Friday, March 27, 2009

One Mississippi, Two Mississippi...

Don't get me wrong, I like Tom Brady. I was a fan of his during his college days at Michigan, and I am still a fan of his as the quarterback of the New England Patriots. He is arguably one of the greatest playoff quarterbacks of all time.

One thing that I am not a fan of, is how his injury in Week 1 of this past NFL season has affected the upcoming season.

For those that don't know, the NFL instituted 11 rule changes for this upcoming season. I agree with most of them, question a couple of them, and totally disagree with the one put into place because of Tom Brady.

The new rule states that a defensive player on the ground may no longer lunge or dive at the quarterback's lower legs.

Last season, Bernard Pollard of the KC Chiefs was rushing the quarterback, just like he does on each play. On this particular play, he was taken to the ground before the play was over. With the Patriots Tom Brady directly in front of him, Pollard lunged at Brady to try and make the sack. Pollard got to Brady just after the pass was thrown.

Unfortunately, Brady tore his left ACL on the play which sidelined him for the rest of the season.

Last season, the hit by Pollard on Brady was perfectly legal. This season, it will be illegal.

I've just got to wonder, if it was anybody else but Tom Brady, would this rule have been put in place? Would the NFL have made such a rule change if it were Sage Rosenfels who got hurt? How about Alex Smith? Would Daunte Culpepper have gotten the same treatment?

I don't think so.

Tom Brady is one of the league's most recognizable and marketable stars who plays the most popular position on the football field. He is also married to one of the most popular supermodels of all time in Gisele Bundchen. I'm sure that he generates a lot of money just by being on the football field, and last year he wasn't able to because of a "freak" incident.

This rule has been dubbed the "Brady Rule", but it may as well be called the "Cindy Brady Rule".

What's next, two hand touch below the waist? Or should the NFL make the defense count to "5 Mississippi" before they are allowed to rush?

I understand that the NFL wants to take care of their players. I am glad that they are very invested in their safety, but the injury to Tom Brady was a freak injury. It wasn't a dirty hit, it wasn't intentional. It was an unfortunate injury. That's all.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell needs to realize that this is the NFL. Players will get hurt. If they don't want to get hurt, then they shouldn't play. If he doesn't want to see Tom Brady get hurt again, then tell him to become a kicker. That should minimize his risk of injury.

Let them play Mr. Goodell, just let them play.

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