Tom Brady and the Pats falling short of a sixth Super Bowl appearance.
Whether it's late hits from a defense, any sort of minute hit to the helmet or the slightest contact when sliding, this is pro football of the 21st century.
Brady's slide to protect himself from a potential hit by Ed Reed in the AFC Championship Game, however, displays the NFL's preposterous rules for protecting quarterbacks.
This was clearly not a typical slide, though. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, it resulted in the following:
#Patriots QB Tom Brady was fined $10,000 for unnecessary roughness in the AFC championship game, I'm told. Came on the Ed Reed slide— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 24, 2013
The fine is the correct move by pro football, because putting one's foot up to purposely try to hit the oncoming defender is straight-up wrong. Factor in how much more quarterbacks are protected from the rules by comparison to defensive players, and a fine was rightfully handed out.
It's too bad $10,000 is absurdly low.
The running back was fined $10,500 on Wednesday for wearing his socks too low in the game, marking the second time he has been fined this season.
"Yeah, I'll be cool. It's all good," Gore said Wednesday. "I was wrong. Next time, I'll do better."
So, from this perspective, it's okay for Brady to deliberately slide-kick a defender like he's in Mortal Kombat, but if the issue is those uniform socks not being up to standards, Roger Goodell will just basically tack on another $500.
On the bright side, Brady did apologize to Reed. According to WJZ-FM in Baltimore via Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com, Reed stated:
I told him—you know, we talked. We talked actually not too long ago; we talked on the phone. He actually reached out to me, texted me. I tried to text him back, but the message exploded after 12 seconds, so I had to call him...and he just apologized and what not. But I told him, "You know, it's good, man."
Did Tom Brady receive special treatment from the NFL?
Reed displayed the utmost level of class, because he understands from playing defense how uneven the playing field really is for the tacklers. The broader picture here, though, needs to focus on how pro football got to this point.
It's because the offense, and more specifically the quarterbacks, receive safer treatment than the defense.
Had this not been the case, then Brady's fine would have been higher and would have sent a stronger message to any offensive player. But entering Super Bowl XLVII, it's obvious that socks are at least equally as important as defensive player safety.
Moving forward, we as fans can only hope the NFL does more to protect the defense, because to have a greater fine for socks than for an illegal slide is unquestionably ridiculous.
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