Ravens Center Matt Birk Fined $5,000 for Not Wearing Microphone
The NFL is a great place to go if you want to be fined. Roger Goodell hands out fines for just about everything. From big hits to punches thrown to criticizing the officials, you can receive a fine for doing or saying just about anything. You can even be fined for not doing something, as Ravens center Matt Birk learned when he chose not to wear a microphone against the Jets during Baltimore’s game before the bye week.
As Pro Football Talk pointed out, the NFL now requires offensive linemen to wear a microphone during games to enhance the fan experience for television broadcasts. As you might imagine, this has created a problem with teams who are nervous that too much information is being relayed to the viewing audience. Bird was fined $5,000 for choosing not to wear a mic against New York.
While hearing the cadence likely reveals very little about a team’s offense, you can see why it would aggravate coaches who value secrecy. Teams are probably overreacting a bit by refusing to comply, but I don’t see why the microphones are necessary. I have noticed that you can hear the quarterback’s calls more clearly when watching a game on TV, but in no way does that make watching the game a better experience.