NFL statement says “stadium power infrastructure issue” caused problematic headsets


Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was furious with headset problems that hindered the ability of the Steelers’ coaching staff to communicate with one another Thursday night in New England. The Steelers were getting the Patriots radio broadcast in their headsets instead of the ability to communicate and discuss strategy during the first half of the 28-21 loss to New England.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said their staff was having radio issues as well.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora released a statement Thursday night regarding the issue of the problematic headsets.

“In the first quarter of tonight’s game, the Pittsburgh coaches experienced interference in their headsets caused by a stadium power infrastructure issue, which was exacerbated by the inclement weather. The coaches’ communications equipment, including the headsets, is provided by the NFL for both clubs use on game day. Once the power issue was addressed, the equipment functioned properly with no additional issues.”

The issue could very well be as simple as an electrical wiring issue that caused the problems to surface. However, in an offseason devoted to Deflategate, and on the heels of two separate stories from ESPN and Sports Illustrated suggesting the Patriots frequently seek to circumvent the rules, it’s much tougher to give them the benefit of the doubt.

71 responses to “NFL statement says “stadium power infrastructure issue” caused problematic headsets

  1. So it wasn’t the Pats tweaking the league it was the league tweaking the Pats. So much for protecting the integrity of the game.

  2. So does the NFL actually control the headsets or do they simply just provide the equiptment like this statement says? I see a lot of confusing comments and opinions in these posts but no confirmation from fans, league or media. Who controls the headsets? I don’t care who provides the equiptment. I want to know who is in charge of controlling the headsets. An NFL employee or a stadium emplyee?

  3. If the patriots really do steal signals it’s in their best interests for the headsets to fail. Even if both sides fail, advantage patriots. Or maybe it’s all just coincidence though.

  4. Notice how Belichick twists the truth by implying they were having equal issues.

    It was turned off for both after the Steelers raised concerns, which isn’t quite the same.

    Either way, there have been systemic problems in that stadium for years, which can no longer be dismissed under the ‘sore loser’ category.

  5. I’m not one to believe in conspiracy theories and all that.. But dang, how does this stuff always involve the Pats? At some point you just have to think where there’s smoke, there’s fire..

  6. Tough to give them the benefit of the doubt? Nevermind that they’d have to be out of their minds to try something so dumb and arrogant in Week 1 on national TV after an offseason like this one.

    And to not just interfere, but do so with the patriots own radio broadcast?

    In other news, the earth is flat, the moon landing was fake, Elvis and Tupac are still alive, and Obama is going to go door to door to take your guns.

  7. The league runs the headsets, so what’s your freaking point? the NFL all of as sudden is pro-Patriots? Really? Belichick say they had the same frigging issue

  8. You realize nfl handles the communications and gamesets ? Still you claim “tougher to give them the benefit of the doubt.”

    You are serious ?

  9. It’s a cute story and all but the NFL controls the headsets. Belichick said that they had to switch headsets a couple of times and were having problems all game.

    Brady=GOAT. Drive for five engaged. Cry haters cry.

  10. Wow so now if a patriot coach or player has to fart the national media will question if they are cheating? Get over it, Pats are a better team than most and the ones bitching look like silly little kids. You got out played, have some self worth and move on Tomlin and your aluminum curtain.

  11. So this sort of thing has happened to a lot of other teams.. And a few coach’s will say this always happens at New England..Fix the Problem NFL end the Cheating.

  12. Radio equipment will only receive the radio signals that it’s programmed to receive.

    Their explanation is like saying that rain made your radio channel change to 88.8 FM when you turned it to channel 96.7 FM.

    The Patriots have some explaining to do.

  13. Sure it was.
    Thinking NFL is drained with Patriots and barely week 1.

    I’d even take a “just sweep it under the rug. Please, I’m exhausted.” approach.

  14. Nice that the nfl thinks that the general public is this stupid. They are following in the footsteps of our federal and state governments.

  15. Once again, how is bad equipment provided to both teams by the league the Patriots fault again?

    If anything, the NFL has proven that it cannot handle equipment properly over and over again.

    Of the haters will say, “since the game was played in New England, the Patriots must have cheated again”…

  16. Let me guess; media and low lives will blame and twist this into the patriots sabotaging the wave world and hacked into headsets to hear play calls

  17. it was a set up by Goodells Goons. OMG the Pats are at it again, (even though they have no control of the headsets) But gorsh, it sure seems odd that things like this would happen. Unnamed sources in the league office say this has been going on for 65 years.

  18. Tomlin was infuriated. This coming from the bum who trips opposing players by accident on purpose. Who does that ?

  19. Yes, in the absolute first quarter of the absolute first game back, the Patriots went ahead and went back to one of the most complained about boogeyman tactics they get accused of because clearly they are sadist and want more controversy surrounding everything they do. They don’t F around.

  20. Seriously, is anybody really surprised ? This is a chicken spit organization at best and a theiving bunch of cheaters at worst. When there’s 1 team having ALL the issues it’s more than coincidence. There needs to be something like a league probation issued and somebody from the NFL should be monitoring every aspect of the organization on a daily basis until it ends.

  21. School is out since the Brady decision, anything goes and the cheating continues. Is anyone surprised?

  22. Nice to see the league finally doing its job and getting out in front of a ridiculous story before it becomes ammunition for the trolls and haters. Electrical problems happen at every stadium around the league the truth is that it’s only a story because it’s the patriots and everyone knows that. I’m glad the Patriots weren’t in the superbowl a few years ago when the lights went out for 30 minutes or we would never hear the end of it.

  23. No vested interest in either team. I seemed to recall similar issues happening in NFL game(s) in previous years. Not a Pats issue but a NFL issue.

  24. Ok, I’m a diehard Vikings fan but this New England patriots hatred and the accusations against the team are getting ridiculous. It is to the point where every team that complains should just work that much harder to be a better team and not get embarrassed by the patriots.

  25. Can’t we just make something up that The Patriots provided the faulty equipment so that it appears they cheated?

    I’m sure ESPN will run with it and put it in their crawl.

  26. This game has been on the schedule for a while, so it’s a shame this issue occurred in the opening game and on TV for all to see. Operationally, this issue should have been tested and resolved by the NFL during preseason and before the game. It’s a matter of protecting the integrity of the game, and it should have been a priority.

  27. Funny how these things only seem to happen in NE. Very funny indeed.

    On the brightside, at least Pittsburgh got to listen to some terrific Patriots radio broadcast. I’m sure they appreciated hearing what the other side says on the air.

  28. So should the NFL pay the PATRIOTS $1,000,000 and give back their TWO Draft picks since it was their fault??? I mean it affected the integrity of the game….RIGHT ROGER???

  29. Interesting explanation. Do power issues also impact the headsets and equipment during the games at other stadiums?

    Now after publicly stating there are known problems with the power infrastructure at the stadium, what steps does the NFL take to ensure sure fans and players are not endangered by the faulty infrastructure as well?

  30. NFL statement ‘krafted’ by the owner himself. Is the league becoming a fraud? Or has it been that way since 2000?

  31. “The Steelers were getting the Patriots radio broadcast in their headsets…”

    Priceless: It doesn’t get any funnier than that. And the thought of Zolak forming at the mouth after every Gronk TD must have been punishing on the ears of the Steeler coaches.

  32. If the equipment is provided by the NFL and is sitting on the Steeler sideline in front of 60,000+ people, how exactly does New England need the “benefit of doubt” that they didn’t interfere?

  33. Unbelievable. Can the Patriots win anything without controversy. ANSWER: No, because w/o cheating they won’t win. On a day like today, 9/11, I think of these words – HONOR COURAGE COMMITMENT – Truth Honesty & Integrity. The Patriots organization are the Polar Opposite of all those words. Perhaps they should change their name — they certainly don’t deserve a name like Patriots.

  34. There is no “benefit of the doubt” needed. These things are NFL-supplied. Once the Steelers were having problems the Patriots’ headsets were turned off too. Is this the way it is going to be now, where everyone sticks their head out of a hole every game just looking for a reason to bring up the Pats cheating again? If so I’ll have to stop reading the media; it is tiresome already.

  35. In a new semi new stadium? Come in. It’s not like they are in Oakland. Just another way they cheat. They lie and get away with it over and over again. It’s old

  36. I think the NFL should hire an independent technical team to research how and why the headsets weren’t working properly.

    Hmm, after a quick google search this company got great Yelp reviews: Ted Wells Electrical, Independent Contractor.

    They seem kinda pricey, but hey, you get what you pay for.

  37. conormacleod says:
    Sep 11, 2015 8:31 AM

    The headsets are supplied by the NFL. But who runs the stadium infrastructure and electrical? Ding ding ding! The Patriots.

    And these “issues” only (or mainly) occur at Foxborough. When is enough enough?

  38. conormacleod says:

    The headsets are supplied by the NFL. But who runs the stadium infrastructure and electrical? Ding ding ding! The Patriots.


    And yet, it happened to the Patriots too.

    And of course, once again the laws of physics i.e, radio waves bleed, aren’t relevant to the haters.

    A Common Problem:
    This is a fairly common problem. When we install a sound system, we sometimes have to fight to get rid of radio stations. Unfortunately there can be many causes for this and often it requires a professional with experience in this area to solve the problem.

    If you read through the write-up below, you will find some tips which may help you. If this works, that is great. Due to the complex nature of RFI and AC Hum troubleshooting however you might need more help.

    If your problem is AC Hum, click here.

    Worse at Night:
    As you may have noticed, the interference usually appears or becomes worse at night time. This is because the radio wave transmission characteristics actually change at night. Due to changes in the earth’s atmosphere, the radio waves are “pushed’ closer to the ground, making them stronger than usual.

    (Game was at night and of course the Patriots set the schedule)

    Radio stations usually reduce their transmitter power to compensate for this, but if you are located near a transmitter, the signal strength is still much higher than normal. If your sound system is prone to radio interference pickup, this is the worst time for you.

    (The Patriots don’t own the radio station, who, I suspect, has a broad audience so they’re pushing out power to reach more listeners. I doubt they’d knowingly hamper the Pats.)

    Causes of Radio interference:

    Sound systems are made up of several pieces of electronic equipment as well as a lot of wiring. Each run of wire is potentially an antenna.

    The microphone wires tend to be the most sensitive because they are longer than the wiring which interconnects the equipment.

    The signal level on microphone wires is also much lower than the other wiring. This means that you need more gain on the mixer, which also increases the volume of the radio interference.

    Microphone wires are not the only source of radio pickup however. Sometimes ground loops between interconnected equipment is the cause.

    Other times, the quality of the equipment itself might be a factor.

    (The NFL is responsible for the Quality of the Equipment)

    Maybe there are more problems at Patriot games because so many of their games are night games because the Networks want them as they are a big draw?

  39. Of course…all this business about the headsets is just a diversion. The REAL issue…currently being investigated by the FBI…is KIDNAPPING! (As in…who kidnapped the Steelers’ defense?!!! Leaving Gronkowski ALONE in the red zone? Only having 10 players on the field? OK. I know D.L. is gone. But somebody has GOT to figure out who kidnapped the Steelers’ D and try to get it back before their next game!!!)

  40. “The LEAGUE controls the headsets and all communications related thereto.”

    The LEAGUE controlled the footballs too. How did that work out for ya?

  41. Kind of funny to see Tomlin have another hissy fit. I kept waiting for him to walk onto the field and trip Edelman “by accident”.

    Spoiler alert: the headsets failed because the Pats used a super secret tractor beam to deflect those 2 FG’s. Get ready for Tractor Beam Gate.

  42. believing the Patriots cheated, paid the refs, made a deal with the devil, used a voodoo doll on Pete Carroll’s brain is a lot more comforting than knowing they beat our favorite teams because they played better

  43. Weird how power fluctuations directly coincided with the league official was moving from one team’s bench to the other. He must be a human dampening field.

  44. We’re on to Buffalo! Because we got away with it, so you can all stop talking now OK?

    The only way this happens is with some analog box
    which the Patriots of course control. The digital part of the system has built-in encryption to prevent any ouside broadcasts from bleeding in. The league’s explanation is laughable to anyone with half a clue about how these systems operate.

    Next man up… to find a new way to cheat ‘cuz it’s a road game and we can’t pull off a stunt like this there.

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