The Steelers’ headsets mysteriously malfunctioned last night, and they think the Patriots did it on purpose

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Mike Tomlin Bill BelichickJim Rogash/Getty

We’re just one game into the NFL season and there are already new cheating allegations mounted against the Patriots. Football is back, ladies and gentlemen! 

In the first quarter of last night’s Patriots vs. Steelers game, which the Pats won 28-21, NBC sideline reporter Michelle Tafoya reported that the Steelers coaches’ headsets weren’t working because the Patriots’ local radio broadcast was loudly bleeding into their radio signal.  

According to the Equity Rule in the NFL rule book, when one team’s headsets aren’t working, the other team must stop using theirs until the problem is fixed. However, the Steelers said that the moment NFL officials went over to tell the Patriots’ sideline that this rule was going into affect, the Steelers headsets began working again.

The NFL quickly took the blame for the incident, citing the inclement weather in Foxboro and the league’s headset technology, which is provided to both teams: 

"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."

However, after the game, a fuming Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin suggested outright that this sort of thing seems to always happen in New England.  This is all especially notable because on Tuesday, ESPN published a mammoth investigative report suggesting that the cheating conducted by the Patriots during Spygate was far worse than previously understood, and that visiting teams all have stories of foul play in Foxboro. 

 

The Steelers followed Tomlin’s press conference with a firmly-worded statement of their own: 

Here’s the full video of Tomlin:

 

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