RUSH: Earlier this week, I think it was actually Wednesday on NPR’s Morning Edition, there was a report from Frank Deford, who is the sports commentator there. He may still be at SI, I don’t know. I don’t think he is. He used to be at Sports Illustrated. He did a report on New England quarterback Tom Brady and his suspension.
DEFORD: In hindsight, all of us made a terrible mistake in looking upon someone like Gaylord Perry, he the pitcher infamous for loading up his deliveries with what we quaintly call foreign substances, as a sort of a sassy picturesque figure who was merely tilting at the windmills of authority. Nonsense. Perry and his ilk didn’t abuse baseballs. They abused baseball.
RUSH: Okay, now, need to put this in some kind of context. For those of you who are too young, Gaylord Perry, who I actually met, Gaylord Perry was a famous pitcher. His brother was Jim Perry. He pitched for every team in the league, it seems like, and he closed his career out with the Kansas City Royals when I happened to be there. He was traded to the Royals by somebody, maybe Texas, I forget who, and the first day he shows up he’s got, honest to God, two lion cubs with him, in cages, and he bought ’em for security on his North Carolina farm.
I said, “What do you need lions for?”
He said, “I gotta protect, there’s all kinds of bad people down there and these lions will keep ’em away.”
They were cute little lion cubs, and he let ’em out of cage. They were running the locker room. They’re not harmful at that age. They were tiny. Honest to God. But he was known for loading the ball up. Spitballs, they were called. Vaseline, anyplace you could hide the substance on your uniform. If you know what you’re doing, it doesn’t take much. You put it on the right spot on the baseball, if you can throw the baseball hard enough, what will happen is the bottom will drop out of it. At home plate the illusion is it’s dropping straight down. It’s obvious when somebody can throw a spitball and has done one well because you can’t make a ball do that other than with a foreign substance.
Joe Niekro was a guy who did this. He had a knuckleball, but he also had foreign substance on the ball. I’ll never forget, he got caught. He got caught and the home plate umpire charges out to the mound and Niekro says, “I didn’t do anything!” and he starts emptying his pocket and all this stuff comes out. (laughing) A fingernail file, he was scuffing up the baseball. All kinds of stuff that he was putting on ’em just came out of his pocket and he tried to act like no, I wasn’t, it was just there. It was it is funniest thing. He was a good guy, Niekro.
Anyway, as you can tell, Gaylord Perry back in his day was treated as an artist. I mean, the media marveled at his ability to cheat just like they marveled at Bill Clinton’s ability to lie. But, now, Deford is coming here and telling us he now feels guilty about that. In his advanced experienced age, looking back on things, he now realizes it was improper to think it cute or clever and harmless. We thought that this guy was, you know, a sassy, picturesque player, larger than life, could do things with a baseball. We all knew it but we all looked the other way because it’s just what we did, but now we know he was abusing baseball.
So Frank Deford is saying for all sportswriters that we have realized our error. And what made us realize our error was watching Tom Brady do the same thing, by deflating the footballs. He’s not abusing the footballs. He’s abusing football.
By the way, folks, I have to tell you, and I saw this mentioned in a story today about this. There hasn’t been one player, one other quarterback, there has not been one other quarterback who has spoken up in Brady’s defense. And some Drive-By sports people are drawing a lot of conclusions from that and you have to look long and far and wide to find any player that will speak up and defend Brady in this. And major conclusions are being drawn from that. So that is the context, Deford admitting later career guilt over not taking seriously the damage to the game that guys like Gaylord Perry were causing. And then he continues now with what it all means with what Tom Brady is doing.
DEFORD: With Tom Brady’s direction or mere acquiescence, he is guilty of purposely defiling the very artifacts which make the game fair and square. It’s not enough to say, “Oh, everybody cheats a little or, well, gee, there wasn’t all that much difference with the balls, or you’re picking on the poor Patriots.” Games are played by natural flesh-and-blood, people using authorized equipment. If either is illegally distorted, it’s not just a crime against the game, but a wound to the whole essence of sport.
RUSH: Well, you see, all kinds of career guilt surfacing here at a particular moment in the careers of certain sportswriters, and they’ve gotta get right with the game and they gotta get right with God, and they gotta get right with whoever they’re getting right with. So this is how they’re using the incident here with Brady to apologize for all the things they should have taken seriously in the past in sports that they did not take.
RUSH: Jim Kelly, the former quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, was a guest on the CBS Sports Network’s We Need To Talk on Tuesday night, and they were talking about Tom Brady and Deflategate. Andrea Kremer, the co-host said, “Look, I know how close you are, Jim, with Brady. But do you believe that he did what he’s accused of doing?” And here’s what Jim Kelly said…
KELLY: Oh, there’s no doubt. I mean, you really think about it: There’s no way that an equipment manager —
CO-HOST KATRINA ADAMS: (guffaws)
KELLY: — in the National Football League —
KELLY: — is gonna do something to the football without the greatest quarterback ever to play knowing that, “Hey, I did something to his football, but he doesn’t know about it.” He knows. But you know what the thing is? You do something like that; you’re gonna get caught, and Tom didn’t need to do it. He’s a good friend of mine, but why?
RUSH: This is exactly what I mean, there’s nobody coming out defending Brady here. Other analysts are running with that. I’m just making the observation. You can draw your own conclusion as to what it means, ’cause a lot of people say, “Of course they’re not, Rush. They’re jealous. Everybody’s jealous of Brady, for everything.” Well, there’s probably some of that, maybe, but still. Troy Aikman. Troy Aikman, who…
You know, I know Troy Aikman, too. (interruption) Yeah, I’ve met him in golf tournaments. (interruption) That’s right, you’re a Cowboys fan. Snerdley just perked up for the first time today. “You do?” (laughing) You know, Troy Aikman is one of the most classy, nice individuals that you would ever run into. When I got the gig at ESPN to be on their Sunday morning pregame show, I actually got a telegram from Troy Aikman.
He wanted to make sure I saw it, that it didn’t get lost in e-mail. I got a telegram, a congratulatory telegram from Troy Aikman, and he was telling me how excited he was to hear what I had to say on this show. Every time I’ve run into him, he’s been as nice as he could be. I’ll tell you, he makes what Jim Kelly said here sound like Romper Room. I mean, Aikman’s been all over Brady for this as unnecessary. (paraphrased) “Of course he did it. There’s no question. Everybody knows he did it.”
That’s what Kelly was saying.
“Oh, there’s no doubt! I mean, you really think these two Mutt and Jeff equipment guys are gonna do this on their own?” So that seems to be the standard conclusion people are drawing. So one of the other co-hosts on this CBS show, Summer Sanders, said to Jim Kelly, “Should air pressure even be regulated? Should it be…?” (chuckles) Summer Sanders. “Should air pressure even be regulated? Should it even be a rule?” (laughing) My gosh, if it’s gonna catch Tom Brady doing something illegal, is it really worth having! (laughing) That’s what that means.
Here’s the answer…
KELLY: Also they talked about the running backs. When I was a little kid, if I had a football that I could grip and hold on to and squeeze, nobody was gonna get that football from me. If it was hard as a rock, especially playing in weather like we do? Man, if that football is hard, boy, it’s gonna pop out. Oh, it’s gonna pop out a lot easier with a solid rock football, I guarantee you.
RUSH: Yeah. (summarizing) “So, yeah, we need rules on the air pressure in the footballs. Yeah, of course we do. Damn right we do!” is what he is saying.
RUSH: Glenwood, Illinois. Bob, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, it’s a privilege. Thank you so much for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet, sir. Great to have you here.
CALLER: A 21-year listener. I probably heard three-quarters of your shows over the years.
RUSH: That’s big.
CALLER: And I apologize, first of all, if you’ve mentioned this and I missed it. I definitely know I haven’t heard it from anyone on the radio or television. And this is regarding Tom Brady.
CALLER: My memory, if it serves me correct, at the end of the first half of the Colts-Patriots game, it was I think a one or two score game, and I don’t know whether it was seven or 10 or 14 points, but it was still a ball game. At the end of the first half is when the balls were adjusted to the proper pressure. The Patriots absolutely ripped the Colts apart in the second half.
RUSH: That’s right.
CALLER: So I’m wondering, what’s the problem? First of all, the only thing it tells me as a football fan is that Brady should play with proper inflated balls. So I don’t get it, I don’t understand.
RUSH: Let me help you. What this case, it turns out, is really all about now is two things, and that is that those balls were monkeyed with before the game. Circumstantial, but it’s pretty conclusive. It doesn’t matter what happened at halftime, if they got ’em fixed and it doesn’t matter about performance. The rule’s the rule. Proper inflation is proper inflation, Patriots fudged it. However, they could have gotten past that, I think.
What this is really become now, and Goodell signaled it the other day, Brady can make this go away if he will be forthcoming in the appeal. I think a lot of this is the NFL thinking that Brady did not fully cooperate with the investigation, by not letting them see relevant e-mails and texts on his cell phone. Had he done that, there’s nothing to see there, we wouldn’t be here. I think clearly Goodell was signaling he’s looking forward to talking to Tom and Tom answering some further questions. And make no mistake, everybody would love Brady playing except the Steelers on opening night. Well, there may be some malcontents that don’t, but if they could fix this, they would. And I think that’s what it boils down to.
Spencer in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Hello, sir. Great to have you.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. What my question is, is we’re looking Tom Brady and the deflation of the footballs and the injustice of that game, or score, but still yet Harry Reid can make any accusations of Mitt Romney and affect the election of United States where people’s lives are in the balance.
RUSH: You know, it really isn’t that different. I’ll tell you how. If you go to Deflategate, and every Patriots fan is ticked off, and they think that injustice has happened here and they’re fed up with the league and think this is a big waste of time, that their guy is honest and their team is honest, their owner’s honest, their coach is the best and everybody else, and this is nothing, this is nothing, okay?
The people that are not Patriots fans are all over it. If you go to Harry Reid and Romney, it’s the same circumstance. Harry Reid comes out and tells a blatant lie about Romney, politics, free speech, First Amendment, say whatever you want, it so happens the deck is stacked against Romney. The media is on Harry Reid’s side. So they go to Romney and make him approve the negative. Romney fans, like you, me, think it’s absolutely unfair, it’s totally incorrect, it’s a bastardization of politics, but the Democrats thought it was a brilliant move.
And they don’t see anything wrong with it. And Dingy Harry doesn’t. “Hey, Romney lost, didn’t he?” Meaning, what I did was justified. I know what you’re saying is, everybody is so worked up over a football game, when in fact the Democrats are rigging elections with lies. Why don’t people care as much? And I think on the Republican side, they did. But the media and the Democrat side didn’t, and it was up to Romney to make ’em care. And that obviously didn’t happen. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m trying to explain to you why.