Ex-Steeler Ike Taylor Wired His Helmet to Play Music During Games

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Steelers DB Ike Taylor on the field in full pads

The final three seasons of Ike Taylor’s NFL career might not have been his most productive but they might have been the most fun. Why? Because Taylor was listening to music at all times on the field. 

The former Steelers cornerback told the “Surf & Turf” podcast that he managed to retrofit his helmet with a pair of headphones so he could have music (Lil Wayne, mostly) “blasting” while he was on the field. 

Taylor explains that he slipped two headphones up into the ear area of his helmet and kept an iPod concealed somewhere in his jersey. (He’s lucky it didn’t injure him like a microphone pack did to Randall Cobb.)

Taylor says he started doing this in his last three seasons, which would be starting in 2012. Headphone technology has progressed significantly since then (the world’s first truly wireless earbuds weren’t introduced until 2015) so it’s interesting to think about how Taylor pulled this off. 

The iPod Taylor must have been using is the seventh-generation iPod nano, the first that included the Bluetooth capability required using wireless headphones, which was released in October 2012. Since all Bluetooth headphones at the time had wires connecting the left and right earbuds, he must have had to wedge the cable up under the helmet’s padding. But then did he have to disassemble the rig every time they needed a charge? Did they ever crap out on him in the rain? Could opponents ever hear the music bleeding out of his helmet? So many questions.