There was plenty of action on the field during the Patriots impressive 30-23 win over the New York Jets on October 25. It turns out that there was also plenty of action going on inside the walls of Gillette Stadium, as two Patriots employees fell under suspicion of Jets and NFL officials.
Prior to the game, NFL officials swept the Jets locker room for listening devices. Although the NFL has said it was part of their usual random checks, reports have leaked out that the Jets requested such a sweep to take place. It was mentioned in two separate news stories in September that several teams suspected the Patriots of bugging locker rooms, but there is no proof and the Patriots have never officially been accused of such activity. Most evidence points to this being a random check, but conspiracy theories are sure to develop.
While the game was taking place, a Jets security official became suspicious of three Patriots employees that were wearing headsets. Both employees were questioned during the game. One of them required a phone call to the league office because the questioner did not believe his story of being responsible for the referees batteries. After questioning, it was determined that no employee did anything wrong and they were allowed to continue working.
Had the Jets security personnel had a better understanding of who is in charge of referee equipment, at least the second part of the second incident could have been avoided. The first part could likely have been a case of Patriots paranoia. It is understandable that a Jets team employee would want to make sure that everything was on the level during his team’s game and in most cases this would not have made many headlines. But in New England, everything is a big deal.