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

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots Getty Images

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.

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122 Responses to “John Harbaugh: Pollard’s hit on Ridley was “football at its finest””
  1. 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.

  2. emmac13 says: Jan 21, 2013 6:27 PM

    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. thesmartest1 says: Jan 21, 2013 6:27 PM

    That’s what I’m talking about!!!!! FOOTBALL!!!!

  4. patriotinvasion says: Jan 21, 2013 6:28 PM

    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.

  5. thetooloftools says: Jan 21, 2013 6:28 PM

    So true. It was a heavy hit, but clean.
    In the words of Batman
    Ziff Boom bam !

  6. eigglesnosuperbowls says: Jan 21, 2013 6:29 PM

    Ray lewis and the ravens owner make a nice couple

  7. joetiburzi says: Jan 21, 2013 6:31 PM

    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.

  8. pftbillsfan says: Jan 21, 2013 6:32 PM

    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.

  9. watermelon1 says: Jan 21, 2013 6:33 PM

    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?

  10. jakec4 says: Jan 21, 2013 6:34 PM

    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.

  11. undraftedstar says: Jan 21, 2013 6:34 PM

    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.

  12. 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

  13. rollore says: Jan 21, 2013 6:34 PM

    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.

  14. nineroutsider says: Jan 21, 2013 6:35 PM

    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.

  15. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 21, 2013 6:36 PM

    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..

  16. albertmn says: Jan 21, 2013 6:36 PM

    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.

  17. bobinnh85 says: Jan 21, 2013 6:37 PM

    Well I know which Harbaugh to root for now. Hint:
    not the moron.

  18. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jan 21, 2013 6:38 PM

    Loved it and enjoy it while you can. Protection for RBs can’t be far away.

  19. dbones750 says: Jan 21, 2013 6:38 PM

    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

  20. noring4youstill says: Jan 21, 2013 6:40 PM

    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.

  21. dowhatifeellike says: Jan 21, 2013 6:40 PM

    Ugly, ugly, ugly, clean hit. Dude was out before he hit the ground. I feel bad that there was a pig pile right next to his unconscious body, but that’s football.

  22. 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.

    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.”

  23. fiyeaglesfiy says: Jan 21, 2013 6:41 PM

    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..

  24. cometkazie says: Jan 21, 2013 6:41 PM

    What does Madden think?

    BAM!

  25. tim8450 says: Jan 21, 2013 6:41 PM

    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.

  26. skinsfan4lyf says: Jan 21, 2013 6:43 PM

    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

  27. mrwright313 says: Jan 21, 2013 6:45 PM

    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.

  28. surfinbird1 says: Jan 21, 2013 6:47 PM

    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.

  29. undraftedstar says: Jan 21, 2013 6:49 PM

    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”.

  30. couchbasher says: Jan 21, 2013 6:50 PM

    wasn’t necessary

  31. marcinhouston says: Jan 21, 2013 6:53 PM

    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.

  32. offthelows says: Jan 21, 2013 6:54 PM

    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.

  33. bearsnoah says: Jan 21, 2013 6:54 PM

    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.

  34. randygnyc says: Jan 21, 2013 6:55 PM

    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.

  35. mancave001 says: Jan 21, 2013 6:58 PM

    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.

  36. kaferwerks says: Jan 21, 2013 6:58 PM

    if this statement were made by anyone on the saints coaching staff, you’d better believe Sean Payton would be suspended another year.

  37. foothillfrank says: Jan 21, 2013 6:58 PM

    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….

  38. peopletrains says: Jan 21, 2013 6:59 PM

    Ill go with a solid form tackle any day of the week. Cowards use their helmets.

  39. blue18hutthutt says: Jan 21, 2013 6:59 PM

    It was Ridley’s own fault – Pollard lowered his head to reduce the strike zone but Ridley lowered his own resulting in the head to head contact

  40. tbd3 says: Jan 21, 2013 7:00 PM

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

  41. alehleha says: Jan 21, 2013 7:00 PM

    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.

  42. thebadguyswon says: Jan 21, 2013 7:03 PM

    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.

  43. alehleha says: Jan 21, 2013 7:03 PM

    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.

  44. twodat says: Jan 21, 2013 7:03 PM

    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

  45. delhommed says: Jan 21, 2013 7:03 PM

    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.

  46. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Jan 21, 2013 7:06 PM

    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.

  47. joker65 says: Jan 21, 2013 7:07 PM

    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.

  48. Deb says: Jan 21, 2013 7:08 PM

    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.

  49. benismoney says: Jan 21, 2013 7:09 PM

    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.

  50. maximusprime107 says: Jan 21, 2013 7:10 PM

    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

  51. effthaeffinjetsgofins says: Jan 21, 2013 7:10 PM

    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.

  52. thebadguyswon says: Jan 21, 2013 7:11 PM

    I have seen sites where supposed sports fans rail that football needs to be changed entirely to eliminate concussions. Trust me those people are out there.

  53. henry53 says: Jan 21, 2013 7:11 PM

    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.

  54. wgray981 says: Jan 21, 2013 7:11 PM

    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.

  55. swinbun says: Jan 21, 2013 7:12 PM

    Had that been Ryan Clark or James Harrison laying out Ray Rice, Harbum would have been crying like a baby………

  56. 1967forever says: Jan 21, 2013 7:16 PM

    “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.”

  57. vmannj says: Jan 21, 2013 7:18 PM

    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.

  58. ziggy26 says: Jan 21, 2013 7:21 PM

    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.

  59. ravenator says: Jan 21, 2013 7:22 PM

    Awesome loved every second of it

  60. 1oldpro says: Jan 21, 2013 7:25 PM

    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”!

  61. stull60060 says: Jan 21, 2013 7:26 PM

    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.

  62. sammythehair says: Jan 21, 2013 7:26 PM

    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?

  63. reasonablemindsays says: Jan 21, 2013 7:35 PM

    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.

  64. 4getu says: Jan 21, 2013 7:40 PM

    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

  65. 4getu says: Jan 21, 2013 7:41 PM

    Cuz they know its football ziggy

  66. goldenperspective says: Jan 21, 2013 7:44 PM

    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!

  67. 4getu says: Jan 21, 2013 7:44 PM

    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

  68. questforthesixthnotthelast2013 says: Jan 21, 2013 7:54 PM

    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?

  69. sixringsofsteel says: Jan 21, 2013 7:54 PM

    @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.

  70. flbills says: Jan 21, 2013 7:56 PM

    You could never lay a hit like that on Brady, cuz he lays down and puts his feet up like a girl!!
    Patriots=classless

  71. lovefootball4life says: Jan 21, 2013 7:57 PM

    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.

  72. contract says: Jan 21, 2013 8:03 PM

    Ridley got Pacquiáoed.

  73. edavidberg says: Jan 21, 2013 8:05 PM

    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.

  74. ziggy26 says: Jan 21, 2013 8:06 PM

    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.

  75. rodericksilva says: Jan 21, 2013 8:11 PM

    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.

  76. fran021 says: Jan 21, 2013 8:16 PM

    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.

  77. dt58 says: Jan 21, 2013 8:17 PM

    Great hit…that’s football. If you don’t like it don’t watch

  78. brazin99 says: Jan 21, 2013 8:28 PM

    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.

  79. lakermetskins says: Jan 21, 2013 8:32 PM

    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!

  80. patsfiend says: Jan 21, 2013 8:36 PM

    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.

  81. jameslongstaffe says: Jan 21, 2013 8:50 PM

    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.

  82. illwillthemick says: Jan 21, 2013 8:59 PM

    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.

  83. koenig61 says: Jan 21, 2013 8:59 PM

    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.

  84. rc33 says: Jan 21, 2013 9:12 PM

    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.

  85. 6allsohard6more says: Jan 21, 2013 9:20 PM

    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..

  86. completefan says: Jan 21, 2013 9:24 PM

    “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.

  87. ravensplease says: Jan 21, 2013 9:33 PM

    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

  88. lionsplayoffs says: Jan 21, 2013 9:35 PM

    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.

  89. snaxdsp says: Jan 21, 2013 9:36 PM

    Explain to me when helmet to helmet is NOT helmet to helmet

  90. geofferystevens says: Jan 21, 2013 10:02 PM

    Hush little baby don’t say word…..

  91. norrenradd says: Jan 21, 2013 10:03 PM

    Ravens held for ten yards they had cheap hits fake turnovers. Scum likes scum ray ray is ur idol.

  92. norrenradd says: Jan 21, 2013 10:05 PM

    Lets say this NFL is scared for Bill and Tom to even get to another SB. What can they say then?

  93. fearthehoody says: Jan 21, 2013 10:11 PM

    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

  94. iamthefootballjerk says: Jan 21, 2013 10:11 PM

    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.

  95. kgmoome says: Jan 21, 2013 10:42 PM

    Hits like that is why I am starting to watch Rugby.

    The NFL should not encourage unconsciousness.

  96. scratchdaddy says: Jan 21, 2013 11:20 PM

    Did Roger Goodel write this column?

  97. tatum064 says: Jan 21, 2013 11:21 PM

    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.

  98. mrhojorisin says: Jan 21, 2013 11:28 PM

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

  99. johnclaytonsponytail says: Jan 21, 2013 11:29 PM

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

  100. majormalphunktion says: Jan 21, 2013 11:30 PM

    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.

  101. phillyphannn83 says: Jan 21, 2013 11:41 PM

    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!

  102. royaldawgz says: Jan 21, 2013 11:56 PM

    Football at its finest? Someone unconscious? I thought Jim was the dbag Harbaugh brother…

  103. 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.

  104. nevermore52 says: Jan 22, 2013 12:02 AM

    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.

  105. imeanwhatisay says: Jan 22, 2013 12:19 AM

    the ravens hit the pats so hard early in the GAME that’s why there pass catchers start dropping balls for fear of getting blown up but that was good and legal

  106. woodstakes2 says: Jan 22, 2013 12:50 AM

    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!

  107. bamboozle99 says: Jan 22, 2013 3:06 AM

    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.

  108. tigerlilac says: Jan 22, 2013 6:01 AM

    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.

  109. descendency says: Jan 22, 2013 6:44 AM

    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.

  110. chalkruz1989 says: Jan 22, 2013 7:24 AM

    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.

  111. hehateme2 says: Jan 22, 2013 7:39 AM

    the pats are soft and need help from the refs in order to win. Same old story.

  112. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 22, 2013 7:41 AM

    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 …

  113. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 22, 2013 8:06 AM

    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…

  114. sixlombardisinyourface says: Jan 22, 2013 8:46 AM

    The hit on Pitta was even better….

  115. pef12 says: Jan 22, 2013 8:56 AM

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

  116. royaldawgz says: Jan 22, 2013 9:22 AM

    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…

  117. malab377 says: Jan 22, 2013 9:32 AM

    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.

  118. gonavybeatarmy says: Jan 22, 2013 9:33 AM

    “Football at its finest.”

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

  119. isphet71 says: Jan 22, 2013 9:44 AM

    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.

  120. cmonelisha says: Jan 22, 2013 10:57 AM

    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

  121. axespray says: Jan 22, 2013 3:22 PM

    The players know what risks they’ve signed up for…either quit whining or quit watching.

  122. nathanbetz91 says: Jan 22, 2013 10:47 PM

    Pollard looked like he was trying to injure stevan Ridley, yet he won’t shut up that Brady tried hurting Ed reed.hypocrite.

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