NFL: Tablet issue in Denver was a network cable malfunction

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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.

46 responses to “NFL: Tablet issue in Denver was a network cable malfunction

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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.

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

  23. @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.

  24. 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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