Patriots

Patriots

FOXBORO -- The Patriots won their fourth straight game dating back to last season’s playoffs. And -- more importantly -- they kept intact their hot streak of having dispatched opponents go infantile in the postgame.
 
Both teams were plagued by headset communication problems throughout the game. Patriot paranoia won the day. An in-game report on NBC that Steelers coaches were hearing the Patriots radio broadcast on their headsets was the match dropped near the leaking gas line.
 
After the internet flamed for a couple of hours about the cheating Patriots, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin rolled another tank of propane into the flames, threw more gas on the fire, intimating that it’s more than coincidence that the Steelers have headset problems when they visit Gillette.
 
“That’s always the case,” Tomlin said in clipped fashion when asked about communication issues.
 
Asked for clarification, Tomlin said, “I said what I said.”
 
What were they listening to?
 
“We were listening to the Patriots radio broadcast for the majority of the first half,” said Tomlin.
 
Show ponies?
 
“Coach-to-coach,” said Tomlin.
 
Tomlin was fuming and – if a picture says a thousand words – the one of Tomlin speaking to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after the game says he was directing some of the fumes at Belichick.
 
Belichick had fumes of his own. He said the Patriots were also experiencing technical difficulties.
 
"We had a lot of problems," Belichick said. "We had to switch headphones a couple times. The communication system wasn't very good. We deal with that it seems like weekly. Yeah, they told us they were on the verge of shutting it off, but then I guess they got it working. 
 
"I don't know, but it was a problem the whole game. We almost had to switch helmets with Brady there at the end -- couldn't get the plays into him. It was a problem all night."
 
Asked if he was every told what the issue was, Belichick replied: "No, we never get that answer. They just try to fix it, and they tell you it's up or it's down or whatever. I don't know. That's not really a very strong area for me is technology."
 
The NFL released a statement after the game. It did not note that the Patriots had communication issues. It sandwiched in the information that “communications equipment, including headsets is provided by the NFL for both clubs use on game day.”
 
“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.”
 
This, of course, becomes the roadkill elk that feeds us media crows over the next few days and we will dutifully chronicle Spygate, Deflategate, all urban myths and real transgressions related to the Belichick Patriots.
 
Never mind that this stuff happens, as the LA Times details. (Truckers and pizza delivery men on the headsets in other stadiums? Check.)
 
The article that set the agenda for this week was an ESPN opus dredging up eight-year-old accusations related to Spygate.