“Heading into the weekend, Bill Belichick probably didn’t expect to be spending his Monday press conference after the AFC title game talking about tablets,” Sean Wagner-McGough reports for CBS Sports. “But here we are — the Patriots just barely lost to the Broncos and Belichick spent a portion of his press conference on Monday explaining the Patriots’ Microsoft Surface tablet malfunctions, which occurred during the first half of the AFC Championship on Sunday.”

“According to CBS Sports sideline reporter Evan Washburn, the malfunctions affected the Patriots while the Broncos drove down the field for their second touchdown of the first half,” Wagner-McGough reports. “Across the field, the Broncos weren’t required to shut down their tablets while the Patriots were flying blind and officials worked to fix the problem.”

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

“But, a day after the loss, Belichick wasn’t willing to blame the tablet malfunctions. With that being said, he did call the technological issues ‘a pretty common problem,’ which isn’t the best statement to hear considering the tablets are supposed to make the lives of coaches and players easier,” Wagner-McGough reports. “‘It is what it is,’ Belichick said, via MassLive. ‘It’s a pretty common problem. We have ways of working through it. There’s really nothing you can do. It’s not like the headsets where the other sides are really affected. You deal with what you deal with.'”

“‘We have had it at home, we have had it on the road, other teams have had it, it’s a fairly common problem that didn’t affect the outcome of the game — in no way. That’s just part of it. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t,'” Wagner-McGough reports. “In fact, the Patriots sometimes stick with the old-school method of taking photographs and printing them out. Belichick told reporters that they use the photos as a ‘backup,’ calling them ‘more dependable’ than the tablets.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft pays the NFL $400 million to use fake iPads instead of the real thing to review plays on the sidelines. Microsoft has to feign success by paying entities like the NFL hundreds of millions just to use (or try to use) their ill-conceived dreck because the fact is that a single quarter of iPad Pro sales exceed the total of all Microsoft Surface tablets ever sold.

There were numerous mentions during the televised broadcast by the game’s announcers, including Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, including the oh-so-appropriate use of the word “frustrating” in tandem with “Microsoft.” Since this Microsoft-NFL promotional deal is about perception, Microsoft just flushed another $400 million down the drain unless they intended to implicitly promote Apple’s iPad during what will likely be the NFL’s most-watched game of the season this side of the Super Bowl.

The NFL and the New England Patriots just came to a sad realization:

If it’s not an iPad, it’s not an iPad.

Check out the broadcast commentary on the failure of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4:

Some Twitter reactions:

Microsoft pays $400 million for product placement; Surface tablets fail during Patriots vs. Broncos playoff game – January 24, 2016
A single quarter of iPad Pro sales will exceed the total of all Microsoft Surface tablets ever sold – November 24, 2015
Microsoft pays $400 million for product placement, then NFL announcer calls Surface tablet ‘iPad-like’ on air – September 8, 2014
Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone says his Microsoft Surface tablet ‘didn’t work’ for portion of game – August 4, 2014
How Apple’s iPad is revolutionizing NFL playbooks for players and coaches – July 19, 2012
Miami Dolphins latest to replace huge paper playbooks with Apple iPads – June 24, 2012
Cincinnati Bengals go digital with iPad playbooks, join dozen other NFL teams – June 15, 2012
Denver Broncos NFL team transfers traditional playbooks to Apple iPads – April 23, 2012
NFL’s Tampa Bay Bucs give every player an Apple iPad 2 to hold playbook, video – August 25, 2011
NFL teams considering replacing playbooks with Apple iPads – February 4, 2011

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Wally Wright” for the heads up.]