September 08, 2008
That's a rough estimate. I didn't actually count. But it was a lot.
Tom Brady is evidently out for the year, and that's a sad thing for people who like watching quality football. But the result of the play being undesirable doesn't mean that something unseemly had to happen to cause it.
Bernard Pollard was trying to sack the quarterback. That's his job. He was on the ground, trying to move towards Brady in the pocket, with Patriots running back Sammy Morris still blocking him. Pollard made a desperate lunge at Brady, Morris shoved Pollard towards the ground, and Pollard ended up hitting Brady below the knee. See it all for yourself here.
It happens. I don't know how you'd get "dirty" out of that (I'm looking at you, Randy Moss). What's Pollard supposed to do? Say to himself, "Well, if Sammy Morris is going to shove me towards the ground, I'm just going to stop trying. I could seriously injure someone that way!"?
If Pollard's play was dirty, then it also has to be dirty any time one football player makes contact with another football player below the thigh. Every cut block, every shoestring tackle, any time one shin grazes against another. The human body has some fragile joints, and sometimes, in this glorious game of ours, those joints are exposed to danger. That's the way it goes.
There was no intent to injure. There was only intent to tackle. Tackles sometimes result in injuries, and that's the end of the story. The fact that the story's ending is sad doesn't mean there's anything else to the story.
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