Did anyone watch ESPN’s NFL Prime Time this week?
After recapping the Monday night games, the Chiefs-Patriots game was the next feature.
It was almost as if the Patriots didn’t play anyone. They did not show a single Chiefs’ highlight. They did not mention the Chiefs driving to the Patriots’ 5-yard line with 53 seconds to go. They didn’t mention our starting QB, Brodie Croyle, was sent to the bench with a shoulder injury.
The only time they mentioned a Chiefs player at all was when they said something like, “Bernard Pollard ended Tom Brady’s season.” Sheesh! With that tone and phrasing, I’m surprised they didn’t give out his phone number, address, and where he was likely to be found by himself (to make it easier to give him a beating)!
That presumption of guilt continued:
They quoted Randy Moss’ accusations that it was a dirty hit and the sportscaster went on to say, “Even the Patriots coach hinted he thought it was a dirty hit.” The subsequent interview clip, however, would not have seemed like an accusation without that lead-in.
Why didn’t they also include the quote from Bruschi, who says he doesn’t consider it a dirty hit?
“(As a defensive player) I fight and fight and fight. To make pressure, to alter a throw, and in my mind that was what he was doing,” Bruschi said. “Did he intentionally want to hurt Tom there? I don’t think so.”
Peter King, one of the biggest Patriot and Tom Brady fans in the sports journalist world, agrees:
Lynch, watching from home in Denver, didn’t think it was dirty. Important man to ask; he’s spent his career in football blitzing and trying to get at quarterbacks the way Pollard did Sunday. And he got fairly close to Brady on a recent short trial with the Patriots.
“There’s no way that was a dirty play,” Lynch said. “It’s easy to look at a play in slow-motion and say, ‘Oh, he should have been able to stop.’ Totally unrealistic. Things are moving so fast out there. Pollard was going for Tom, and it looked like he was somewhat blocked into him.”
Somewhat blocked into him. Good way to put it, if you saw it. As Lynch says, it’s impossible to even imply that Pollard’s intent was to crash into the side of Brady’s knee.
They ended up showing the hit 3 times, from slightly different angles. But they cut the clip short so you don’t see Patriots’ RB Sammy Morris jumping on Pollard’s back and pushing him down when he tries to get up to sack Brady.
An honest sportscast would have made it clear that Sammy Morris did as much to cause that injury as Bernard Pollard.
I know it’s sports, and it doesn’t matter as much as war, the economy, or even politics; but I still think it was unprofessional and a violation of sportscasting ethics to imply Pollard or the Chiefs played dirty, and to completely ignore the Chiefs’ gritty performance in pushing the game to the limit without our starting QB.