In addition to blowing Valerie Plame's cover and getting an open container violation last year, Brent Musberger embroils himself in another controversy: being the target of a--egads!--sternly worded letter from USC PR guy Tim Tessalone. The gist of the letter: Musberger revealed on air that USC's quarterbacks use the "hang-loose" gesture to indicate single coverage on the wideout. The quote:
""What he did was unconscionable. In my 28 years, I've never seen such an egregious breach of trust. Brent is not a rookie at this, and he should know better."
Agent Musberger violated "The Company"'s protocols. Neutralize him immediately.
We're sure Musberger died immediately after reading this, only resuscitated by the immediate application of a "frosty adult beverage" to his lips. (You should love Musberger for no other reason than the fact he still proudly proclaims his fondness for beer and women on national television.) Actually, he likely wadded his copy up and tossed it into the wastebasket with a muttered "horseshit" and went back to knocking around orange Titleists on the mini-practice green in his office.
Tessalone's rage at Musberger amateur cryptography can't be about this alone--any defensive coordinator could divine what the signal meant during game footage. Okay, any defensive coordinator not named "Jon Hoke." (The guy who attempted to inspire UF players with the song "I Hope You Dance" when most of the guys were blasting Black Rob's "Whoa" at the time. Which is lame like...whoa, we guess.)
What it does beg is a larger question: do programs have guys watching television to get whatever beta they can get from watching the broadcast angles? An audible sign is one thing, but what about actual spies watching the game in the booth? You always see Spurrier with the play card over his mouth, but the idea of all of this happening in the span of 25 seconds between plays seems absurd:
a.) Play called
b.) Lips accurately read (an assumption, since most amateur lipreaders top out at around 30% accuracy.)
c.) Information relayed to booth.
d.) Information then relayed to players via audible signal.
It's a game of telephone whose dividends would likely be very low. Then again, college students will do almost anything for money, so why the hell wouldn't you try it?
The NSA has determined that Mike Leach will likely pass on the next down. Destroy this message.