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Bernard Pollard thinks fines are “killing the game”

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Ravens safety Bernard Pollard drew a highly questionable flag for unnecessary roughness against the Jaguars last week, which was followed by a highly questionable $10,000 fine. Now Pollard is speaking out against the way the league office handled his and other penalties.

Oh yeah, it’s most definitely killing the game,” Pollard said on KILT in Houston, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “This is a game where it’s a car crash; this is a game where guys are putting it on the line; this is a game where coaches are trying to out-strategize other coaches across the field, and it takes 11 guys to get it done. So you’ve got 22 guys running around, they’re fit guys, and they’re running around hitting each other with helmets on. There’s no way you’re going to tell me be careful by doing that.”

Pollard also suggested that if officials get calls wrong, they should be fined.

“They need to be fined as well,” Pollard said. “I don’t know how much they’re paid, but it needs to be applied to them.”

And Pollard said what we’ve heard a lot of players say about getting fined: He’s not allowing it to affect the way he plays.

“I was pissed off,” Pollard said of his reaction to the penalty. “But like I told them, I would go out and do it again.”

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50 Responses to “Bernard Pollard thinks fines are “killing the game””
  1. amanistumor says: Nov 3, 2011 2:17 PM

    While I don’t like Bernard, he’s correct that it’s ruining the game.

    Just not ruining his game, he doesn’t make the best decisions on the field and most penalties against him a warranted.

  2. jimmyp70 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:17 PM

    When are we going to get a player to say that players whining about fines, hits, and penalties every day are ruining the game?

  3. jothebeast says: Nov 3, 2011 2:18 PM

    what a beast

  4. jnks10 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:22 PM

    They are ruining the game. I’m tired of watching a football game with more flags then first downs. If they honestly cared about “players safety” they would require them to wear the most protective helmet on the market which they dont. Its a joke. They can only ruin it so much before it will finally start affecting their wallets.

  5. jtbaudendistel says: Nov 3, 2011 2:23 PM

    So Adrian Peterson is allowed to run as fast as he possibly can, lower his head and plow through whoever is in his way while defenders are being fined for making plays on a defenseless receiver. This is a violent sport and all players know what they sign up for. These defenseless receiver penalties are not only hypocritical, they are changing the outcome of games. Terrible.

  6. jmsincla says: Nov 3, 2011 2:27 PM

    Can’t say I disagree. A lot of these ‘player safety’ penalties are infuriating, especially the defenseless player nonsense. If a player is really worried about getting hit, they wouldn’t be playing the game. I have no doubt Goodell will be remembered negatively for his laughable tenure as ‘head boss’.

  7. zoxitic says: Nov 3, 2011 2:29 PM

    Jags fan. Don’t agree with the penalty. Don’t agree with the fine. I agree with Pollard.

  8. meegs34 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:31 PM

    Well, they are.

  9. steelchamps says: Nov 3, 2011 2:31 PM

    It’s part of the new world order total control authoritarian society. Big brother WILL fine you.

  10. njdevil7 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:33 PM

    Actually, the rules are killing the game. The fines are killing your bank account.

  11. pooflingingmonkey says: Nov 3, 2011 2:34 PM

    I can’t really form an opinion on this until Tony Dungy and Warren Moon chime in.

  12. benh999 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:34 PM

    Comments like this would be a lot more credible if the players didn’t fight so desperately to limit contact in practices and off-season team activities in the name of safety.

  13. lacharger2112 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:36 PM

    Pretty soon they will have that in the stats too.
    Career sacks 45, int’s 5, fines $85,000 This is BS.

  14. rayriceisnice says: Nov 3, 2011 2:37 PM

    Bernard’s got it right, that flag was rediculous, and the league just fined him so they wouldn’t have to admit the refs were so wrong. The players agreed to this so it is annoying to hear whining all the time. I mean I hate many things at my job but I have to deal and adapt. Get wit it cobra

  15. jetsarestacked says: Nov 3, 2011 2:39 PM

    Fines are killing DEFENSES. Fixed that for you bernard.

    Yeah, the nfl has a lot of good qbs right now, but it’s ridiculous that a handful of them are on pace to beat marino’s all time passing record. Goodell is killing defense in the nfl by basically neutering them with fines and overprotecting offensive players.

  16. thesportsguy52 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:39 PM

    Although this was an awesome statement and silencer by Manning, I’m intrigued to see what the outcome would be in this situation where someone like Vick or Cutler said this to Simms. It’s almost as if Peyton gets away with whatever. But, hey, how can you hate on 18?

  17. bozosforall says: Nov 3, 2011 2:39 PM

    Pollard has been THE MAN since 2008.

  18. vbe2 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:41 PM

    Bernard who? Never heard of him.

  19. thesportsguy52 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:42 PM

    My bad wrong post..Fail. By the way, Pollard is a manchild and he is absolutely right, and players in purple and black get singled out for it. Go Ravens!

  20. dayumyou says: Nov 3, 2011 2:43 PM

    yea when it was Harrison getting fined it was all FUN and DESERVED…RIGHT….now that the love is being spread around…..not so much FUN….SMDH!!!

  21. stlsteelerfan says: Nov 3, 2011 2:43 PM

    I have to admit, I like the idea of giving fines to officials who screw up. That would make them study the rule book a little more closely instead of just calling stuff on a whim

  22. trbowman says: Nov 3, 2011 2:44 PM

    Killing the game?

    The NFL is as popular as it’s ever been. The NFL is king of sports, make no mistake about it.

    You might not like fines or the rules but, to assert that it’s killing the game is asinine.

  23. steelhammer92 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:45 PM

    When Steelers players complain about this issue, they are labeled dirty and whiners… When other players complain, they are praised.

    Kind of funny how when the Steelers were the first to complain, fans of other teams said they should shut up and learn how to play the game properly… Now that players from all these other teams are complaining, fans are all of a sudden supporting the notion that these penalties have gotten ridiculous.

  24. neer music says: Nov 3, 2011 2:46 PM

    looked like a fantastic play to me.

    i’ve even begun to feel this way even if the penalty benefits my team.

    i’m a vikes fan, and i thought the stiff arm to the face mask call against the panthers last week was absolutely ridiculous.

    i want to watch football, not a ballet.

  25. genericscreenname says: Nov 3, 2011 2:49 PM

    I mentioned this on the article about Urlacher, but the best thing that could happen for the league right now is for more and more of these defensive players to come out and stand up for themselves. They need to fight this.

  26. fofofotey says: Nov 3, 2011 2:49 PM

    It’s pretty hard to argue anything is “ruining” NFL football, as it’s as popular as ever. But it is becoming increasingly clear that Roger Goodell is completely unfit to be the commissioner.

  27. bullcharger says: Nov 3, 2011 2:49 PM

    Bernard Pollard is probably the dirtiest player in the league. He has no leeway anymore and will be fined for almost anything he does. His opinion is worthless.

    If Ray Lewis talks about this stuff I listen, but not this idiot.

  28. woodyg says: Nov 3, 2011 2:58 PM

    There are rules to the game …… When players play outside the rules & it increases the chances that another player will be injuried, something has to happen to quell that possibility …..

    Fans who complain that the NFL has to allow the game to be played as it was meant to be played with less regard for player safety have never played the game …… If you’ve never played the game at a high level, you have no idea how easy it is to get injuried, especially by another player pushing the limits of the rules ……

    NFL players are not ancient gladiators fighting in an arena where the goal is to have only one man standing at the end ……

  29. marvinmillersucks says: Nov 3, 2011 2:58 PM

    Bernard was “pissed off” ? Was his piss hot when that happened?

  30. gopats23 says: Nov 3, 2011 3:00 PM

    Do we really need to be updated every time a defensive guy says fines are ruining the game?

  31. hakk03 says: Nov 3, 2011 3:02 PM

    Please god let Pollard’s idea catch some national fire. I laughed out loud hard when he suggested the refs be fined. I can’t believe no one’s suggested that before. It seems like a joke, and what I’m about to say is probably ridiculous, but I’m pondering whether or not it actually would be a good idea! It would certainly be entertaining, and poor Ed Hochuli would bankrupt after that Chargers game last year.

    A merit based compensation for the zebras seems more than appropriate, to me. The refs could actually compete for the job on base of performance. It could become a bit of a sport of its own. I’m just blowing wind here, but some drastic changes need to be done here.

  32. childressrulz says: Nov 3, 2011 3:07 PM

    benh999 says: Nov 3, 2011 2:34 PM

    Comments like this would be a lot more credible if the players didn’t fight so desperately to limit contact in practices and off-season team activities in the name of safety.
    ______________________
    In all honesty I love seeing huge, steroided freaks kill each other on the field. That is what I am paying to see. However I think this guy makes a very valid point. I think the players limiting the amount of practice contact is hurting the game as well.

  33. m2karateman says: Nov 3, 2011 3:09 PM

    I wonder when Goodell is going to start fining players for complaining about the fines?

    Should be any day now…..

  34. fmwarner says: Nov 3, 2011 3:14 PM

    Bernard Pollard is certainly not the ideal mouthpiece for this opinion, but despite his checkered past, he happens to have a point.

    I’m all for more stringent penalties, especially for head shots. I was in favor of the changes imposed last year after that weekend of big hits. But officials get a lot of these calls wrong. Logic says that defensive players can’t be culpable when the ball carrier lowers his head at the last minute and turns a form tackle into a head shot.

  35. twesty85 says: Nov 3, 2011 3:22 PM

    @ steelhammer92

    A lot of the fines and penalties that the Steelers get are actually warranted that is why you hear people calling them whiners.

    As far as people saying that the argument that these fines are not ruining the game look at the stats this year. How many quarterbacks are on pace to destroy Dan Marino’s record/s? I’d venture to say that if these rules were in place when Marino was playing his record would never be broken. The stats obviously point to the rules ruining the game by favoring the passing game more than the other side of the ball. Receivers and quarterbacks are more protected and in turn are making more plays that without these rules would have never happened.

  36. giablommi says: Nov 3, 2011 3:34 PM

    Not a fan of Pollard at all, but completely agree with him here though. The game of football – the physicality, athleticism and “chess match” aspects – are what make the game great. You can’t just arbitrarily decide to eliminate one aspect of the game without fundamentally changing the very nature of the game itself.

    Sadly, with Goodell at the helm and the draconian changes to the game in the last few years, I think we have crossed the Rubicon and there is no turning back to the way the game was before 2004, when Bill Polian whined to the league about defensive contact. That was the first domino to fall in the elimination of defense from football.

    And that really blows, because while I will still watch every minute of my favorite team’s games from start to finish, I find myself less and less interested in other games and *significantly* less inclined to sit back on Sunday and watch 11 or 12 hours of NFL football uninterrupted.

    Too many games have been completely unwatchable this year and it is a direct result of the league’s actions.

  37. cshearing says: Nov 3, 2011 3:56 PM

    One major point: You can say this is ruining the game, even if it is still very popular. Justin Bieber is amazingly popular too. So is American Idol. Are you trying to say those are quality entertainment?

  38. oriolesvsravens says: Nov 3, 2011 4:10 PM

    Especially when the broadcasters show those hits in slow motion to make them look 100 times worst than in real speed like the Pollard hit against Jacksonville. If the call isn’t made consistantly of the field, Goddell and the league office will issue the fine consistantly.

  39. mhs8031 says: Nov 3, 2011 4:40 PM

    Of course a defensive player would say this. I think it is unfair that most of the fines are paid by defensive players, but if they had some ball skills, they would not have to worry about the fines.

  40. TheDPR says: Nov 3, 2011 5:07 PM

    The rules themselves are mostly pretty good. It is the way they’re enforced that is bad, and the problem is the subjectivity of it.

    An official should ONLY throw a flag when he is 100% CERTAIN that an infraction has occurred. If he THINKS it happened he needs to hold on to the flag – thinking it happened isn’t enough. There has to be certainty.

    Also, other officials should be able to overrule ANY call another official makes. Because even a guy who feels 100% certain can be wrong.

    Also, penalties should be quickly reviewed by the replay official and corrected in real-time, before the next play.

    Let them play. Only call the stuff that you’re sure of.

  41. slickster35 says: Nov 3, 2011 5:34 PM

    Wiff.

    Bernard just missed yet another tackle.

  42. threadmonster15 says: Nov 3, 2011 5:50 PM

    If you dont want your receiver killed, dont send him over the middle. If you dont want your quarterback to get tackled, run the ball. If you dont want a concussion, dont enter your name in the draft. If you dont want to risk your body to get millions by playing a rough sport, play basketball.

    If you dont want to watch crappy football, support a different league.

  43. kenny328usa says: Nov 3, 2011 6:18 PM

    Couldn’t agree with you more Bernard. Goodell is an idiot. And it is ruining the game. Guys are getting flagged and fined for simply playing football the way it was meant to be played. I’m all for fining a blatantly dirty blow to the head but it has gotten ridiculous. And he has the refs so scared they are throwing flags on every single hard hit. Doesn’t matter whether its clean or dirty. If the idiot dictator continues on this path we’re gonna have to eliminate defense all together.

  44. Deb says: Nov 3, 2011 6:28 PM

    mhs8031 says:

    Of course a defensive player would say this. I think it is unfair that most of the fines are paid by defensive players, but if they had some ball skills, they would not have to worry about the fines.
    ————————————————-
    Of course a defensive player would say this because the defensive players are the ones being targeted. This isn’t about “ball skills.” Why don’t you try watching the film. That was a legal hit. And I’m a Steelers diehard, not a Ravens apologist. It’s bad enough that he was flagged, but to be fined on top of it? That’s ridiculous. These defensive players are highly skilled, elite athletes. They don’t need Roger Goodell–or you–telling them how to do their jobs. And if they commit an infraction, that’s what penalty flags are for.

  45. ravensfan4life52 says: Nov 3, 2011 6:33 PM

    I love Pollard and I love everything he said.

  46. bozosforall says: Nov 3, 2011 6:50 PM

    bullcharger says:
    Nov 3, 2011 2:49 PM
    Bernard Pollard is probably the dirtiest player in the league. He has no leeway anymore and will be fined for almost anything he does. His opinion is worthless.

    If Ray Lewis talks about this stuff I listen, but not this idiot.

    __
    Leave it up to a whiny Pats fan to complain about Bernard Pollard.

    And if Pollard is the dirtiest player in the league, then Rodney Harrison was dirt when he played. In fact, Pats fans like you have no leeway anymore regarding complaining about “dirty play” and will be ignored for anything that they say about dirty play. Their (and therefore your) opinion is worthless.

    If any other fan of any other team talks about this stuff I listen, but not if it a Pats fan idiot.

  47. edgarpoe2 says: Nov 3, 2011 6:50 PM

    jtbaudendistel says:
    So Adrian Peterson is allowed to run as fast as he possibly can, lower his head and plow through whoever is in his way while defenders are being fined for making plays on a defenseless receiver. This is a violent sport and all players know what they sign up for. These defenseless receiver penalties are not only hypocritical, they are changing the outcome of games. Terrible.
    ———————
    Maybe they should fine the quarterbacks for putting the receiver in position to get hit defenselessly.

  48. lucky5934 says: Nov 4, 2011 5:01 AM

    It definitely is not killing the game. It is proving to protect some players, and make pansies out of the rest of the league. Before it was just WR’s who act like drama queens, now many of the players are imitating kindergarteners on the football field pointing at who ever was too rough and complaining to the officials. I long for the day when men acted like men and just played hard. Now we have players missing games with injuries or illnesses that players 30-40 years ago would not have missed a practice for. But that is not killing the game. The fans have adjusted and now just complain along with the players. But the popularity of the game is still high for both players and fans.

  49. norcalirish says: Nov 4, 2011 7:30 AM

    The young man speaks the truth.

  50. sojumaster says: Nov 4, 2011 1:12 PM

    I did blog about the hit 2 weeks ago, the announcers were almost screaming about how that was a bad call by the officials. I can not blame the offical 100% in throwing the play, because it was a bang-bang play and it was close. As per roger goodell and carl johnson, if it is close, the refs will call it.

    But to re-look at the play after the game, without the emotions of the game and then FINE the hit? That is pure stupidity. I already see that when The Steelers play the ravens this Sunday, roger is looking to build a new wing at a NFL retirement home with all the fines that will be handed out.

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