Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (22) carries the ball in the second quarter of the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady Should Get a Fine. Bernard Pollard Should be Glorified.

What a joke! First the NFL fined New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski $15,750 for unnecessary roughness with a horse collar tackle during their 41-28 win over the Houston Texans. Now, the NFL is reviewing whether quarterback Tom Brady should be fined for extending his leg in the direction of Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed as Brady slid in the ground at the end of his run attempting a first down.

Ravens safety Ed Reed told CBS Baltimore in a radio interview that Brady had texted him. Reed try to text back to Brady, but ended up calling him and Brady apologized. Reed told Brady “it’s good.” The puzzle the NFL is trying to figure out is whether Brady was automatically protecting himself, or did he had any intention to spike Reed.

More absurdity is yet to come as Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard publicly complained that Tom Brady should to be fined by the NFL. Reports reveal Pollard’s exact word as “If you want to keep this going in the right direction, everyone should be penalized for their actions.”



Really? If that’s the case let’s started with Bernard Pollard, “The Bonecrusher”, as he was nicknamed while at Purdue University for his hard hits and tackles. In the 2012 season alone, Pollard was fined more than $100,000 for illegal hits. During the 2012 regular season he recorded a total of 98 tackles, 71 solo and 27 assisted. As for the postseason, he has recorded a total of 15, 9 solo and 6 assisted tackles.

The $100,000 fine mark is unparallel and insignificant as to the amount of hits he recorded. Many of those hits are very likely to be illegal hits that are not being accounted for; either because the officials did not see, or just sweep under the carpet.  Such an example can be noted in the first week of the playoffs in Baltimore Ravens 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Pollard collided with Reggie Wayne for a helmet-to-helmet hit. On that play, Wayne was ruled to be a defenseless receiver by the officials. It’s was not a surprise Pollard was not thrilled about the call on the field. A couple of plays after his flag, Pollard also received a taunting penalty, but no fine.

Here he is again, ‘the bonecrusher” terrorizing another New England Patriots, running back, Stevan Ridley, on the Patriots 13-28 loss in the AFC Championship.

Crashing Tom Brady’s planted left leg and resulting in a torn anterior cruciate ligament, in the first game of the 2008 season as a Kansas City safety, for Pollard that is just the beginning.

In January 2010, this time with the Texans Houston, Pollard had to satisfy his bonecrushing craving by injuring another Patriots player. This time his victim was Wes Welker. Pollard closed in on Wes Welker and while Welker tried to cut away from the safety, he tore his ACL.

But wait! Pollard is not done yet. In order to diminish the New England Patriots’ chance to win the game in 2011 AFC Championship, Polllard chose tight end, Rob Gronkowski, as his victim of the evening. Gronk sustained a high ankle sprain as the safety dove, dragged down and placed all his 224 lbs weigh on his ankle.

I have seen nasty hits in the NFL, but the helmet-to-helmet hit Pollard delivered on Ridley was, by no means, acceptable or within any safety standard. With 12:53 remaining in the fourth quarter, Ridley was smacked by Pollard at the end of a 5-yard run. The hit was so intense that Ridley immediately lost consciousness as it was so visible seeing his defenseless body laying on the ground. From a medical point, looking at the way the hit occurred; at the time of contact Ridley’s skull stopped moving forward sending his still-moving brain toward the left side of this skull. When he rebounded upward and spun to his right, his brain rotated counterclockwise which means that his brain moved in several different directions causing him to lose consciousness.

But hey! No penalty in there. Pollard did not have any vicious intention in inflicting a concussion on Ridley. All that matters is that the ball came out loose and a fumble was recovered for the Ravens celebration.

The officials agree with the clean hit and the NFL sends the Baltimore Ravens and Pollard its blessings.


You Should Follow Celia Westbrook on Twitter @celiawestbrook

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Tags: AFC Championship Baltimore Ravens Bernard Pollard New England Patriots Stevan Ridley Tom Brady

  • John Pugh

    Hey Celia- Stop your bloviating and get it right (watch the film)…Ridley ducked his head into Pollard on that play! Pollard would have hit him in the chest or more likely at gut level if not for that….a perfectly legal and perfectly executed tackle.

  • Timothy53

    Watch the video. Pollard was coming in low, Ridley lowered his head to make the contact. You know those head butts they do in movies? Yeah, that’s why you don’t actually do those.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.aro.1 Scott Aro

    OMG – what a puff piece. As you so eloquently stated, Pollard has been fined for on-field actions. And now, its time for the great Tammy Lady to be subject to the same rules. If you don’t think his kick was intentional, you should turn in your man-card and never ever comment on sports again because you have lost all credibility as a journalist. May as well go work for the drones at MSNBC if you aren’t capable of an original thought. BTW – why would Brady apoligize is his actions weren’t intentional. He knows he did it and it’s time to pay the piper. I’m sure his wife’s paycheck can cover the fines if he can’t.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      “Lost all credibility”. I think you are going a little bit too far over there. I disagree with her here, but you really need to tone it down a notch or two. I get that you think she’s wrong, and I agree with you in that. But there are better ways to express your thoughts than trying to slam someone in a comment thread.

    • http://www.facebook.com/raymond.n.scott Raymond Scott

      Some people actually apologize for things because they might have high degree of conscientiousness. It’s not necessarily guilt. I am a person tends to feel bad about stuff easily, and so I actually tend to give unnecessary apologies.

      Things are never black and white………imho
      I believe in relativity of all things.

  • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

    Celia, Pollard’s hit on Ridley was just a combination of a great football play from Pollard and, as the commenters below stated, partially on Ridley for lowering his head. It was a clean play, especially since some of it was self-inflicted on Ridley’s part. I feel awful for Ridley and it was a scary injury watching him motionless on the ground, but it’s not on Pollard.

    As for Brady, it was probably intentional but he got caught up in the heat of the emotion of the game as we all do. Ed Reed forgave him, and I’ll bet Brady takes his fine and nobody complains about it. That’s the best way it should move forward. He screwed up by doing that, and he owned up to it. Reed also took it with class, and that’s the way it should be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/priceperhead1 Jake Richards

    Rules are not made ​​to be broken and less on the field .. If fouled …. is definitive …. should be punished .. Rules are made to all without exception.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.j.dugan John Joseph Dugan

    Tom……….excuse me, I mean Celia…..You are so typical of the squishy N E fans I know. When and where we played ball, “bonecrusher” is a handle we wear with pride. Come on, this is football, for God’s sake.