John Harbaugh: Pollard’s hit on Ridley was “football at its finest”

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When Ravens safety Bernard Pollard drilled Patriots running back Stevan Ridley with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Sunday, it was a frightening moment: Ridley exhibited what’s known as the fencing response to brain trauma, extending his arms as he fell, and he appeared to be unconscious on the ground.

But for the Ravens, it was also an exhilarating moment: Helmet-to-helmet hits on ball carriers are legal, and it was a clean hit that forced a game-changing fumble. So Ravens coach John Harbaugh is praising Pollard for the hit.

That was the turning point of the game,” Harbaugh said, via The Sports Network. “That was the turning point of the football game there on the 40-yard-line. It was just a tremendous hit. It was football at its finest. It was Bernard Pollard making a great physical tackle — just as good a tackle as you’re ever going to see in football right there. That just probably turned the game around right there.”

Harbaugh has every right to celebrate: There’s no rule against that kind of hit, and that hit did, indeed, alter the game. Pollard did his job well on that play.

Still, it’s unsettling to see a player’s brain get damaged in front of our eyes like that, and some of the celebratory responses to the hit crossed the line. Particularly inappropriate was the way the hit was joked about on NFL Network’s NFL AM this morning: Off camera, someone in the studio (it wasn’t clear who) sang a lullaby during a highlight of Ridley lying on the ground, as if there’s something funny about seeing a player unconscious, looking like he’s sleeping on the field.

Pollard’s hit was the kind of tough, physical football that every coach wants his safeties to play. But Ridley’s injury was also a stark example of how a man’s brain can be damaged on a football field.

122 responses to “John Harbaugh: Pollard’s hit on Ridley was “football at its finest”

  1. If Ryan Clarke had done that to one of his guys he’d be whining about it like he always does. Maybe we’ll get lucky and a large asteroid will crash into the Superdome on SB Sunday so neither of these professional whiner/excuse maker Harbaugh brothers can win.

  2. Pollard was already low and ready to hit Ridley in the gut. Ridley is the one who droped his head to cause the helmet to helmet. If you watch the replay Ridley headbutted the top of Pollards helmet. Hard to feel bad when he did it to himself.

  3. Pats fan here. Good hit. Pollard is the boogeyman around here but really none of his hits that resulted in Patriot injuries were “dirty”. Just football and unfortunate outcomes.

  4. I wish people would mention that Ridley lowered his head into Pollard. The hit was not only legal, but the dangerous part was initiated by the running back.

  5. The leagues blatant hypocritical stance on traumatic head injuries truly speaks to De Smith’s ineptitude. Had he really wanted to represent the players he would have sought to protect their brains as well as their pockets. Also while the NFL is a juggernaut and likely to stay that way for quite some time. Americans have little tolerance for barbaric incidents like that, coupled with the Chiefs shooting, junior Seau, and continued helmet to helmet hits makes for what will eventually be the nfl’s demise.

  6. Still waiting for an explanation as to why there was no flag when Ed Reed called for a fair catch…

    and then a Patriot player proceeded to deliver a helmet to helmet hit to Reed once he caught the ball.

    If anything was dirty in this game(besides the Brady slide kick)… it was THAT.

    It wasn’t Pollard’s hit. It wasn’t even the Pollard hit that DID get flagged. It wasn’t the hit that New England Linebacker put on Dennis Pitta.

    It was a helmet-to-helmet hit on a guy during a FAIR CATCH. How does that not get flagged?

  7. Was it okay to laugh at him when he was going back to the locker room and he walked into the wall? I laughed anyway.

  8. It was Ridley’s fault. When he saw the defender coming he initiated helmet to helmet contact, there’s nothing a defender could do when you dip your head like that, especially at that speed.

  9. You mean Ridley’s text book lowering his head and knocking himself out, that hit? That was football at it’s finest and another reason why the NFL will always be a brutal sport. Ridley saw Pollard coming and tried to use his head as a battering ram. Brutal

  10. That hit ranks up there with last year’s hit Pierre Thomas took when he went helmet-to-helmet in the divisional playoff game against the 49ers that they won.

  11. Dashon Goldson hits like that. So does Whitner. There will be some bad boys on the field in 2 weeks, along with plenty of offense. This Super Bowl will go down as great one…I can promise you that.

  12. His total lack of concern for the injured player is why I hate him and the dirty ravens. We’re it one of theirs hit like that by Harrison the raven rallying cry( boohoo boohoo) would be heard in earth orbit…legal maybe but cry when it happens to you as the steelers have done.Hines Ward ring a bell..

  13. When I saw the play in real time, I thought Ridley initiated the head to head contact. On replay, it may have not been as clear, but Ridley did seem to drop his helmet as much or more than the Pollard used his.

  14. Brutal hit, but clean. I’m sure Ridley’s seen the replays and I’m sure Ridley would agree that it was a clean hit.

    Huge play, definitely turned the tide – Pollard 4, Pats 0

  15. Just hope to see a hit of such magnitude put on Flacco or Rice. Won’t be singing the praises of a legal hit then.

  16. Here’s what the NE media had to say….Matt Pepin, Boston.com

    “The Baltimore Ravens saw the trepidation, the uncertainty, the confusion. And what they sensed most from the Patriots in the darkness at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night was something we have not witnessed for a very long time.

    Fear.

    And so it ends this time the way it has ended many times before in recent years, with the Patriots succumbing to a tougher, more physical team in the late stages of the NFL postseason. …
    No excuses this Monday, Patriots fans. No talk of Rob Gronkowski’s arm, of Aqib Talib’s hamstring, of Chandler Jones’ ankle. Baltimore has had more than its share of issues this year. The Ravens still came into Foxborough on Sunday, shook the Patriots’ hands at the coin toss, then punched New England squarely in the face. And the Patriots just took it.”

  17. Thought the hit was legal (actually thought Ridley initiated contact), but surprising to see Harbaugh celebrate it like this given the outcome was a player getting hurt..

  18. And fifteen years from now when Pollard is contemplating suicide as a result of the brain injuries from repeated head trauma, what will Harbaugh be thinking then? I don’t like Pollard, he’s a head hunter, but the head he’s bashing in will be his own.

  19. The hit on Pitta was a prefect hit, shoulder square, below the neck and drive with your legs with punishing brute force…the hit on Ridley not so much, and to boot he was down before the ball came out…people are going to hate the Patriots because they are the best at what they do and they just slipped up on that night

  20. Clean hit.
    A lot is made of helmet to helmet hits, but they aren’t the primary cause of concussions. People would know that if they knew what a concussion is.

  21. Don’t think many people are sayin it was a dirty hit. Just think a pro. coach could express it a little better than “football at its finest” Hope the kid is ok.

  22. vicksprman says:
    Jan 21, 2013 6:34 PM
    You mean Ridley’s text book lowering his head and knocking himself out, that hit? That was football at it’s finest and another reason why the NFL will always be a brutal sport. Ridley saw Pollard coming and tried to use his head as a battering ram. Brutal
    —————————————————–
    Watch it again pollard already had his head lowered to the mid section “textbook tackling”.

  23. Donte Whitner’s hit on Pierre Thomas in last years playoff was the same deal. The defender initiates a helmet-to-helmet hit which causes the ball carrier to experience a concussion, lose consciousness, and then release the football due to having lost consciousness. I don’t think its really in the spirit of football to gain turnovers not by stripping the ball, not by hitting the ball, not by virtue of the ball carriers poor hold on the ball, not by a big hit that knocks the ball carrier off his feet, but rather by the ball carrier being unconscious. I believe there should be a rule that a helmet-to-helmet hit can down a player but it cannot cause a fumble. That way defenders looking to create big plays would focus on hitting or stripping the ball and not trying to cause concussions and when concussions do happen the ball carrier can receive treatment as soon as possible, rather than a possible future incident where a paraplegic potentially emerges from the bottom of a pile as defenders are arguing over who has possession.

  24. It’s either that celebratory reaction or the replay is cut short to sanitize it when the player is down before being KO’d. The Sidney Rice TD in Chicago you saw him exhibit he was knocked out but highlight reels removed that part from the viewer, and apparently Rice didn’t have an official concussion.

  25. If the problem is helmet-to-helmet hits, which it is, then why are some illegal (defenseless player) and some legal (ballcarrier).

    Idiotic–it should never be “legal” to hit another player in the head with the helmet–especially using as a weapon/battering ram like Ridley in this case did.

    Accidental helmet to helmet resulting in a flag?
    Tough luck.

    Good clean tackles are around the waist. End of story.

  26. The NFL has got decide what kind of football they want, because right now, it’s contradictory. IMO, if the players consent to the dangers, that hit right there is the kind of football I want to see. Ridley looked tired and got out to sleep.

  27. Agreed with previous commenter…Ridley had a part in that hit because he lowered his head. I’m all for “real football,” but the rules should apply to the ball carrier too.

  28. I have seen several articles on Pollard’s alleged hit. Did any of you really watch the play or did you just indict Pollard on rep? The helmet to helmet hit was CAUSED when Ridley lowered his helmet into Pollard. There is absolutely no doubt. The fumble call was questionable, but the helmet contact was caused by Ridley….

  29. Absolutely clean hit. Just bad luck, really, that Ridley got hurt. A bit strange for Harbaugh to be celebrating it, though.

  30. It’s football.

    It is always going to be a dangerous sport. Anyone who thinks otherwise or who can’t respect that needs to stop watching it altogether.

    And by the way, I will not apologize for enjoying bone jarring hits amongst men who knowingly chose to play an incredibly violent sport for a career. No one forced them to do it, and they’re being paid handsomely for it.

  31. I believe all of you when you say it was legal.

    I just don’t get how Kaepernick got accidentally brushed by a finger on the helmet in the earlier game (when the defender hit his shoulder) and that was a 15-yard penalty.

    But this hit causes the guy to be knocked out and lose the ball and all is cool.

  32. If you’re someone who thinks all helmet to helmet hits should be flagged, then you need to watch another sport.

    Whats the point of having helmets if you’re going to be flagged when they collide? Either allow it or take the helmets completely off the players.

  33. If you couldn’t have a turnover as a result of a concussed player losing control of his body, then these plays would be stopped. Don’t see how it is fair since the player has no ability to respond to the fumble nor did he lose the ball. His body is simply responding to the hit which caused loss of consciousness

  34. Am I the only one sick of the “helmet to helmet” talk? The game is called football. How do you play full speed and not make helmet to helmet contact? Its not always the defenders fault. Looks like some of the reporters need to get out of profootballtalk and go to proswimmingtalk or progolftalk.

  35. Unsettling to watch that? Hardly, unless you’re a little wussie…and much easier to see when it happens to either a Gaytriot or a Donkey.

  36. Too many Ravens concerned about the fumble recovery and not the guy on the ground who looked dead. Celebrating the legal hit that left a guy injured is not cool and speaks volumes about who they are.

  37. What helmet-to-helmet hit? I can’t stand Bernard Pollard, but the film clearly shows Ridley ducking his head and slamming helmet-first into Pollard. He’s the reason their helmets collided. In fact, the runner/receiver ducking before a collision is often the reason helmets collide. The real miracle here is that a ref as incompetent as Leavy didn’t flag Pollard for an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit. If it had been James Harrison, he would have.

  38. Nothing wrong with the hit. Didn’t like the celebrations on the field with the guy right there on the ground, not knowing how much damage was caused. Very un-classy IMO.

  39. Not a Ravens or Pats fan but I’m glad people are starting to see it both ways. A lot of times when defenders are flagged for these types of hits, the offensive player should take just as much of the blame because they lower their own head

  40. I watch a lot of AFC East football, especially the Pats (who are on every other primetime game)
    and I’ve noticed that Patriots receivers constantly put their head low after catches, they try and draw personal foul penalties all day long. They really are scuzzy types. Brady was destined to be a journeyman, who benefited from a good defense, cheating, and a screen pass dink and dunk system that was unique. Brady is overrated because he could not get it done after Spygate. Whether that helped him or whether the league has figured out his weaknesses or not doesn’t matter. They are tainted. I have always believed since his 2007 campaign that he was more than just a system guy, but the truth is the Pats have cheated and/or used questionable tactics at best to win. In 2007 so many calls went their way. The Ravens beat them in the regular season but a fluke timeout gave the game to the Patriots. So yeah, they almost got it done in 2007 but at the end of the day, Brady can’t play when he gets hit. And his deep ball is terrible. Never had any kind of elite arm. It was Randy Moss’ skill that took him there, just like Culpepper. Randy Moss always had to adjust to Brady’s horrendous deep ball. And Belichick actually has a poor draft history overall, and they rely on old free agents to keep coming back and take helmet to helmet hits on themselves to draw flags and win despite the lack of talent in certain areas. Brady is great in some ways, and I wish we had him in Miami over all of our prior QB’s since Marino in 1994, but Joe Montana would have not lost that game.

  41. Congrats to the Ravens for the win but I’ve lost what little respect I had for their coach. What a careless thing to say, shows very little tact, just like his bro.

  42. Yeah that hit won them the game. No joke it looked like the Pats were gonna score that drive and they seemed determined. After that fumble the Pats had no life left.

  43. “Football at its Finest”

    At some point in the future, one of his guys may get seriously hurt like that, and I hope the opposing coach/player shoves those words back down his throat. Someone might remember to call that “Karma at its Finest.”

  44. I think there needs to be a definitive line drawn in the sand. If players want to keep hits like this legal, fine. If the NFLPA wants to appeal every fine and suspension for helmet-to-helmet hits, late hits, low blocks, roughing the QB, etc., etc., that’s fine. But it has to work both ways. Former players shouldn’t be allowed to come back after they’re retired and broke, then decide to sue for millions (billions) in restitution for their injuries. If helmet-to-helmet hits are just “part of the game”, then no one wants to hear you cry about your injuries 20 years after you retire.

  45. It was a legal hit, but that doesn’t mean you celebrate it like Harbaugh did. The truth is, sane people don’t want to see that kind of play. Look at Earl Campbell, and the toll that kind of hit has had on his life.

    Completely trashy of Harbaugh to celebrate that hit like that. I’m starting to think this type if behavior is the norm for the Harbaugh brothers.

  46. Maybe knocking someone out is football at it’s finest to Harbaugh, but I’ll take those two TD passes from Flacco to Boldin, as my “football at it’s finest”!

  47. This league and this nation is being turned into a bunch of sissies ala Western Europe. That hit was the norm in the 1970’s NFL. Just a routine tackle. If it bothers you to watch a guy get tackled then don’t watch. If he’s not worried about his brain why should you be? Why don’t you just have American football banned? This way no one will get hurt. We’re headed that way any way.

  48. Please switch sports mr smith, you don’t have the stomach to report on nfl football, I think your skills are better suited to baseball… Or synchronized swimming perhaps?

  49. Harbaugh is the kingpin, pollard is the goon. Every year the ravens manage to play dirtier and dirtier. And its all thanks to that murderous sociopath ray lewis. I wonder how many innocent civilians he will stab this time. Thumb me down all you want. Wont change the fact that the niners will win by 20.

  50. Well I guess bearsnoah has it all figured out. Give me a break, it was a clean hit, this is football, quit trying to change it. It’s not like Ridley didn’t know this was a tough sport. Get over it, football is a tough physical sport, stop trying to take that away

  51. I have never heard Jim or John whine. I see them argue officials calls and stand up for their teams, like I would want my leader to do. The only whining I see is from commentors here whining about what they perceive as whining. They are better coaches than you and probably better than your favorite coach . Get over it!

  52. Amen stull60060. It’s getting old hearing people complain that football is too violent. Stop watching if it bothers you and stop demanding that they change how it’s played

  53. I hate those kinds of hits. I always look away at the replay. Lest it might happen to me or one of mine. If its boxing im all good, but its just so how to say surprising i guess, in football. Hope he be alright… where did pierre thomas go anyway, dont think i saw him this year?

  54. @emmac13, saying it’s hard not to feel bad for him b/c “he did it to himself” is among the dumber things I’ve read in this cesspool.

  55. everyfootballfan says: Jan 21, 2013 6:40 PM

    Here’s what the NE media had to say….Matt Pepin, Boston.com

    “The Ravens still came into Foxborough on Sunday, shook the Patriots’ hands at the coin toss, then punched New England squarely in the face. And the Patriots just took it.”

    Awesome find. Love it.

  56. That was a clean hit, and Ridley is going to have a short career if he keeps ducking his head into hits like that, but saying that is football at its finest is a little classless. We are past the days of celebrating the knockout blow. It is a necessary evil but it is nothing to act joyous about.

  57. I know it’s football. Like I said, it was a perfectly legal hit. It’s part of the game. But for a coach to celebrate a hit like that is uncalled for.

  58. It was a legal hit but it doesn’t mean we should continue to allow it in the NFL.

    If defensive men can’t take down an NFL running back without using a helmet he isn’t tough enough to be in the NFL.

    Real tough guys don’t use helmets to tackle.

  59. everyfootballfan says:Jan 21, 2013 6:40 PM

    Here’s what the NE media had to say….Matt Pepin, Boston.com

    “The Baltimore Ravens saw the trepidation, the uncertainty, the confusion. And what they sensed most from the Patriots in the darkness at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night was something we have not witnessed for a very long time.

    Fear.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Matt Pepin isn’t the NE media.

    Tony Massarotti wrote the column.

  60. It was a football hit. Both guys went low. The only thing they BOTH did wrong was “ducking” their heads. Go low but keep your chin up. Much safer.

  61. Football is a dangerous occupation. These dudes could opt to be bus drivers, surgeons, or teachers. But they choose football and they know the risks.

    Good hit Pollard!

  62. It was a clean hit, but I don’t think he’d be saying that if they took Ridley off on a stretcher, which is what I was expecting to happen. I couldn’t believe the announcers didn’t even acknowledge it as Ridley lay there twitching his arms right next to the fumble-scrum.

    Even though it was playoff time do or die and a huge moment in the game, as a Pats fan I would have taken “Ridley walks off but we lose fumble” over “We keep the ball but Ridley is taken off on a stretcher” after seeing the way he went down.

  63. Ridley did lower his head which is not a good thing (tho most runningbacks do that at times when a big collision is coming) but Pollard was horizontal leading with his head like a torpedo. That is my concern as that is not a proper football tackle. I am not surprised by John Harbaugh’s rxn, he’s just a football coach & they have been known to be biased. I guess watching Ray Lewis pray to the Lord on the sidelines is “Football at it’s finest” too lol. I throw a challenge flag on him, & it should be reviewed upstairs.

  64. what was disturbing was as he lays there asleep they were fighting for the fumble almost right on top of him, he had damage to his neck and if they were doing that it could have made it worse. but the line of brain damamge and good football hit ios mall so small it doesnt exsits. what a complicated issue the is, but hey a player signs on that dootted line agreeing he knows what can happen.

  65. So long as the league allows running backs to lower their helmets, they are never going to call H2H on runners. I agree with a lot of the posters on here. When its your team doing the hitting, you don’t believe it s dirty hit, just good clean football. However when it’s your player that gets the big hit, the other player is dirty. For some reason it’s so hard for fans to separate themselves from their blinders and see the hit impartially. Personally I see no difference between Ryan Clarkes hits and Pollards hits, both guys to for the knock out.

    One thing I do know for sure, Harbaugh says ” just as good a tackle as you’re ever going to see in football right there “.

    There’s the problem with not only players, but the coaches. THAT was not a TACKLE. That was a huge HIT. But not a tackle. The art of tackling is lost, and until coaches start teaching it, and players get away from just trying to hit a guy hard and knock him off his feet, we are going to continue to have H2H hits. H2H hits won’t ever completely go away, but will diminish substantially, once players start tackling.

  66. Lotsa brain-dead jamokes here celebrating the Patriots loss, Ridley’s concussion, etc..
    So by every indication, the Patriots have joined the Yankees, the Cowboys, Duke basketball and Notre Dame football in the “we just hate ’em” list.
    If you’re not a rival, have no history with the team but for whatever reason hate ’em anyways…
    +1 Patriots.
    Welcome to the club.
    Now feel free to return to “rooting” for the worthless bunch of schmucks you refer to as your home team.

  67. Its good to see a little old school football with how soft the NFL have gotten it is football at its best its only a a bit bad because dude was knocked out and hit a split..

  68. “Maybe we’ll get lucky and a large asteroid will crash into the Superdome on SB Sunday so neither of these professional whiner/excuse maker Harbaugh brothers can win.”

    Or Black Sunday will finally come true.

  69. Football is a violent sport, that was a clean hit, John is a good man im sure he wasnt celebrating a player getting hurt Jim is a little wild thou. Some of you so called football fans are really haters, you’re like the media just beat a dead horse to death

  70. What the Ravens D did was the definition of smacking a team in the mouth. Flacco shut a lot of people up yesterday too, myself included. I always thought he was good, but not that good. Congrats Baltimore.

  71. The hit was a good ol football hit! My problem, is the people saying Ridley caused this to himself, or he tried to initiate h2h. Those who post that, are the ones we all can tell never played or never played beyond pop warner

  72. bobinnh85 says:
    Jan 21, 2013 6:37 PM
    Well I know which Harbaugh to root for now. Hint:
    not the moron.

    ————————————————————-

    Yes, because everyone really cares about who you are rooting for. Devastating. Like Suggs said, our bandwagon is full.

  73. eyeh8goodell says:
    Jan 21, 2013 6:27 PM
    If Ryan Clarke had done that to one of his guys he’d be whining about it like he always does. Maybe we’ll get lucky and a large asteroid will crash into the Superdome on SB Sunday so neither of these professional whiner/excuse maker Harbaugh brothers can win.

    ==============

    Sir, your whine is ready. Please be seated.
    We realize your butt hurt, so we saved a cushion, too.

    Enjoy the game.

  74. Ridley led with his head and actually initiated the contact. He had more to do with the hit than Pollard.

  75. Im a LSU and Ridley fans and he did it to himself. Hopefully Pollard doesnt get fined for this football act.

  76. When I saw the play in real time, I thought Ridley initiated the head to head contact. On replay, it may have not been as clear, but Ridley did seem to drop his helmet as much or more than the Pollard used his.

    —————————————————–
    When I saw it in real time I thought he was dead. Not kidding…I thought it finally happened. We all know it is inevitable that one of these guys will die on the field during a national game. (Chuck Hughes already did of a heart attack)
    As someone who enjoys other brutal sports, football has to think about removing the helmet like rugby. This spearing/head to head stuff does not happen when peoples noggins are exposed.

  77. 90+ comments and I’m betting maybe 30 posters actually played competitive football. Those in that group know what I’m talking about when I say…relax. I played 2 years of youth and 4 years of high school and got 3 concussions(3 diagnosed anyway). One of my worst came returning a kickoff against a team we had no business playing(we lost 83-17, their school had 3500+ students, mine 400 and no, that’s not missing a zero). I was out for 3 weeks and have lingering permanent side effects and that hit happened 12 years ago. All that being said, no one, especially those at the professional level, plays this game without knowing the risks. In the week after that game, we watched the game tape at practice like we did every week. We rewound the tape at least a dozen times to watch the hit, laughing and cracking jokes at the expense of my “brain damage” as it is called in this post, and guess what? I didn’t/don’t give a s**t. Its part of the game and laughing at injuries like that(with the exception of paralysis) is part of the fun of the game. Were men, not babies or wimps who have thin skin. It called MAN UP!

  78. The lack of objectivity in these comments is amazing. He didn’t say it was awesome when we knocked that guy the f out. He said the hit was the turning point in the game and was a good clean hit which it was. He did not need to say I hope he is ok because the guy got up and walked off the field. Seriously people. We know. Steeler fans think it was dirty, harbaugh is a jerk, bla bla bla. Get over your biases people. Plenty of pats fans on here saying what you all know to be true. It was a clean hit and there is nothing wrong with harbaugh’s comments. Haters hate and winners win. Hate on.

  79. The signing of Bernard Pollard is just another genius move in a LONG line of genius personnel moves by Ozzie Newsome. He’s the perfect strong safety for that defense and a wonderful compliment to the ballhawking skills of Ed Reed. It’s players like him and Anquan Boldin that will continue to keep the tradition of smashmouth football alive and well in Baltimore over the next 3-5 years. It WAS football at it’s finest. It’s a man’s game. When you strap on the helmet and cash those checks, you know full well what you’re getting yourself into when you step on that field. Period.

  80. IMO this whole entire concussion issue can be easily taken care of with a simple addition to the language in contracts. It will prevent the league from getting sued and really that’s all this is about. All the league wants to do is protect itself from being sued. They could careless about player safety, because if they did or if they do, get ready from touch/flag football.

    Anyway, seems pretty simple to me. Just add in a waiver clause about repeated head trauma and by signing the contract you waive your right to any legal action.

    So let’s take a peak at what would happen. “Hey Adrian Peterson… we have your $100 Million deal right here just waiting for you to sign. Notice the ‘repeated head trauma clause’ (insert agent explanation) so sign right here.” Adrian Peterson (or ANYONE ELSE IN THE NFL) “Sure, can I burrow your pen!”

    DONE DEAL!! Every SINGLE ONE of these players would sign that contract without a second thought. They get paid a TREMENDOUS amount of money to beat the living crap out of each other. Knowing that it will probably not only lower their life expectancy but virtually insure they will be in pain for the rest of their lives. Yet for a few short years, THEY actually get paid to do it, while most of their lives they did it for nothing or for a scholarship just to get them to this point of getting paid!

  81. Pollard shouldn’t get any credit or blame as he didn’t hit anything. He was just in the right place at the right time. Ridley knocked himself out.

  82. Early in the game the Ravens took a couple of personal foul calls. They were clearly trying to send a message by high hits over the middle. Those hits, more than anything, took away the middle of the field for the Patriots. The cost of the penalty yardage was worth the upside to the Ravens. With the exception of one crushing hit by Mayo, the Patriots did not respond with the same level of physical play. Even after the Mayo hit the same tightened went over the middle for a touchdown on the next play.

    Harbaugh is right that the Pollard hit and Ridley fumble was the turning point in the game.

  83. I had no problem with the hit, because it was the offensive player that lowered his head.

    I did have a problem with it being called a fumble when Ridley’s butt is on the ground before the ball hits his knee.

  84. The impact of that hit was immense but it was atypical in today’s NFL. The art of form tackling is long gone, guys lunge with their heads while forgetting to wrap.

    This is the reason why a lot of players have the head injuries and suicides. The impact that is caused when two guys collide is too much to measure and when it’s your head taking the bulk of it, that’s a scary thought.

    Bernard Pollard ran in with reckless abandon and compelte annihilated Stevan Ridley, but, with terrible form. I don’t want to see a pending lawsuit from Pollard when he’s retired. Due it the right way to cut down on scary blows like that.

    Brandon Spikes’ hit however was great form and noticed his head nor Dennis Pitta’s head collided. Pitta got right up and walked back to the huddle, if Spikes would have used his head, who knows the outcome.

  85. For you biased raven fans does the name Hines Ward ring a few bells for you…Harbag never said his blocks were football at its finest..I know rational thought always bypasses Baltimore so I don’t expect it but come on …

  86. jdfrox says:
    Jan 22, 2013 12:00 AM
    The lack of objectivity in these comments is amazing. He didn’t say it was awesome when we knocked that guy the f out. He said the hit was the turning point in the game and was a good clean hit which it was. He did not need to say I hope he is ok because the guy got up and walked off the field. Seriously people. We know. Steeler fans think it was dirty, harbaugh is a jerk, bla bla bla. Get over your biases people. Plenty of pats fans on here saying what you all know to be true. It was a clean hit and there is nothing wrong with harbaugh’s comments. Haters hate and winners win. Hate on.

    4 7 Hey mr objectivity does the name Hines Ward ring a bell? Thought so now your logic will change to wa wa he was such a dirty player. Winners don’t whine, but the Ravens whine when they win or lose…no hate just the truth is hard to swallow for some…

  87. Bad luck for Ridley. Head injuries are and will be the Achilles heal for the NFL – the QB read option is doomed.

  88. The real turning point was Welker dropping the third down pass at 13-7…Watching the play it looks more like Ridley delivers the blow and knocked himself out. Pollard got dumped…

  89. The problem is not that hit. The problem is that Pollard is always looking for the head and too many players were severely injured by him. This guy has no credibility.

    It will be fun to watch John on the sideline calling his mother and begging her to tell Jim that he needs to give him a chance.

  90. “Football at its finest.”

    Spoken like a man who has never stepped on an NFL field as a player.

  91. I’ll never understand the mentality of NFL players to initiate more contact than is necessary. Barry Sanders used to run for his life out there and try to take as little damage as possible – not duck his head and try to ram someone with it.

    I don’t know what’s worse – seeing the guy get knocked cold, or knowing while watching it happen that it was avoidable.

  92. ive noticed less and less flags for big hits in recent weeks..cudos to refs/ goodell/ whoever made this change feels more like the sport i grew up watching..good football

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