PITTSBURGH. The Pittsburgh Steelers lodged a formal protest with the NFL yesterday, claiming the New England Patriots interfered with their headset reception in Thursday’s 28-21 loss at Gillette Stadium, substituting 70’s “soft rock” for offensive and defensive signals.
“On that third and goal in the fourth quarter we were all set to push it across, then coach calls for ‘Horse with no name, right,'” said Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, referring to the song by the group “America” that has been linked to cavities in young children due to its excessive sweetness.
“Soft rock” was developed in the 1970s as a reaction to “hard rock,” and incorporates elements of “folk music” into “rock music” for a softer, more soothing sound. “Soft rock was part of the wussification of America during the post-Vietnam era,” says sociologist Myron Mayo of The New School for Social Research in New York. “It has been associated with mood rings, Jimmy Carter, earth shoes and man boobs.”
The Patriots have been accused of cheating in a variety of ways during their successful run dating back to the early years of the 21st century, including spying on opposing teams’ practices, deflating footballs below accepted levels to make passing easier for the team’s quarterback, and selling atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union. Coach Bill Belichick defended his players and his legacy in a news conference yesterday, saying “Enough is enough. Everybody cheats in football, we just seem to get caught a lot.”
The NFL issued a statement attributing the headset interference to an “electrical issue made worse by inclement weather,” according to Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Monitoring the Patriots Aaron Hill. “And I never realized until I listened to the tape just how sexy Karen Carpenter was in her prime.”