With the Case of the Missing Super Bowl Jersey(s) now cracked, the NFL should ask itself what can or can’t be done to prevent another rogue journalist from parlaying locker-room access into an opportunity to steal stuff. For now, however, don’t look for an overreaction.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, sweeping changes to media access to locker rooms are not expected in the aftermath of the theft of Tom Brady’s last two Super Bowl jerseys, and the possible theft of Von Miller’s helmet after Super Bowl 50.
Officially, the league will at least be taking a look at possible adjustments.
“We always review our procedures and will do so again this offseason,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email.
Arguably, nothing needs to happen, because it’s now clear that the prevalence of video cameras allows the facts to be pieced together after the fact. As a result, the fact that Brady’s jerseys were recovered and the thief was revealed will operate as a natural deterrent.
It nevertheless wouldn’t hurt to supplement the eye in the sky with boots on the ground. Having a security guard or two who are watching the room generally could make someone think twice before trying to walk away with a potentially valuable piece of merchandise. Given the flurry of activity in a locker room after a game (especially after a game of significant consequence), having one or two people who are there simply to keep an eye on things won’t hurt — and it will do nothing to limit access.
The overriding goal should be to do nothing that would limit access by media who are looking to emerge with a story, not with a jersey. Peter King of TheMMQB.com addressed the importance of not making changes that would alter the process of harvesting quotes and developing compelling angles for delivering information about the NFL in a way that strengthens the connection between the game and its fans.