In response to last night’s item regarding the suggestion by Ravens kicking consultant Randy Brown, whose job presumably consists of yelling “Oyage!” from the sideline (thanks for the inspiration, Fritzy), of scoreboard manipulation in Foxborough, several of you have insisted that the Patriots couldn’t have deliberately displayed false information because the league, not the Patriots, operates the scoreboard.
Unfortunately, that’s not accurate. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT via email this morning that the home team operates the scoreboard.
I mention this reluctantly, because I firmly believe that, even if the Patriots intentionally put up the wrong number in order to confound Cundiff (and I strongly, strongly doubt they did), the Ravens should have relied on their own assessment of the situation — or at a minimum the large sticks with the number on top of them.
“The scoreboard was one down behind, the entire last three plays, from what we understand,” Brown told WIP radio on Tuesday. “I don’t think you can rule anything out in New England, can you?”
Aiello said the league would have no comment on Brown’s comments. But the league frowns upon baseless accusations of cheating, as the Jets and special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff learned after the Sal Alosi incident in December 2010. Westhoff suggested that the Dolphins and Patriots also try to trip or impede “gunners” who stray toward the sidelines. Jets owner Woody Johnson later called Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Patriots owner Robert Kraft to apologize.
In this case, regardless of what the league does or doesn’t do, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti should be making a call to Massachusetts. Right after he finds out precisely why in the hell his team employs a “kicking consultant.”