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RUSH: I just had a little heads-up. I just got a little bit of a peek at some of the… I’m dancing around this because I don’t know how to characterize it. Brady has ’til five o’clock today or maybe midnight tonight to respond, to announce he’s gonna appeal. The Patriots have responded to the Ted Wells report, and it’s pretty weak.

You know what they called the guy that was letting the air of the footballs? He had a nickname: The Deflator. The Patriots are saying, “No, no, no,” and they’re serious. The Patriots are saying, “No, no! He… He lost a lot of weight. That’s why he was called the Deflator.” Come on! There’s never been a person in the world that lost a lot of weight that anybody ever called ’em the Deflator.

They also say, “Okay, so there’s, what, a minute and 40 seconds when he leaves the official’s locker room with the footballs. He goes to the bathroom, he stops, and then he heads to the field, and everybody’s wondering what went on in the bathroom in a minute and 40 seconds. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe he was using the bathroom and that’s it?” That’s their response to that. I don’t know, folks. I don’t know.

The Brady team’s lawyering up with some pretty powerful people, and some of the tweets that are out there in response to the report from Brady and New England, the media is smirking at ’em, especially Deflator line. “Are you kidding? The guy is called the Deflator ’cause he lost weight?” By the way, the latest pictures of the guy? He hasn’t lost any weight, it doesn’t look like to me. So I don’t know what the Deflator looked like before he started deflating.


RUSH: I’m struck by something Leigh Steinberg said. We had the sound bite earlier this week, the former sports agent, the model for Jerry Maguire in the movie. Steinberg’s opinion was that Brady would be best advised not to appeal, let this go and just let it fade. That when you respond to this and try to beat it back, all you do is keep the issue alive, keep the issue amplified.

Now, the Patriots have a website up to respond to Ted Wells, and this stuff, this stuff is getting interesting. As I mentioned, the locker room attendant, McNally, nickname Deflator, he claims that he gave himself the nickname the Deflator ’cause he lost a lot of weight. There are also a number of text messages, attempted text messages and calls between Tom Brady and the Deflator, and nobody knows what those are because the participants have not volunteered the information.

The Patriots say on their website that Brady was simply calling the Deflator to tell him not to worry about anything, everything’s okay, to buck him up, in other words. Now, the popular impression is that Brady was calling the guy, “Hey, hey, they’re on to us, you gotta slow down, destroy those texts.” That’s what everybody’s assuming went on in those calls, but the Patriots are saying, “No, no, Tom was never worried about this. He was worried about the employee. He wanted to make sure the employee knew he was doing a good job and to hang in there and be tough and all that.”

And then there’s a former offensive coach for the Miami Dolphins named Turner, Jim Turner, I think. Anyway, he was part of the Ted Wells investigation, the Dolphins and the bullying episode, remember that? Richie Incognito and what was the other guy? Jonathan Martin, that’s right. And this coach lost his job. Coach Turner lost his job with the Dolphins. So he’s out there, he’s just ripping Ted Wells a new one everywhere he can. He’s saying there’s nothing objective about Ted Wells. There’s nothing fair about Ted Wells. Ted Wells is working for the league, and Ted Wells is gonna come up with whatever the league wants to hear.

He said Ted Wells is like the auto mechanic. You’ve got nothing wrong with your car but you take it to a mechanic anyway and he’ll find a problem just to screw you. Well, that’s Ted Wells. So this is percolating. This is the kind of stuff that Steinberg said — I’m sure this is what he meant. That you don’t want to create this kind of stuff. It just muddies the waters. It exacerbates tensions.

But then on the other side of that, if you don’t do it and you are adamant that you didn’t do it, and just to make something go away you act like you agree to it, I’m sure that’s the Brady camp response. One other little bit of information, and I don’t know in this circumstance and this episode whether this is going to matter. But the polling unit at ABC News got together with ESPN, and they polled an audience of people. I don’t know what kind, sports fans, nonsports fans, just Americans, likely voters, possible voters, deflators, noninflators, I don’t know, but it’s a pretty comprehensive poll.

It found that 63% of all fans and 76% of self-described avid fans support the NFL suspension of Tom Brady for four games. The poll also found that a majority of fans say that Brady and the Patriots cheated, although the vast majority of fans think other teams cheat, too. In fact, only 6% of fans think that cheating is limited to the Patriots. And if there’s any good news in the poll for Brady, it’s that his reputation does not appear to be irreparably damaged. A slim majority still view Brady as a good role model, and the vast majority still think Brady should be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Let me tell you something, if they’re asking that it’s more than incidental damage. Now, come on. If they’re already asking, if people are saying, despite this, a slim majority are still saying Brady should be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, that’s not insignificant, I mean, to people that believe polls. A slim majority still say Brady should be admitted to the Hall of Fame. For crying out loud, that’s not a vote of confidence. They say this is slightly good news for Brady. I think the fact that the Hall of Fame is in this discussion?

At any rate, I don’t know how this is gonna impact this, ’cause people react to polls in all kinds of different ways. There’s some people that live and die by ’em as you know, that swear by ’em, and those people think you just have to live with it. Maybe you can try to change it, but I guarantee you that the Patriots and Brady side, and maybe even the ABC side, is shocked by this. Sixty-three percent of all fans, 76% of self-described avid fans think that the Patriots and Brady cheated? I’m telling you, it’s not insignificant.

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