December 11, 2011
I never really thought it was true myself (at least, I didn't think it was done intentionally), but it's a little harder to defend that point after this happened:
The worst thing about it? The explanation given for the flag was that London Fletcher hit Tom Brady in the head with his forearm, which is no truer than saying that London Fletcher packed a picnic basket and shared a ham sandwich with Tom Brady on this crisp December day.
It just didn't happen, which makes this whole thing seem liked the official called a penalty, realized he was wrong, didn't want to admit it, and then made something up in an attempt to justify it.
By the way, the official on the play? Shutdown Corner's favorite, Jeff Triplette.
I think Triplette might've even had a flimsy case he could've made if he had said, "The quarterback is, by rule, down when he starts his slide, so the hit was late." I still wouldn't agree with it, but it would've been better than his weird forearm-to-the-head fantasy.
When you watch the slo-mo, you can see that Fletcher lowers his head and starts his tackling motion before Brady starts his slide. He makes contact with Brady before any part of the quarterback hits the ground. The hit wasn't high, it wasn't low, and it wasn't late.
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