Stephen A. Smith doesn’t seem to realize he was used by the NFL

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Six months after the NFL apparently leaked false information to Chris Mortensen of ESPN regarding the PSI readings for 11 of 12 Patriots footballs used in the AFC title game, the NFL expertly leaked true information to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN regarding the allegation that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady “destroyed his cellphone.”

Smith broke the news (sort of) four hours before the Brady ruling was issued, priming the pump for the headline that the NFL wanted the court of public opinion to be repeating like a sitcom catch phrase: “Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.”

Via Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News, Smith was strident about those who doubted his less-than-unequivocal claim that he was “hearing” Brady destroyed his cellphone.

This idiocy,” Smith said on his SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio show. “Sometimes folks are just hard to take. And by the way, don’t bother calling me up about these so-called colleagues of mine. Colleagues who want to talk about me like a dog, questioning my knowledge of what I reported.”

Raissman quoted the explanation from MDS regarding the difference between someone from ESPN’s army of NFL insiders “reporting” that the NFL will contend the cellphone was destroyed and paid opinion factory Stephen A. Smith offering up a wishy-way, less-than-forceful claim that the phone was destroyed: “If ESPN’s respected veteran NFL reporters say they’re ‘hearing’ what Goodell is ‘likely’ to do, we can reasonably surmise that they’re ‘hearing’ it from well-placed sources within the league office. Even if such a report turned out to be wrong, if it came from a respected reporter it was probably based on contact with sources who are in a position to know what they’re talking about. When it comes from Smith, it doesn’t mean anything.”

“I will say this: I have no problem with some idiot blogger speaking against me or whatever,” Stephen A. Smith said. “They are trying to create headlines, trying to create hits for a website. But I do have a problem with folks who are supposed to be colleagues and contemporaries in this industry who understand the nuances of what surrounds this industry.”

We definitely understand the nuances. In this case, the nuance lost on Stephen A. Smith is that the league office specifically selected him as the guy best suited to blaze a Tuesday morning trial for the mantra that the NFL wanted everyone to be repeating at that night’s dinner table:  “Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.”

Smith wasn’t wrong in what he said. He was wrong to hedge by saying things like “I’m hearing” and “I don’t know.” And he’s wrong not to realize that, in the same way someone from the league office used Chris Mortensen to spread the false notion that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs were 2.0 pounds under the PSI minimum at halftime of the AFC title game, someone from the league office used Stephen A. Smith to introduce to an unsuspecting public the best-kept secret in the NFL from June 18 through July 28: “Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.”

And so instead of reacting to the press release declaring that “Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone” by saying, “What the hell is this all about?” the prevailing reaction was, “Damn. Stephen A. Smith was right. Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.”

106 responses to “Stephen A. Smith doesn’t seem to realize he was used by the NFL

  1. No, what we need is someone with a clipboard going “Screamin’ A Smith was right about something. Tick off that box for the upcoming apocalypse…what’s next, the Horsemen or moon becoming as blood?”

  2. In general, I’m pro-PFT and anti-Stephen A. Smith. That said, I don’t really understand the point of this story.

  3. Stephen A had the scoop, the completely accurate scoop, and PFT posted it in an article that mocked him and questioned the news because it came from him.

    Give him credit for getting it right. You all would have ran with the story.

  4. A culture of cheating exist in New England. Why is anyone trying to discredit Stephen A. Smith for telling us what we should expect to hear?

    Here is a post that tells all: Google Search, “Does New England Sabotage Opposing Teams”

  5. Tom Brady did destroy his cell phone. That’s not a narrative, that’s a fact. Just because people don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not true. That’s like breaking a thermometer because you don’t like the temperature.

  6. I think the main reason people said “Stephen A is right” is become some sites out there were suggesting before the news broke that Stephen A was wrong

  7. Wells never asked for Tom Brady’s cellphone and didn’t require it. “Keep the phone,” Wells told Brady and his agent. He insisted his investigation was thorough without it. “I don’t think it undermines in any way the conclusions of the report,” he said. Those were his exact words. So were these, after interrogating Brady for more than five hours: “Totally cooperative,” Wells said of Brady’s testimony.

    Yet somehow Goodell found Brady guilty of lack of cooperation and willful destruction of evidence on appeal, all because he upgraded to an iPhone 6?

    Brady’s phone was unimportant — until it was important because Goodell needed it to be to rescue his prestige.

    On Feb. 28, the Wells team sent an e-mail to Brady and his agent, Don Yee, requesting his cellphone records. Not the phone itself, just the records. Yee responded that he wasn’t willing to turn over Brady’s private cell information, on precedent. While it was reasonable for Wells to collect information from work cellphones issued by the Patriots — Wells already had possession of five phones from Patriots employees and examined their communications with Brady — Brady’s private phone information was simply not necessary, Yee said. Wells wasn’t thrilled, but he accepted it.

    “They knew and had no quarrel with the non-production of the phone,” Dowd points out.

    It’s only when you go back and examine the Wells report and study Goodell’s written decision more closely that you discover the phone was never demanded as evidence. You also discover Footnote No. 11.

    Goodell’s own buried footnote says that during the appeal before him, Brady and his agents furnished comprehensive cellphone records, including records of 10,000 text messages, and offered to help find and reconstruct all relevant communications.

    Goodell rejected the offer as “not practical.” Actually nothing would have been easier. Brady’s phone records showed he communicated with just 28 league-affiliated people. It was clear from the phone numbers which of them were Patriots employees in a position to manipulate game balls. It should have been a simple matter to discern whether Brady destroyed relevant communications with them.

    “My question to Wells is: Do you have information that there were communications missing?” Dowd asks. “And didn’t you conclude you had enough?”

    Goodell chose to ignore Brady’s offer and put it in a footnote. Why? Because he has been badly embarrassed this year and wanted a big headline case instead of admitting that the league had again made mistakes?

    The first instinct on hearing Brady “destroyed” his cell is to blast him for arrogance and stupidity and call him guilty. But then, because it’s Goodell in charge, the questions creep in. Wasn’t it Brady himself who voluntarily disclosed he got rid of his old cell and upgraded? Does it really make sense that Brady would intentionally destroy a phone it was agreed he wasn’t obliged to turn over?

  8. If someone was deliberately fed false information and protected the source that made him look so foolish, shame on him. To stand by in silence, that person is a conspirator. Mortensen caused damage to the Patriots. The source, if there is one, shouldn’t be protected.

    In Smith’s case, he was just played. If he realizes this, maybe somebody will find out that they used the wrong person for their deviousness.

    Fair disclosure…I have destroyed several phones.

  9. If that’s the case, then there have been a lot of reporters “used” by the NFL. He deserves an apology, imho, especially from PFT, et al. After all, he was correct, and I am not particularly a fan of him.

  10. Even though he got this one right, can you please stop posting all Stephen A Smith comments? I enjoy this site and don’t want it being brought down to sensationalism and race cards every week.

  11. I am confused. Is Florio upset that a competitor scooped his site? Or does he think Smith is not allowed to break stories out of league offices? Or are we supposed to think this is part of a giant conspiracy to smear Tom Brady? Come on Florio tells what you really think.

  12. Goodell and his cronies always have a hidden agenda…just like your typical shady politician. He’s really sullied the league and my interest in it. Some of this sites stories don’t help either.

  13. So you don’t ever get tips from anyone in the NFL? Must be nice to have the moral high ground like that.

  14. You constantly belittling ESPN is getting old. You’re like the little brother who can never live up to his sibling. We get it. They’re the true evil empire. Move on. It’s tiring to read your endless rants about all the guys who break news that compete with your info.

  15. I can’t stand Smith but I think Florio is trying to cover his own tracks here. He basically said Smith was wrong and instead of apologizing, he’s just saying he was used.

  16. I’m not following the logic of this article. This same argument could be made for any leak to any “respectable” journalist and you also Florio.

  17. LOL . . . And Florio and PFT are wrong to think they are the “folks who are supposed to be colleagues and contemporaries in this industry who understand the nuances of what surrounds this industry” as Smith describes but really just “some idiot blogger speaking against me or whatever”.

    I aplogize for being a hater as I love reading your website . . . but solely due to the fact it’s a collection of other people’s reporting. The dashses of editor opinion thrown into the offering don’t have any more validity than what any of the millions of die hard fans that follow the league 24/7 have to say.

  18. Like he cares knowing that he earns money that we do not want to see him earn? To such a remark like “he was used,” all Stephen A. will say “to all my haters out there, y’all can kick rocks.”

    Besides, he’s meant to fit in ESPN’s philosophy:
    1) Be the first to report.
    2) Be Controversial.

  19. Someone from ESPN being peddled around as a stooge by the NFL? The only one surprised by the notion is the clown that broke the “story”. ESPN’s such a joke these days.

  20. This forum would do well to understand what Florio is saying.

    Basically, the NFL every step of the way saw that we the fans and general public were fed false information (initial reports of the condition of the footballs) and other information (that Brady refused to hand over his telephone) as a smoking gun.

    Brady refusing to hand over his cell phone could be for a 1000 reasons not related to this case (pics on his phone, messages referring to thing he wouldn’t want seen) and if you take into account how the NFL leaks information to the press it’s advantage who knows what they would’ve shared to press to further turn the public against Brady.

    In the end the fact that NFL can’t present just the true facts to the public coupled with the ambiguousness of the Wells report proves that this has been a sham.

  21. Regardless if Brady did it or not. Why is the NFL so intent on destroying him and the Patriots?

  22. Who cares. If i remember correctly when Smith broke the news nobody believe it anyways because what he was saying sounded like something he made up from a source. Even if he was used by the NFL the information was bound to come out in 4hrs time anyways and we still would end up where we are now.

  23. Hey – SAS! You got a scoop, simply be caused you were USED. Not because you are Woodward or Bernstein. Simply part of the NFL’s strategy to use a destroyed phone (they did’ even ask for) to sway public opinion.

    Brady told the league prior to March 6, they ain’t getting my personal data without a court warrant.

    They talked to Jastremski, Mconnoley, and Brady. They got squat. Some strange texts and a piss stop that don’t prove squat.

    How about SAS gets the scoop on the NFL’s definitive theory. They believe Brady told his equipment guys 12.5 psi ain’t cutting it and Brady wants less. Wher’s the evidence? I good drink bourbon and smoke NoCal weed and come up with a better conspires.

  24. I don’t like Stephen A. Smith at all, but actually he was very smart to say “I’m hearing” and “I don’t know” when talking about the information leaked to him. I’m sure he considered the fact that the NFL leaked false information to Chris Mortensen before and Smith wanted to protect himself in case the leak about Brady destroying his phone turned out to be inaccurate. I hate to say this, but Smith is much more aware of how these PR games are played than you are giving him credit for.

  25. Stop apologizing for Tom Brady who “Destroyed his cell phone” ‘coincidentally’ on the same day he was meeting with Ted Wells. Then when Ted Wells might say, you will be disciplined if you don’t provide me the cell phone, he can say, “Sorry, it’s gone because I destroyed it earlier today, oops.” Or maybe, Tom would have handed him the cell phone in pieces and say, “Here is the cell phone. Now, I complied with your request, so you can’t punish me.”

  26. A culture of cheating exist in New England. Why is anyone trying to discredit Stephen A. Smith for telling us what we should expect to hear?

    Here is a post that tells all: Google Search, “Does New England Sabotage Opposing Teams”

    ——————————————————————–

    I did what you said and I got 314K hits but to be fair I googled is Tom Brady being framed and I got 11M hits. For fun I googled Does New York Jets Sabotage Opposing Teams and I get 452K hits which is more then New England.

  27. It is hard to understand, but an idiot will always be an Idiot…..what part of: they had the cell phones of the others involved, therefore they had all the records of all phone and text messages from Brady….. They did not need his phone. It made no difference what happened to the phone, he did not have to turn it over. If he had destroyed it because they were going to get it, that would have been an entirely different thing. However, they were not going to get it…. He upgraded his phone, I would guess that this happens a lot in people with his income. Pint 2: he has offers to give up all the records from the phone company, Goodall does not want it because he knows there is nothing there, he has all the records from the other phones that he has…..this is a frame job …. And by the way I despise the Pats..I am a Falcon’s fan, every one jumps on us because of no SB rings, but Denver cheated worse than the Pats, had a team that was way over the cap, so Atlanta actually should have been awarded the Victory!!!! Have never heard a word about that, but you can make a mountain out of a molehill on psi that really has no solid evidence that it happened….a nickname the deflator is not evidence of nothing, heck the guy could have been into blow up sex dolls….lol….the Deflator……lol to all you idiots that just plainly just hate the Pats….please let’s get back to football

  28. Tom Brady got legal advice to destroy his cellphone (just like Aaron Hernandez received). In both cases this was pretty incriminating.

  29. Still nobody from the NFL or TB’s camp have confirmed the phone was destroyed .
    This story has been bull cap from the get go.
    Thanks Indianapolis and Baltimore.

  30. LOL…the media is turning on itself like a snake swallowing its own tail. “paid opinion factory” – is that what you are?…it makes sense. That’s what happens when you build your integrity with the intention of selling it out.

  31. So Stephan A Smith was used as a pawn in the NFL’s deliberate PR attempt to smear the Patriots? How can he or anyone at ESPN have any credibility left when they have been continually used by the NFL to smear the Patriots time and time again during their biased, prejudiced witch hunt against the Patriots? Stephen A. and everyone at ESPN has lost all credibility now if they’re just going to act as Goodell’s mouthpiece during this witch hunt.

  32. I agree Florio’s point is not exactly clear here, but I think what he is getting at is this:

    The league leaked out the SPIN “Brady destroyed phone” so that when the appeal was released a few hours later the headlinnes would read “OMG he really DID destroy his phone!” Had Goodell been objective and impartial, as is his responsibility under the CBA, the headlines would have been:

    “Goodell upholds suspension despite Brady turning over text and email records.”

    He buried the fact that Brady provided what Wells asked for in a foot note. Wells said he didn’t neeed the phone at all, but that was never mentioned in Goodell’s ruling.

  33. “mark0226 says:
    Jul 31, 2015 2:04 AM
    Stop apologizing for Tom Brady who “Destroyed his cell phone” ‘coincidentally’ on the same day he was meeting with Ted Wells. Then when Ted Wells might say, you will be disciplined if you don’t provide me the cell phone, he can say, “Sorry, it’s gone because I destroyed it earlier today, oops.” Or maybe, Tom would have handed him the cell phone in pieces and say, “Here is the cell phone. Now, I complied with your request, so you can’t punish me.””
    —-
    See it’s stuff like this that the leak allowed to happen.

    Wells told Brady he didn’t need to see the phone at all. He just wanted his records, which he provided.

    That Brady upgraded his phone at or around the same time is completely irrelevant. Wells didn’t require that he turn it over and in his own words said Brady “cooperated in full”

  34. I’m sure there’s plenty more info in Stephen’s butt he can throw at us down the road.

  35. Meanwhile Sheldon Richardson was destroying th psyche of his 12 year old son. And destroying peoples property. I guess that doesnt undermine the integrity of the game.

    I know it’s only the irrelevant Jets, but he’s still a talented player who needs to be suspended 4 games for this. Max. Lay the hammer down Rog! Hahahaha. This is why college football is soaring and NFL is losing fans.

  36. .
    Goodell’s background is in PR. He grew up schmoozing and playing the media. He’s quite adept. However, more and more journalists are beginning to look askance at Goodell following the 11 /12 deflated ball lie, the Wells Report sham, and now the ” Brady Destroyed his Cell Phone….. Aaaaaaah” dog and pony show.

    Journalists are usually of the ” fool me once school.” Those in the NFL office are now asking the media to be fooled for the third time and there’s pushback . Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post blistered Goodell in yesterday’s edition.

    Goodell may run a good media campaign, but when the product you’re selling is lies, it’s still a very tough sell.
    .

  37. quizlingclinic says:
    Jul 31, 2015 6:49 AM

    Wells told Brady he didn’t need to see the phone at all. He just wanted his records, which he provided.

    That Brady upgraded his phone at or around the same time is completely irrelevant. Wells didn’t require that he turn it over and in his own words said Brady “cooperated in full”

    ————————-

    Incorrect. He wanted what was in the text messages, not a listing of people he texted. The Brady camp really, really has a hard time with that distinction.

    Let’s try this: Imagine I have a 10,000 page book and you ask to borrow it. I loan you that book but it’s just the cover and title page with all the other pages missing. You ask, where’s the missing pages and I tell you, “You only asked for the book, you didn’t ask to know what was inside the book. Maybe if you ask all my friends they will still have some of the pages”.

    Do you honestly think that you would not be angry with me?

  38. The Disney Corporation ought to be ashamed of themselves for letting these employees at ESPN run amok like they do. No accountability journalism, speculating and opinionated town cryers with part time mouth piece jobs. Steven A. Smith & Friends, ladies and germs.

  39. Is Florio actually saying if someone called him from the NFL regarding the Brady cell phone that he wouldnt have it posted on his website within seconds?

  40. Stop with all the, “Tom wasn’t asked to provide his cellphone so it didnt matter that he destroyed it.”

    We already know that A.) he provided the cellphone he had PRIOR to that one, and B.) it creates a gaping hole in Toms story that he destroys “all” of his phones if THAT one was still available.

    Investigators asked for his prior cell, he gave it to them. There was no incriminating evidence on it. They asked him for the phone he had after that one, and he destroys it and says he destroys all his phones. Well, uh, no. It’s blatantly obvious that he only destroys the phones that have incriminating evidence on them.

    That said, it is possible that Tom is innocent in all this. It is possible that he had pictures, texts, conversations with other women on that phone, and while he maintains his innocence in deflategate, did not want things to surface that pointed to him “cheating” on his supermodel wife. Either way, there’s only one conclusion here:

    Tom Brady had SOMETHING TO HIDE on THAT particular phone; he destroyed it when asked to provide it, and played coy for 3 months (until June 18) where he could conveniently claim that it had been destroyed and no the cell phone company is beyond the point of recovering information. Who knows what he’s hiding- but I sure hope we all get to see for ourselves once this thing hits the courtroom.

  41. I don’t care if Screaming A. Smith was right or not I really don’t. What I truly care about is that I hope and pray that this guy doesn’t start working around and commenting on the NFL.
    I beg of you ESPN please don’t do it.

  42. Unlike the author of this article it doesn’t bother me at all that Stephen A. Smith got the scoop on the cell phone story. What bothers me is that Stephen A. Smith no doubt now thinks he’s in the same league as Walter Cronkite. Smiths ego knows no bounds.

  43. These poor sad little troll reporters have no where to go now. Funny watching this all blow up in their face. It’s literally akin to watching them defend a well known criminal as he keeps robbing and murdering people lol. Oh wait, now I will have a bunch of idiots claiming I compared football inflation to murder. It’s like debating with a child

  44. Wells never asked for Tom Brady’s cellphone and didn’t require it. “Keep the phone,” Wells told Brady and his agent. He insisted his investigation was thorough without it. “I don’t think it undermines in any way the conclusions of the report,” he said. Those were his exact words. So were these, after interrogating Brady for more than five hours: “Totally cooperative,” Wells said of Brady’s testimony. from Today’s Washington Post

  45. the amount of stupid is unreal reading these replies. Uneducated Pats hater who haven’t read a single paragraph of the Wells Report, drinking the Goodell koolaid.

  46. PFT is made up of Steelers and Patriots fans..
    All this is just a distraction from what was in the Well report which had text messages between staff at Patriots who CLEARLY state Tom Brady was in on this whole thing!

  47. Florio, please link to the motion filed by Brady’s counsel that answers any and all questions and and is a winning brief once it gets refiled in the new venue.

  48. Florio’s point should be very clear to anyone who is not wearing anti Pat blinders. I’ve been listening to Mad Dog radio on XM daily for six months. Except for maybe one host, Adam Schein, they are all reading from the same tired NFL script. Brady deflated the balls, or he knew about it, and he should man up and take his punishment. My favorite weasel words are “we can all agree” that he had to know. Anyone who calls in and tries to defend Brady or question the process gets talked over or disconnected. The only NE callers who get a forum are the ones who support the narrative. The NFL used a respected reporter to plant the seed then they used an incendiary talk show host to rekindle the flame, or more accurately, the bonfire. Looks like they used too much gasoline because that fire is blowing back into their face.

  49. Forio this article appears to be a sad attempt at backhandedly saying that Smith was correct. News flash…..Smith was correct and I personally believe that Brady and company were up to something nefarious.

  50. The leak about the cell phone clearly played out in Brady’s favor. You don’t think there are pro Brady people who work at NFL office. With that leak, it totally took the focus of the heart of this whole matter, Brady cheated. It gives fans and the media to further bash the NFL than discussing the actual contents of Goodell’s ruling. Kraft, Yee and Brady all made empasis of the cell phone. Not the fact that he is a liar and a cheater

  51. All of this is distraction from the fact there is no evidence in the Wells Report. Now as a social psychologist I am fascinated by the psychology of this mass hysteria. It bares a striking resemblance to the hysteria that preceded the rise of the Third Reich before World War II. Sports fanaticism provides the ideal breeding ground for this kind of mental illness. The NFL is not only entertainment but religion and fantasy. And when I see behavior like this coming out of the league office, with the compulsiveness and hypersensitivity, I am intrigued and want to examine the culture if this organization further.

  52. This all comes down to someone from the NFL offices have an agenda against the Patriots. I am disgusted at how the NFL can run a smear campaign to this degree. They look more and more like a clown circus than a well run league.

  53. It still amazes me, the ignorance of the haters and the fact that they have no idea that the league has been playing them, virtually controlling their minds and their emotions since the beginning of this. This extends back to 2007. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. A sad indictment of how stupid a large percentage of Americans have become. Fact means nothing. Lies and twisted out of context information controls minds these days. Mike Florio, these people think that you are a Patriots apologist. They don’t realize you have been considered more of a Patriot detractor over the years. Again, I thank you for your objectivity in being the leading media member in reporting this topic straight and fair. Thank you.

  54. “And by the way, don’t bother calling me up about these so-called colleagues of mine. Colleagues who want to talk about me like a dog, questioning my knowledge of what I reported.”

    Well, perhaps if you hadn’t backpedaled by saying “I don’t know”, your colleagues wouldn’t have doubted what you reportedly were “hearing”…

    What a maroon!

  55. SAS didn’t break a story… he was mouth piece for Goodell….. Did SAS call brady to confirm ??? Did SAS do any background to see why the phone was got rid of ?? No, he didn’t…. He reported word for word what one side was going to say. Thats not reporting. SAS is hack and a racist and should not be allowed on air……..Being from Philly we have had to put up with this “reporter” for years now. He sucks. We would all be better off with out people like this……

  56. Actually, most of you have your heads up your butts. According to numerous friends of Brady, he regularly changed phones every few years and apprised them of the number change when he did. This is not remotely the same as “destroying” his phone, which was never sought by the league in the first place. ESPN should be ashamed of their role in promoting this non-story and Smith should be embarrassed at being played by Goodell and the NFL establishment. BTW, don’t expect to see much critical coverage of the NFL on ESPN from now on. They are obviously in bed with the league and their coverage shows it.

  57. ribbie149 says:
    Jul 31, 2015 1:56 PM
    Actually, most of you have your heads up your butts. According to numerous friends of Brady, he regularly changed phones every few years and apprised them of the number change when he did. This is not remotely the same as “destroying” his phone, which was never sought by the league in the first place. ESPN should be ashamed of their role in promoting this non-story and Smith should be embarrassed at being played by Goodell and the NFL establishment. BTW, don’t expect to see much critical coverage of the NFL on ESPN from now on. They are obviously in bed with the league and their coverage shows it.
    ———–

    He didn’t destroy the phone he had before this last one. Stop it.

  58. Yeah this is dumb. They’re giving Stephen A. credit for being right once, when in fact all that happened is he was used for spin to make it sound like Tom Brady getting an iPhone was an attempt to destroy incriminating evidence. Now’s a great time to call him an idiot as usual.

  59. Really sad that people can’t see the pint of this article. The Nfl is running a personnel witch hunt driven by the Jets, Colts and Ravens. There is zero proof they are punishing the Pats and Brady with no evidence just speculation. This is a corrupt NFL office at its most evil and if you think your team is not in the crosshairs think again if they are willing to do this to a team and player of the caliper they are they have no shame. The Pats are not cheaters face it they are this good and people hate winners they are the Yankees of football. Goodall should be taken to court for this but mostly he should be fired he is making a mockery of the league

  60. Here’s what Smith actually said: “I’m hearing that Tom Brady actually destroyed his cellphone.” He didn’t frame it as gospel, or try to force that information on anyone. So I fail to see how this is the work of some “paid opinion factory” or whatever cynical name you want to put on him.

    A lot of media types initally laughed at his account (including this site, which at least chuckled). Then it turned out that “what he’d heard” was actually what had happened (only it was carried out at Brady’s command). It seems to me this left a lot of egg on a lot of faces, and now they’re lashing out with this “OK maybe he was right, but he was used! So there! Nyahhh!”

    That’s also foolish. Reporters are fed information all the time. So you might as well say about all the media have been “used” at one time or another.

    “Used”? Or just sour grapes from the media who didn’t get the scoop? I think it’s pretty obvious which one denotes the truth.

  61. p.s. How was Smith “wrong to hedge by saying things like I’m hearing” and “I don’t know.”? That’s not “hedging” that’s simply telling the audience that he can’t completely confirm the report. What would be wrong would be to declare “Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone!” with no confirmation — and then have the account turn out to be false. Smith simply framed the information he conveyed in its proper context. I just don’t get the point of this whole article.

  62. Steven addressed this in a monologue today. His bully pulpit, his right. I can’t argue that he is not justifiably hurt personally and professionally by the criticism but he did not address Florio’s main point about the criticism. Mortensen cited “league sources” in his tweet. Steven A did not do that. He “heard about it” or something like that. If he had league sources he should have said so. It would have added weight to his scoop. Why did he not say that, was he told to not do so by his league source? Old hands like Mortensen will not post sourced information without the implied assurance that he will cite a source, vague as that at may be. Steven A is also wrong about Florio dissing Mort. Florio went out of his way to show his respect for Mort while at the same time justifiably raking him over the coals for not retracting an inaccurate story.

  63. Going forward, can we please keep stories about Steven Smith to things he does realize. It would save a lot of time.

  64. skip joyless was his source. This was the one scenario where citing a source would have LESSENED credibility. Zingo.

  65. A legit reporter gathers ALL the evidence before he releases a story, or he ends up looking like a shill. Took less then 24 hours for most of the world to know that Wells told Brady BEFORE the phone was destroyed that he didn’t need or want it. In that same time frame we also learned Brady produced a phone record of every single call, text, and data minute used on that same exact phone. What’s next? A CSI moment that the Patriots removed the carpet from the equipment room to hide ‘air’ residue that might have fallen to the floor? ESPN at one time was a sports channel. Now? They’re to sports what MTV is to music videos. A distant memory.

  66. “Stories” like these just highlight the fact that the current crop of sports media personalities are an embarrassment to the concept of the fourth estate. YOU people are not the story, you egotistical wannabe celebrity.

  67. I see how this whole narrative has been changed to discredit Smith’s report — something especially done out of New England. Follow me for a minute if you will.

    OK, first the whole debate was whether or not Smith’s report was actually true. A lot of people laughed at it and called it ridiculous. Then it turned out it wasn’t and Brady himself admitted he’d had the phone destroyed. Smith’s report WAS true after all, despite all the snickering.

    So then the detractors took a new turn: they tried to claim the report STILL wasn’t credible because Smith had been “used” as some kind of pawn in the NFL’s supposed war on the Patriots.
    Suddenly it wasn’t about whether or not the report was true — it was whether or not Smith had been used! I read one Patriots fan’s post on another message board who seriously tried to claim that Smith’s report wasn’t true, after all, because he “was being used” — even though Tom Brady himself had verified the report!

    So now we have the new storyline. Smith was used, so somehow his report shouldn’t be taken seriously. You gotta be kidding me!

    Mr. Florio: I’d say the fact you’re passing on this new-spun narrative might just mean Mr. Smith isn’t the only one who’s been “used” here.

  68. Let’s just start from the beginning. After the AFC Championship game Tom Brady future first ballet HOF player was asked a direct question.
    Was he a cheater or not. That was his opportunity to put this all to bed at that point.

    His answer was not an absolutely not. In his own words he said I don’t believe so.

    If he were truly the character guy all his supporter seem to be defending him on then his answer should have reflected that character. No I am not a cheater and have never been one.

    Clearly he knew something and was not sure what level his actions played concerning breaking any rules.

    Instead of stepping up and taking just some responsibility like a man with good character he decided to side step the situation and lay it at the feet of others.

    For someone who seems to have overcome the odds to become great. I guess he loss somethings along the way. Way to believe your own hype Tom Terrific

  69. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Aug 2, 2015 2:22 PM

    You are missing the point about Smith being used. It isn’t that his report was right or wrong. It is that the NFL had this information from Brady before the appeal. Goodall then waited 35 days to “decide” on the appeal. The day before he releases his ruling, a leak from the NFL to Smith about Brady destroying his phone. No details around it. No context. Nothing. Then the ruling comes out. Is the talk about the actual ruling? Nope. The talks about how the leak was true and Brady destroyed his phone. The details around that – like Brady being the one who actually told Goodell, why he had done it, that he and Yee had told Wells there was nothing revealing in the messages (something Wells claimed would be satisfactory) and they provided the metadata and a manner to regain the texts if the NFL wanted. All that was drowned out.

    Why was it drowned out? Because the NFL leaked the huge emotional confirmation bias tidbit.

    Why did they do this? Smoke and mirrors. It distracts the tar and feathers crowd from the actual point that they are attempting to suspend him on no tampered footballs and a few texts.

  70. sattv8488 says:
    Aug 2, 2015 3:00 PM
    “Let’s just start from the beginning. After the AFC Championship game Tom Brady future first ballet HOF player was asked a direct question.
    Was he a cheater or not. That was his opportunity to put this all to bed at that point.

    His answer was not an absolutely not. In his own words he said I don’t believe so.”

    Well certainly. If you leave out salient bits of the story. That press conference was about 4 days after the story broke and after Chris Mortensen’s report saying that 11 of the 12 footballs were deflated over 2 psi. The NFL never corrected this (despite Pats counsel imploring the NFL’ Jeff Pash to do so)

    So, here you are as Tom Brady. You know you didn’t do anything wrong, but the NFL is telling the world and the world is telling you that all the balls were actually really really deflated. I mean deflated to the point anyone could tell. So they ask you if you did anything wrong. You “know” something happened because everyone is telling you the balls were deflated. So, how do you respond? “I don’t believe I did.” which is translated to “Well clearly something happened to the ball, but I don’t know what I could have for this to happen.”

    Oh, and he never left anyone else to take the blame. There is no blame. Except if you want to point fingers at the NFL.

  71. enoch1root says:
    Aug 2, 2015 4:05 PM
    ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Aug 2, 2015 2:22 PM

    You are missing the point about Smith being used. It isn’t that his report was right or wrong. It is that the NFL had this information from Brady before the appeal. Goodall then waited 35 days to “decide” on the appeal. The day before he releases his ruling, a leak from the NFL to Smith about Brady destroying his phone. No details around it. No context. Nothing. Then the ruling comes out. Is the talk about the actual ruling? Nope. The talks about how the leak was true and Brady destroyed his phone. The details around that – like Brady being the one who actually told Goodell, why he had done it, that he and Yee had told Wells there was nothing revealing in the messages (something Wells claimed would be satisfactory) and they provided the metadata and a manner to regain the texts if the NFL wanted. All that was drowned out.

    Why was it drowned out? Because the NFL leaked the huge emotional confirmation bias tidbit.

    Why did they do this? Smoke and mirrors. It distracts the tar and feathers crowd from the actual point that they are attempting to suspend him on no tampered footballs and a few texts.

    ————————————————

    No, I’m not missing the point. From the start this has been a simple yes or not question. Was Smith’s report that Brady had destroyed his cellphone true? The answer is yes. Tom Brady himself said so.

    The problem is, the Patriots crowd is trying to change the conversation. The original attack was on the truthfulness of Smith’s report itself, which you all laughed at. But since now you can’t attack the truthfulness, you’ve switched gears. Now you’re trying to discredit his report by saying “oh it doesn’t count because he’s clearly just a pawn here” and then, as so many of your crowd has, launched into further red herrings like rants about “well why didn’t Smith report that there was no deflation yada yada yada!” Everything you’ve listed about Wells, Yee and who told whom what is a turn off the main road. It’s irrelevant.

    There’s your “smoke and mirrors” your distraction. The question isn’t whether Smith was “used” or not, it’s whether his report was true. It was. End of story.

    Unless you’re determined to obfuscate.

  72. Oh my aching head. PSI-gate is almost as laughable as Camera-gate. But we all know its a result of Dominate-gate and blown WAY out of proportion by NFL fans from other cities that do not know all the facts. Suspend the greatest QB of all time 4 games, it won’t help the NFL goal of league parody. Dominate in three! Go Pats!

  73. For you less than intelligent readers, the point is that the NFL used Smith to again set public opinion against Brady. The same way they used Mortenson to set public opinion when they leaked the false information about 11 of 12 balls being 2 psi below normal. Even after their own report was issued, they never refuted or corrected that leak, leavin the average non Patriot fan believing the lie.
    Rather than leak to an ESPN reporter who has reduced credibility, they sucked Smith in. He thought he was getting a scoop, but the league again was being nefarious, again.

  74. the point of this story?? Is it that difficult to understand?

    Smith was used, like Mort was used to spread lies and fan the flames.

    It’s a DEFAMATION story…it does not take a rocket scientist to figure that out. And why not Stephen A Smith, the dude who believes the louder he yells the more convincing he is becomes.

    Come on…time to move on from this fiasco…

  75. And as a bonus for you mental giants, I’m going to leave you with the short version.

    Go back to the day Smith made his report on ESPN. Read the very first PFT post. Read Thornton’s first post on his blog on the WEEI site. They all talked about (laughed about) Smith’s report being not true. The idea of him “being used” was never mentioned. Nobody was talking about that yet.

    It was only AFTER Smith’s report was confirmed that this “tool of the NFL” narrative started. It was only AFTER Smith’s report was verified that anyone started talking about him being “used.”

    Allow that to sink in. Take your time. Use your head. For a change.

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