NFL finds Bucs didn’t break rules with distracting video boards

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After losing in Tampa Bay in Week 17, Carolina players and coaches accused the Buccaneers of “bush league” tactics by using their video boards to distract Panthers kicker Graham Gano. But the NFL saw no problem with the anything the Bucs did.

A league spokesman told the Charlotte Observer that there was no evidence the Buccaneers broke NFL rules.

Gano went 1-for-4 on field goals during the game and said afterward that he was distracted by the video boards behind the goal posts in the end zones, which the Buccaneers were using to display the uprights, making it appear to Gano from a distance like he was seeing two different sets of uprights. While Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo lined up for kicks, the video board only displayed a Buccaneers logo.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera also complained that he thought the Buccaneers were trying to incite their fans by repeatedly showing Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis hit Bucs wide receiver Russell Shepard. The Buccaneers didn’t break the rules with those replays either, the league said.

As is so often the case with the NFL investigating misconduct, the key should be consistency. In some cases, when one team accuses another team of breaking a rule to get a competitive advantage, the league launches a long investigation. In this case, the league quickly ruled that there was no wrongdoing.

76 responses to “NFL finds Bucs didn’t break rules with distracting video boards

  1. Imagine if the Pats had done this. But its the Bucs so the league lets them slide as if its nothing.

  2. Gee, who knew that showing live game footage isn’t a violation of league rules? Maybe it should be against the rules for the Panthers to whine about something every damn time they lose?

  3. Really? This is what is concerning for a head coach in the NFL and a professional kicker? I was at that game and there is absolutely nothing to this complaint. I’m actually embarrassed for them. I’m surprised they didn’t claim there was kryptonite in the stadium affecting Superman’s performance and that they tackled the primodonna too hard.

  4. ……………Gano just had a REAL bad day at the office!……1st rule of thumb when kicking a football….keep you head DOWN and your eyes on the football……..geez, they teach you that in POP WARNER……

  5. “Not the Patriots….no problem”- should be the tag line on every official NFL release.

  6. Inciting the fans is the jumbo-tron operators primary job. That is his purpose.

    Pam Newton’s pouting seems to be contagious.

  7. This kind of thing doesn’t really bother me. But I did think it was a little questionable for the steelers PA at the end of the Dolphins game. I hate to even speak up for the phins because their fans have been driving me crazy. But, with that said, it is quite common for the fans of the home team to chant when the game is all but over. Sometimes the chant will be “warm up the bus”. That’s funny. Takes us all back to high school. Harmless, but gets the point across. Another common fan chant is to sing “nana na na, hey hey hey, good bye”. Also a fan classic. But really, did the steelers PA have to play the actual song over the stadium speakers for all to hear??? You can hear it on tv playing while the fans sang along. I get the fans “rubbing it in” with the chant. But I don’t think it’s appropriate for the hometeam to be doing it as well. Maybe I’m alone on this? Just seems to me that the teams should be a little more professional than that and stay above that level of juvenile behavior and leave that to the fans in the stands

  8. So, the defending NFC champs and their MVP QB are blaming a scoreboard for their inability to beat an inferior team.

    One and done.

  9. I can’t believe the NFL is OK with that. It really is bush league. For some reason they’ve decided you can’t pipe in noise to prevent distracting the players but it’s OK to pipe in video with the primary purpose of distracting the players. That makes no sense on any level.

  10. People keep saying this happens in every NFL stadium. It doesn’t.

    I attended games at 3 different NFL stadiums this year, and I know for a fact that teams typically put up black screens w/ team logos during FG attempts. Home or away.

    Whether it’s against the rules or not, I do think it’s cheap and bush league.

  11. The strange part of this is that it wasnt consistent with both kickers. One got a logo and one got the TV view. Obviously, there was some sort of intent given the inconsistent actions.

  12. There are some rules that are just dumb. Like, why does it matter if [xyz] happens?

    This is on the other end of the spectrum. Why ISN’T there a rule against it? I don’t blame them, though. Take every inch you’re given.

  13. Now that the NFL has said they didn’t break any rules, this will happen everywhere.

    It doesn’t happen everywhere now, like somebody said.

  14. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t kicking like golf? Keep your head down, eye on the ball.

    I’m still more mad at Kasay for that Super Bowl XXXVIII kick-off but I think it’s time to send Gano packing. If he was serviceable, they probably would have had a chance at a wildcard spot. They lost so many games by three or less where he missed AT LEAST one kick.

  15. It is time for Cam & Co. to stop whining, buy better hats, and come back next year ready to play and wear those hats.

  16. So nobody has seen the infinite goal posts before? It literally goes on forever. (Picture inside a picture inside a picture inside a… you get the idea) That’s strange. It’s not new folks. Complaining about it is new but this has been done for as long as I can remember and I’m middle aged.

    It’s no different that fans waving behind the goal posts. (Or in basketball behind the backboard) I’d think most kickers would never use that as an excuse. They are suppose to be mentally tougher than that. You can’t shine lasers in their eyes but all else is fair game.

  17. How is this different that Indy and Atlanta piping in phony crowd noise while opponents are trying to call plays at the line of scrimmage?

  18. If you’re gonna do these goofy things to one team – you should do it to the other as well. (Note the non-working headset rule) If not, then you’re opening the door for all sorts of shenanigans by home teams all across the league.

    But no problem here as the NFL sees it – and yet – if a player had one of his socks pulled down, or didn’t tuck in the shirt tail of his jersey .. it’s a ten thousand dollar fine.

    This proves once again that alcohol should not be served at NFL headquarters.

  19. As a Broncos fan, I’ve got to admit, had this been the Patriots, they would have been docked a 4th rd draft pick.

    It does seem that the NFL in hindsight feels they didn’t punish the Pats enough for spygate and now just piles on at every opportunity

  20. Distracted by the scoreboard??? This is the NFL. If Gano is distracted by that, then he obviously isn’t focusing on what he is supposed to be. Either that, or he just isn’t a very good kicker.

  21. The list of “haves” has just gotten a little more crowded:

    Haves:
    ny jets
    ny giants
    Denver
    Indy
    Pitt
    GB
    Seattle
    Atlanta
    T-Bay

    Have Nots:
    Everyone else, with some extra emphasis on:
    NO
    NE
    Wash
    Dallas
    KC
    Cleve.
    Miami

  22. Nothing will ever be worse OR MORE BLATANT than the LOUD fan cheering SKIPPING in the Colts/Patriots AFC Championship game a few years back. Obvious case of pumping in noise in direct violation of league rules….not Patriots no problem…..

  23. Watching a Bucs game earlier this year, I did notice that they would blare sounds and fast multi color on the screens just up until a couple of seconds before the snap of the opposing offense. I remember pointing this out to my wife saying “Not sure if that’s legal” But I guess it is, you will so other stadiums begin to do this more in earnest next year now that Roger has set a precedence. Well unless it happens in NE.

  24. factschecker says:
    Jan 10, 2017 9:53 AM
    So nobody has seen the infinite goal posts before? It literally goes on forever. (Picture inside a picture inside a picture inside a… you get the idea) That’s strange. It’s not new folks. Complaining about it is new but this has been done for as long as I can remember and I’m middle aged.
    ______________________________________

    Taping from the sidelines instead of a booth wasn’t against the rules until it was either. Coaches came out and said they had been doing it since the 70s.

    Some how the Patriots still lost a 1st round draft pick for filming from the wrong location, something coaches had been doing for 40 years, and everyone thinks they got off easy.

  25. the rule about “technology” specifically talks
    about using it to affect the game THAT day the game
    is played.

    how is this not technology, artificially used to help
    tb cheat on field goals?

    goodell is a liar and a cheat

    period

  26. So, the defending NFC champs and their MVP QB are blaming a scoreboard for their inability to beat an inferior team.
    ____________________

    The Bucs are an “inferior” team? Hmm …

    Bucs 9-7
    Panthers 6-10

    Not only did they finish 3 games ahead they swept the Panthers this season.

    So … what other criteria are you using to determine the Bucs are inferior to the Panthers?

  27. Not the biggest Panthers fan, am ambivalent about the Bucs & dislike the Pats…..but it would seem the league wouldn’t care if 31 teams did the obviously bush league FG video tactics. If the Pats did it, it would be more fines & loss of draft picks. That said, the precedent is set, so every team should be now doing that for home games. If they aren’t, then they’re giving up what should be an additional home-field advantage

  28. Maybe they should stop fans from waving their arms on NBA free throws too. It can be so distracting.

  29. Extremely bush league. Bucs have been putting up just the bucs logo when their kicker kicks but have the game playing on the screen when the other teams kicker is kicking. That alone is bush league, let alone to put up the goal post to confuse the other kicker on purpose. I get ‘home field advantage’, but what happened to an even playing field? if one player is kicking into a still bucs logo and the other is kicking into two sets of field goals then thats not an even playing field.

  30. On an unrelated note, does anyone remember when Camera was more concerned about game plans than fashion coordinated apparel assemblage outfits (hats included)?

  31. Did the Panthers ever do any “pounding” this season? Where are all the Panthers’ fans that were crowing about “pounding” all offseason?

  32. Every home team should do the same this weekend and if some kicks are missed I guarantee you we’ll see the competition committee having an emergency meeting next week setting a rule you can’t do this.

  33. Gano is a lousy kicker and a subhuman piece of trash. Go look up the video of him interrupting a guest high school band with his warm-ups. Classlessness, thy name is Gano.

  34. …..remember Ray Wershing of the 49er’s?…..he would trot out to the field and NEVER look up…not even once….he would have Joe Montana , who was holder, get him set, and than Ray would tap him on shoulder, take 2 steps back, 2 steps to the side and then kick. NEVER raised his head, untill after the kick……

  35. ” The rule about filming other teams was put in place because the Pats kept doing it even after they were told by the league to stop. ”

    Does anybody else see the problem here? This framing says the rule was put in place after the Pats were told to stop. Why were they told to stop when it was still legal?

    Seriously, this is exactly what happened. There was no rule against videotaping in the manner the Pats did. Goodell’s office wrote a memo telling teams to not do it. Belichick ignored the memo because it didn’t accurately reflect the rules. So Goodell decided to punish the Pats anyway.

    From the very start, Goodell has been a “My word is law!” kind of guy. Belichick apparently made the mistake of thinking written rules were more important.

    And the whole “Spygate punishment was light” attitude is nonsense. The Pats were docked a 1st round pick, a penalty no other team has ever had, even though other teams have done things at least as bad.

    I swear, the NFL enforces its rules like a high school clique. Which Heather is in charge now?

  36. ” Same as in every other case in which they have been punished for cheating, they lie about it, whine about it, and play the victim. ”

    Some people don’t bother to concern themselves with facts.

    During Spygate, Belichick never claimed he hadn’t taped coaching signals.

    The Patriots have a history of being honest, which, objectively speaking, is far more consistent than what the NFL has done. Goodell is a serial liar. And footballs lose air pressure on cold days.

  37. Everyone sees the short shrift given by the league to certain teams or players. It would be far less loathsome if they could just incorporate some consistency in their investigations and punishments. Other sports seem to be able to do this in a more fair manner, why can’t the NFL?

    The owners, attorneys and commissioner need to get on this page if they really want integrity.

  38. Haven’t even read any of the comments above but wanted to chime in with ” that is only gonna cost you a draft pick if it happens in Gillette Stadium” right?

  39. To say that the Patriots have a long history of being honest is Trumpian. Belicheck has lied repeatedly over the years. Injury reports are hardly the only example.

  40. quirtevans says:
    Jan 10, 2017 1:44 PM
    To say that the Patriots have a long history of being honest is Trumpian. Belicheck has lied repeatedly over the years. Injury reports are hardly the only example.
    —————————–
    Belichick has never lied. The one time he broke a rule (Spygate) he immediately admitted to it. He followed the rule the way it was written though. He wasn’t going to use it during the game. That’s where the wording was ambiguous.

  41. ricko1112 says:
    Jan 10, 2017 9:56 AM
    How is this different that Indy and Atlanta piping in phony crowd noise while opponents are trying to call plays at the line of scrimmage?

    ———-

    it’s not any different from Indy, because Indy got away with it too.

  42. justafanofnfl says:
    Jan 10, 2017 12:27 PM

    The owners, attorneys and commissioner need to get on this page if they really want integrity.

    ———

    Integrity is a commodity that the NFL sells to fans. Problem is, they have sold out.

  43. Fan based distractions are fun.

    League or Team sponsored is cheating.

    Too much effort went into that to pretend otherwise.

    If everything is fair game, why not get a guy on the sidelines to sprint down the sidelines every play. Just because his tshirt just “happens” to be the same color as the opposing teams jersy and he just “happens” to confuse the QB…

    Side Note: this would be funny as hell if the fans in that section did this with signs.

  44. Good thing they didn’t have a video screen in the parking lot only visible from their own sideline. They would have gotten them a whole article by Sports Illustrated on their cheating ways

  45. If this was the NE Pats Commissioner Sh!tburger would be curled up in the fetal position and tearfully invoking ‘The Integrity of the Game’.

  46. Jan 10, 2017 11:28 AM

    Did the Panthers ever do any “pounding” this season? Where are all the Panthers’ fans that were crowing about “pounding” all offseason?
    _____________________________________
    You mean Kitty Nation that PROMISED a savage beat down of Denver in the SB and sending Peyton Manning home in a body bag? You mean that Kitty Nation? Good luck finding them.

  47. Footballfanz says:
    Jan 10, 2017 11:17 AM
    Extremely bush league. Bucs have been putting up just the bucs logo when their kicker kicks but have the game playing on the screen when the other teams kicker is kicking. That alone is bush league, let alone to put up the goal post to confuse the other kicker on purpose. I get ‘home field advantage’, but what happened to an even playing field? if one player is kicking into a still bucs logo and the other is kicking into two sets of field goals then thats not an even playing field.

    ———

    Hey Footballfanz, ever hear of HOME field ADVANTAGE?

  48. 345snarkavenue says:
    Jan 10, 2017 2:30 PM

    Integrity is a commodity that the NFL sells to fans. Problem is, they have sold out.
    ——————–

    The problem is, that they never had any to begin with.

  49. I don’t have a problem with it. Part of the strategy.

    Don’t try to claim the Bucs are the first team to do that…and its amazing how none of the other teams complained about it.

  50. Has anyone ever been to a baseball game? I always find it funny when the PA dude plays “walk this way” by aerosmith after the opposing team walks a batter. Or plays “message in a bottle” by the police. when the pitching coach goes to talk to the pitcher on the mound. It’s the home field advantage. There is no rules broken. So stop crying you bunch of wussies!

  51. If dude cant tell between the real goalposts and the video ones, maybe he should just quit his job. The video board runs along the top of the damn stadium bro. It ahould have no effect on your kick at all. Doesn’t matter what is on the board. Keep your head down and kick the ball.

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