FOXBOROUGH -- Some fans outside of New England are reveling in (and cashing in on) the Patriots' misfortune after quarterback Tom Brady was lost for the season with a left knee injury sustained in Sunday's season-opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.
One company is hawking T-shirts with the words "Bernard Pollard Fan Club, Established September 7, 2008" in honor of the Chiefs safety whose low (but legal) hit on Brady sidelined the Patriots' quarterback for the season.
From the company's web site:
Bernard Karmell Pollard (born December 23, 1984 in Fort Wayne, Indiana) is an American football safety for the Kansas City Chiefs in the National Football League. He was drafted in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Pollard played college football at Purdue University. Pollard has been dubbed "The Bonecrusher" for his hard hits and tackles.
On September 7, 2008, Pollard was involved in a play that ended with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady being taken off the field with a knee injury and not returning for the rest of the game. It was later revealed that Pollard's hit on Brady most likely has ended the quarterback's season.
A few of Brady's teammates were asked today about the reports from around the country of fans cheering inside of sports bar as news of the injury was broadcast.
"That reaction is normal," said Patriots safety Rodney Harrison. "Anything that happens to us people, they get excited about. Obviously, they don't care for us much around the league. But I understand it's a competitive league. Teams, as well as fans, are looking for any edge they can possibly get and if that means us losing our star quarterback, guess what, they feel like that gives them an edge. At the same time, you still gotta get it done on the field.
Harrison later added: "People sometimes lose sight that we're brothers, we're fathers, sons. They look at us like machines. A lot of times, people really don't consider that we're human-beings, we have feelings, it hurts. We go through a bunch of different things, but they get so wrapped up in the game, that it's not real life... We're sacrificing, away from our families... as a football player, you understand it's a part of the deal. You're going to get hurt playing football. It's just how you respond."
Cornerback Ellis Hobbs said injuries are a part of the game and something football players sign up for, but it does surprise him how people could react in celebration to someone's injury.
"It amazes me, shocks me every time," said Hobbs. "It gets lower and lower. Where is it going to stop? But, it is what it is. We know what we do every day, we know how hard we work and at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what anyone else think."