RUSH: Hey, I want to just wrap up a thought that I started on the National Football League and the New England Patriots. There’s a huge, huge story in ESPN the magazine by Don Van Natta. I think either he or his brother used to write at the New York Times. It was Van Natta. It was the guy that wrote about Whitewater on the Clintons. At any rate… Oh, I guess I should also mention I think it’s either in the Boston Globe or The Politico of all places.
There is a piece by a Boston sportswriter suggesting that nobody in New England ought to ever watch ESPN again. (interruption) Was that The Daily Caller? Okay. I knew it was one of those dailies. Apparently in New England, they’re just seething with rage at ESPN over the way they have prejudged Brady, made him out to be a reprobate cheater and was guilty and so forth.
Chris Mortensen was reporting that 11 out of the 12 footballs were deflated by two pounds when they weren’t, as it turns out. They went 11 months before correcting their report. There’s real animosity here between the Patriots fans (just New Englanders in general) and ESPN. And on the heels of that comes this giant ESPN story by Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham. Get this from this article: “In fact, many former New England coaches and employees insist that the taping of signals wasn’t even the most effective cheating method the Patriots deployed in that era.”
Remember, the sources here are former Patriots employees and coaches. That’s what’s claimed here. What they told ESPN the magazine is that “during pregame warm-ups, a low-level Patriots employee would sneak into the visiting locker room and steal the play sheet, listing the first 20 or so scripted calls for the opposing team’s offense.” ESPN says, “The practice became so notorious that some coaches put out fake play sheets for the Patriots to” steal.
“Numerous former employees say the Patriots would have someone rummage through the visiting team hotel for playbooks or scouting reports” that might have been tossed in the trash. Now, the Patriots, by the way, have issued a statement blasting this article. But you also remember that the Indianapolis Colts and Tony Dungy confirmed it, that when they went into New England to play the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, they went outside the locker room to have strategy meetings.
Because they thought the Patriots had bugged the visitors locker room. So this stuff is all over the place out there. Now, getting into an NFL locker room is harder than getting into the Oval Office, folks. You have to be credentialed. Even… Have you seen coaches on the sideline? They wear lanyards around their neck or posted credentials. Even the recognizable head coach has got to have a credential to get into his own locker room!
Now, I don’t know how anybody gets some low-level schlub sneaking in an NFL locker room without a lot of people being in on it. That’s just hard to do, and my point is I really question this. Baseball is different. At least it was. I have some experience at this when I worked for the Kansas City Royals, but still it was tough. And if it was discovered that somebody from the other team is in there — I don’t care how low on the totem pole they were — it would have been a huge scandal.
The person would have been kicked out. There would have been holy hell raised over it. The other thing is the play sheet. This first 20 plays? Not every team does that. Some teams’ head coach scripts the first 20 plays for his own offense no matter what. They’re gonna do those 20 plays no matter what the situation is. They’re gonna run those 20 plays because it’s strategically been put together and they’re gonna learn how the defense operates in those 20 plays and those first two set up the rest of the game.
Not all teams do it. But I can guarantee you that no head coach would leave it laying around for some schlub from the other team to walk in and pilfer. You know, they’re kept in laminated folders to protect from the elements from rain and this kind of thing. They’re just not pieces of paper. It’s 8.5X11, color-coded. You’ve seen the head coach holding these things if you’ve noticed coaches on the sideline watching these things.
Coaching the games, you’ve seen this play sheet. The idea that some equipment guy or some low-level schlub could just walk in there and just walk out. It’s so hard to get in one of those locker rooms that I don’t see that. Now, going through the visiting team hotel, that’s another thing. You could bribe a hotel employee. You know, I’ve often wondered about the pregame meal of a championship game. “Why not get the hotel to poison the pregame meal so everybody has diarrhea a half hour before kickoff?
“How hard would that be?” Well, you know why doesn’t happen? Because the visiting team goes in there the week before, they have their own security, and they monitor everything, and they’re on sight when meals are prepared. It is the most… You wouldn’t believe it. These teams don’t just arrive haphazardly like a tour group and go check in and wander around. They have security in town a week before.
No matter the post season, regular season, the visiting team will have representatives show up on Tuesday and the team’s scheduled to arrive on Saturday. Everything is deeply, deeply secured and observed. So I just… Now, this is some years ago when all this is alleged to have happened. But the security was not that lax even years ago. It’s always been really, really, really tough to put things over to NFL teams when they’re traveling on the road.
Now, as I say, you can… If you wanted to buy a maid, a custodian, a room service waiter or whatever. But playbooks? They’re not randomly left around and thrown away. Some of them are on iPads now, and you don’t find those in the trash can. So I just… I have to say that a lot of this sounds dubious, even though we’re talking, what, ten years ago now, in the era of Spygate. A lot of this sounds really, really dubious. But there it is at ESPN the magazine written by a former New York Times reporter, Don Van Natta Jr.
Now, the Patriots, you know what else is not mentioned that has been before? The Patriots acknowledged they were videotaping. They would videotape trying to steal signals the other team. Something else that’s been said was that the Patriots had succeeded in some cases of being able to pirate the radio signals of the other team, for example, when the offensive play caller (the coach) radios in the next play to the quarterback.
It is alleged the Patriots have been able to monitor those conversations for years in some stadiums my thought on that if that’s true and somebody knows that, that would have been shut down, too. That would be something that’s alleged. That’d be something that’s dealt with if that were happening. But it all adds up.
If you want to know why the league pursued this Deflategate for as long as it did, all of this has to be why, all of these allegations. Some of these owners believe this stuff. Some of these owners believe the Patriots have been doing this stuff and more, and they’re dead serious about catching ’em, and it’s all rooted in the fact that a lot of people, owners and others, executives in the NFL, thought the Patriots got off lightly for Spygate punishment.
RUSH: This is John in San Diego. John, great to have you with us. Hello.
CALLER: Wow, those are some comments. Yeah, I called about the 2016 election cycle and a quick question on Deflategate. But I think the Democrats aren’t worried if they win or lose, ’cause they stacked the judges, they stacked the bureaucracy, and McConnell’s not gonna do anything about it. I think you were searching also for a word on marketing strategies. I think the word you’re looking for is “con” instead of “tricked.” We’re tired of being conned, and that’s what Ted Cruz isn’t doing to us, he’s not conning us. And the American people are tired of being conned.
CALLER: We’re tired of it, you know.
RUSH: Now, what was it you were gonna say about Deflategate and then I’ll answer all this.
CALLER: Oh, the question was, I don’t know where I heard this, but I heard the judge and the owner of the Patriots were seen at some cocktail party after the judgment.
RUSH: Yeah, let me tell you about that. As a powerful, influential member of the media, I know about these things. The CEO of the Discovery networks, television networks, Zaslav I think is his name, has a traditional Labor Day party at his estate in the Hamptons. The usual suspects always show up, the people that live in Manhattan during the winter and then go to the Hamptons in the summer to get away from everybody. Except everybody else does the same thing. So they all get together again out in the Hamptons in the summer when it’s not cool to be in the city in the summertime, and they all throw the same kind of parties in the Hamptons that they throw in the city from September through May. And this was one of those parties.
And it was a mixture of the wealthy and elite and media figures, both from management and talent. So you had some Hollywood stars there. You had some producers, directors, you had studio presidents, Ron Perelman of Revlon, the whole gamut, and it just so happened that in this mix was a guy who makes 14 grand a year, a federal judge by the name of Richard Berman, who was the judge in the Deflategate case when the NFL was sued by the NFLPA. Well, they went there for arbitration.
Now, I don’t know enough to know if Judge Berman is a regular attendee at these kind of affairs or not. I just don’t know. I just… I don’t read gossip stuff frequently so I just don’t know. All I can tell you (and I probably shouldn’t) is it doesn’t fit the profile of the typical guest at this party. He’s not rich, he’s not famous, he’s not a media mogul. Except he became two of those three things as a result of his ruling on the Brady v. Goodell case.
It just so happened that one of the invited guests was the owner of the Patriots, Robert Kraft, and a picture happened to be snapped, I think of Robert Kraft and the judge, and so Robert Kraft was asked about it and he said, “Yeah, I saw the guy. We chatted for a couple minutes, but that was all there was to it.” But from that one story, I can’t tell you number of e-mails I’ve gotten from people who think that proves the whole thing was rigged.
And here’s the judge, not partying. Wherever the NFL people were on Labor Day, the judge wasn’t there. He was with the Patriots people. I just don’t see it that way. Now, is it hard to believe that the discovery guy, knowing that the Patriots owner is coming, would have this judge there as a nice thing to do, or is an interesting? I mean, everybody who throws a party wants it to be interesting, you don’t want to a bunch of dryball dullards there. But whether it indicates any kind of favorite on the part of the judge I don’t think has a thing to do with it.
I think judge was up front with his incredulity over the fact that NFL was trying to pursue what they were pursuing without any hard evidence that Brady was guilty of it. But it’s this kind of thing that creates controversies and conspiracies and keeps them alive and breathing when there may not be anything to do. David Zaslav is the CEO of the Discovery Channel, the Discovery networks, and it was his bash.
What was the other part? He wanted to know about…? Oh. He said the Democrats are not worried about anything else because they every, they own the bureaucracy, they own the judiciary. So if they don’t win the White House now and then, no big deal. They own everything else so they can make it hell for every Republican who does win. And there is truth to that. But, folks, do not make the mistake of thinking that the Democrats are ever of the mind-set that it’s okay to lose the White House now and then.
“It’s gonna happen. We got to deal with it.”
They don’t think that way. The White House is theirs all the time, and when it isn’t, it’s an aberration, it’s abnormal, it’s unnatural, and it shouldn’t be, it’s not something they think they should have to share. And when the Republicans do win it, it causes genuine psychological collapse on the part of many Democrats, as you saw when George W. Bush won. So they never have the attitude, “Ah, it’s okay. We’ll lose and we still have everything else.” They want it all, all the time. Their objective… Never forget this.
Here we have Jeb Bush is on Colbert last night. “Yeah, yeah, I… I… I… I…” What did he say? “I can govern! I can cooperate. I can work with the other side.” They want to eliminate us. I don’t mean kill. They just want to eliminate opposition. They don’t want opposition, they don’t want to have to debate, they don’t want to have to reach across any aisle, they don’t want to have to share power, they don’t want to show they can govern. Their objective is to eliminate viable opposition. Our objective seems to be to tell everybody, “Hey, we’re happy to work with the other guys!”