Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports
Since the news broke this week that the NFL will be upholding Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in the Deflategate controversy earlier this year, all sorts of opinions from all corners of the country from countless amounts of people have been pouring in left and right. But depending on where you are in the country, you’re more than likely getting a very different spate of opinions than someone that lives 2,000 miles away.
That’s why we decided to reach out to our CBS Local Sports network and speak to our ex players, NFL analysts and sports personalities to get a real grasp on how the country feels about Tom Brady in the wake of the latest Deflategate revelations.
So, how do CBS talent from across the country feel about the embattled quarterback?
For starters, civic pride certainly reigned supreme in certain areas of the country. In Baltimore, where the Ravens are one of the biggest out-of-division rivals of the Patriots, both Steve Davis and Jeremy Conn of 105.7 “The Fan” had pointed words for the Patriots and their beloved quarterback.
Conn said “I’m so sick of the lies and all of the B.S,” while Davis wondered “If (Brady) knew nothing, then why would he destroyed his cell phone.”
Among the 20 personalities we spoke with, nine were convinced that Brady cheated and sided with the NFL. Of those nine, only three came from cities of AFC East rivals of the Patriots; Two of which were Marc Hochman and Jim Berry, both hailing from Miami. The other was New York’s own Mike Francesa, who pointed his finger at the Patriots for “destroying evidence” and turning “a small situation into a large situation by their own doing.”
Support for Brady came from a few different places, perhaps most surprisingly from ardent Jets fan and New York native Joe Benigno, who has had enough of the whole debacle, saying “I think the whole thing is a lot of nothing.”
Take a look at how the rest of our CBS Local Sports experts feel about the latest revelation in the Tom Brady ‘Deflategate’ saga.
Mike Francesa – Host, The Mike Francesa Show – WFAN 101.9 FM
“Tom Brady and the Pats have thrown nothing but roadblocks up the entire way. They’ve destroyed evidence, and let’s be honest, they turned a small situation into a large situation by their own doing. If Tom had come clean and said, ‘You know, I did that. I know it’s only a little thing, I did it, I apologize, I’ll never do it again,’ and if the league had been smart enough to say from now on, here’s how we’re handling the footballs, that would have been the end of it.”
Joe Benigno – Co-Host, Joe & Evan – WFAN 101.9 FM
“I think the whole thing is a lot of nothing. I’m sorry, the integrity of the game, give me a break. He should not get the same suspension as a guy who has a domestic violence situation. Please. Give me a break.”
Keith Russell – Sports Anchor, CBSDFW/CBS 11
“Tom Brady has been the poster boy for the NFL since he won his first Super Bowl. That is no longer the case. While the league struggles to get a handle on it’s biggest issue (domestic violence), bending the rules to your advantage should never be tolerated… Especially from a guy being anointed by some as the greatest quarterback/winner in the history of the sport. Amidst Tom Brady’s denials, hopefully he learns that he is not above everyone else when it comes to one category… Playing by the rules!!!”
Cory Mageors – Host CBSDFW/105.3 The Fan
“Tom Brady is getting what he deserves. He cheated by the rules and standards of the game, and leaves even bigger question marks of how often and what else has he done. In my mind, his Super Bowls are voided.”
Jim Berry – Sports Anchor – CBS4 Miami
“I suspect Tom Brady told his equipment staff that he liked the footballs on the low end of the inflatable scale. When they over did it, Brady refused to fall on the sword for them. The NFL is right to hold he and the Patriots accountable.”
Marc Hochman – Host, Marc Hochman Show With Zach Krantz – 560-WQAM
“As a Miami Dolphins fan, I always think Tom Brady is guilty. Guilty of ruining football down here for a decade. As for deflating the football, I’m not really of the belief it helped him enough to call it “cheating” but it was against the rules, so a punishment was in order. I think it’s strange that the league wants to fight this battle with the reigning Super Bowl MVP, but I — like most Dolphins fans — derive great pleasure from it. Is it fair? I don’t care. I’m just sitting back, watching, and enjoying.”
Joe D’Ambrosio – Co-Host, Joe D and Gresh – WTIC 1080
“I’ve said from the start the punishment doesn’t fit the crime . But Brady destroying his cell phone doesn’t help his previously pristine image. I still think a settlement will be reached to cut it to one game.”
Andy Gresh – Co-Host, Joe D and Gresh – WTIC 1080
“This story has been amazingly overblown from the beginning. The NFL went into the AFC Championship game with no defined way of measuring PSI, collecting the evidence, nor a way to comparatively analyze the information to effectively relative to the footballs. Brady hasn’t been perfect In all this as his initial press conference didn’t not come off well, and the news of the cellphone is bad optically. But this is now an NFL vs NFLPA issue and it will be handled in court. For anyone to suggest there is any competitive advantage relative to ball pressure is ludicrous. QB’s should be allowed to tweak the ball pressure because they’re all not made equal. This is a mess and it’s far from over. Everybody loses.”
Steve Davis – Co-Host, Norris and Davis – 105.7 The Fan
He has lost the ability to tell people that he didn’t know anything about this. If he knew nothing, then why would he destroyed his cell phone? His argument that he does this every four months is not plausible. It is hard to imagine, that even if he generally destroyed his phone, that in this particular case, knowing he was under investigation, he wouldn’t at least hold it aside just in case you needed it to prove his innocence.
Jeremy Conn – Co-Host, Scott Garceau Show – 105.7 The Fan
So let me get this straight. Brady, through texts, referred to a man as “The Deflator” because he was trying to lose weight in the only case where someone is accused of deflating footballs. He also destroyed his telephone on the day he is being requested to hand it over for an investigation. He always destroys his cell phone when he is done using it? I’m so sick of the lies and all of the B.S. It’s becoming more and more difficult to believe anything that’s being said from that group up North.
Brady case is classic example of cover-up worse than the crime.— Mark Viviano (@MarkWJZ) July 28, 2015
Jason Goff – Co-Host, Spiegel & Goff Show – 670 The Score
“I find it awesome that the NFL PR machine has so many people duped, that the NFL just says, ‘Hey, he broke his phone.’ And everybody’s like, ‘Only a guilty man would break his phone.’ The NFL has done a masterful job. Of course, you’re not engineered to like the Patriots or Tom Brady if you’re not a Patriots fan or a Tom Brady fan. That’s the team you hate because of their success. That’s the quarterback you hate because you think they cheated. You think he’s cheated now. He’s good-looking with the model wife, has got all the money in the world. There’s a lot of projection going on in terms of the hate for Tom Brady.”
Matt Spiegel – Co-Host, Spiegel & Goff Show – 670 The Score
“The Patriots are not choir boys. They bend and tweak at the rules, and they’ve done it over and over again. They’ve been warned not to do it, and maybe this happened here again. But I don’t believe it’s even Brady isolated. I believe if Brady had come out and said, ‘Yes, of course all the quarterbacks in this league would like a little more control over the balls.’ If he’d said that kind of thing, you’re not getting to here (with the four-game suspension).”
Ike Reese – Co-Host, Mike & Ike Show And Former Eagles Linebacker – 94WIP
“Like I’ve always said, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. This has never been about taking air out of the footballs. It’s been more about not cooperating with the commissioner’s office. I do believe there was a crime committed and Brady knew about it, but again, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.”
Colin Dunlap – 93.7 The Fan
“Tom Brady — and the rest of the players in the NFL — agreed to a collective bargaining agreement wherein Goodell was, in effect, judge and jury in disciplinary matters. They had a choice to vote against it or fight it and didn’t. They made these rules and, as such, need to live by them. If they didn’t like it, they should have fought then, not now.”
If there are mirrors at the New England Patriots facility it is obvious no one there has ever looked into one.— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) July 29, 2015
Vic Lombardi – Sports Anchor – CBS4 Denver
“I’m not sure cheating is the right word. Tom Brady simply did what most NFL quarterbacks have been doing for years. He’s simply too proud and stubborn to admit it.”
Andy Baskin – Co-Host, Baskin & Phelps – 92.3 The Fan
“Under inflated footballs question the integrity of the league, especially in a championship football game. The system may not be right but the NFLPA agreed to it when they signed the last CBA. Brady doesn’t look good in the moment. But, if he is telling the truth than history will look back on him favorably for sticking to his guns and fighting the system.”
Jeff Phelps – Co-Host, Baskin & Phelps – 92.3 The Fan
“I find it preposterous to believe that the NFL would go through all of this with one of the marquee players in the league, unless there was overwhelming evidence that Tom Brady was directly involved in deflating footballs for his advantage. What does the NFL possibly have to gain out of suspending one of its most popular players? Nothing. Makes me think the NFL has even more damning information on Brady than we’ll ever know.”
Mark Thomas – Sports Reporter – 1140/KXNT – 100.5 Las Vegas
“When it comes to Tom Brady’s guilt or innocence I’m not swayed by broken cell phones or destroyed evidence, or any of that. If you’re asking me if Tom Brady cheated, yeah, I do. But not for those reasons. This is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever take a snap, you’re telling me he wouldn’t know the difference between a ball that was inflated to league regulations and one that wasn’t?
What I’m troubled by is the perceived ‘ironclad’ evidence that he must have known simply because he broke the cellphone that probably contained proof of it. Well there are probably a lot of unrelated and unsavory messages sent from that phone as could be found on virtually all of our personal phones that he understandably didn’t want NFL investigators or anybody to gain access to. Should the suspension stand without ironclad proof? Probably not, but we’re lacking at least two major things here: Proof, and plausible deniability.”
Hugh Douglas – Former NFL Player – Guest Host, Rick & Jamie Show – 92.9 The Game
“I think there is something there. For whatever reason Tom Brady didn’t take this matter very serious when it was brought to his attention. Now he’s destroying cell phones. So I believe he cheated to a certain degree.”
Mark Zinno – Host, A To Z – 92.9 The Game
“Tom Brady is part of the biggest, most over-blown rule violation in the history of sport. This is the NFL’s “George Brett pine tar” incident. In order for someone to cheat, you would have to prove some sort of competitive advantage on the field. The air pressure of the ball gave no significant advantage as evidenced by the fact that Brady had worse numbers in the first half of the 45-7 blowout over the Colts than he did in the second half, when the deflated balls were replaced.”
Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for either of his other three teams.