While the latest storm of the century bears down on New England, Gerry and Kirk have arrived at radio row.

[0:00:34] ... here. And the ridiculous tone and tenor surrounding the peck patriots in Super Bowl. 49 in Glendale Arizona according Kirk and Jerry hardy boys. Compare this to more so it's just I know I said two ...
[0:10:22] ... heroin and am. Ian O'Connor and all the people who wanna see bill Belichick's belt hanging up on the up on the wall. Oil storage differently historically storm when I first saw the throw we got ...
[0:13:26] ... week's media availability please. I've spoken with coach coach. I've spoken with Tom Brady. I have taken the time don't understand to the best in my abilities. What goes on in the preparation. Of denbury football's. And I want to make it clear. That I believe unconditionally. In him. That the New England Patriots have done nothing inappropriate. In this process. We're in violation. Of NFL rules. He goes on to say if wells fine is ...





The Phoenix Convention Center: Home of Radio Row and really bad directions. (Photo by Jerry Thornton)

The Phoenix Convention Center: Home of Radio Row and really bad directions. (Photo by Jerry Thornton)

PHOENIX – Random observations from Day One of Super Bowl week:

–I was one of the lucky ones who got away from Snowmageddon early. And while a region of people clawing their way out of snow coffins doesn’t want to hear a guy sitting under a palm tree bellyache about anything, even leaving on Sunday was no magic carpet ride. We got stuck at the gate for a good two hours while the crew did the airplane mechanics’ equivalent of the guys at Jiffy Lube looking under your hood and shaking their heads while you look through the glass in the waiting room wondering how much each head shake will cost you. Personally, when it comes to people fixing planes I’m about to get on, I’m less of the ‘€œWhat’s Taking So Long???’€ type of passenger and much more of the ‘€œTake You Sweet Time and Get it Right’€ school. To my undying credit, I held out a good, solid hour before sending out a ‘€œThey’re checking the air pressure’€ Tweet. And it’s possible the pilot saw the Tweet because they eventually booted us off to make our own arrangements.

–Fortunately for us those arrangements wound up being a direct flight. Unfortunately they meant going from an empty plane where I had a row to myself to being crammed into the hold of a prison ship bound for Van Dieman’s Land. My fellow dotcommie Ryan Hannable got stuck next to a nervous meth tweaker. I got Steve Buckley. Ryan’s tweaker sat up on the arm of the window seat the whole flight and one time randomly popped his head up like a prairie dog, looked at the back of the plane in a panic, jumped over Ryan and the old guy next to him and sprinted down the aisle. When he came back he said he did so because it looked to him like someone was about to punch the stewardess. Buck said he thought Ryan got a better deal than he did.

–My first impression of Phoenix is that it has no reason for being here. Every city has some explanation for why it is where it is. A deep water port. The junction of a couple of rivers where goods flow. Something. But Phoenix just… is. It kind of pops up in the middle of the desert like a family was traipsing across the beach looking for a spot and mom just randomly dropped the cooler and blanket and said ‘€œWe’ll park it here.’€ Picture Wile E. Coyote chasing Road Runner past that same cactus-mesa-boulder combination over and over and suddenly they find themselves at Phoenix Convention Center and you get the idea.

–They say Massholes are way ruder than everyone else in the country and I won’t argue the point. I’ve found all the people around here are unfailingly nice. Especially the people working the Super Bowl. They always smile when they tell you the wrong entrance to pick up your media credentials and tell you to have a nice day when they’re pointing you in the opposite direction from where you need to go.

The Adult Boutique is conveniently located across from our hotel. I didn't ask what the "Parking in the Rear" is all about. (Photo by Jerry Thornton)

The Adult Boutique is conveniently located across from our hotel. I didn’t ask what the “Parking in the Rear” is all about. (Photo by Jerry Thornton)

–If you’re into absorbing local culture as much as I am, there is much to choose from. For instance, right next to the convention center is an old Catholic Diocese mission, which is significant in so far as it has an old Catholic Diocese underground parking garage. And next to that is a Hooters. Also the hotel is right across from the Adult Boutique shop, featuring videos and and arcade. What kind of games they have in an adult arcade staggers the imagination. But if they don’t have Donkey Schlong I’ll be crushed. And I think the owners knew damn well what they were doing with that “Parking in the Rear” sign.

–The famed Radio Row is in some subterranean lower level of the Convention Center and it’s hard to describe. But try to imagine the auto show, except instead of Mustangs, Rolls Royces and SUVs being presented by models, they’ve got fat guys from sports radio in Houston wearing free t-shirts they got from some car dealer promotion their station did blathering on about what a cheater Bill Belichick is.

–After doing Dale & Holley I hopped the shuttle for the Patriots hotel, which is somewhere about 30 minutes straight into the desert past strip malls, U-Store It facilities and billboards for OUI lawyers, Human Trafficking (I assume the sign was agin’ it, not fer it), and Christian Rock stations. There is a golf links on the premises, so Christopher Price said the place looked like a course you’d see on Golden Tee. But I’m sticking with my theory it looks like an old nuclear test site.

–This was not only my first Super Bowl press conference, it was my first witch hunt as well. So it was no surprise to see the glitterati of the sports press on hand, national and local. Everybody who’s nobody was there. I couldn’t help think that if there was a roof collapse, there’d be no one left to cover the Super Bowl. Which I’m sure would be just fine by Bill Belichick.

–I learned two very important things. One is that being in the media means you get free snacks. The other is that John Clayton looks and dresses like he does in that ESPN ad where he’s listening to Slayer and screaming for his mom to make him meatloaf.

–The NFL spreads people out into different sections of the ballroom based on importance. So for instance, Mr. Kraft, Belichick and Tom Brady get the big room with so many TV cameras and news babes this could’ve been the launch of Apollo 11, only with digital technology and much better boob implants.

–The other players divvied up the smaller room. I won’t embarrass any of them by saying who got the most coverage. But let’s just say that if you’re all about attracting attention, offensive line and special teams are not the careers for you. The whole scene is the grown up version of the high school cafeteria, and the owner, coach and quarterback are the Plastics.

–A lot of the media had come out on the team charter so they were dressed up, whereas I was dressed like I’d just come from four hours of sitting on Radio Row besides ‘€œThe Sports Locker with Buster & The Dude’€ or whomever. So I hung out in the back with all the behind-the-camera people, most of whom reminded me of Chris Elliot in ‘€œGroundhog Day.’€ (‘€œThis an art-form! Most people just think that I hold a camera and point at stuff…’€ )

–This being my first press conference, I’m ruined for them forever because it was such a great one. I’m that kid who goes to Fenway for the first time and gets a foul ball and is spoiled for life because he thinks it’ll happen every time. When Mr. Kraft game out, pulled his white glove off, slapped the NFL across the face and dared them to a Duel of Honor over Deflategate, the tension hung in the room like the camera guys’ BO. It was electric. Then Belichick spoke. I waited through three questions to see if after the third time he was asked about ball boys and air pressure he’d use the Force to choke the reporter out. He didn’t. So I went out for some more freebie Diet Coke and mini bags of pretzels. And there was a line. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who knows that when Bill isn’t in a killing mood his pressers aren’t really worth watching.

–Everyone was covering this thing from print to TV to regular news. I kid you not there were even these guys in Army fatigues whom I assume were covering it for some Armed Forces network. At one point I overheard them talking to a massively built civilian who was probably retired military who was telling them ‘€œI hate house fires…’€ I assume he’s either a firefighter or the most uncaring claims adjuster in the world.

–After the pressers were done, the tables fill up with laptops; reporters filing reports, tech guys editing photos, cameramen uploading videos. Just a massive sprawl of people peering into screens. It’s like my 8th grader and his buddies playing Minecraft, but without as much bandwidth. I’m not sure I wouldn’t prefer the way it was 50 years ago, when they wore hats with cards in them that said ‘€œPRESS’€, asked questions like ‘€œSay, Slugger, that’s quite a shot you put into that bullpen. What kind of pitch did that southpaw throw you?’€ then phone in the report and go drink scotch all night. But I’ve got to do business as business is being done.

–I was scribbling down a few notes when ESPN Desportes set up a live shot next to me with two reporters chatting up what took place. In my limited middle school Spanish I was able to pick up, ‘€œSomething something Julian Edelman, blah blah Tom Brady, yadda yadda Kraft…’€ And still they made a lot more sense than Cris Collinsworth.

–Still, for my first ever live Super Bowl press conference it was a hell of an experience. One where there was some actual news and drama. And free snacks.

–We’re onto Media Day.

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The Patriots’ locker room attendant’s potty break ushers in Toiletgate. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Pro Football TalkOn Monday, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports added the next new big piece of news in #DeflateGate, reporting that the NFL has interviewed a locker room attendant who allegedly took footballs from the officials’€™ locker room after they had been inspected and approved ‘€œto another area on way to field’€ before the start of the game.

PFT can now contribute additional details to that story.

First, per a league source, the other ‘€œarea on way to field’€ is a bathroom.  The bathroom consists of one toilet and one sink and a door that locks from the inside.

Second, according to the same source, the person carried two bags of balls into the bathroom:  the 12 balls to be used by the Patriots and the 12 balls to be used by the Colts.

Third, from the same source, the evidence comes from a surveillance video that was discovered by the Patriots and given to the NFL early in the investigation.

Fourth, again from the same source, the video shows the employee in the bathroom for approximately 90 seconds.

OK, now this investigation is getting some place. To be fair, my broadcast partner Dale Arnold said the locker room attendant guy was probably on a bathroom break and no one believed him. But son of a gun, he was right.

To think, all this time I’ve been talking about what silly, inconsequential nonsense this all is. A ridiculous, overblown, embarrassment and the low point in the history of journalism. But that was when we were just wasting our time on things like air pressure, ball boys and temperature differentials. But now that we’re talking about something serious, something important, like the locker room kid’s trip to the potty, we’re finally getting some place. Deflategate has now escalated to Toiletgate.

But this report asks more questions than it answers. What WAS he doing in that bathroom? Was he going Number Two? Because that seems unlikely. Unless it was one of those perfect, double-tapered ones that George Brett talked about, and that to me seems pretty far fetched. So he must have just peed, in which case we have to ask what else went on in there? Did he lift the seat or was it already up? Did he flush? How many times did he shake it after? And what’s up with the 90 seconds? I suppose he could squeeze one out in that much time. But even if he only had to take a little leak, that still doesn’t leave much time to wash his hands. And if he didn’t wash them, I think the NFL needs to know why.

I mean, think about what a pair of unwashed pee hands could do to a football. They could change the feel, the tackiness, the air pressure. And if the Patriots had an attendant handling the balls with pee hands, what about the Colts? Isn’t it a competitive disadvantage when one team has bodily fluids on the ball and the other doesn’t?

Oh, and what did Belichick know about this guy’s potty break? You can’t sit there and tell me he’s the smartest, most prepared coach in the NFL and tell me he’s not up on the bathroom habits of his locker room attendants.

And besides, what does all this mean with regards to the footballs? 90 seconds might not be a lot of time to drain the vein, but when you’re sorting through 24 footballs and letting precisely two pounds per square inch out of 12 of them, that is a generous 7.5 seconds per ball. Which is plenty of time. Hell, he might have even been able to do it while he took a whiz, in that same way you check Twitter or send a text when you’re going.

The bottom line (no pun intended, but I won’t fight you on it) is that we need to get the answers to these burning questions about Toiletgate, not only about what went on in that toilet, but what the Patriots knew about that kid’s bladder and when they knew it. Otherwise, this whole Deflategate thing will just be a big, absurd, stupid waste of time.

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

 

WEEI.com - PHOENIX — Robert Kraft came out swinging on Monday night, defending the reputation of the Patriots in the wake of Deflategate and adding that if the NFL doesn’€™t find New England guilty of tampering with footballs, he would expect a full apology from the league. …

“I have spoken with Coach Belichick. I have spoken with Tom Brady. I’€™ve taken the time to understand to the best of my abilities what goes on in the preparation of game day footballs. I want to make it clear, that I believe unconditionally that the New England Patriots have done nothing inappropriate in this process in violation of NFL rules.

‘€œTom, Bill and I have been together for 15 years. They are my guys. They are part of my family and Bill, Tom and I have had many difficult discussions over the years and I have never known them to lie to me. That is why I am confident in saying what I just said. It bothers me greatly that their reputations and integrity, and by association, that of our team has been called into question this past week. … [M]any jumped to conclusions and made strong accusations against our coach, quarterback and staff, questioning the integrity of all involved.

“If the Wells investigation is not able to definitively determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure in the footballs, I would expect and hope that the league would apologize to our entire team, and in particular Coach Belichick and Tom Brady for what they’€™€™ve had to endure this past week.”

And that sound you hear is a thunderous clang of a gauntlet being thrown down.

I was in the room when Mr. Kraft drew that line in the stand, stepped between it and his “guys” and dared the NFL, Ted Wells and that Police Academy crew of investigators that have been running in circles for the last nine days, to cross it. To either finally produce one shred of evidence his team did something wrong or shut up and let them get back to the business of winning championships. And as far as I’m concerned, it was his finest moment since the “Tonight we are all Patriots” half a generation ago. You could almost hear the audible gasp from the assembled media horde. I say “almost” because I couldn’t hear much over the sound of my personal sundial going to High Noon when he was done.

Seriously, if ever there was a response by a leader that was called for, this was it. Last week he issued one of those lawyerspeak statements so devoid of meaning you could jumble the words into any order and they’d still say the same thing. “We are being cooperative and transparent because integrity is important” or “Integrity is having importantly cooperative transparency” or “Transparent importance is cooperating with integrity” or whatever.

This was different. This was his way of stating what I’ve been saying since the morning this all broke: Someone is doing this to stick it to the Patriots. And this was Mr. Kraft going all Al Capone. Someone’s gonna mess with me? I’m gonna mess with him. Come on here, Wells. Come on here, Goodell. You want to fight? You and me, right here? What’s the matter? You afraid to come out from behind your lawyers? You afraid to stand up for yourself? You got nothing. You’re just a lot of talk and badge. You got nothing. You don’t got the ball boys. You don’t got the locker room attendant. You got nothing. NO-THINNNG! And if you were a man you woulda done it now!

 

Talking to some of the press afterwards, the general consensus is that was the Patriots organization going to the point of no return on this, and no Patriots fan should ever want to have it any other way. After 15 years of loyalty, you back your “guys” to the hilt, give them your full faith and trust and dare the feds to prove otherwise.

And as Capone also said, “You have an all out prize fight, you wait until the fight is over, one guy is left standing. And that’s how you know who won.”

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
We speak with a fiery Tedy Bruschi, who sounds like he's had his fill of hearing about how his teammates are cheaters, and doesn't pull many punches about it either.

[0:00:00] ... I'm joining us right now is. Former patriots linebacker current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi proudly presented by Joey Kramer a Aerosmith rock and and roasting coffee and by Shaw's supermarkets Teddy joins us. On the AT&T ...
[0:02:16] ... new stump your new teammates at ESPN we're saying they didn't believe Tom Brady. Your old teammate so what got a position does that put you in what the position that doesn't put you. Well I think it's a very difficult position commuter. Beyond that with certain people record certain things that of course I would think you and I heard it every man is vital that they're picking. And I could be protected Greenwood experiments strongly is that possibly care. Because I've been in this organizations. Are thirteen years. Tom Brady I know Bill Belichick are now. Is about is the word the word values that are about tribute I know their character. ...
[0:07:50] ... and are still give them credit. We're talking to former patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi on the patriots Monday. You know Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in a way that none of us ever will have you ever known either of those two guys to cheat. It. Coincidence ...
[0:10:06] ... To appeal of the week unsolicited two up a podcast that it Drew Bledsoe on it he was stuck at about how much he. Looks Pete Carroll it and what a great experience was plain form ...






We speak with a fiery Tedy Bruschi, who sounds like he's had his fill of hearing about how his teammates are cheaters, and doesn't pull many punches about it either.

[0:00:00] ... I'm joining us right now is. Former patriots linebacker current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi proudly presented by Joey Kramer a Aerosmith rock and and roasting coffee and by Shaw's supermarkets Teddy joins us. On the AT&T ...
[0:02:16] ... new stump your new teammates at ESPN we're saying they didn't believe Tom Brady. Your old teammate so what got a position does that put you in what the position that doesn't put you. Well I think it's a very difficult position commuter. Beyond that with certain people record certain things that of course I would think you and I heard it every man is vital that they're picking. And I could be protected Greenwood experiments strongly is that possibly care. Because I've been in this organizations. Are thirteen years. Tom Brady I know Bill Belichick are now. Is about is the word the word values that are about tribute I know their character. ...
[0:07:50] ... and are still give them credit. We're talking to former patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi on the patriots Monday. You know Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in a way that none of us ever will have you ever known either of those two guys to cheat. It. Coincidence ...
[0:10:06] ... To appeal of the week unsolicited two up a podcast that it Drew Bledsoe on it he was stuck at about how much he. Looks Pete Carroll it and what a great experience was plain form ...






We go inside the Patriots with head coach Bill Belichick as the Patriots prepare for the Super Bowl. We get some final thoughts on deflated balls, and some actual GAME talk about the Seahawks as well.

[0:00:00] ... with the coaches brought to you as always by SP allied DeWitt Tedy Bruschi did get affordable dependable life insurance from SP ally. The company that has protected over one million family since 1907 visit SB allied dot com today. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick joining us the morning. They'll Michael Miller goes on doing pretty well hang in there. Are we down. Well so on. You ...
[0:01:36] ... on COX. You've been through a few of these preparation weeks for Super Bowl do you feel that your team is focused and ready and they've they've taken the information that you provided them within assimilated ...
[0:03:49] ... buffalo and a different situation different offensive line but. Is this the Marshall Islands that you saw in the AFC east for a few years. At least at least he's. Very very impressive back he can ...
[0:05:37] ... then. So let's photographer trying to. There's going to be the 49 Super Bowl doing some basic math this morning although not that great at math so a correctly from wrong on this but 49 Super ...






We go inside the Patriots with head coach Bill Belichick as the Patriots prepare for the Super Bowl. We get some final thoughts on deflated balls, and some actual GAME talk about the Seahawks as well.

[0:00:00] ... with the coaches brought to you as always by SP allied DeWitt Tedy Bruschi did get affordable dependable life insurance from SP ally. The company that has protected over one million family since 1907 visit SB allied dot com today. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick joining us the morning. They'll Michael Miller goes on doing pretty well hang in there. Are we down. Well so on. You ...
[0:01:36] ... on COX. You've been through a few of these preparation weeks for Super Bowl do you feel that your team is focused and ready and they've they've taken the information that you provided them within assimilated ...
[0:03:49] ... buffalo and a different situation different offensive line but. Is this the Marshall Islands that you saw in the AFC east for a few years. At least at least he's. Very very impressive back he can ...
[0:05:37] ... then. So let's photographer trying to. There's going to be the 49 Super Bowl doing some basic math this morning although not that great at math so a correctly from wrong on this but 49 Super ...






Dale, Michael and Jerry get some national perspective on the Patriots from our Boston friend, now at NBC Sports, Kathryn Tappan.

[0:00:00] ... Tedy Bruschi was bring in the heat what we talked on the few moments ago and you'll hear at least parts if not a ...
[0:01:54] ... them Boston you're very familiar with the patriots this week recovery. The Seattle Seahawks this. Does that expense. Now it'll be in other so many of us here there's so many different responsibilities that have to ...
[0:02:51] ... probably two or three times Caroline and a will be with the New England Patriots shall be doing the hit some pro football talk with what's the latest from their practices and their media day. So the ...
[0:03:23] ... be probably the top questions asked tomorrow at media day for the Seattle Seahawks I think they've handled it pretty well. In Seattle it seems like all the attention has been off of them and that's probably a good thing if you're the Seattle Seahawks that he's really. You know they're not on headlines of national network news stories coming and you Brian Williams leaving with the ...






Dale, Michael and Jerry get some national perspective on the Patriots from our Boston friend, now at NBC Sports, Kathryn Tappan.

[0:00:00] ... Tedy Bruschi was bring in the heat what we talked on the few moments ago and you'll hear at least parts if not a ...
[0:01:54] ... them Boston you're very familiar with the patriots this week recovery. The Seattle Seahawks this. Does that expense. Now it'll be in other so many of us here there's so many different responsibilities that have to ...
[0:02:51] ... probably two or three times Caroline and a will be with the New England Patriots shall be doing the hit some pro football talk with what's the latest from their practices and their media day. So the ...
[0:03:23] ... be probably the top questions asked tomorrow at media day for the Seattle Seahawks I think they've handled it pretty well. In Seattle it seems like all the attention has been off of them and that's probably a good thing if you're the Seattle Seahawks that he's really. You know they're not on headlines of national network news stories coming and you Brian Williams leaving with the ...