Ian Rapoport Discusses NFL GOAT, Tom Brady, Life as a Reporter, More in B/R AMA

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2020

The 100th anniversary logo is shown above the NFL shield before an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is one of the NFL's foremost insiders, often dropping the biggest news surrounding the league. 

On Friday, he joined B/R for an AMA with fans regarding both his job and a wide range of football-related queries including the greatest of all time and the most underrated player today.

The following is the full transcript from the AMA session.   


@murph_dawg: Who is the NFL GOAT?

Tom Brady. To me, that's easy. He's made it easy. He's a really nice guy and treats people the right way. That helps, but it doesn't necessarily matter. He is the greatest of all time.


@Steve_Perrault: What's the juiciest Tom Brady news you've ever reported on? Also could just be Patriots/Belichick related 

There's definitely been some drama, especially in 2010 when all these players showed up late and got sent home. I would say the juiciest was being on the inside of Randy Moss' falling out with New England. He called me one day and spilled his guts. When he eventually got traded, I was right in the mix of that. Probably the Randy Moss saga would be the juiciest.

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@dad: Do you have a scoop for us?

I would say training camp is starting on time. Not much of a scoop since I just tweeted it.


@wike_mazowski: If news breaks during the AMA are you going to dip?

I will not dip, but I will multi-task like I'm doing right now. If I couldn't text, be on the radio at the same time, I'd have to find a different job.


@d_app11: What is the craziest rumor you ever heard?

I hear about fake trades and crazy things all the time. Gronk forcing his way out of NE and playing for the Bucs, which turned out to be true, was probably the craziest thing I ever heard even though it was true and I ended up breaking it. That I was like...hang on, let me make sure this is so, so real...there's many sides, right? Gronk, the Bucs, the Patriots. In the span of 6 minutes, I heard from sources from all sides.


@callum: Who is the most underrated player in the league and why is it Cam Jordan?

Stefon Diggs. He loves to talk a big game, but despite all the other stuff, he's a nightmare and an awesome player.


@Coco9: What is the hardest thing about your job?

Trying to do regular things, like have in-person conversations while my phone is buzzing and not look down a hundred times.


@aidenfuller: How demanding is the job of an insider?

It is incredibly demanding, but I don't know another way of life, how else it would be. People always ask if I can unplug or take a vacation, but I can't remember what it'd be like to put down my phone and not pick it up. I remember one time I was on a chairlift, got a phone call and broke a story from a chairlift. At some point maybe I won't do this...but it doesn't seem like real life.


@thatguy827: What do you think is the biggest key to reporting?

Telling people something they don't know. Of all the things, discussions, goals I have...literally telling people something they don't know is the one that drives me. The other thing is, everyone is gonna find out what you report, so life is easier if you tell them first. Be upfront, be honest. Tell everyone everything up front.


@Coco9: What is one awesome experience that you've had from being a NFL reporter?

The coolest thing I have is, walking on the field for the Super Bowl. I got my topics ready, all locked and loaded, and checking out the field and taking stock of it is pretty awesome. I would say the same for the Draft. Sitting there, the clock's about to start, the crowd is there hopefully...just kind of soaking in the moment. That's my favorite thing.


@Donk25: How did you get into reporting?

I didn't know I wanted to do this until I got hired. I was a newspaper reporter, knew I wanted to do that in college. Had my face in the newspaper, was on camera so that was cool. I always liked reporting more than I like sports, which I think is really important to do this job...as far as TV, I didn't even think about doing that until NFL Network called me...it took me a year, but eventually I figured it out.


@BayLegend: What's the biggest piece of news you have ever broken?

For me, Lovie Smith getting fired. It wasn't the biggest news in the whole world, but at the time it was when I had just started becoming the NFL Network Insider, and it was the first time I was like, okay I can do this. We hadn't broken a coach firing in a long time.


@therealGM: How many cell phones do you have?

I only have one cell phone. I don't believe in multi-cell phone situations. I text on my computer. And I have AirPods, so I can do many things at once.


@thespidamvp: Do you check DMs?

Twitter DMs are not open, that would be too much of a mess. IG DMs are categorized, so I always check but I don't always respond. Because what happens when I respond is I create bad expectations.


@rock_man: How do you keep up with every team's news?

I keep my phone under my pillow with the ringer on, so I don't sleep a lot. For better or worse, my brain is always going, so I keep up by just thinking about it all the time and reading all the time.


@Eplow: If you could sit down for a dinner with one GM in the league who would it be?

I feel like I've had drinks with a lot of them. The one person that I've not spent a lot of time with that I'd like to is Ozzie Newsome, because he has so many varying stories on so many different things.


@MacAttack1024: Have you ever regretted saying anything on live television?

Since I covered Mississippi State, I've always been very careful. I've never accidentally cursed on TV, though I have on the radio one time. Mostly, the only thing I've done is said complicated things the wrong way, but I'm getting better at that.


@DatTurtle: Who's another reporter you look up to?

A lot of my colleagues I really respect...they force me to work harder. The guy I grew up wanting to be like was Gary Smith from Sports Illustrated. He'd tell stories so richly and deeply that he'd help the subjects learn more about themselves from his writing.


@roxanne1: What would you do if you weren't doing reporting?

Either a lawyer, hopefully a trial lawyer, or college history teacher.


@Horns_Down: If you and Adam Schefter were to run a series of 1 on 1s (WR/RB route-running) who would win?

I do my exercise on the Peloton, so I don't know about sprints...I was a HS wrestler. If we wrestled, I think I'd have a good job. Now if we're talking Jay Glazer, maybe a marathon I'd have a good chance.


@SportFanBeast: What's your favorite holiday?

I love Thanksgiving. Holidays are weird because I end up working all of them. Like when Tony Romo broke his collarbone, I literally got up from the table and went to work. I love Thanksgiving food so much, and I love football and you get to focus on three football games in one day, which I never get to do.


@SportFanBeast: What's your favorite movie?

Major League is up there. Major League or The Program.


@NBL21_bombasquad: Who's the biggest name you have the phone number of?

I have Bill Belichick's phone number, does that count? I also have Paul Rudd.


@Jasper_Pail: What's your favorite moment in sports history?

When the ball went through Bill Buckner's legs.


@Crazy_Dingus: How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?

Very anti. I think it's absurd. I don't even understand...you don't put other weird fruit on pizza. I'm not for that at all.


How far do you think the moon is from Earth?

Oh f--k. 100 million miles?