San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks hit New Orleans Saints Drew Brees late in the game and forced a fumble, in what was a game changing play. Unfortunately it was a game changing play, but for the Saints. Brooks was flagged on the play. Brooks was obviously not thrilled with the call.
“I didn’t hit him with my hand or my helmet,” Brooks said after the game. “I basically bear-hugged him. That’s just how football is played. I think this s–t is bulls–t. Football, the way they call stuff these days, it’s watered down. It ain’t real no more.”
ESPN analyst Ray Lewis was not a fan of the call and went on a bit of a rant (transcribed below by For The Win) and offered to pay half of the fine, if he were to receive one. Lewis also pulled out his American Express card on live television.
“This is the most embarrassing call in the National Football League since the tuck rule and Tom Brady. I’m serious. I’ve just never seen this type of insult to defenders. When you do your job, when you make the perfect play — if he takes the same hit — if he takes the same hit –and hits a quarterback like Peyton Manning who’s six-four, six-five, he hits him in his chest area. Drew Brees is six-foot or shorter. When you look at the hit, Ahmad Brooks took the hit and hit him exactly where he was supposed to hit him. Drew Brees’ neck slid DOWN to that man arm. You cannot — you cannot — first of all, for that to be a flag is embarrassing. Let me tell you the second embarrassing thing. The second part that’s embarrassing about this is for Drew Brees to say, ‘I got hit so hard I knew it had to be a flag.’ THIS IS THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS. When you get hit like that from the blind side, it’s supposed to hurt!
“But I’ll tell you this, if they fine this kid, if they go on record and they fine this kid, Ahmad Brooks, I’ll gonna do something personally. I’m gonna pay half. Half. [Trent Dilfer interrupts: "He's gonna get fined, Ray."] If they fine this kid, Trent, I’m gonna pay half of this kid’s fine, because of one reason — because of one reason — defenders have to be respected as men before anything else. [...] And that man laid a clean hit and that cost the San Francisco 49ers a complete football game yesterday and could have cost them in the playoffs.”
Well the NFL has fined Brooks a total of $15,750, and according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Ray Lewis will pay Ahmad on Monday when he sees him.
ESPN analyst Ray Lewis: “I will see Ahmad on Monday and I will have a check in hand for half of the fine.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 20, 2013