Many thoughts went through the minds of Ravens fans on Sunday when Justin Tucker missed the game-tying point after touchdown. He must have botched the kick, the wind must have taken it right, the announcers obviously jinxed him. But one conclusion escaped the minds of most. The scoreboard made Justin Tucker miss. Before closing the webpage, hear me out. While the scoreboard obviously was not the sole cause of Tucker’s miss, it may have played a role in it.
The Baltimore Ravens replaced the old, rectangular scoreboards before the 2017 season. The new scoreboards are ultra-high definition, displayed in 4k resolution. These two new scoreboards are curved, allowing everyone in the stadium to have a line of sight to the videoboards. This is the feature that may have played a part in the demise of Tucker’s perfect PAT record. Today, Jerry Rosburg, Baltimore’s special teams coordinator, claimed that the wind has swirled differently in the stadium since the addition of the curved scoreboards. His position was backed up by Ravens punter Sam Koch, who after the game commented on the spiraling wind conditions in the stadium.
While I did not believe that the scoreboards had anything to do with the missed kick on Sunday, the notion makes sense once considered. The wind used to hit a flat surface and react accordingly. When the wind hits the flat scoreboard, the force would be propelled sideways, diffusing itself towards the stands. With the curved scoreboard, the wind hits it and is pushed in other directions, potentially creating a whirlwind. With the wind whipping on Sunday, this phenomenon could have contributed to the missed kick. While it is certainly possible that the scoreboard was a factor in the missed PAT, Justin Tucker took full responsibility on Sunday. Ultimately, he is responsible for all the kicks he makes, and whether or not it was entirely his fault, he will take the blame.