It wouldn’t be an NFL season opener involving the New England Patriots without some controversy, and it looks like there was some, if one were to ask the Pittsburgh Steelers, who lost the game 28-21.
In an article on the Steelers’ official website, the team claimed that their headsets were tampered with during the game, specifically by having the Patriots’ radio broadcast come in while the coaches were trying to call plays, only to suddenly disappear when the NFL’s reps at the game came to the sideline to turn the headsets off.
“This is the kind of stuff that happens to the visiting team in Gillette Stadium all the time. From the start of the game through the opening 14 minutes of the first quarter, the Steelers’ coaches’ headsets were receiving the Patriots Radio Network broadcast of the game. The broadcast was so loud that the Steelers coaches were unable to communicate, and the NFL rule is that if one team’s headsets are not working the other team is supposed to be forced to take their headsets off. It’s what the NFL calls the Equity Rule. Strangely enough, whenever an NFL representative proceeded to the New England sideline to shut down their headsets, the Steelers headsets cleared. Then as the representative walked away from the New England sideline, the Steelers’ headsets again started to receive the Patriots game broadcast.”
Now, granted, there could be SOME validity to this statement, but let’s look at the real facts as opposed to just conjecture that’s been drummed up by probably nationwide anti-Patriots sentiment following both the DeflateGate ruling that overturned Tom Brady’s suspension, not to mention a recent ESPN report that claimed the NFL swept Spygate under the rug rather than discipline the Patriots franchise properly.
In last night’s game, it was pouring rain at one point.
That wasn’t the case in the first quarter, but an oncoming storm probably did not do the stadium’s communications infrastructure any favors.
Just the same, the Steelers plan on filing a complaint with the league about the headset issues, so it’s now in the hands of the Commissioner’s Office. Campus Sports will update this story as any new information becomes public.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports