange things so that this would happen tells you just about all you need to know about the Commissioner and his integrity.

One thing we can be sure of in all this. Goodell is going to act in whichever way makes him look the best, to the most people.

How will Roger Goodell rule on Tom Brady appeal? The way he thinks makes him look best – Oh, Chad agrees. Look at that.

(Though the NFLPA did some “Federal Court” sabre-rattling this morning, which might, just might make Goodell hold off a bit on his announcement.)

Some random items here:

So what do we think of the wacky morning show feud on WEEI? Two days in a row now it has been atop the Inside Track, and led the cover of the Herald yesterday.

Maybe if I was more cynical, I might suggest that this is nothing more than a publicity stunt, and using some friends at the Herald to get some attention. But nah, these guys are really angry at each other! Right? It’s just like the time Mikey Adams was so mad he locked himself in the studio until he got hired!

Prediction: John Dennis is gone within a year. “Retirement” to Florida.

Two not-awful Shaughnessy columns in the span of a couple weeks? What is happening? (Next, someone is going to say Gary Tanguay is making sense. Whoops.) Today Shaughnessy has a look at the Globe’s sports Rolodex (safe to click – this link brings no SEO boost.) which is actually pretty fascinating.

XANDER BOGAERTS IS GOING TO BE A FREE AGENT IN 2019 AND HIS AGENT IS SCOTT BORAS! AREN’T YOU WORRIED???? Well, no Tony, I’m not.

The story of Mookie Betts’ rise from Nashville to Boston Red Sox franchise cornerstone – A really good feature by rising star Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com.

Hunter has consistency in his sights – Chris Forsberg has a look at Celtics first round pick R.J. Hunter.

Danny Ainge: New forward Perry Jones a ‘much different’ player than a lot of other Boston Celtics – Jay King looks at the forward acquired from the Thunder yesterday.