Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano has had some weird games at Raymond James Stadium.
In a game here two years ago, Gano pushed a trombone player out of his way when the Bethune-Cookman band kept marching around him while he was taking his halftime kicks.
Gano didn’t have any run-ins with the brass section Sunday, but he missed three of four field goals in the Panthers’ 17-16 loss to Tampa Bay.
They represented the most misses in a game for Gano, who said the video-board operator at Raymond James didn’t do him any favors.
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Gano said the end zone video boards were showing live footage of his placements, while displaying the Buccaneers’ logo against a solid red background when the Bucs’ Roberto Aguayo lined up.
Why is that a big deal?
Gano said it had the distracting effect of making him look at two sets of goalposts – the actual posts and those on the screen.
“You look out there, there’s two (sets of) uprights you’re looking at,” he said. “I know the league talked to them about it before when we played here a couple years ago. So it’s a bit bush-league. But once again, it’s not a reason why I performed poorly. It just adds another element.”
Sunday night, a league official confirmed that using video boards to distract the visiting team’s kicker is prohibited and the league recommends a shot that shows all 22 players.
"Distracting video includes, but is not limited to, extreme close-ups of the face of the visiting team’s kicker and fast zooming in and out," Michael Signora wrote in an email Sunday night."
The stadium sound system acted up before Gano’s first field-goal attempt, with loud feedback prompting officials to stop the game until it was corrected. Gano missed from 45 yards after the noise issue was corrected.
“There was a lot of things going on with the kicks today,” he said. “I think a horn sounded on one of them. But it’s still my job at the end of the day to put the ball through the uprights.”
Gano’s year started with a missed, 50-yard field goal that would have won the Super Bowl rematch at Denver. He got on a roll late in the season before Sunday, and finished 30-of-38 on his field goals.
The eight misses were his most in five seasons in Carolina.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he was a “little disappointed” in Gano’s performance Sunday.
“We had some opportunities to put some points on the board and we didn’t do it,” Rivera said. “We all have jobs to do and we have to do our job.”
Asked if he planned to bring in competition for Gano next season, Rivera said: “We’re going to compete at all positions.”