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Microsoft has paid the NFL billions of dollars to promote its Surface tablets over the past 3 seasons.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, that marketing campaign has been a little rocky over the years. When the Surface tablets were first introduced on the sidelines, announcers called them iPads.
In other games, we’ve seen the Surface Tablet rammed into Johnny Manziel’s head or thrown down on the ground in disgust by Aaron Rodgers.
And, just this past week, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick went on a 5 minute rant about how he’s done with the tablets.
Now, it’s important to note that Belichick didn’t specifically rant against the Surface tablets. Instead, he went on a general rant against the tablets used by his team. However, since the NFL requires teams to only use Surface tablets, we can naturally assume he’s referring to the Surface tablets.
Belichick’s 5 Minute Rant Calls Surface Tablets “Undependable”
NESN’s Zack Cox captured Belichick’s 5 minute, 25 second rant against tablets, posting the quote in a tweet here.
Some of the highlights of that rant include Belichick saying, “As you probably noticed, I’m done with the tablets. They’re just too undependable for me. I’m going to stick with pictures, which several of our other coaches do, as well, because there just isn’t enough consistency in the performance of the tablets. I just can’t take it anymore.”
It’s also important to note that Belichick wasn’t only ranting against tablets. He was also ranting against the entire technology infrastructure used on NFL sidelines. In the interview, he talks about communications to and from the press box along with the headsets in the quarterback’s helmet, internet service, and other interconnected systems.
“Inevitably, something goes wrong somewhere at some point in time.”
And when hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line, you can’t afford for something to go wrong.
The Patriots made headlines earlier this year with “Surfacegate”, when the team blew an extra point and a two-point conversion during their playoff loss to the Denver Broncos, blaming the communication problem on Microsoft’s Surface tablets.
NFL Teams Receive New Surface Tablets Every Game
One of the weirdest parts about the NFL’s marketing agreement with Microsoft is that, for some reason, teams receive a new Surface tablet every game. As PCWorld reports,
“The NFL’s rule is that any outage that one team suffers has to be reproduced by the other, so even IT failures that the Patriots weren’t responsible for have to be endured. Worse still, Belichick said the Patriots are handed “new” Surface tablets every game, which means that they don’t have a chance to troubleshoot the devices beforehand. God only knows what happens if those things haven’t been patched.”
In any case, it looks like the Patriots are going back to the good ol, trusty, pen and paper system of days gone by.
Header photo courtesy of Microsoft.