I found the snopes article about it after I posted the pic.
The explaination from the A&M guy was after the fact, so they could have realized their mistake and when asked, simply say "We meant to do it like that".
From an engineering standpoint, one difference between having the wood outside the window is that it would be very hard to blow the wood through the window as it would be wider and longer than the window frame. With the wood behind the glass, once the glass breaks, it would probably take a lot less wind force to blow the wood off whatever it's mounted to.
I would love to see how they mounted the wood on the inside - maybe screwed into drywall?