RUSH: To the phones, promised. Mike in Double Oak, Texas. Great to have you, sir. Welcome.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: I wanted to call and take issue with your characterization of people who disagreed with the Brady ruling as being the envy gang. It seems to me it’s more kind of like the Trump supporters who are a little bit tired of the liars and the cheaters kind of taking advantage and hiding behind legalistic terms and, you know, just kind of putting one over. People just don’t want to see that slide into their sports. You know, if someone cheats they’d like to see them get punished and, you know, follow the rules.
RUSH: Okay. First thing, to be clear, I didn’t say everybody is gonna be angry that Brady skated. I said some are gonna be defined by envy and jealousy, that nobody should be that good-looking, that tall. Nobody should be that good athletically and win all those championships and get the girl. Nobody.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: And there are people that just want people like that cut down to size. It’s no different than the people who vote Democrat ’cause the Democrats tell ’em they’re gonna raise taxes on the rich. “Yeah, yeah, you punish ’em, man.” Doesn’t change their lives at all. Brady, suspended for four games, doesn’t make somebody better looking and is not gonna get ’em the girl, but they’re still gonna be made happy about it. Now, you can’t deny that there are those guys out there hoping Brady got four games ’cause they wanted him to suffer.
CALLER: No, there’s always gonna be that ilk, but I think a larger majority would like to see their sports not be contaminated by some of the politics and legalism that goes on in the regular world. They’d like their sports to be a little more straightforward.
RUSH: Let me take a stab in the dark here, and not at you. I’m taking a wild guess. Let me first ask, are you one who thought Brady should be suspended for some games and fined here because of what he did with the footballs and being underinflated?
CALLER: Actually I didn’t care how the punishment took place. I just wanted the NFL to take action against the only team that’s been caught cheating twice in the last 10 years.
RUSH: Ah. And let me guess where it started.
RUSH: It’s not Spygate. I’ll bet you a dollar to a doughnut it’s the Tuck Rule. And I’ll bet you have been ticked off ever since that night, the Tuck Rule. Am I right?
CALLER: No, sir. That wasn’t what started it for me. I would just like to see the rules be followed.
RUSH: Okay. Well, look, I’m not trying to impugn your attitude or disqualify it. I’m not being contentious, don’t misunderstand. I’m not lumping you in the group of people that wish Brady was not so good-looking. But I think that this all started, or a lot of it did, do you even remember the Tuck Rule? (interruption) You don’t know what the Tuck Rule is? Oh-ho-ho, you don’t know what the Tuck Rule is? Okay, we’ve gotta go back, Brady’s first season, whenever that was, early 2000s. This is 2015. Has to be 2002 or 3. Doesn’t matter.
The starting quarterback at the time was Drew Bledsoe. In a game against the New Jersey Jets, a Jets linebacker by the name of Mo Lewis hit Bledsoe so severely that Bledsoe had to be taken to the hospital with internal bleeding and almost died. That opened the slot for Brady. Brady became the quarterback halfway through the season, and they end up making the playoffs.
They have a Saturday night first primetime playoff game in NFL history, other than the Super Bowl. It’s at old Foxboro stadium. It’s a snowstorm. It’s the Oakland Raiders. The Patriots are losing. It’s near the end of the game. The Patriots have played a good game, but the Raiders have played an even better game, and the Raiders have done everything, they faced every obstacle in the game. It was I think third down and something. Brady goes back to pass, and to everybody watching the game, he’s sacked and fumbles and the Raiders recover, end of game, run out clock, that’s it.
Referee comes in, says, “Nope, incomplete pass. Brady was not trying to throw. He was trying to tuck the ball back into his body.” Therefore, when you look like you’re gonna pass but you’re not, you’re trying to bring the ball back, and you fumble, it’s incomplete, it’s not a fumble. Well, Raider nation had an absolute cow. Everybody blew up. They thought, “Who paid what to get this rule?” Nobody’d ever heard of the Tuck Rule much less ever seen it invoked like this. So the Patriots keep the ball, they go on and score, they tie the game, and then in overtime, Vinatieri kicks like a 50-yard field goal in three feet of snow, a big win, and they go on to win the Super Bowl. And there are people who think that the Patriots have illegitimately win winners ever since that game. That was the Tuck Rule.
Now you add everything else, Spygate, and whatever else. Spygate, by the way, there are people who firmly believe that it wasn’t just video. They think the Patriots were intercepting audio signals from the other the team’s bench to the quarterback in order to determine what play had been called and what was coming. And Goodell threw away all the evidence in Spygate. He destroyed all the evidence after handing out his punishment. And ever since then there have been people of the belief the Patriots got off easy.
Belichick got a half a million-dollar fine and so forth, but no games were taken away — and I think that some owners, too. I think some owners have been holding a grudge thinking the Patriots are getting away with all this stuff, and I think it’s one of the reasons why they were so insistent going after the team here. But that was the Tuck Rule. The Tuck Rule is the beginning point for all the people who think the Patriots get away with cheating.
What’s three strikes?
So what that’s three strikes?
No, no. They’re not getting any punishment. That’s the whole point. The league got punished today for trying to enforce the rules on the Patriots, for whatever reasons. We’ve been through that in the first hour; I’m not gonna relive that. But that’s what the Tuck Rule was, and it had been around since 1999. But I never can recall it being called before that night. Nobody could. You look at the play today, it’s a fumble. There’s no question.
I mean, even Bob Ryan, the dean of sportswriters of the Boston Globe, had a column on it a couple days later. “It was a fumble,” he wrote. “It was a fumble.” They nearly ran him out of town. Well, for a time. “The Tuck Rule?” Nobody could believe it. “The Tuck Rule? You kidding me? He looked like… Even if he was trying to bring if back in, he still fumbled it. What the hell, Tuck Rule? Who says you get to hold onto the ball after you fumble it just ’cause you’re trying to tuck it? What the hell is that?” people were saying.
RUSH: It was the 2001-2002 season. There was like 1:30 left in the game, minute 50. The Raiders were up 13-0. Brady goes back to pass; Charles Woodson sacks him. Greg Biekert recovered the fumble. The Raiders recovered the fumble. Game over! The referee was Walt Coleman. The Oakland Raiders refused to ever play another game in the league if he was the official. So he was never assigned a Raiders game from that point forward. Al Davis refused.
If I’m not mistaken, Walt Coleman… It was one of these things they did on review. The call on the field was a fumble. They reviewed it and looked at it, and called it The Tuck Rule. Walt Coleman, if I’m not mistaken, was the game official in the AFC Championship Game earlier this year, the Deflategate controversy game in which the game balls delivered to him disappeared for like a couple of minutes after he had measured their weight and all that. (sigh) I think it was Walt Coleman.