RUSH: Yeah, I’m so glad I’m not a fan of the Green Bay Packers. I’d be going crazy. I would literally be nuts if I were a fan. And it’s not that I don’t like the Packers. I like the Packers. You know, I’m a Steelers guy, but, man, if I were a Packers fan, jeez. So many things I’d be questioning.
Now, football games yesterday, Patriots accused of deflating their balls. Have you heard about this? New England Patriots are accused of deflating their balls during this game. During rain and wind it’s apparently easier to grip and throw a football when it’s not properly inflated. The NFL is investigating. I don’t know where the charge comes from, but it’s a media guy from Indianapolis, Bob Kravitz, who first made it public. Tom Brady: This is crazy. This is asinine. This is silly. We didn’t deflate our balls. Our balls are just fine. People are wondering how this can happen. This has got to be a day of utter misery if you’re a Packers fan. Oh, man.
RUSH: I want to let you hear something. You may not have heard this. It was the very last thing that I said on the program last Friday.
RUSH ARCHIVE: We’re gonna have Patriots and Seahawks going to be in the Super Bowl. That’s what’s gonna happen on Sunday. Patriots and Seahawks win.
RUSH: The show ended. That’s the only thing I said about the games, although I had no idea that the Seahawks were gonna play as poorly… I had no idea the game was gonna turn out the way it did. There’s so many things in that game that I do not understand about the Packers and their execution. Maybe we’ll get to that later. On Indianapolis, EyeballNews TV 13 sports director Dave Calabro talking with Bob Kravitz, a columnist for the local newspaper, about investigating the Patriots for using deflated footballs in the championship game last night. Question: “Getting some breaking news, Bob. What have you learned out there,” old buddy, old pal?
KRAVITZ: A league source tells me that the NFL is investigating the New England Patriots for possibly deflating the footballs in the AFC Championship Game. Nobody’s beginning to suggest that that’s the reason that the Colts lost, but that is an issue that they’re going to take a look at it. The Colts are a passing team, and the Patriots like to run the ball, and a deflated football is very, very difficult to throw.
RUSH: Now, I’ve had a lot of people send me questions about this, and apparently… I think this is still the case. People said, “Wait a minute, wouldn’t the balls be the same for both teams?” No, folks. Each team in the NFL now is allowed… It’s been this way for some time. Each team is allowed to bring its own balls. Each team is allowed to designate its own balls for the kicking game, punting, and field goals.
They have a K on them, and they’re not to be used during standard play. So the Patriots bring their balls, it’s a specific number, and the Colts bring theirs and they’re turned over to the referee an hour or two hours before the game. They’re supposedly checked and weighed and all that. So the Patriots deflating their balls, I don’t know how it would… The Colts wouldn’t even end up using those balls.
RUSH: Now, folks, on this inflated football business, you know, I can’t say for sure. I’ve thought about it here during the break. I do know at one point that in the National Football League, at least the regular season, teams were allowed to bring their own balls to games. The balls they had used in practice, balls they were familiar with, or brand-new balls, but it was one way of preventing things like this. Al Davis, when he owned the Raiders, routinely did this kind of stuff and more, deflated footballs, muddy sections of the field. There were lots of rules changes.
Now, I must be honest, I can’t recall if each team being allowed to bring its own balls was for all players, or just the kicking game, now that I think about it. And I don’t know, even if that is the way it is, each team’s allowed to bring its own footballs. I don’t know if that’s still the case in postseason. It may not be the case in postseason. They start out with brand-new balls and the home team has to provide them. I don’t know how that works now, if the league provides them. But if the teams are allowed to bring their own footballs, balls they’re familiar with, balls they’ve used in practice or in previous games, which makes sense, and they’re not supposed to be mixed up.
For example, in a game like that, when the Colts have the ball, their balls are used. When the Patriots have the ball, their balls are used. If that’s the case, which I can’t swear to, then the Patriots could deflate footballs all night and the Colts would never encounter one unless they happened to intercept Brady. Well, that’s obviously not the case. This wouldn’t even be an issue. So maybe I’m not right about this. Maybe it’s not true in postseason.
But still the idea that the home team is in charge of all of the footballs, I’m not aware of that being the case in years. But may be postseason it is. And it is being investigated. It is being looked at. Now, if it were found that this actually happened and the Patriots had the ability to deflate the footballs that the Colts were using, then the penalty would be money and draft choices or whatever. They wouldn’t have to forfeit the game or any of that. It’s kind of crazy. One more sound bite. Bob Kravitz last night on Eyewitness News NBC in Indianapolis, he was asked, “We did notice there was a time-out early in the first half. They came out and actually got a ball and they took it off the field.”
KRAVITZ: I’m told by this league source that they took the ball off and weighed it, and it’s going to become an issue. There may be lost draft picks if they find the Patriots guilty of this. Of course, the Patriots were involved in Spygate and some other unsavory dealings.
RUSH: Well, now, if all this is true, then apparently I’m not right about the way footballs with dealt with in the postseason. If the home team’s in charge of the footballs, that hasn’t been the case in a long time and something that’s gotten by me. But that’s the only way this could affect the Colts, or the Colts, as Phil Simms says. That’d be the only way is if the Patriots provide the footballs, ’cause whoever provides ’em, they go to the referee or somebody, an hour or two before the game, where they are weighed and checked for proper inflation or deflation. And they spot-check ’em during games at the same time, which is one of the reasons one ball was spot-checked and taken out. Tom Brady was on the radio today in Boston. Before he had even heard about it, he was asked about it.
BRADY: No. I don’t. I have no idea. (laughing)
REPORTER: Would you care to weigh in on that?
BRADY: I think I heard it all at this point. It’s ridiculous. That’s the last of my worries. Yeah, I don’t even respond to stuff like this.
RUSH: It is kind of strange. It wouldn’t have mattered a hill of beans anyway to the outcome of that game. That game, it’s a sad circumstance that that game even ended up being scheduled. The Colts just are not ready. But they ended up beating the Broncos. I mean, they were legitimately genuinely there, but that game was — and the scheduling on that, to make that the prime time game, I know they have to alternate CBS and Fox, each get the night game on championship weekend, they rotate it every year. CBS had it last year. Fox got it this year, which meant that Seattle had to start at noon local time, which had never happened before.
I got a couple of calls I want to get in here before we dovetail or split the scene on this and get back to some other issue oriented stuff.
RUSH: Now, I was right, by the way, on this football business.
I went back and looked, ladies and gentlemen. During the Ravens-49ers Super Bowl, Joe Flacco complained at one point that they were given a Fort’iners ball. It’s right there at NFL.com. What we learned from sound effects or Super Bowl, whatever it is live when they mike the players, Joe Flacco realizes the Ravens are using the wrong football during the game. He realizes that they’re using a 49ers ball. It was a mistake.
Each ball is marked, and he asked for it to be replaced with a Ravens ball. The balls have the team’s name on them so the quarterbacks get the ball they want during the game. Here’s the rule book: “Home teams are responsible for furnishing playable balls at all times. Each team brings 12 primary balls. The home team is required to bring 12 backup balls.” So there’s a total of 36 footballs at the beginning of the game, probably more than that.
But the visiting team brings its own footballs, is the point, even in the Super Bowl. The 49ers had their own balls and the Ravens had theirs and Flacco (the quarterback for the Ravens) noticed at one point that he was given a 49ers ball and asked for it to be switched out, which he was granted. And that Super Bowl was just two or three years ago. My point here is, how do the Colts end up with a Patriots ball?
I mean, how do the Patriots get hold of the Colts because to deflate them? There’s something really screwy about this, folks. Here it is in the rule book again. “Home teams are responsible for furnishing playable balls at all times.” Take that and set it aside. Next sentence: “Each team brings 12 primary balls.” Okay, meaning last night the Colts were using balls they brought with them, and the Patriots were using their own balls, and then the Patriots have to supply an additional 12 balls as backup in case something happens, goes wrong.
In addition to that, what’s not in the rule book here is that there are balls set aside for the kicking game only. They have a K on them, and it’s the responsibility of the ball boys running up and down the sidelines to get all this right. Now, taking a ball out of play and weighing it and whatever they do to check its legality, I don’t know. But given this, the Patriots could deflate footballs all day long and it would only be their own, unless the Colts were then given those balls to play with.
But they should have seen that, because the balls are marked.
Now, the 12 K balls (they’re called K balls) are unwrapped the day of the game, and the equipment guys get 45 minutes to try to break ’em in. The kicking game footballs are brand-new. The balls that teams bring to the games are balls that they’ve used either in previous games or in practice. They do not have to be brand-new, is the point. They’re balls that are comfortable. They’ve been broken in; they’ve been used by the teams in their own endeavors.
RUSH: Here’s Rich in White Plains, New York. Great to have you on the program, sir. Thanks for waiting, and welcome.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Thanks for taking my call. Would you like to talk a little football?
CALLER: Are you familiar with that passage of that poem, “How do I love thee, let me count the ways”?
RUSH: Yeah, never played, but I’m familiar with it.
CALLER: Well, watching the Packers, it’s how do I screw up a game, let me count the ways. It was two red zones at the beginning of the game. They failed to score a touchdown. Then, you know —
RUSH: Now, that’s big. You know, you get down, fourth and one on the half yard line, the Green Bay Packers, you’re in the championship game. You’ve just intercepted a couple of passes. You’ve got Seattle on the ropes and you kick for three points? Even if you don’t make it you still show you’ve got the guts to pound the ball at ’em.
RUSH: They should have had 14 points instead of six after the first 10 minutes of that game.
CALLER: Yeah. And the guys doing the game were even saying how this was out of character for the Packers’ head coach. That he usually, you know, goes for it.
RUSH: Well, I can’t hear the audio on a football game. If the closed captioning gets in the way I take it off, so I’m just watching. So I didn’t hear them say that.
CALLER: Yeah, I have another important football point, more important, Rush.
RUSH: Got five seconds. I don’t think you can do it with five seconds. I’m sorry to do that to you, it’s one of these breaks — there it goes. It even cuts me off. Don’t feel offended.
RUSH: This is Neil in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Hey, Neil, great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush. Longtime fan.
RUSH: Great to have you here, Neil.
CALLER: My comment is about the Patriots’ drubbing of the Colts.
RUSH: The Patriots’ drubbing of the Colts. Yeah, that’s what happened.
CALLER: Yeah, how they were complaining about the football issue.
RUSH: I don’t know where that comes from. I guarantee you — well, I can’t — my guess is the Colts are probably embarrassed as hell. Somebody there probably said something, a reporter overheard it and a big thing’s been made of it. But I guarantee you the Colts do not think they lost that game because of the condition of footballs. And now this thing’s blown up and the NFL’s investigating. And I’ll bet you the people inside the Colts are a little embarrassed about this.
CALLER: I think they were just outplayed, and the media’s just making up an excuse.
RUSH: The media?
RUSH: You think this started with the media?
RUSH: For who?
CALLER: For the local media in Indianapolis.
RUSH: Why in the world would you want to make — I mean, it’s not as though they lost by one point and a deflated football. They were blown out for the fourth time the two teams have played. The Indianapolis Colts have lost by margins of 28 to 34, 40 points in each of the last four times they’ve played the Patriots. They haven’t even gotten close.
You know what else is interesting? All day yesterday it was being reported by, quote, unquote, the media that the Indianapolis Colts were in the process of reworking Andrew Luck’s contract to make him the richest and the highest paid player in the league, guaranteed $25 million a year. Now, what was unique about that was that idiot that owns the team has a policy, and that is rookie quarterbacks — don’t laugh; he is. He has a policy that the rookie quarterback, rookie players play out their full contract before they get a second one.
In other words, there’s no extension or renegotiation. They even did that with Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning had to play out every contract before he got his new one, and Luck still has a year to go. If they had indeed made Luck $25 million player guaranteed, richest in the league, a year early, that would have been a precedent. Well, today the guy that owns the team is being quoted as saying: “I’m not even thinking about Andrew Luck’s contract. I mean, that’s the farthest thing from my mind.”
Now, somebody had to tell somebody in the media about this $25 million, unless they just made it up. Hell, you know, with the media anymore, who knows. But I just find it fascinating, yesterday the news was that the Colts are prepared to just make Andrew Luck the highest paid player in the league a year early, and then they get blown out last night, and the owner today is saying, nah, I’m not even thinking about Luck’s contract. What, are you kidding? What are you talking about? It’s the last thing on my mind right now.”
But this football business — (interruption) well, no, I don’t know who the highest paid player is because every contract’s different, the guarantees and the salary cap hits and all that. I mean, when the story said that Luck would be the highest paid player in the league at $25 million, it had to be guaranteed. There are a lot of guys that claim to be, you know, $17, 15 million, but it’s not guaranteed. So I don’t know what the highest quarterback — maybe Romo. Don’t think it’s Romo. I’m not sure. It’s not Brady because Brady’s reworked his deal a number of times. (interruption) Well, that’s subjective. The best quarterback in the league? How are you gonna determine that?
Depending on who you talk to, some say Aaron Rodgers. Well, he may still be. You could say he didn’t have a good game yesterday. Well, he didn’t have the plays called for him yesterday that would have made him look good. (interruption) Oh, give me a break, Jay Cutler? Jay Cutler. Oh, Jay Cutler, the highest base salary. Yeah, but he’s not — what is it? Does it say? (interruption) Okay. Yeah, but how much of it’s guaranteed? So $126 million, but how much of it’s guaranteed? The rest of it’s superfluous. (interruption) Well, but he’s still playing a rookie contract, so he’s nowhere near in the richest yet.
Russell Wilson? He’s perfect for that team. In fact, we got a sound bite. You know Russell Wilson broke down after the game. I mean, the emotion just overcame Russell Wilson, and it’s understandable. He was gonna be the goat of all goats of the week if they had lost. Four picks, turned the ball over eight yards passing the first half. He was gonna be the goat. And the last three minutes of that game, big-time turnaround. Grab audio sound bite number six. This is Russell Wilson, he’s speaking on Fox with Erin Andrews after the game, and you can barely understand what he’s saying here, he’s crying.
WILSON: God is good all the time, man. Every time. These guys on the team are unbelievable, man. The fight. The fight. We’re in this fight over and over again. People used to doubt, man. I’m just excited to be on this team, excited to play with the guys. Gotta give credit to the — to the Packers. They had unbelievable season, and it’s just — just an honor, man, just an honor, just blessed to be on this team.
RUSH: Russell Wilson’s all God all the time, by the way. That’ll hold him back in the media in time. The media, in quotes, “the media.” But I can understand, he was totally overcome with emotion. He went from the lowest you can be, playing the worst game of his professional career in the NFC championship game at home, and that turnaround in the last basically three minutes, four minutes, stunning. (interruption) Well, here’s the thing. I finally found out what happened on that. Brandon Bostick, number 86 for the Packers, who botched the onside kick, it turns out that poor Brandon Bostick particular is not a member of the so-called hands team.
Normally a team puts their hands team out on onside kicks, people that are used to catching the ball, touching the ball, holding onto the ball. He’s a blocker. Brandon Bostick, so it’s told, was out there to block and cover for Jordy Nelson and others behind him who were supposed to field the onside kick if it was a pop-up. And instead he jumped for it. Instinct, he jumped for it rather than let it go, and he’s not used to touching the ball as much. That still stuns me. The ball, slow motion, it’s right in front of you, and how it goes through your hands.
That guy, he’s gonna carry that the rest of his life. That kind of thing is just — ’cause that’s the game right there. Despite every other mistake Green Bay made, if he recovers that kick, game’s over. Despite every other play call that was wrong, despite all the conservatism, despite all the playing not to lose, all those things, could have been covered with the recovery of that onside kick. The emotional ups and downs in a game like that are profound.