RUSH: I tell you, one of the things I watched yesterday, after the Brady press conference I kept it on ESPN. They had a bunch of former players. Mark Brunell, former quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and I think even for the Jets and the Redskins for a while. And Jerome Bettis, “The Bus,” 36 from the Steelers. I’m telling you, these people laid into Tom Brady in ways I had never thought I would see. Called him a liar. They were disappointed. He was totally uncredible. He had a chance to own this and become bigger than ever. And instead, he totally blew it.
Grab sound bite six, seven, and eight. Here is Mark Brunell. This is NFL live after Brady spent 30 minutes with the media yesterday saying he didn’t know anything. He didn’t do anything. He didn’t see anything. He didn’t hear anything. He doesn’t know anything beyond what he doesn’t know. He didn’t see anything beyond what he never saw. He has no idea what this is about. He doesn’t think he’s a cheater. He doesn’t have the slightest idea of what went on here. It’s on to Seattle. So now they get to the players. Here is Brunell. First of two.
BRUNELL: I did not believe what Tom had to say. Those balls were deflated. Somebody had to do it. And I don’t believe there’s an equipment manager in the NFL that would, on his own initiative, deflate a ball without the starting quarterback’s approval. I just didn’t believe what Tom Brady had to say.
RUSH: That was just the beginning. Brian Dawkins. Every player I saw. Every player that ESPN put up said, “I don’t believe Brady. I don’t believe a thing he said.” And they were incredulous that he handled it the way he did. They didn’t stop to think that the utter denial means that the NFL doesn’t have anything and that they know it. The Patriots know the NFL doesn’t have anything. Otherwise, they wouldn’t deny it. Here’s the second Burnell sound bite.
BRUNELL: It’s disappointing because my experience is, listen, I started 151 games. Most quarterbacks would tell you that is their experience. That football is our livelihood. If you don’t feel good about throwing that ball, your success on the football field can suffer for that. And so that was a tough one to swallow.
RUSH: Because Brady is out there saying (paraphrasing), “Look, after I approved the balls before the game starts, I don’t know anything after that. I expect it to be perfect. That’s it. I didn’t cheat. I didn’t know anything about it. I know nothing.” He did a full-fledged Sergeant Schultz. See, everyone was expecting, with Belichick handing it off to Brady, everybody was expecting Brady to be contrite and to at least acknowledge — (interruption) Brady? No, he was not ticked off. Brady was smiling and charming and totally open. He was accommodating every question. Belichick (imitating Belichick): “That’s all I have to say about it. I’m not going to say anymore. I already answered that. Screw you, I already told you what I thought about it and I’m not going to say anymore.”
Brady answered every question like it was the first time he had ever been asked. Yeah. But these guys were all expecting Brady, I think, to own it and to say something like, “Oh, yeah, it’s unfortunate. We never want things like this to happen.” Basically, they wanted him to admit it and apologize for it and then they could say he’s the greatest guy in the world. They wanted him to, if not admit it, to acknowledge that he knew it happened, he didn’t know how. He’s very sad that it happened. Horrible thing. Oh, my God. I wish it hadn’t.” That’s what they wanted.
And what they got was (imitating Brady), “What are you guys talking about? Deflated footballs? The first I heard of it.” That was the tone of his press conference. “What are you talking about? I looked at the balls two hours before the game, they were fine, and that’s it. I don’t know anything after that. What do you mean deflated footballs, nobody proved they were deflated, what do you mean?” So these guys were like, “My God, I can’t believe it.” Here’s The Bus. Jerome Bettis was so upset by this that he had to pause while watching it to take a sip of water. That’s what he said.
BETTIS: I needed to take a sip of water. I could not believe what I heard. I’m so disappointed because I thought this was a perfect opportunity for Tom Brady to go and say, “You know what, I made a mistake. I blew it. It’s on me. I’ll take the blame here, and this will go away.” He didn’t do that. This was a perfect opportunity for you to call it like you saw it. You did not do that. I’m disappointed in you, Tom Brady.
RUSH: Hey, Jerome, I love you. I’m a Big Steelers fan. But there’s no way these guys are going to admit it. This is a huge integrity of the game issue. Look, the Sports Drive-Bys are already running around thinking they got a Watergate here. There are two things going on here. On the one hand, everybody acknowledges, this is so irrelevant to the outcome of this game. Deflated footballs, pounds per square inch, it’s meaningless.
On the other hand, this is a huge threat to the integrity of the game. Well, Jerome, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal, if they’re sitting back there at Patriots headquarters and they’re reading the manual on the Patriot way, and if they know the NFL doesn’t have anything or if they know the NFL has no way to prove it, they’re not going to admit to doing this. That’s not going to happen.
You admit it, you own it, and it takes on an entirely new direction that you lose control over. Snerdley, if your wife catches you cheating, what do you do? You deny, deny, deny. She shows you the pictures. You deny. No matter what, you deny. You deny. You deny. There’s no way Brady was going to admit this. These guys really expected Brady to come out and own it and then fall on the sword, what a great guy. They wanted to praise him that way. If somebody yesterday had produced a picture of Tom Brady putting a needle in the football to deflate it, he would have denied it.
Back after this. Don’t go away.
RUSH: The former players are all anti-Brady. Troy Aikman has made as much sense on this as anybody. The NFL is a fraternity. Former players, current players, and it’s interesting to me to see all of these players, former and current, all come out and just dump on the guy.