Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. I am not one of those fans from New England who was born in Texas and has a different team from every region of North America. Brady is an outstanding quarterback (who has bad games… or terrible games….or embarassing games…). The thing with Brady is that ever since his knee injury, any finger that touched the guy this past year was a roughing the passer penalty. Nudge him after the play? Personal Foul. Go flying past his knees, without touching them? Personal Foul.
I won’t act for a minute like this is only the case for Brady, however, I feel it is more of a case for him because he is the Golden Boy of the NFL and they want to do everything to protect him, just like they would Peyton Manning. They are the faces of the NFL. Every defensive player has this .2 second thought process that runs through their brain JUST before they are about to hit the QB. It starts with, “How the heck can I take this guy down without getting a flag?” The rules are fairly simple… Can’t lead with your feet… Can’t Lead with your Head…. Can’t lead with your shoulder… Cant touch his helmet… Cant go below the waist.. That about sums it up. How in the world, as a defensive player, are you supposed to take down this QB? My suggestion: Grab a pillow and a blanket, lay him down gently, and tuck him in.
It is rediculous and has gotten to the point where no one even knows what the true deffinition of a “Roughing the passer” call is. Well, bring that over into the NBA and we no longer know what a clean hard foul is. As was noted in Brandons “The Call That Changed the Celtics-Hawks Game“, last night Glen Davis had a flagrant foul on Marvin Williams. Brandon stated that, “It was very clear that Davis was going for the ball and had no intention of causing harm to Williams.” Precisely. There was no question here. If you watch this foul from every angle, there is nothing flagrant about it. Davis’ clear motive was to not let Williams get the easy basket, and to put him to the line instead.
But wait, this reminds me. This is very similar to that defensive end trying to tackle the QB. In what happens in the blink of an eye, Big Baby has been programmed to foul with a force that will not allow a basket to be made. (Just as a little aside- Glen Davis weights 295 and Marvin Williams weighs 240) Now someone, a coach, ANYONE.. Please pull Glen Davis aside next time at practice and tell him that he has got to atleast let Williams get the ball up near the rim. And for the love of God, do not help him to the ground, what are you trying to do anyways? Keep him safe?
Aye yi yi. Since the beginning of the playoffs last year, these flagrant fouls have been coming left and right. I understand these are million dollar athletes, but there is a key word there- ATHLETES. This is a SPORT. I understand there is no room for dirty plays and I am by no means condoning dirty plays. However, what Glen Davis did, and what some other players have done over the past year are not I repeat not, dirty plays. The play last night in the game against the Hawks was a basketball play. Those plays happen in basketball to stop the other team from scoring an easy basket and instead making them work to get it at the line. It sounds so fundamental yet for some reason it is such a mystery.
Tom Brady (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Glen Davis (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)