Given that the serotonin is still pumping from the refreshingly glorious Eagles victory (and I don’t want to hear anything from you naysayers about parallels to last year’s 56-21 beatdown of the Lions, at least not until Wednesday), I’m reluctant to address the topic of Tom Brady. Why focus on badness when there is so much goodness in the air?
Still, despite the fact that it’s not Eagles-related, my role as the Internet’s Leading Authority on Quarterback-Crippling Tackles, a.k.a. KillShots(tm) means that I will need to weigh in on the Brady hit. Didn’t want to do it, felt I owed to him.
(For a brief history of the KillShot(tm) comma according to me, click here here here and here. Also, it’s worth noting that I died a little bit when I heard Roy Williams use the phrase when complaining about rules preventing him from viciously hitting other players in camp on an episode of Hard Knocks. Dude, Roy, that’s my thing. Also, you’re a jerk and we’re sending protestors to your house if your get your mitts on Dunavin’s collar next Monday.)
Whilst some members of the Pats are demanding justice this afternoon, I’d like to offer an official (!) ruling. First off, I don’t think Bernard Pollard meant to hit Brady in the knee, much less end Tom Terrific’s (isn’t he dreamy!) season. I think Pollard was trying to make a play with a blocker on his back and he ended up blowing up the NFL MVP’s season.
HOWEVER, the absence of intent does not excuse the act. The other football has a really appropriate phrase for a play like that: it’s called a clumsy challenge. They give you cards for it. You can’t go in with your studs up, with two feet, from behind, etc. That’s how dudes get hurt.
Similarly, Bernard Pollard may or may not have meant to hurt Tom Brady (I can’t imagine he did; if this was a playoff game…different story). Intent aside, he still tackled him in a very reckless manner, one that is highly likely to result in an injury. He has to know better than that. Even in the midst of the violence, he can’t be driving his shoulder beneath the knee when a guy has his foot planted. If there’s a rule and fines for hitting the quarterback in the head, they should also protect them below the knee. And Bernard Pollard needs to avoid making that hit.
So, I don’t know if it was dirty, but it was clumsy and it was unskilled. And it killed a quarterback’s season. Bernard Pollard, welcome to the ranks of the KillShot(tm) Ring of Honor!