Next season, the NFL will be installing cameras in locker rooms for fans at stadiums to get a look at their teams while off the field. The ideal scenario, of course, is a revealing behind-the-scenes look at teams in preparation, exultation or darkest defeat. The reality will be long, intensely boring stretches of silence, with only a third-string linebacker taping his ankles as entertainment.
Even so, Green Bay's Clay Matthews is flat-out livid about the idea. "You think 'cameras in the locker room' and what does that conjure up images of?" he said in an interview with USA Today. "It's a privacy issue. I know they're trying to give the fans more of an experience, but what more can you do? We do interviews on the sideline, there's social media. You can't leave the parking lot without people swarming your cars. I'm not a fan of it."
Calling the locker room a "sanctuary," Matthews protested that he's been stalked all the way home, and he's unhappy with giving up another layer of personal space. (You could argue that he's paid plenty to give up his personal space, but we wouldn't recommend doing that to his face.)
Matthews also offered up a defense that doesn't exactly help his cause: "I've always thought throwing a camera in the locker room is perversion," he said. "They want to give fans an inside glimpse, but if people actually saw the way we interact in the locker room, like young kids, they wouldn't like it." Clay. Come on. This is the NFL. Packers fans would like to watch you clipping your toenails ... which is exactly what this camera might end up catching.
The cameras will feature video but no audio, and will be broadcast within the stadium, not over the networks. Cameras will only be in the home team's locker room, and the home team will control how the content is distributed.
USA Today noted that the cameras were installed without the input of the NFL Players' Association, and the union could raise privacy concerns about them. Because if the locker room cameras are a hit in the stadium, how long do you think it'll be before they're broadcast all over the country?
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-