Drone Buzzing the Atlanta Falcons' Pre-Super Bowl Practice Was Brought Down by Security

We assume the pilot wasn't working for the Patriots. But maybe we should trademark #DroneGate just to be safe. 

Kike Calvo via AP Images

During a pre-Super Bowl practice session for the Atlanta Falcons at Rice University last week, security personnel brought down a drone that was buzzing over the field, according to a reporter on the scene. 

“Security officers grounded a drone that was sent airborne by one of the residents in the neighborhood on Thursday," Peter King, the sole reporter allowed at the practice, wrote, according to NBC Sports

The report did not mention how the drone was brought, though we at The Drive like to imagine it involved quarterback Matt Ryan and the phrase, "Hey guys, ten bucks says I can hit that."

While King's report suggests the drone was being flown by a local instead of a spy hired by the New England Patriots, the Pats' history of reportedly shady activity—Spygate, Deflategate, etc.—makes indulging in conspiracy theories about the flying machine's mission all but guaranteed in some parts of America. 

All civilian aerial vehicles—unmanned or otherwise—will be banned for a 35-mile radius around Houston's NRG Stadium from 4pm until midnight tonight local time, as part of the security measures for Super Bowl LI. The Federal Aviation Administration has not specified how it will bring down drones, though Air Force fighters will be in the area to intercept larger aircraft. (The one exception: Lady Gaga's halftime show, which will feature a fleet of drones.)

On a side note, here's a hint for future Super Bowl contenders: Practice in the Netherlands. Those guys don't mess around when it comes to killing drones