Patriots' Surface tablets break down during AFC title game

Microsoft said it was a connection issue, but the internet didn't care.

Microsoft paid the NFL a fortune to have teams use its Surface Pro 3 tablets on the sidelines, but it likely wasn't thrilled with the publicity it got on Sunday. During the AFC championship game, the Patriots' devices stopped working for an excruciating 20 minutes before Microsoft managed to fix them, according to a CBS sideline reporter. Microsoft chalked it up to "connectivity issues," saying that the Broncos' tablets were working just fine. The Surface is only used to view formation photos of previous plays, so it likely didn't handicap the Patriots too much. Unfortunately, they went on to lose the game by a tight 20-18 margin, so they clearly needed every advantage they could get.

Naturally, the internet noticed and unleashed a storm of mocking tweets. Last year, Microsoft spent a lot of time and effort to get players, coaches and announcers to stop referring to its tablets as "iPads," or worse, "knockoff iPads," as Jay Cutler put it. However, in the past year, sideline cameras have showed players tossing them in disgust after making bad plays and even smashing them against their heads.