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Tom Brady's "Superstar Treatment"

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Roughing the passer is among the most hotly debated calls in the NFL. Defensive players will tell you the quarterback gets too much protection, and quarterbacks say they don't get enough.

Sunday's Ravens-Patriots game illustrated that divide. Officials twice flagged the Ravens for roughing the passer, and both calls extended drives that led to New England touchdowns in the Patriots' 27-21 victory.

After the game, Ravens players were predictably upset at the officiating. Linebacker Ray Lewis called it embarrassing to the game. Linebacker Terrell Suggs, who was assessed for one of the roughing calls, said the league is protecting some quarterbacks more than others.

Brady defended the calls by saying quarterbacks are defenseless and unprotected in the pocket. Meantime, message boards were filling up with comments assailing the officiating and the perceived special protection superstars such as Brady receive from officials.

What if it were some nondescript quarterback like David Garrard or Derek Anderson? Would the Ravens have been called for roughing?

The truth is probably not, but we shouldn't be surprised. The NFL is heavily vested in Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and other big-name quarterbacks because they are the faces of the league. They generate revenue though ticket and merchandise sales, and they bring the NFL plenty of exposure.

The league even amended its rules for roughing the passer after Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard rolled into Brady's knee in 2008 opener and ended his season. Now it's commonly referred to as the Brady Rule, so it's clear the league is looking out for its most valuable commodity.

By Gene Wang  |  October 5, 2009; 9:59 AM ET  | Category:  Quarterbacks , Refs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Another load of crap from the feckless columnists at the Post. Thuggs deliberately took a cheap shot at Tom Brady's knee, and there was another knee-shot earlier in the game which went uncalled. These were deliberate cheap shots, intended to injure, not accidents. Patriots fans who were cheated out of watching Tom Brady last season are justifiably pleased that the Ravens were called on their dirty play.

So, Puhleeze, give me a break...

Posted by: jerkhoff | October 6, 2009 3:52 PM

I voted "no," i.e., that the league does not excessively protect QBs because, without them, the game simply isn't worth watching. Skilled, experienced QBs create magic beyond the coach's playbook, give their fans hope until the clock reads 00:00, and bring out the absolute best in both good and great teammates. Talk to any player in the league and he'll back his QB, as he should and must. But ask him privately, anonymously, and he'll tell you he'd love a chance to play with a Brady, Manning, Favre, Roethlisberger or any of the former greats -- even if only for one game, just to see what it feels like to experience the possibility that anything could happen on any play to bump up the odds of winning. Players respect effort, guts and not quitting, but they really respect mastery and greatness.

Posted by: salescoach | October 10, 2009 4:43 PM

Homey sez...

Although I’m a life-long loyal Browns fan, I will put that aside to agree with a Steeler.

Years ago, I remember Terry Bradshaw, as a commentator, talking about this subject. His response was something like this:

"Why doesn't the NFL put dresses on the quaterbacks along with DO NOT TOUCH signs? The game is called Football."

This was coming from a guy that was body-slammed by Turkey Jones during a Browns game. Of course the payers today are too concerned with their gazillion-dollar contracts. Guys like Bradshaw were in it for "The Game."

From The Big Top,

Homey -

Posted by: Homey_D_DowntownClown | October 11, 2009 7:23 AM

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