John Harbaugh dismisses “Scoreboardgate” as “nonsense”

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On Sunday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave Ravens kicking consultant Randy Brown a shove on national television.  Three days later, Harbaugh is essentially telling Brown to take his tinfoil-hat theory about the failed field goal attempt at the end of the AFC title game — and shove it.

“Any suggestion the wrong down info was a deliberate effort to affect the outcome of the game is nonsense,” Harbaugh said Wednesday, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.

Brown hinted at foul play when talking to WIP radio in Philly on Tuesday.  “The scoreboard was one down behind, the entire last three plays, from what we understand,” Brown said.  “I don’t think you can rule anything out in New England, can you?

Cundiff himself said that he was rushed in part because the scoreboard showed that it was third down.

Harbaugh doesn’t want to hear any of that.  “We knew what the down and distance were on our last series,” Harbaugh said.  “The scoreboard was not a factor for us.”

It’s the right move.  Reckless claims of cheating undermine the integrity of the team making them, and that’s surely something owner Steve Bisciotti doesn’t want to see.  Besides, creating the impression that the Ravens actually relied on the scoreboard creates a Keystone Cops quality to the entire operation, something that neither Harbaugh nor Bisciotti nor anyone in the organization should want.

Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see if Cundiff and/or Brown return in 2012, either because of the missed kick or their subsequent comments about it.

85 responses to “John Harbaugh dismisses “Scoreboardgate” as “nonsense”

  1. jim is already looking like a clown for moaning over bradshaw’s “fumble” (which any football fan with an ounce of intelligence knows WASNT a fumble)…good to see john not taking the same classless route.

    id like either one to be the coach of my team….but i think both, especially jim, need to tone down thier act. one rex ryan in the nfl is more than enough.

    btw….that goes for schwartz in detroit too.

  2. Thank god someone takes some responsibility and stops talking crap. Time to move on Ravens. The more you drag it out, the worse it looks for the franchise.

  3. Its almost SICKENING how many USELESS stories they have come up with from/about us losing. We lost, the game ended over 3 days ago. Lets move on PLEASE!

  4. A lot of people could learn from Harbaugh, Davis & Suggs in the aftermath of the loss in this hard-fought game. It takes a spine to lose with dignity and only REAL men know how.

  5. I am a Pats fan. John Harbaugh is a class act. The Ravens are a very good team and Sundays game was a hard fought game between two very good teams. Why is it so difficult for everyone to see this?

  6. Had Phil Simms not expressly stressed that Boldin’s fumble out of bounds was spotted at the spot of the fumble, I would’ve thought it was a first down also. The actual point on the field was very close. It was an easy mistake to make for a layperson. Nevertheless, the professionals knew or should have known. This chronic cry of “cheating” over every dumb thing makes people seem immature. Then again, sour grapes ARE purple.

  7. Apparently Skip Bayless has joined the PFT staff, as there is no limit to the desire to create drama where none exists.

    Anyone who actually listens to the interview can tell Brown was not accusing the Patriots, he was making an offhand snarky comment. In fact, it sounded a lot like the snarky comments PFT frequently makes in an effort to be funny and irreverent.

    BAck to Bayless – better not let Terrell Suggs read your article.

  8. But but but maybe this was all a nefarious scheme by Bill Belichick to force the Ravens to grappel with bizarre cheating claims when they should be building momentum for next year based on their impressive season? We’re through the looking glass here, people.

  9. Why did “class act” Harbaugh make a fool out of his Asst Coach Randy Brown on National TV? Why did he keep Lee Evans on the roster?”………..Answer”…………?……? He’s classless and a bad coach

  10. Coach Harbaugh showed how to act in the face of terrible defeat. Ray Lewis showed he is a stand up guy. Billy Cundiff showed how to accept responsibility. Coach Brown showed that there are too many coaches on the team.

  11. It’s about time, but at least he did it. Whiney excuses are for internet commenters – and guys who can’t ‘perform.’

  12. the commenters on PFT who love to spew venom at the Harbaughs need to temper their jealousy and bitterness with some respect. it’s perfectly fine to not like the Ravens or 49ers or any other team. just don’t make up stuff and skew the facts to try to ruin their reputations. that’s pathetic. *cough*JDANDCOKE*cough*.

    these guys are great coaches AND class acts, even if they are sometimes gruff with the media. I will never understand how Schwartz and Payton getting their panties in a twist over slights Jim didn’t even COMPREHEND, much less intend, gets blamed on him. but that’s sore loser sour grapes fans for you, I guess.

    don’t even get me started on the ridiculous “whining about the officials” BS. these two “whine” no more or less about poor officiating than any other coach in the league. besides, is anyone on these forums REALLY going to argue that the officials don’t blow calls left and right? if the NFL was really serious about improving officiating, they’d make the officials full-time employees so they don’t get distracted working 2 jobs to make ends meet.

    the Ravens and the 49ers lost. the Patriots and the Giants advanced to the Super Bowl. I don’t see the Ravens, the 49ers, their coaches OR their fans making excuses for it. get over it. we did.

  13. The Anquan Boldin “fumble” made it easy for a scoreboard operator to make a mistake. To assume foul play is childish. The Raves knew exactly what down it was which is why they kicked. Good Move by Harbaugh, bad move by Brown in a last ditch effort to save face.

  14. Okay, who expected the coach to admit he did not know what down it was, with 15 seconds left in a Championship game?
    This is the only thing Harbaugh could say.

  15. In retrospect, why was a kicking consultant taking it upon himself to speak out on this issue anyway? The coaching staff should speak with one voice–and for the Ravens that voice is Harbaugh’s.

    As for that infamous shove … that occurred earlier, when Harbaugh elected to go for it on fourth down. The kicking consultant didn’t need to be blathering in the HC’s ear as he was making that decision–or after that decision had been made. That was a critical game moment and Brown was way out of line. Any coach would have pushed him away–or screamed in his face–in those circumstances.

  16. There has been only one gate, Watergate, you know where a sitting president authorized the break-in and phone tapping of the opposing party HQ and used the power of the justice system to mostly cover it up.
    This is more like Scoreboard Mile Island. Cundiff missed a routine kick and accepted responsibility.

  17. If Harbaugh only knew when you have a timeout you use it to get your team on the field without rushing around like you were out of them

  18. Thank god someone takes some responsibility and stops talking crap. Time to move on Ravens. The more you drag it out, the worse it looks for the franchise

    ________________________

    Case in point, Raiders fans and the tuck rule.

  19. How about that officiating on Moore’s “sensational” pass defense vs Pitta. That was just plain assault. Since when are you allowed to visibly harass a receiver 5 yds from the line of scrimmage? Oh and then use that leverage from mauling his jersey to launch yourself in front of the pass? All while throwing the receiver to the ground. Ya, I must’ve missed that rule change.

  20. Coming from a Patriots fan, a head coach of a pro football team should be able to assume that his special teams coach and professional kicker are aware of the situation and prepared to kick a field goal in a 3 point game with time running out. Who cares what down it is or how many time outs you have, there were only 15 freaking seconds left in a 3 point game! Isn’t that a time to be prepared? Harbaugh seems like a class act. Someone let him down.

  21. If Boldin’s catch and fumble were that close why didn’t they take the time to look at it?? There was a lot of hurry up at the end of the game and the refs took no time to review anything. Yes Cundiff missed the kick. But from where he was praticing from behind the bench and a wall of players blocking the field all he could see was the scoreboard. My 2 sons were at the game and said the spots were terrible all day and they saw the scoreboard was wrong. Maybe the operator thought Boldin had the 1st down. Still the refs took no time to look at nothing.

  22. Well what else could he say they were playing whats your name little girl owait it was my ding a ling by Chuck Berry

  23. trubroncfan07 says:Jan 25, 2012 6:28 PM

    Well we now which Harbaugh has the class in the family.
    —————————————————–
    None they both been crying over bulls!!!!t but he said he will be the boy of them both and come out first

  24. Cundiff got cut by the Cowboys under Bill Parcells in 2005 because he choked and missed kicks in critical moments. This is far from the first time he missed a big kick. He was out of the league in 2007 and 2008 for that matter.

  25. Hairbaugh must of got a call from God-del if he isn’t crying about this, does about everything else. Move on another year another lose in the playoffs.

  26. pdxpanther says:
    Jan 25, 2012 6:32 PM
    Thank god someone takes some responsibility and stops talking crap. Time to move on Ravens. The more you drag it out, the worse it looks for the franchise

    ________________________

    Case in point, Raiders fans and the tuck rule.

    ________________________

    Case in point, Seahawks fans and Super Bowl XL

  27. Pats fan here. My respect for Harbaugh and the Ravens organization went WAY up after reading this.
    The article is dead on; accusations like Brown made reflect most poorly on the team making them.
    Harbaugh showed a lot of class here.

  28. ravenator says:
    Jan 25, 2012 6:34 PM
    How about that officiating on Moore’s “sensational” pass defense vs Pitta. That was just plain assault. Since when are you allowed to visibly harass a receiver 5 yds from the line of scrimmage? Oh and then use that leverage from mauling his jersey to launch yourself in front of the pass? All while throwing the receiver to the ground. Ya, I must’ve missed that rule change.

    ————————

    I’m so sorry that you are so bitter. So much so that you missed the fact that you CAN harass a receiver 5 yds from the line of scrimmage. Anything past that is illegal. Time to brush up on the rule book son.

  29. Harbaugh was keeping track of the downs, as was the officials and the linesmen with the little sticks that had the #4 on them. These are the guys the officials keep in line. Cundiff should have been ready, as his special teams coach. Instead, they were looking at the scoreboard and not the field of play. This is why they play the game. Oops!!!!!!!!!

  30. John Harbaugh a class act, not hardly. You mean like the time he accused the staff at heinz field for playing music to hurt Joe Floppos feeling. Or what is the time he was glad when Big Bens got his nose broke. Doesnt sound like a class act guy to me. How easily we forget boys and girls! Class act statement here, sure. Class act person, no way! Both the Harbaughs are cry babies if you ask me.

  31. @Stinger22

    You need to watch the play, Pitta was way beyond 5 yds he was a good 10 yds away. I know my rules. Pitta was mugged

  32. ’m a pats fan , so i’m happy this didn’t happen but why is coach harbaugh not being criticized for not calling a timeout .
    1 – it would give the nfl officials time to check out the catch , and give them time to make a decision whether to replay or not
    2- calms everything down so they have time to get set for the kick

  33. Good God! I thought the kickers were the head cases! A cowardly act by someone covering for their mistakes. Good to see Coach did not take it seriously. Don’t the refs use an elastic on their hand to remember the down? Sounds like coach should kick this guy to the curb!

  34. evans, the consultant and cundiff are all likely gone.

    that slow mlb who cant shed blockers or cover receivers ought to quit too.

  35. “The scoreboard was one down behind, the entire last three plays, from what we understand,”

    What does this exactly mean? You didn’t know it was behind? Or you knew it was behind and can’t do simple math? Or you neglected to do the one job that a kicking coach or whatever they call you is supposed to do and relay that to the kicker?

  36. ravenator says:
    Jan 25, 2012 7:49 PM
    @Stinger22

    You need to watch the play, Pitta was way beyond 5 yds he was a good 10 yds away. I know my rules. Pitta was mugged
    __________________________________
    Or, what the Ravens d backs do on every play. Particularly Pollard, who tackles by wrapping his arms around, then flinging his body at a players knees.

  37. ravenator says: Jan 25, 2012 7:49 PM

    @Stinger22

    You need to watch the play, Pitta was way beyond 5 yds he was a good 10 yds away. I know my rules. Pitta was mugged

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    I’m a Pats fan, but Ravenator is correct here, Moore could have easily been called for illegal contact. However, the refs were “letting them play” all game. I believe there was an example where they showed a replay of a Ravens first down play and Phil Simms pointed out the blatant hold on the Patriots defender as the reason for the first down. They didn’t seem to be in the mood to call much of anything.

  38. jimbobobjr says:Jan 25, 2012 5:33 PM

    Is he still wearing his “53 Mighty Men” shirt? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that)
    __________________________________

    Is that anything like the “puffy shirt”??

    (one good Seinfeld reference deserves another)

  39. All the people saying the Ravens are whining please stop. Any team that loses has stories come out about them so if that is the case every team in the league is a whiner.
    Here is why the Ravens lost. They got a fumble recovery with good field position and settled for a FG. They called a draw when they needed 6 yards on third down. They were running the ball great on the drive where Flacco threw the pick and should have kept running it until the pats stopped it which would have run the clock down as well leaving Brady no time to respond if the Ravens would have managed to score. Dickson dropped a ball that would have given them a first down. Flacco missed Torrey Smith on some deep passes where he was wide open and under threw it on the one deep catch he made that if would have been where it should have been Smith would have walked in. Evans dropped the game winner yeah Moore got a hand in there but guys like Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin wouldn’t drop the ball even if the defensive player swung a sledge hammer at it. Cundiff wasn’t trusted to kick the 51 yarder earlier in the game and missed the one to tie it. And lastly we left NE with a time out which is completely stupid.

    Teams like the Patriots and Steelers win and do it well because of fundamentals. They make the appropriate calls, use their timeouts when they should, hardly fumble and commit stupid penalties. They are discipline and if they mess up they are not active the following week. The Ravens have a ton of talent but they doesn’t mean everything imagine where they would be with complete fundamentals and Discipline.

    Again we lost none of us are complaining about Wilfork’s helmet or the scoreboard or what ever. PFT manages to post up here. It was a heart breaker but hey that’s sports…

  40. Why is it that pats are perpetually surrounded in controversy?
    Don’t say that it’s because they are so successful.
    Plenty of other (more) successful franchises don’t seem to have it.

  41. Is it really necessary to attach the suffix “gate” to any controversy?

    People are so ill-informed! The original “gate” was dubbed so because it occurred at the Watergate Hotel! It’s ridiculous to keep anointing controversies, significant or no, with the suffix “gate.”

  42. Bradshaw’s fumble wasn’t a fumble, like Calvin Johnson’s game winning TD in Chicago wasn’t a TD.

    The rules are so inconsistent that fans from 31 teams see a clear cut TD catch or fumble, and fans from the other team see something else.

    The fact of the matter is, the rules not being clear allows the league to dictate which teams win games (by accident or on purpose) via the consistently inconsistent officiating, instead of games being decided as they should be, by the players on the field.

    In other words, please stop letting the NFL turn into the WWF.

  43. John Harbaugh was correct in stating the obvious. Now he needs to make the next move and remove Brown from his staff before he embarreses himself or the Ravens anymore. As for Cundiff, you are only as good as your weakest link. Teams and there high priced players need to think about sharing the wealth and spending a bit more on the special teams. I can think of two teams that wished they had this weekend.

  44. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a Harbaugh pass on the opportunity to whine, complain or moan.

  45. As the visiting team, the down markers should have been right in front of them. there’s always an official to ask. utter non-sense about going off the scoreboard.

    The Ravens need better play calling from their OC or a new OC.

    Don’t know if Harbaugh is a class act, I don’t think he is a great coach. He inherited a very good defense and a decent team. the front office drafted a solid QB & RB for him. In terms of coaching, the brother has done a much better job.

  46. steelcurtainn says:
    Jan 25, 2012 7:16 PM
    John Harbaugh a class act, not hardly. You mean like the time he accused the staff at heinz field for playing music to hurt Joe Floppos feeling. Or what is the time he was glad when Big Bens got his nose broke. Doesnt sound like a class act guy to me. How easily we forget boys and girls! Class act statement here, sure. Class act person, no way! Both the Harbaughs are cry babies if you ask me.
    ===================================

    This is why nobody asked you. It’s fans like you that give decent Steelers fans a bad name. You wouldn’t know class if it broke your f’ing nose.

  47. Inside the NFL comfirmed some of this last night. There was audible confusion on the Baltimore sidelines. You can clearly hear “that was second down” (the play before the field goal) being yelled. I didn’t get the sense the coaches were confused though.

  48. Part of me wishes Childress would have whined a made faces & complained to the officials & shoved his fellow coaches as much as the Harbaugh’s do in the NFC Championship vs the Saints. Then maybe they would have got a call or two & not have had the Tight Ends coach yelling at the OC & Chilly right before they sent the 12th man into the huddle.

  49. ravenator says: Jan 25, 2012 6:34 PM

    How about that officiating on Moore’s “sensational” pass defense vs Pitta. That was just plain assault. Since when are you allowed to visibly harass a receiver 5 yds from the line of scrimmage? Oh and then use that leverage from mauling his jersey to launch yourself in front of the pass? All while throwing the receiver to the ground. Ya, I must’ve missed that rule change.
    ________________________________

    I agree with your assessment of the play, Moore was all up in Pitta’s business, well beyond 5 yards, however, it was no different than the play that Brady threw the interception early in the game. He was throwing deep to Edelman, and (I think it was J Smith) was on Edelman like white on rice. Grabbing his arm, bumping him all the way down the field, etc. If that wasnt illegal contact then I dont know what is. The overall point is, I think the defense should be allowed to do that, so I am glad they let them play. But you cant complain about one call that went against your team, while over looking essentially the same play that went for your team. It makes you look like a sore loser

  50. riverhorsey says:
    Jan 25, 2012 5:26 PM
    They’d be foolish to let Cundiff go.

    ——————————————————–
    Right.

    What team doesn’t need a kicker who misses a chip shot that keeps them out of the Super Bowl?

  51. Harbaugh is great coach. Harbaugh wasn’t going to pile on any more. This is why he will be a SB winning coach in the future.

    Anyone happen to notice the whole field goal team was on the field and the holder was already in position and already had one knee on the ground and they were waiting for Cundiff.

    Evans had the ball knocked out of his hands and Cundiff missed the kick. End of story.

  52. gingerkid2000 says:
    Jan 25, 2012 5:17 PM
    A lot of people could learn from Harbaugh, Davis & Suggs in the aftermath of the loss in this hard-fought game. It takes a spine to lose with dignity and only REAL men know how.

    __
    I agree…four years later and the Pats fans STILL can’t admit that they got beat in the Super Bowl. Thanks for confirming that there aren’t any REAL men up there.

  53. “Reckless claims of cheating undermine the integrity of the team making them.”

    Sort of like claims by a certain website claiming the Steelers were cheating by using the phrase “conscussions like symptoms” (even though the steelers never let those players re-enter the game, unlike some other teams)

    Or like claiming that the steeler coaching staff is teaching helmet to helmet hits?

    Sort of undermines that reporters credibility, and yet every week these reporters post similar stories about a lot of NFL teams. Why? Because it draws hits to the website, thats why.

  54. steviethewiz says:
    Jan 26, 2012 8:00 AM
    Bottom line here is that Little Bill cheats …………Tainted forever Pats fan but don’t blame me blame Little Bill the cheater
    ————————————————–

    bottom line is that there are still donkeys like you have access to a keyboard and the internet.

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