Panthers unhappy about video board antics during loss to Bucs
Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano missed three of his four field goal attempts in Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Did the stadium video board operator have something to do with that?
After the game, Gano complained about the Bucs showing live footage of his kicks on the video board behind the goal posts he was kicking. The board displayed a solid red background when Tampa Bay kicker Roberto Aguayo lined up to kick, and Gano did not think that was a coincidence.
“You look out there, there’s two (sets of) uprights you’re looking at,” Gano explained, via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. “I know the league talked to them about it before when we played here a couple years ago. So it’s a bit bush-league. But once again, it’s not a reason why I performed poorly. It just adds another element.”
A league official confirmed on Sunday night that using a video board to distract an opposing team’s kicker is against the rules. In addition to the live video issue, officials had to stop the game before one of Gano’s kick attempts because of loud feedback coming through the stadium PA system. Gano missed a 45-yard kick after play resumed.
“There was a lot of things going on with the kicks today,” he said. “I think a horn sounded on one of them. But it’s still my job at the end of the day to put the ball through the uprights.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera also took issue with something the video board operator at Raymond James Stadium did. Linebacker Thomas Davis avoided a penalty for knocking Bucs receiver Russell Shepard to the ground after a play, and the video board operator showed the replay in slow motion twice. Of course, the fans booed mercilessly.
“Well, first of all I think that’s bush-league, to show that play up on the screen,” Rivera said. “What are we trying to incite here? Let’s don’t do that. That’s got no place in the NFL, as far as I’m concerned. … I don’t think you put that type of play up on the screen. I don’t think that’s right.”
Carolina could have sent the game to overtime, but Rivera chose to go for two and the win instead of tying the game at 17 late in the fourth quarter.
Did the Bucs video board operator also have something to do with these major issues earlier in the year? Perhaps an investigation needs to be launched.