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Sporting News writer calls Tom Brady a liar for no reason whatsoever 01.17.17 at 4:44 pm ET
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Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has caught a lot of flak this week for streaming a since-deleted video on Facebook Live of the team’s locker room following their win over the Chiefs Sunday. In a laudable attempt at contrarianism, a writer for the Sporting News tries to use this story as a way to put down Tom Brady. But unfortunately for her, she doesn’t have her facts straight.

On Kirk & Callahan Monday, Brady was asked about Brown’s video, which includes sound of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin calling the Patriots “a––holes” during his postgame speech. He said something like that would never happen with the Patriots.

“Our team has a policy. We don’t show anything that should be private because he [Bill Belichick] feels when we are inside our stadium, inside the walls, there has to be a degree of privacy that we have,” Brady said. “What’s done in the locker room should stay in the locker room.”

Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger piled on Brown Tuesday. Tomlin said the wideout’s actions were “foolish,” and Roethlisberger said he was “disappointed.” But that’s not the way Sporting News scribe Sara Jane Harris sees the situation. She stumbled upon the weekly video the Patriots post on their website following each game, and calls out Brady for being hypocrite:

“No, there wasn’t any cussing, but we did get to see what happens “inside the walls” of the Patriots locker room at Gillette Stadium, something Brady said would never happen,” she writes. 

When compared to Brown’s livestream, which was shot with his smartphone camera, it’s obvious the Patriots’ clip is professionally edited and put together. If the aesthetic differences aren’t stark enough, Jane Harris also could’ve completed a Twitter or Google search, where she would’ve found out the Patriots publish a postgame video every week.

It’s sad to see a hot take so thoroughly debunked.

Read More: New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
Tom Brady tantrum after Jadeveon Clowney hit is real reason why he’s so hated 01.16.17 at 6:03 pm ET
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Tom Brady was hated well before Deflategate. The reason why was apparent to everyone who was watching the Patriots take on the Texans at Gillette Stadium Saturday.

In the third quarter, Jadeveon Clowney tackled Brady after he had thrown the ball. When the referee didn’t throw a flag, Brady threw a temper tantrum –– even though it seemed to be a routine play.

Much like last year’s AFC championship game against the Broncos, Brady was under duress all night long. After the game, Clowney bragged about getting inside his head.

Few football players are more durable than Brady. The only time he’s ever missed a game due to injury was in 2008, when then-Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard tore his ACL. Brady would probably credit his rigorous, if not unorthodox diet and training regimen for this phenomenon, but sheer toughness factors into the equation as well. You don’t play through a stress fracture for an entire season (2010) or a torn ligament in your throwing hand for three months (2013) without being exceptionally resilient.

But sometimes in this world, perception and reality don’t match up. Around the league, some defensive players view Brady as a soft pretty boy. One of his loudest detractors is Ray Lewis, who poked Brady on Twitter after the Clowney hit.

The likely reasoning for Lewis’ feelings about Brady can be traced to a matchup between the Ravens and Patriots in October 2009. In it, Brady successfully lobbied for the officials to call questionable roughing the passer penalties on two occasions, including after a Suggs hit. Lewis voiced his frustration at the time, calling the whole situation “embarrassing to the game.” (Suggs, for his part, doesn’t even say Brady’s name anymore.)

With that history in mind, it’s not surprising that former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott also shares those sentiments. Two years ago, he mocked Brady and called him a dork.

“Come on man, Tom Brady doesn’t think he’s tough,” Scott said. “Gisele [Bundchen] doesn’t think he’s tough. Listen, I respect him, but he plays the game differently. No different from the way Peyton Manning plays it, but listen, certain guys — Steve McNair, tough guy. He was a guy that could hang with anybody.”

It’s not just ex- and current Ravens who like to belittle Brady’s toughness. Prior to last season’s AFC championship game, former Broncos lineman Antonio Smith called him a crybaby who grovels for calls. His then-teammate, Malik Jackson, backed him up, saying Brady is a “whiner.”

Brady’s been caught in a few uncompromising moments off the field that play into this perception as well. He was once photographed screaming with his hands up while he went down a waterslide, acting similarly to the way a toddler would. Then there the Ugg endorsements and GQ photoshoots, never mind the Elaine Benis-esque dance moves that he once showed off at Carnival.

As a fabulously wealthy and handsome four-time Super Bowl champion who’s married to Gisele Bundchen, Brady is an easy target for criticism. When he throws hissy fits like he did Saturday, he’s just asking to be mocked.

Read More: New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Von Miller lists 3 Patriots as toughest he’s ever faced; NBA, NBAPA reach new CBA 12.15.16 at 8:12 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NHL: Anaheim at Boston, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Chicago at Milwaukee, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: New York at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NFL: Los Angeles at Seattle, 8:25 p.m. (NBC; NFL Network)
College basketball: Appalachian State at NC State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Women’s college basketball: Texas-Rio Grande Valley at Texas, 8 p.m. (Longhorn Network)

AROUND THE WEB: 

Von Miller

Von Miller

— In his piece in The Players’ Tribune published on Wednesday, Broncos linebacker Von Miller lists “The Five Toughest Guys I’ve Ever Faced,” and three of them are Patriots.

Miller lists Tom Brady as the toughest quarterback, Rob Gronkowski as the toughest tight end and Bill Belichick as the toughest head coach.

“What makes him the best isn’t just his accuracy throwing the ball. His presnap vision is the best I’ve ever seen, bar none,” Miller wrote of Brady, adding: “The biggest challenge in playing the Patriots is simply getting off the field. You’re never worried about Brady hitting you for 70 yards, but he’ll chip away at you and keep drives alive, which wears you down. … Getting a consistent first step on a 15-play drive is pretty much impossible.”

Of Gronkowski, Miller wrote, “This term is almost overused in the media now, but Gronk really is a true game-changer. He’s almost like LeBron James in that his body type and skill set has never been seen before at his position. The NFL has never seen anything like his combination of size, speed and hands.”

As for toughest head coach, Miller said he likes Jack Del Rio, too, but “with Belichick, his genius comes from the fact that he always gameplans based on the personnel he has. He’s had Hall of Famers like Randy Moss, and he’s also had guys who you never heard of before, and no matter what, the Patriots are always contenders. Some of the packages we see from the Patriots, I’ve never seen before on a football field.”

Chris Ivory as toughest running back and Trent Williams as toughest offensive tackle round out the list.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, George Springer, rob gronkowski, Tom Brady
Thinking Out Loud: Despite Jimmy Garoppolo’s impressive debut, let’s keep Tom Brady around 09.16.16 at 5:42 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … and wondering whatever happened to Craig James.

— For all of the angst over Tom Brady’s NFL suspension, most of it dissipated like squeezing air out of a balloon as Jimmy Garoppolo’s Arizona desert debut unfolded. Now I’m hearing fans say, “Trade Brady!” What is wrong with you people?

— I’ll pony up here: After watching Jimmy G. during camp this summer, it’s clear he’s learned while performing as TB12’s understudy. Plus, Josh McDaniels hasn’t given him anything he can’t handle — yet. He should do the same this week against Miami.

— Most impressive against the Cardinals was his ability to stand in the pocket. Haven’t really seen that yet from him, but the early returns are positive. And he still hasn’t played with Gronk opening up a defense for him.

— He could have handled TB12’s face staring over his shoulder from that banner at Gillette, too. Make no mistake about that. If you’re focused on a banner, then you aren’t focused on your job. Ridiculous. But a good call, nevertheless, by the Patriots for taking it down. We’re on to the next one.

— New England now is playing with house money. Did anyone really figure the Patriots would win at Arizona? You hoped, but you didn’t know. Anything short of 4-0 during the TB12-less portion of the schedule will be considered disappointing, right? Be careful with that one.

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Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady,
Thinking Out Loud: Will NFL spy on Tom Brady during suspension? 09.02.16 at 5:30 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … and wondering if the Magic 8-Ball really knows all.

— As the Patriots roster now begins to take its shape for the upcoming season, keep this in mind: Injuries always play a factor. That’s why I find so-called roster projections from the media interesting. No one really knows what the coaches and front-office personnel ultimately will decide.

— Unless they’re like me, and they utilize their Magic 8-Ball, which always has been quick with a response in the past. I asked the 8-Ball what the Patriots roster was going to look like next week, and it replied, “My answer is no.” Makes perfect sense to me.

— So, any Tom Brady sightings in or around Gillette Stadium in the last 48 hours or so? Think the NFL might have some super-secret spies checking out the landscape to see if anyone is, um, taking liberties with the rules?

— Among the players already visited by “The Turk,” Terrance Knighton’s cut from the roster was a bit of a surprise from this corner. I do seem to recall, however, that when his signing appeared imminent, he wasn’t initially thrilled with becoming a “rotational player.”

— Knighton, according to the NFLPA and seconded by our friend and salary cap guru Miguel (his Twitter handle is @capspacev2), apparently did not earn any of his weight-based bonuses in his contract, either. Wonder if that came back to bite him, um, in the, um, you know?

— Barkevious Mingo brings badly needed depth to the linebacking corps, and if nothing else, also brings an automatic spellcheck every time I type his name.

— If you’re wondering about the guy who was flying around MetLife Stadium Thursday night against the New York Giants, Mingo’s story is a familiar refrain — underachieving, young veteran player looking for a clean start and new opportunity. This is how, more than just about anything else, the Patriots have built themselves into a dynastic franchise — identifying hungry players eager to make a name for themselves.

— Oh, and one more thing: They bring in players who also are in their final contractual years, as Mingo is. Make or break is a pretty good attitude to have on your side.

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Read More: Barkevious Mingo, Terrance Knighton, Tom Brady,
Thinking Out Loud: Invasion of visiting teams’ fans at Fenway a sign of times 08.05.16 at 5:50 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … and does anyone know where one-time Patriots linemen go after football?

— Has anyone else noticed the emergence of — gasp! – fans of other teams showing up at Fenway Park this season? This has long been a trademark of Red Sox fans at other stadiums across the country (right, Tampa? Baltimore? Toronto?), but for some reason, Sox rivals are returning the favor this year in surprising numbers.

— The recent San Francisco Giants series at Fenway was a perfect example of this phenomenon, with the stands crowded in Orange and Black jerseys and T-shirts. Even one fan sitting down from me wearing an orange wig, and I tolerated it, somehow. Now I ask you, if the Sox hadn’t been a last-place team the past two seasons, would any of this be happening?

— Of course not. True Sox fans would snap these tickets up in a, well, in a New York minute. Let this be a lesson, Mr. Henry and Mr. Werner, whenever you decide to go “on the cheap” in your hiring and firing. Spend it, to make it. Just sayin’.

— Like everyone else, there was mild disappointment in not being able to swing a trade deadline deal for Chris Sale, but I’ll wager the discussion over bringing him to Boston picks up again in the offseason. As for the one deadline deal done, hard to say right now that it wasn’t Abad one. Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

— Andrew Benintendi got his anticipated call-up, becoming the first player in the history of the High-A Salem (Va.) Red Sox (Carolina League) to advance to the majors in the same year he started in Salem. Of course, Salem only started playing ball in 2009, but hey, it’s still a significant move up.

— He’s also the first Red Sox player to get the call up straight from Double-A (Portland Sea Dogs) to the big leagues since Boston did that with Josh Reddick in ’09.

— But will he be a good major league player? How often do young players make a two-class jump and succeed right away? Like, never? Dealer Dave Dombrowski said early last month that Benintendi probably could handle fielding and baserunning in the bigs, but that his offense wasn’t quite major league ready — although Benintendi picked up his first two hits Wednesday night. Major league pitching will continue to be an awakening for him, only a little more than a year removed from facing collegiate pitching.

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, David Price, Tom Brady,
Thinking Out Loud: Linebackers Patriots’ strongest position — for now 07.29.16 at 5:45 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Antowain Smith.

— Happy New Year! Well, it’s what we’ve been waiting for since, oh, last January, right? Football is back, but with a few twists and turns along the way to always keep things interesting.

— Attendance on opening day of Patriots training camp: 12,393. More than Tampa Bay can draw for most Rays baseball games. Twenty states and at least four foreign countries represented among the fandom. Nope, nothing to see here.

— There’s the always-alarming physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which really means guys like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola will be OK — but the team is taking little chance to get them injured before playing in games that actually mean something. Injuries kept NE from a possible fifth Lombardi Trophy more than anything else last winter.

— And for the first time in 15 years, New England will head into a regular season preparing to start someone at quarterback not named Tom Brady. Brady’s falling on the sword in taking the four-game suspension from the NFL means Jimmy Garoppolo gets the spotlight, the attention and a lot of reps over the next month. It’s his chance to shine and to set himself up — if not in New England, certainly somewhere else — for a solid career.

— Evaluating the Pats’ strongest position heading into camp, there’s a lot of depth along the defensive front. Even with Chandler Jones’ departure for Arizona, there’s size in the middle and potentially more speed on the ends.

— But for pure talent? I’ll take the linebacking one-two punch of Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower. Both can be free agents after this year, so expect new contracts to be part of their storylines until deals get done. Or not. Collins wasn’t present for opening day Thursday, but CSNNE’s Tom Curran says it wasn’t contract-related. Bill Belichick says he was excused.

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Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady,
Thinking Out Loud: Tom Brady leaves Patriots fans feeling deflated 07.15.16 at 9:12 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering if Pikachu, Squirtle or Charizard might be lurking around the corner.

— Well, then. That’s it? What do we have to complain about now?

— Eighteen months after the torturous tale began, Tom Brady has decided not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, effectively ending Deflategate. And my initial reaction is a deflated one, like the way I felt after watching “The Sopranos” finale. That’s it?

— All along, the smarter Kool-Aid drinkers (and I’m still one of them) believed TB12’s best chance at playing in September was through a stay granted by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg, if we are to believe in her precedents, generally has sided with labor over management in labor-related causes.

— However, the burden of proof was on Brady’s team to show this case traveled well beyond a simple football spat between a player and a commissioner. Ultimately, based on case precedent, the odds weren’t on TB12’s side. And we know how he loves to win. So let’s strike up the band and climb aboard the Jimmy Garoppolo bandwagon.

— Perhaps the recent public display of “dislike” for presidential candidate Donald Trump could have caused a problem with Justice Ginsburg’s consideration of TB12’s case – especially with Brady as a Trump “friend”? You’d like to think not. You’d like to think our Supreme Court justices can be impartial, even though they are human. But impartial enough to keep TB12 in the fight? Nope. You have to think his legal team suggested as much.

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Read More: Deflategate, Tom Brady,
Thinking Out Loud: Patriots deserve Deflategate appeal to break judges’ tie 04.29.16 at 5:33 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while conjuring my inner Cecil B. DeMille.

— Patriots fans feel persecuted. I get it. Point your fingers in a lot of directions, if you must. But the court decision this week had nothing to do with air pressure in footballs, or even Tom Brady’s cell phone destruction. It had everything to do with legal process, and the fact that the NFL players signed away their rights to fair hearings with the NFL in the last collective bargaining agreement.

— So, in effect, as an NFL player Brady is guilty of screwing himself. That might seem a little harsh, but it’s reality.

— “You can’t handle the truth!” A classic movie line that seems appropriate, from “A Few Good Men.” Which the NFL does not seem to possess, btw.

— Here is where a problem exists with Deflategate droning on ad nauseam — legally speaking, we have a tie. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King was the first to point this out this week — and he’s spot-on correct. Judge Berman originally sided with TB12. Judges Parker and Chin ruled for the NFL’s right (and Roger Goodell’s contractual right, thanks to the CBA) to become judge, jury and executioner in this case. Judge Katzmann, the Chief of the entire Second Circuit, dissented, siding with Brady.

— By my scorekeeping, that’s a legal, New England Revolution-like 2-2 tie. We need (and TB12 deserves) a tiebreaker. We need extended overtime. This screams for a Brady appeal — which he and his side undoubtedly will pursue — and ultimately will subject us all to another several weeks and months of Deflategate drivel.

— Conceivably, any appeals process also would allow Brady a stay of his punishment. Which would mean the current hand-wringing over Jimmy Garoppolo’s readiness or bringing in another QB is rendered moot. Until the courts un-moot it again.

— Unfortunately (or not, depending on your point of view), the process is going to win out over facts here. How the law is meted out wins over what the truth might actually entail.

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Read More: Blackie Sherrod, Deflategate, Roger Goodell, Tom Brady
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Media, legal scholars call for NFL attorney Paul Clement to admit untruths to court in Deflategate hearing 03.09.16 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Grizzlies at Celtics, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Patriot League final, Holy Cross at Lehigh, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, N.C. State vs. Duke, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Big Ten Tournament, Minnesota vs. Illinois, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, Georgia Tech vs. Clemson, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big East Tournament, DePaul vs. Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Big Ten Tournament, Rutgers vs. Nebraska, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Big 12 Tournament, Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, Florida State vs. Virginia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big 12 Tournament, TCU vs. Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Big East Tournament, St. John’s vs. Marquette, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
NHL: Blackhawks at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Champions League, SL Benfica at Zenit St. Petersburg, noon (FS1)
Soccer: Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain at Chelsea, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— NFL attorney Paul Clement was widely lauded for his performance before the Second Circuit appeals panel last Thursday, as he argued that Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate should be reinstated.

However, it soon became clear that Clement played fast and loose with the truth, and calls are growing louder for him to rectify the situation.

In Tuesday’s Washington Post, longtime columnist Sally Jenkins took Clement and the league to task for their dishonest behavior and suggested Clement should rectify the situation by sending a letter of correction to the court. She has backing from some legal scholars, including New York Law School professor Robert Blecker, who filed an amicus brief.

In perhaps the most obvious incorrect statement, Clement repeated commissioner Roger Goodell’s assertion that Brady denied discussing the Deflategate accusations with assistant equipment manager John Jastremski the day after the AFC championship game. Goodell used this as an example of Brady’s obstruction. However, in Brady’s arbitration testimony he said he and Jastremski discussed “the allegations we were facing,” adding: “I think trying to figure out what happened was certainly my concern and trying to figure out, you know, what could be — possibly could have happened to those balls.”

Clement also claimed that Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally repeatedly referred to himself as the “deflator” in text messages “throughout” the 2014 season, when in fact McNally only used the term in one text message, and it was in May of 2014, well before the season began.

Jenkins writes that the league’s untruths — and Clement’s decision to repeat them — “should serve as evidence to those judges that the Brady arbitration is dishonest and should be tossed.”

Writes Jenkins: Lawyers are officers of the court and cannot make false statements of fact, under pain of sanctions. Clement is one of the top appellate lawyers in the land, a former solicitor general, so he knows better than anyone that he owes the court candor. He is professionally obliged to admit that he was (surely unwittingly) sucked through the looking glass into the deceitful universe of Goodell’s NFL, in which the commissioner habitually makes up facts in disciplinary cases to suit himself and consolidate his powers.

Added Jenkins: Over and over again, other courts have found Goodell not credible in disciplinary cases, because he takes rash actions and then is too vain to admit a mistake. The Second Circuit should be aware that he’s not credible in this instance either. Clement is professionally obligated to correct the record on the misstatements Goodell led him into. He owes the court that candor.

— Adam Vinatieri’s record-setting career will continue in Indianapolis.

The 43-year-old, who has played 10 seasons with the Colts after spending his first 10 seasons with the Patriots, agreed to a deal on Tuesday night after some touch-and-go negotiations reportedly centered on Vinatieri’s desire for a multi-year deal.

“At the end of the day I made it crystal clear that I wanted to keep playing, and wanted to play here,” Vinatieri said (via the Indianapolis Star). “I want to finish my career off here.”

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Read More: adam vinatieri, Deflategate, Matt Hasselbeck, Paul Clement