|Hi-Ya! (US Presswire)|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn't the fastest man on the football field. So when he runs, he needs to make sure he protects himself. He did that on Sunday afternoon in New England's 28-13 AFC Championship Game loss to Baltimore, when he went all Ty Cobb on Ravens safety Ed Reed.
Frozen in time, the slide looks a lot worse, and there's a fair point to be made that if a defensive player did this, he'd be eviscerated by the media and heavily fined by the NFL.
My initial thought was that Brady simply wanted to ensure Reed didn't get a hard shot on him (you can see Reed coming in as if he's hunting right before Brady puts up his leg). But the Ravens probably think differently. Bernard Pollard definitely does, calling the slide "bull crap."
"You've got to keep them legs down," Pollard said, via CSN New England. "You've go to keep the legs down. We all know and understand what's going on there. And as a quarterback, when you go to slide, we're taught ... we can't do anything. When you come sliding, and your leg is up in the air trying to kick somebody, that's bull crap."
Here's the kick-slide in slow GIF motion just to remind you what it looks like at "real" speed:
Pollard's definitely got a point. One thing that stands out watching it again in replay form is that Brady, after putting his leg out to protect himself, then appears to make multiple mini kicks upward.
Maybe he's trying to make sure Reed doesn't fall on him. Or maybe he's trying to kick Reed in a vicious manner.
It's certainly not the sort of thing that Reed could do to Tom Brady, I'll tell you that. And maybe the NFL will fine him for it.
Pollard said Brady "knew what he was doing. It has to go both ways. Hopefully the NFL will do something about it. If they don't, that's fine. If they do, then that's fine."
But at this stage, it's largely irrelevant: Brady's headed home (or, if you prefer, to the Pro Bowl) and Reed and Pollard are Super Bowl-bound.