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RUSH: Yes, of course we’re going to get back to the Brady stuff. I led with the Brady stuff yesterday. I’m going to do some other stuff first today. In fact, there’s really some fascinating sound bites from the Drive-By Media sports people. Bob Costas thinks that they have got to go all in and let Brady have it in order for Goodell to salvage his bad year. Oh, yeah. You’ll hear it all coming up. I have yet, however, for all of you writing me and telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about, I haven’t made a prediction yet as to what I think is going to happen, and I don’t know that I will ’cause I frankly have no idea.

I can see the logic on virtually every opinion that I have heard. No suspension with a fine, big suspension, moderate suspension, no action whatsoever. I can see the logic on all of it. There’s only one thing that I want to separate myself from the crowd on here with this. I’m gonna contradict myself from yesterday ’cause I got to thinking about this last night. You know, I made a big deal yesterday of saying the Patriots open the season as the Super Bowl champions on the Thursday night first game of the season televised on NBC. It’s against the Steelers, and I said I can’t imagine the league, I can’t imagine that game being played with the backup quarterback for the Patriots.

NBC wouldn’t want that. NBC is probably on the phone to Goodell saying, “Whatever you do, Brady’s playing on the opening night.” I got to thinking about that. I don’t think it matters. I expect to get a lot of feedback on this. I don’t think it matters that much if Brady plays on Thursday night, the opening game. The ratings are still gonna be through the roof. In fact, I would argue after having thought about this that the ratings might even be higher, if that’s possible, on Thursday night if Brady is suspended.

Think of the curiosity factor. Think of the anger factor. Think of all the additional reasons people would tune in to watch that game. You could almost make the case that NBC might have a bigger audience if Brady is suspended. Now, I don’t know that the league would look at it that way. This is my opinion here after having had a night to think about it. And it does go against the conventional wisdom grain, which is another reason why to me it does make some sense.


RUSH: Okay, back to the Tom Brady situation now. Led off with it yesterday, so I thought we’d get some other stuff under our belt for the first half of the program today. His agent, Don Yee, was on CNN last night, and Rachel Nichols said, “What was most frustrating to you guys that” — oh, before I play that, grab — just so you people know how on the cutting edge you are if you listen to this program. Listen to what I said January 23rd, 2015.

RUSH ARCHIVE: I have spies, ladies and gentlemen. I have learned that the NFL always intended to talk to Brady last. Talk to everybody else first. Talk to the assistant coaches. Talk to the equipment manager. Talk to the ball boy. Talk to the head coach, whatever, and then after you have all that, then you go to Brady, because this is about Brady. The only person that possibly is affected by the balls being inflated or deflated is Brady. He is the focal point of this. If the NFL is serious about the investigation, they might be getting ready to do a Martha Stewart type thing, get testimony from everybody else, and then you talk to Brady and find out who’s lying. Talking to Brady first, not the best way to do this.

RUSH: Last night, CNN, Rachel Nichols to Brady’s agent, Don Yee: “What was most frustrating to you guys that Tom was telling them that they weren’t believing?”

YEE: I will say, you know, the impression I had was because from a schedule standpoint, Tom’s interview I believe may have been the final interview in the entire investigative process. And my own personal impression was that opinions may have already been solidified at that point, and so that was a particular frustration to me.

RUSH: Yeah, yeah, exactly right. So he’s admitting that they talked to Brady last, exactly as I suspected to be the case way back in January, and there’s a reason. You get everybody else on the record, and whatever they say, you make a note of it. And here comes Brady, and he’s then up against everybody else, and the agent admit, yeah, we didn’t like that, not a bit. Don Lemon then said to the agent, “Well, you had previously spoken about this report. You blamed the league for what happened. The other team tipped ’em off, the Colts. So why are you blaming the other team in the league?”

YEE: They brought in a lot of talented personnel. Most of that personnel now is former investment bankers and politicos from Capitol Hill, and they’re — it really is — they’re experienced football people helping the commissioner make decisions and judgments. The Colts obviously contacted the league office well before the AFC championship game, and league officials then huddled all amongst themselves about what to do. If they had an experienced person in the office steeped in football culture probably would have recommended that before the game starts you probably should alert the Patriots as to what the issue is so that whatever competition we put forth will be fair.

RUSH: Now, I’m sorry to mention this, but that goes to what’s the biggest deal about this to me, and that is the NFL purposely allowed a championship game to be played with footballs they either knew or suspected were not inflated properly and to regulation, which means they were setting a trap, call it a sting or what have you. And what the agent is saying here, “Yeah, they brought in a lot of talented people, investment bankers, politicos. They didn’t bring in any football people, don’t really know the football culture here.” And he doesn’t believe how political — everything is political in our culture today. Everything is political.

I mean, whether there’s an anti-Brady agenda or not, whatever was going on here was placed above the integrity of that game. Stop and think of that, folks. They could have seen to it that that game was played with properly inflated footballs. They could have stopped everything. They still would have the problem. I mean, they might have had to announce that they had found some underinflated footballs that they are gonna investigate, but the game would have been played. I know the outcome was 45-7 Patriots. It was a blowout and that kind of thing. But still, in the after fact here, everybody knows that the league let a game be played with less than properly inflated footballs to regulation level.

So they were obviously trying to get somebody for something here. They wanted, they hoped to catch people in the act. They were treating it extremely seriously. And the agent is saying that happened because they brought in political people. They didn’t bring in football people. Football people would have dealt with this in an entirely different way. You bring in these political people, yeah, that’s right, politics is what? Politics is gotcha, politics is discrediting your opponent, politics is impugning your opponent and getting rid of your opponent, getting your opponent off the field, not debating, not fairness, not sportsmanship, none of that. That’s not what politics is today.

So the agent’s instincts here are right on the money. He knew exactly what was going on here. Which leads me to believe, and I have no idea where this is right now, but somebody somewhere really wanted to get the Patriots. Now, we could speculate why that might be. There are as many reasons for that as there are people in the league office. And I don’t have any inside information on any of that. But it is clear that somebody somewhere really wanted the Patriots to be got and gotten good here. I don’t know that that’s happened.


RUSH: Tom Brady went to Salem College, Salem University, Salem State, whatever it is, last night for a long-ago-agreed-to appearance. It’s a sit-down Q&A for the benefit of whoever goes — the audience, students, what have you. Jim Gray was the reporter chosen, and he asked Brady questions about this, and Brady said (summarized), “I haven’t read it. I haven’t digested it. I haven’t spent a lot of time on it yet. I’ll get back to you when I do.” Here’s how that went. Gray said, “What’s your reaction, Tom, to the Ted Wells report?”

BRADY: I don’t have really any reaction. Our owner commented on it yesterday, and it’s only been 30 hours so I haven’t had much time to digest it fully. But when I do, I’ll be sure to let you know how I feel about it.

AUDIENCE: (cheers)

RUSH: Jim Gray, who didn’t believe that answer, said, “Tom, are you a slow reader?”

BRADY: Well, my athletic career has been better than my academic career so usually I’m used to reading X’s and O’s. This is a little bit longer. There’s still a process that’s going forth right now and, you know, I’m involved in that process. So whenever it happens, it happens. Life so much is about ups and downs, and certainly I accept my role and responsibility as a public figure and I think a lot of it you take the good with the bad and dealing with different adversities in life, you just try to do the best you can do.

RUSH: Basically, “I’m not worried here. I don’t care. I’m a Super Bowl champion, four-time winning quarterback, and you’re not, and I’m not worried about this,” and I actually don’t think he is. Now, I know that everybody, especially… I mean, athletes have ambitions that go beyond their careers. I don’t know what Brady’s is. People have said that they’ve heard he wants to run for the Senate from Massachusetts.

But depending on the person, everybody is different person to person. I mean, everybody wants a great reputation. Everybody’d love to have great reputation, be thought of as possessing impeccable integrity. But you know there’s only so much you can do to control that, especially among people that you don’t know. And it really makes no sense to lose sleep over what people you don’t know think about this and what people who don’t know anything about it think about it.

It would be senseless to worry ’cause you can’t change their minds if they’re predisposed to hate you anyway, and he seems to have a pretty relaxed attitude about this, and I also think he’s very confident in his representation here. And I know that he knows that the Patriots’ ownership and management have his back. So he’s content to let this play out. So let’s go to the Charlie Rose… Nope, nope, sorry. Charlie Rose in a minute. NBC Nightly News first.

Lester Holt talked with gun control authority and expert Bob Costas about the Ted Wells report, and Lester said, “Okay, look. A lot of conversations today about the question of whether it was cheating or not. And it comes down to, ‘What would you tell a child, a 10-year-old playing Pop Warner about cheating?’ or is this some kind of like a wink-wink, Bob? Is this just part of the game?”

COSTAS: This sort of thing, which some view as gamesmanship, has been going on for a long time. But it is a rule. How important is that rule? Is it as egregious as other forms of cheating? Did it have the kind of impact on performance that steroid use or other forms of cheating would have? I don’t think so. In light of the year that the NFL has had and all the attacks on its integrity — and the attacks on the commissioner, Roger Goodell, for being in some cases too soft — I think if they go soft on the glamour boy of the league, Tom Brady, and on the Super Bowl Champions, there will be hell to pay.

RUSH: There you have it. This is a popularly held view within the sports media, that because of how hard they were on Ray Rice — there’s a racial component here, too, that nobody’s talking about. Do not doubt that. Seventy-some-odd percent of the players in this league are African-American and a disproportionate percentage of them are the ones that get punished. And the Sports Drive-Bys know it.

You heard it here from Costas: If there is even the slightest appearance that Brady is getting a slap on the wrist compared to what some of these other guys got, that’s when he says, “There will be hell to pay.” Now, I don’t have time to get into it right now, but there’s an aspect of that sound bite that I must comment on in addition, but I’ll do it in the next hour. I gotta get to the next bite because it’s Charlie Rose and talking to Peter King, Monday Morning Quarterback, Sports Illustrated, about the Ted Wells report. And this is how that little exchange went.

ROSE: You know, it reminds me of my friend Brian Williams .Whenever you see a tabloid story about him, he’s Lyin’ Brian, and this will become Cheating Tom.

KING: As somebody who watches NBC Nightly News — and I’ve watched Brian Williams for I don’t know, six or eight years most nights — I thought he was absolutely tremendous, and I really feel for him. But you’re right. It’s the exact same thing about Tom Brady. The rest of his life people are gonna be looking at him and saying, “Hey, there’s the guy who the NFL brought the hammer down for cheating.”

RUSH: You know, let me tell you something about this. That’s what they were saying just a year ago about A-Rod, that he had been shamed forever. All this stuff had finally come out, and he was forever gonna be stigmatized as a cheater. You can’t find a more popular guy in Yankee Stadium today than Alex Rodriguez. And I don’t think the fans of the New England Patriots are gonna abandon Tom Brady hook line or sinker no matter how many times they try to compare him to Brian Williams. That may be the best thing that’s ever happened to Brady.


RUSH: No, no. The only thing I was gonna say is implied here in Bob Costas’ answer is that everybody hates the commissioner and everybody’s angry at the NFL and everybody thinks the NFL’s all screwed up. And I don’t know that that’s the case. It is with the media. The media thinks everybody’s mad at Goodell, and I know he gets booed wherever he goes and whatnot. How much of that’s legit and how much of it’s been manufactured?


RUSH: Play it again. This is Costas answering Lester Holt’s question: Is this a big deal, or are we making too big a deal about it?

COSTAS: This sort of thing, which some view as gamesmanship, has been going on for a long time. But it is a rule. How important is that rule? Is it as egregious as other forms of cheating? Did it have the kind of impact on performance that steroid use or other forms of cheating would have? I don’t think so. In light of the year that the NFL has had and all the attacks on its integrity — and the attacks on the commissioner, Roger Goodell, for being in some cases too soft — I think if they go soft on the glamour boy of the league, Tom Brady, and on the Super Bowl Champions, there will be hell to pay.

RUSH: Now, the question I have — and it may be too fine a point or too esoteric. But did the NFL really have “a bad year,” or is it just conventional wisdom to say the NFL had a bad year? Is Roger Goodell really hated by the fans of the NFL, or is it just conventional wisdom to think so and to say so? Are the fans really upset about how Goodell handed out punishment for various transgressions, or are we just told the fans are upset?

When I look at all of the trappings and the indications, the NFL appears as successful as it’s ever been, to me. Sale of licensed merchandise, television, audience size. They’re continuing to set records. Everything the NFL does — even in the off season — is more popular than sports in the middle of their seasons. The NFL Draft is a bigger deal than the Major League Baseball Playoffs. So where is it that the NFL is in dire straits here?

Now, if you’re in the media, and it is part of your agenda that Goodell’s in trouble, if it is your agenda and if it’s your narrative — favorite word — that Goodell is hated and despised because you might hate and despise Goodell, and then you assume if you do, everybody does. And if it’s your narrative that the NFL has been grossly unfair and inadequate in handing out punishment here and there, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson and other people get a slap on the wrist, I think it’s all rooted in one thing.

And it is the Ray Rice situation and what happened when Rice got two games and then everybody saw the video where he slugged his wife and said, “Okay, all right, we saw it, all right, now we’ll make it the season,” or whatever. That one incident has now clouded everything that happened in the NFL last season and is being reported on as a disaster of a season.

You can find problems with anything. You can find fault with the NFL here or there, but some of the narratives that we get in these questions, and in Costas’ question here, I mean, the punishment of Brady is directly, in his opinion, related to the rotten year the league had, and Goodell had. And Goodell and the league had a rotten year because Goodell wasn’t strict enough.

So when Goodell was told he had gone too easy on Ray Rice, then he lowered the boom, and now if he doesn’t lower the boom on the biggest guy in the game, on the Super Bowl champion — don’t ignore the racial component here, folks — then there’s going to be hell to pay. Now, that’s how the media is looking at this. I don’t care what media story you read, whenever you see a media story speculating on Brady missing four games, six games, or the whole season, it’s that narrative in that reporter’s mind.

So what happens if the league says, “You know what? We don’t have any evidence of anything here. We don’t have any real evidence that Brady let the air out of the footballs. We don’t have any real evidence that Brady ordered it. We have no basis to suspend him.” Will there be hell to pay? You know how many people right now think Brady isn’t gonna get anything? That the league won’t dare suspend the biggest player in the game, particularly for opening night? Never gonna happen. If you want to see that happen, you’re whistling Dixie, it isn’t gonna happen.

You wouldn’t believe the number of people that think that. But the media would have us believe that the way the league is looking at this is not whether the circumstances warrant severe punishment, suspension, but what are they gonna think of us if we don’t do this, and what will they think of us if we do that? And if the league is looking at it that way, then that’s quite a disservice to the player who’s in the crosshairs. The punishment better have something to do with what the player did or didn’t do, rather than what the media thinks the PR outcome’s gonna be or there’s gonna be even bigger trouble.


RUSH: Don, Wichita, great to have you. I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Great to speak with you, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: You know, Rush, Tom Brady’s openly said in the past that he likes those footballs deflated to the lowest legal level, and he doesn’t do that; the Patriot equipment people do that for him. Ultimately the league is responsible for checking those footballs. They handle the footballs throughout the entire game. However, I believe in this case Tom Brady deserves punishment. He and the entire offensive line should have to spend three seasons, three seasons playing for my Kansas City Chiefs.

RUSH: (laughing) No. You mean, you would want Brady to have to play behind the offensive line of the Chiefs.

CALLER: We’ll take it to the league, Rush.

RUSH: Well, if Brady can take his offensive line with him to the Chiefs, that’s not really gonna be that much punishment.

CALLER: (laughing).

RUSH: You had me going there for a minute, Don. I have to admit, you had me going. I thought we were gonna get some real hard-hitting demands for justice from you. Maybe we did, punish Brady by sending him to the Chiefs.

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