wireless headsets in NFL

If opposing teams can try to decipher the other’s audibles etc., who’s to say that with coaches’ new wireless headsets, some teams aren’t eavesdropping on the transmissions?
Of course it’d be cheating, but everyone knows that often teams will do everything that they can get away with, whether it be stickum or trick FG balls or whatever.
Comments, please, on using easily available equipment to listen in on a coaching staff trying to engineer a huge play in crunch-time.
(My opinion is, they would be better off sticking with the big coils of wire towed around by flunkies.)

I would imagine that the NFL considered the possibility of eavesdropping, and installed security measures to prevent it or at least make it difficult.

I work for the New Orleans Saints and the Louisiana Superdome on gameday (my area is television production). I don’t know exactly how they deal with this, but I’m going to ask the right folks on sunday. My guess is that it involves some sort of digitally coded signal. You might be able to tune into the frequency, but without the digital key it’d be useless

I do know we get quite a bit of frequency crashing from all of the wireless audio devices everyone is bringing into the 'Dome these days. Besides the NFL wireless equipment (coaches headsets, ref mics, radios, etc) there’s also house audio (announcer mics, field mics, field headsets), production audio (camera audio, more mics, more headsets) and all the wireless devices the marching bands and television sports crews bring in with them. It’s such a problem, the NFL now has a person in each stadium to monitor the frequencies and identify the use of any uncleared wireless transmitters. They can actually figure out exactly were they are in the stadium and send a security guard to relieve them of the ofending equipment.

On another note, I remember the old days when spotters high up in the stadium crowsnest would snap Poloroids of plays and zip them down to the field on a taut line. Low tech, but no way to interecept it.

Well for that matter they could get one of those directional super microphones that picks up all sounds and they could just listen in.


I believe they use the same “spread spectrum” encoding techniques used in secure telephones and secure satellite transmissions.