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NFL: Tablet issue in Denver was a network cable malfunction

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24: Chandler Jones #95 of the New England Patriots holds a Microsoft Surface tablet on the sideline in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

In the first quarter of the AFC championship game, CBS reported that the Microsoft tablet computers used by NFL teams on the sideline were not working for the Patriots.

The issue was resolved a short time later with Microsoft releasing a statement saying that it was an issue with the network rather than with the tablets themselves. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy released a statement from the league on Monday saying the same thing.

“Near the end of the 1st quarter, we experienced an infrastructure issue on the Patriots sideline that impacted still photos for the coaching tablets. The issue was identified as a network cable malfunction and was resolved during the 2nd quarter.  The issue was not caused by the tablets or the software that runs on the tablets. We have experienced no issues with the tablets this season. Any issues were network related.”

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about the outage during a Monday press conference and said it wasn’t a big deal for the team.

“It is what it is. It is what it is,” Belichick said. “It’s a pretty common problem. We have ways of playing, working through it. There’s really nothing you can do. It’s not like the headsets where the other side is really affected. You deal with what you deal with, and we’ve had it at home, we’ve had it on the road. Other teams have had it. It’s a fairly common problem. That didn’t affect the outcome of the game. I mean, no way, but it’s just part of it. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t.”

The NFL is testing a new wireless communication system for coaches at the Pro Bowl in hopes of avoiding the problems in that area that cropped up at times this season.

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46 Responses to “NFL: Tablet issue in Denver was a network cable malfunction”
  1. jrterrier5 says: Jan 25, 2016 5:51 PM

    You mean Phil Simms had taken up all the bandwidth?

  2. thefatlazygamer says: Jan 25, 2016 5:54 PM

    Trying to protect the major sponsor… makes sense. No surprise here. No truth either likely.

  3. steelbreeze676 says: Jan 25, 2016 5:55 PM

    Not difficult to believe a Microsoft product didn’t work correctly.

  4. damnsureis says: Jan 25, 2016 5:56 PM

    The headline should read:

    NFL: After $5 Million Investigation, Tablet Issue was More Than Probable a Network Cable Malfunction.

    Look at the bright side Denver Fans. At least it’s not a high draft pick that you’ll be losing.

  5. dixonscider says: Jan 25, 2016 5:58 PM

    Good thing that didn’t happen in Foxboro … All of the illiterate buffoons would be out with their pitchforks and torches

  6. unitedramp says: Jan 25, 2016 6:04 PM

    If this happened to the Broncos if they were playing in NE, Broncos fans would be crying so much that the Nationak Weather Service would be calling for a flash flood warning for the Denver Metro area

  7. chucklesmcredbeard says: Jan 25, 2016 6:05 PM

    Ignoring obvious stale cheating jokes, why are there constantly so many tales of broken communications and technologies from a billion dollar company sponsored by several other multi-billion dollar technology companies?

  8. bullcharger says: Jan 25, 2016 6:13 PM

    dixonscider says:
    Jan 25, 2016 5:58 PM

    Good thing that didn’t happen in Foxboro … All of the illiterate buffoons would be out with their pitchforks and torches

    —————

    I think someone should at least ask what the nature of the network issue was, where the infrastructure that caused the problem is located and who has access to that technology.

    For one sideline to be affected it is unusual.

  9. daysend564 says: Jan 25, 2016 6:14 PM

    Patriots employees thought they were going to be on the other sideline.

  10. badbabyjane says: Jan 25, 2016 6:14 PM

    Pats were trying to jam Denver’s frequency and inadvertently did it to themselves.

  11. arktikman says: Jan 25, 2016 6:17 PM

    Let me guess, the resolution was rebooting them.

  12. bcgreg says: Jan 25, 2016 6:18 PM

    So, it was a network cable malfunction…wink, wink.

    All I can think of is the old Jon Lovitz character.

    Yeah! It was a network cable malfunction. Yeah, that’s it. The NFL couldn’t fix it because they were talkin with my wife, ahhhh, Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that’s it.

    Or maybe that was Chris Mortensen reporting. I dunno.

  13. abninf says: Jan 25, 2016 6:20 PM

    dixonscider says:

    Good thing that didn’t happen in Foxboro … All of the illiterate buffoons would be out with their pitchforks and torches
    ======================================

    Well that’s because the Patriots have a history of cheating. The coach was fined half a million dollars for cheating. Fact.

  14. skawh says: Jan 25, 2016 6:22 PM

    Yep. If only NE had full access to their tablets. I just love whine day!

    1 SB in 10 years, and only then when it’s gift wrapped to you – Dynasty? LOL!

  15. key2heat says: Jan 25, 2016 6:25 PM

    Too much clam chowda.

  16. nbptma1 says: Jan 25, 2016 6:25 PM

    NFL might want to sign a network sponsor like Cisco Systems. All these technology issues in this day and age seem like a joke.

  17. rhamrhoddy says: Jan 25, 2016 6:28 PM

    These days when either the league releases a statement or Goodell tries to explain something, I automatically think “I don’t believe you”.

    From there, I listen to what they have to say and most of the time, I find myself not believing them.

  18. jbraider says: Jan 25, 2016 6:29 PM

    I have no trouble believing that it was a network cable. It is almost always a physical layer issue, particularly if it can be diagnosed / fixed quickly.

  19. audge86 says: Jan 25, 2016 6:30 PM

    When this happens, they should be taken from the other team so there’s no advantage. Same as headsets

  20. mmack66 says: Jan 25, 2016 6:32 PM

    chucklesmcredbeard says:
    Jan 25, 2016 6:05 PM

    Ignoring obvious stale cheating jokes, why are there constantly so many tales of broken communications and technologies from a billion dollar company sponsored by several other multi-billion dollar technology companies?
    ———————

    One reason is that the NFL is cheap.

  21. j0esixpack says: Jan 25, 2016 6:34 PM

    If this happened in Foxboro, not only would all other fans be crafting a conspiracy theory, the Broncos coaches, fans and all players would use that as an excuse as to why they lost

    Not a word of complaint from Belichick of course… Hope the Steelers are paying attention

    Some would say the Pats deserve their reputation – but of course even that is based on the fact that some don’t know what “retracted” means and think they filmed the Rams walk through – others don’t know that signal stealing remains legal and Spygate was only about camera placement the first half of the first game of 2007 – and others still insist that the Laws of Physics don’t apply to the NFL

  22. frozenburritobuttsecks says: Jan 25, 2016 6:34 PM

    Yeah…it was the Network CABLE for a WIRELESS device

  23. setirovaf says: Jan 25, 2016 6:39 PM

    It makes more sense than not that it was the network. If one device stops working, likely that specific device is at fault. If 20+ devices stop communicating at the exact same time, likely the network.

  24. qbarrel says: Jan 25, 2016 6:46 PM

    Yep. If only NE had full access to their tablets. I just love whine day!

    1 SB in 10 years, and only then when it’s gift wrapped to you – Dynasty? LOL!

    ==============

    Actually it was giftwrapped for the Seahawks on that fluky Manningham/Tyree-esq catch . They simply blew it.

  25. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 25, 2016 6:53 PM

    What surprised me was they said the Donks could still use theirs.

    When headsets go down for one team the league turns off the headsets for the other team.

    Allowing team A to keep using them if team B’s tablets are down is a real advantage. The tablets going down were certainly not why the Pats lost the game, but every team and their fans should be wary of this.

    You may bash the Pats about headset issues, but the fact is there were numerous comm failures during the season all over the league. If they have the same success rate with tablets then a lot of teams will get hosed.

  26. tnt2003 says: Jan 25, 2016 7:01 PM

    Don’t think those tablets were going to block anybody on the Broncos defensive line.

  27. lgbarn says: Jan 25, 2016 7:02 PM

    If all of them were down for one side…it’s the network. That is pretty easy to figure out and I’m a Linux guys all day every day. Nothing to see here…unless Denver sabotaged New England.

  28. realdealsteel says: Jan 25, 2016 7:08 PM

    Good job Broncos…giving the Patriots some of their own cheating medicine and then kicking their @ss. A good day all around.

    Anytime the Cheat-riots can be put down, that’s a good day.

  29. justcallingit says: Jan 25, 2016 7:11 PM

    Oh boo hoo Patriots. Finally when you get a taste of your own medicine (ahem Headset gate) you cry like little babies. Start playing fair if you want other teams to play fair too.

  30. indianaviking says: Jan 25, 2016 7:29 PM

    Yeah, an all wireless network will have zero problems!

  31. MichaelEdits says: Jan 25, 2016 7:45 PM

    Every time I think of buying my wife a new Microsoft Surface, they have a malfunction during a football game. Maybe Johnny Manziel had the right idea after all.

  32. killxswitch says: Jan 25, 2016 7:50 PM

    Yeah if this happened in Foxboro people would be up in arms.

    Because the Pats have been caught cheating and punished for it. Twice.

    Karma.

  33. latenightroach says: Jan 25, 2016 7:52 PM

    Shouldn’t even have made the news – only SOME of NE’s tablets were having issues for a short time.

  34. YouCryin?PatsMustBeDoingTheirJob says: Jan 25, 2016 7:59 PM

    It had nothing to do with the game and the better team won. Only trolls say other wise. There are trolls in every fan base. So you think anybody could give Belichick credit for saying as much? Didn’t think so. Any way, good luck Denver and Carolina. Two great teams with great story lines. You and your fans deserve it.

  35. broncodanny says: Jan 25, 2016 8:03 PM

    What’s the frequency Kenneth?

  36. 46namredyps11 says: Jan 25, 2016 8:12 PM

    Technology is awesome, except when it’s not.

  37. marshallheartskungfumaster says: Jan 25, 2016 8:16 PM

    That’s the last time Belichick let’s Mcdaniels look for Waldo on company time…

  38. rcali says: Jan 25, 2016 8:51 PM

    Okay, well I few of us now know the “excuse” not sure about the 30+ million who now plan on going Apple.

  39. scottbrowning2 says: Jan 25, 2016 9:16 PM

    Notice that not a single Patriot player or coach has pulled a “Tomlin” over this issue…

  40. raiderapologist says: Jan 25, 2016 10:03 PM

    A patch cord issue? Doubtful.

  41. luckyarmpit says: Jan 25, 2016 10:57 PM

    Thank you. Most other news sites are blaming the Surface tablets themselves, which is 100% incorrect.

  42. Pocari Sweat says: Jan 25, 2016 11:34 PM

    @tnt2003

    True, the devices wouldn’t block any Bronco pass rushers.

    But they are the holder of data that can help New England try strategise how to operate the offense, knowing they can cannot block any Bronco pass rushers.

  43. mickton says: Jan 25, 2016 11:39 PM

    I guarantee you the Broncos headsets would have interference playing the polka or something in diksburro.

  44. 3cupsanda6pack says: Jan 26, 2016 8:56 AM

    Happens in Foxboro every week. Belicheat must have screwed it up.

  45. patsrthegreatest says: Jan 26, 2016 1:09 PM

    I’m sure Tomlin’s already written this one down for next season

  46. fluiddarkness says: Jan 26, 2016 3:52 PM

    The NFL better be sure to pay their IT department very well. They’ll need to know their stuff and have a healthy budget to make sure everything is on the up and up, which can be a rarity in the corporate world.

    Oh and for those dismissing a faulty network cable for wireless issues: you know NOTHING at all about Information Technology or how networks actually function.

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