I'm a man of many faults. I'm comfortable enough in my own skin to admit that. But one thing I am not is a rat. I didn't tell on the other kids to a teacher when I was a kid and I never went to my boss on a fellow employee and I would only call the cops if there was in grave danger from someone swerving all over the road or whatever. Other than that I believe if a man has a problem with someone, he should go to them.
Which is why what I'm about to do pains me. But it's one of those "grave danger" situations where I have to speak up for the greater good. I have no choice but to drop a dime on the Baltimore Ravens. Their crime? Filming the opposing sidelines in the middle of their games.
The genesis of this is from this Twitter account:
As well as this one:
The Ravens 360 being referred to here is this remarkable piece of technology that is similar to the view you can get with VR goggles. As the name implies, the full 360 degrees. Here's a video example and, if it gets taken down, click here to check it out for yourself.
It really is amazing. The way you can scroll left and right, up and down, and scan in an entire circle in three dimensions right in the middle of the game and just see everything in all directions. The play itself. The end zone. The stands. The sky. The guy holding the camera on the end of a pole. The sidelines.
The sidelines. …
Like these sidelines.
No, not that. Anything but that. The entire Patriots sideline is clearly visible, right from the front, no less. In the middle of game action. You can see the coaches. The substitution patterns. The hand signals (if they still were using hand signals). The body language as they roll out their personnel and install different packages. It's all plainly there for all to see.
This is a huge, huge competitive advantage. Which is why I feel compelled to speak up. Because it speaks to the heart of the integrity of pro football that no one be able to record such things. Besides, I mean, the TV networks, NFL Films and the 60,000 to 80,000 people in the stands carrying recording devices in their pockets. But nobody else.
So I'm left with no choice but to join this Twitter whistleblower and speak up. For fairness and justice. We can't have teams pointing their devices toward other teams' coaches just to provide content for a web feature that further enhances fans' enjoyment of the product. That's just flat out wrong.
And what's worse is when this is done by an organization that's a repeat offender.
Challengegate. Bountygate. Jeff Blake deflating footballs in 2002. Deer Antler Spraygate. Injurygate. Practicegate. Not to mention using Tackle Eligible pass plays after they got the league to ban the Patriots Tackle Eligible plays. This pattern of cheating has gone on too long. The punishments have not stopped the Ravens from continuing to do it. It's time the NFL came down hard on them, once and for all.