But there have been problems. One glaring error might be the fault of the NFL and its broadcast partners who can't seen to get their announcers to stop calling the tablet an iPad. Another problem is that the tablets don't have a good reputation among NFL players. "Those tablets always malfunction," tweeted the New York Giants' guard Geoff Schwartz yesterday.
Schwartz' tweet came after the tablets assigned to the New England Patriots stopped working during the AFC Championship Game. Considering that the winning team goes to the Super Bowl and the losing team goes home, this was not the time for the Surface Pro units to stop working. And you can be sure that red-faced Microsoft executives started at their television sets screaming at CBS announcers who finally got the name of the device right. "Sure, now you call it the Surface Pro," they might have said.
According to CBS sideline reporter Evan Washburn, the Patriots were unable to use their Surface Pro tablets to see the defensive schemes of the Broncos, whose defense did a terrific job holding Tom Brady and crew in check. And while the tablets can't really be blamed for the 20-18 loss that prevented New England from a return trip to the Super Bowl, it is better than blaming someone like kicker Stephen Gostkowski, whose missed extra-point kick forced the Pats to go for a two-point conversion at the end of the game.
For its part, Microsoft blamed "network issues" for the problems with the Surface Pro tablets during the game. Yet, only the Patriots experienced this issue. Perhaps it was simply karma, or payback from the heavens above for "deflategate."