|09-07-2008, 10:57 AM||#1|
Draft Defense Early&Often
Join Date: Oct 2004
Tatum Bell: "I'm not a thief"
Tatum Bell: 'I just want to rebuild my trust with the league'
SoCals Link: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a.../1049/SPORTS01
Ex-Lion running back Tatum Bell, who claims other NFL teams aren't talking to him because of the recent incident with Rudi Johnson's allegedly stolen bags, gave his side of the story on the Dan Patrick show Friday morning. Below is a transcript.
Tatum Bell: I never deny saying that I didnít take the bags. it was not my intent to take the bags of Rudi Johnsons. I was doing a friend a favor I never meant to bring harm to the Lions organization or to Rudi.
Dan Patrick: You just got cut and that was on Monday that you found out you had been cut?
TB: Yeah, after practice.
DP: What was your reaction when you had been cut?
TB: I was shocked. I was shocked when I talked to Matt and came down. I was just shocked and thatís just what it was.
DP: Youíre cleaning out your locker; just tell me how it played out.
TB: I was cleaning out my locker and I had remembered my friend Vic had told me who I had gone to high school and college with me, told me to grab his backpack.
DP: He got cut too?
TB: Yes he had been released too. Iíve been telling everyone he didnít specifically say a backpack he didnít describe it there was a backpack sitting right there with another bag it so happened to be Gucci. Everybody has Gucci backpack and Louis Vouitton backpacks so I grabbed the backpack took it to my car and put it in the trunk. I wasnít in no hurry I know they have cameras I wasnít trying to be sneaky about it and that was it. I took it I was doing what I was asked to do which I didnít really have to do, but I was doing a friend a favor. Like I said, I have too much respect for myself for my family, for my career, for the Lions organization and even for Rudi,, for something like this to go down and thatís why I came on to clear it up and get my side of the story.
DP: At what point did you realize you didnít have Victor DeGrateís bags, you had Rudi Johnsons bags?
TB: I didnít know till the next day when the Lions called me and said Tatum we got you on camera taking blah, blah, blah. What do you mean? I didnít take nobodyís bags and this and that I was taking Vicís bags well those are Rudiís bags. I was like oh, ok let me try to do what I can to get the bags back.
DP: Rudi said that heís not pressing charges, even though his ID, credit cards, $200 cash, even his underwear were taken out of the bag. What do you think happened there?
TB: Thereís a lot of unanswered questions to the whole story and were trying to get those answers right now. All I did was deliver the bag.
DP: How would you feel if you were Rudi?
TB: I would be feeling the same. I would be upset. I wouldnít want to be talking to Rudi or talking to myself if it was vice versa, so I feel the same way. I never had any baggage; I never had any trouble, even check my background thatís what I tell everyone. Iím not that guy. Iíve been telling reporters ask guys in locker room that they know me everybody that can vouch for me knows Tatum Bell is no thief, heís a good character and I just want the opportunity to rebuild my trust and my integrity with the League just to show them that Iím not a thief or whatever.
DP: Are you worried about getting another job?
TB: Yes, Iím worried. Like I said I just want to rebuild my trust with the League all over and I really want to sit down with Rudi so we can put this behind us, to tell him what happened. It was an honest mistake.
DP: We called Rudi, we tired to get Rudi to come on so you could talk to him and he chose not to and I donít know if somewhere down the road, have you reached out to talk to him? Have you talked to him?
TB: We tried to reach out to him. I talked to him briefly when the Lions had me on the phone and there wasnít anything really getting accomplished. He was pretty upset but Iíve tried to reach out since then and havenít been able to get in contact with him.
DP: I want you to be in my position. Iím looking at this, here you just got cut, youíre angry the guy replacing you is in town with his bags there. Is it that much of a stretch for me to say youíre that angry, you know what screw this, Iím angry at the Lions and Rudi Johnsonís not the running back I am? This is sort of how this is portrayed here.
TB: I wasnít angry at the Lions. I wasnít angry at Rudi. I was upset that I got released. It wasnít just directly toward anybody, like I said; it was just a misunderstanding, honest mistake. I didnít take the bags intentionally.
DP: Have you been contacted by another teams?
TB: No, I havenít.
DP: Do you think because of this?
TB: I really do believe so.
DP: Have you seen the surveillance tape of you picking up these bags?
TB: No, I havenít.
DP: Do you want to see those?
TB: I mean, I can tell you exactly how I was acting. I wasnít sneaking off, I wasnít in no big hurry, I wasnít looking over my shoulder if you want to say it like that. I just popped the trunk and put the bags in my trunk and went on about my day, and just drove off. I didnít speed off I know the facility has cameras thereís probably cameras all in the locker room. I never denied that, like I said, I never opened the bags I didnít know what was in the bag but I did try to reach out to sit down with Rudi and try to end this, so I could find another job and itís not looking good right now.
DP: If you just pick up the bags thatís one thing, but if thereís stuff missing from the bags thatís the hard part here. If Iím running a team did you take these things? If you just picked up the bags and took them accidentally then I think teams, until you find out who took this stuff, I think thatís going to hang out there and thatís where you have to do some investigation. Whereís the id and the money and somebody took his underwear.
TB: I donít need the bag, I donít need his underwear, I donít need the credit cards and everything thatís missing. Thatís the whole thing were trying to get answers there nobody answering the phone calls. Itís a process, so hopefully I can get some answers pretty soon.
DP: If Rudi was listening right now what would you say to him?
TB: I want to sit down and talk to you face to face, explain my side of the story and go from there.
DP: You donít have Perry Ellis underwear on right now do you?
TB: No I donít.
DP: No truth to the rumor that the Texans have talked to you or youíve contacted them?
TB: Theyíve contacted my agent but after all this has went down the Texans backed out. As of right now thereís no teams interested in Tatum Bell.
DP: I still think until you find out and somebody comes forward to admit that they have the money, the ID, his underwear, they got into this bag, I think its going to be guilt by association whether you like it or not.
TB: I just want the opportunity to build my trust with the League.
DP: Are you able to go to the Lions camp if you want to just wait in the parking lot for Rudi? You better be aggressive with this Tatum because if notÖ
TB: Weíve tried several different circumstances to get with Rudi. Weíre still working on them. I donít think that would be a good thing to sit in the parking lot there and wait for him in the parking lot. Personally I donít think that s real good option. If it comes down to it I would do it.
|09-07-2008, 12:38 PM||#4|
Famer of Rings
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Lake Forest, Orange County, Calif.
I think once you are released, you have no right to use your name in 3rd person. Broncocalijohn needs to tell you that he is guilty.
|09-07-2008, 12:44 PM||#6|
...there ain't no devil
Join Date: Aug 2005
|09-07-2008, 01:11 PM||#7|
Join Date: Aug 2005
He thought they were Victor's bags yet the $200.00 was missing, the underwear (I'm sure they were tiger striped bikinis) was missing, the credit cards were missing, the bags had been rifled through, oh but I thought they were Victor's... So how do you explain that Tatum? Oh, there are some unanswered questions there... pathetic.