- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Ravens coach John Harbaugh stepped up to become the voice of reason in what has become an embarrassing week for his team.
Call it a scoreboard malfunction. Or call it Scoreboard-Gate. In the end, it's plain silliness.
To say the Ravens lost the AFC Championship Game because the scoreboard showed it was third down -- and not fourth down -- makes them look like amateurs. To insinuate the Patriots did this on purpose makes the Ravens look like sore losers.
That's why Harbaugh sent out a statement from the Senior Bowl to set the record straight.
"Any suggestion that the wrong down information was a deliberate effort to affect the outcome of the game is nonsense," Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh is in damage control after what the Ravens' kicker and kicking coach said this week.
Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff said that he was rushed before hooking the 32-yard field goal, which would have tied the game with 11 seconds left in regulation, because he thought it was third down by looking at the scoreboard.
It got worse for the Ravens when kicking consultant Randy Brown told a Philadelphia radio station that the Patriots, who dealt with Spygate four years ago, might have been involved in the scoreboard malfunction.
“I don’t think you can rule anything out in New England, can you?" Brown said.
Insinuating another team had cheated is bad form. Harbaugh did his best to distance himself from that.
“We knew what the down and distance were on our last series,” Harbaugh said. “The scoreboard was not a factor for us."