Mailbag Appendix: The Pollard Connection

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images Bernard Pollard

After the Ravens-Pats playoff game, I went through reader e-mails and put the best ones about Bernard Karmell Pollard into a Word doc. After a couple months passed, I realized these e-mails were finally ready to be seen by the general public. Here they are, in order of when they were received, starting with the third quarter of that Ravens-Pats game. Read today’s full mailbag here.

City: Palo Alto, CA
Name: Sampo

I can’t believe it. Bernard F***ing Pollard did it again. I’m in shock. I can’t even speak.

City: tiffin
Name: chris

POLLARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you count there are 47 exclamation points

City: Orlando
Name: Joseph Olmeda

I didn’t even have to see the replay to know who knocked Ridley out cold

City: DC
Name: Matt C

Here is your first official “Pollard ruined yet another Patriots season” email. Treasure it. Own it. LOVE IT.

City: South Orange
Name: Michael

I just won $100 in our Bernard Karmell Pollard “Knockout” pool.

City: Hereford,MD
Name: Glen

This is what happens when you give the Bernard Karmell Pollard award to someone other than Bernard Karmell Pollard before the season is over.

City: chicago
Name: Tom Graziano

I can see it now your daughters first boyfriend name is going to be Bernard and is going to taunt you by taking her to a Lakers game.

City: Reno
Name: Mike Gully

Ridley, last in the long line of victims. When is some one going to set this guy up with Robin Givens already?

City: Arlington, VA
Name: Paul C.

Simmons, I was watching the Ravens/Pats game last night at the Greene Turtle in Arlington. The game was up in the air until the Ridley run where he got knocked unconscious and fumbled. As soon as it happened I immediately thought to myself, “That had to be Bernard Karmell Pollard who hit him.” Lo and behold when they showed the replay, IT WAS BERNARD KARMELL F-ING POLLARD.

I’m sure this is the thousandth email you’ve gotten on the subject, but at this point it’s beyond coincidence that BKP is a legitimate serial killer. If you went to his house after the game you would have found him dancing to “Goodbye Horses” in a hole in the middle of his living room, wearing nothing but a Stevan Ridley jersey.

City: New York
Name: Max

Bill, I have relished in Eli’s magic twice, and true that that was on the grandest of scales but the Pollard magic is unprecedented – he now has knocked out every actual skill position the Patriors have at one point in his career – QB, WR, TE and now RB! This has to have a name. Thus I now declare it the Pollard Slam!

City: Annapolis, MD (by way of Seekonk, MA)
Name: Charlie Mello

If I started a kickstarter campaign to ensure Bernard Pollard never played a down against the Pats again. No doubt it would break kickstarters record of $3.9 million but how much money do you think it would raise. I bet at least $50 Million. That’s only $100 from 500,000 of the 14,000,000 people in New England. I quickly texted 20 friends and already have over $5000 pledged that’s on track to 250% of my goal. If that doesn’t work why can’t Shawn Thornton switch sports and play for the Pats whenever they pay against Pollard. So move the enforcer idea to the NFL. Come on Sports Czar make this happen

City: Uxbridge, MA
Name: Mark Brogioli

This is unreal. I feel like Hitler and Rodger Goodell had a child and then implanted it in Saddam Hussein as a surrogate. Years later, Bernard Pollard popped out. This guy is Patriots kryptonite. Pollard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Friggin’ Harbaugh Bowl! Now I can’t even watch the superbowl. Feel free to correct any spelling. It’s 9:30pm……I may have started drinking at 3:30pm……..don’t judge me.

City: Birmingham, AL
Name: Bryant Laney

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. What I have is a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.” -Bernard Pollard

City: Baltimore
Name: Edgar Allen Poe

Yet another Pat’s run cut short by a brutal, yet clean, hit by Bernard Scott Pollard. I truly feel that had that fumble not occurred, the Pats would have marched down the field and scored. Can we officially name him “Patriot Killer?” As an afterthought, has any player in NFL history done more damage to a single team over the course of his career through non-stat related, on-field incidents? I would also to propose an award named “The Pollard” which identifies the player throughout the league which had the largest negative impact on a single franchise during his career. It could also be called a Vick (For two teams) or a Cutler.

City: Portland, OR
Name: Andrew

I have two questions, is Bernard Pollard simply spygate karma?

City: Chicago
Name: Marc Maybaum

Because I know you have thousands of emails flowing in, provoking you about Pollard and how he has completely transcended beyond demigod status in the NFL (see: servant of satan wikipedia page) and reshaped 4 seasons for the Brady-Belicheck Patriots era, I’ll be nice and ask a simple question: How do you feel? Sincerely, not like My girl gloominess or baby stealing heartbreak sans Lifetime movie Empty Cradle, I’m talking about a sober, honest, true reflection about the innards of a Patriots fan right now. As a Chicago sports fan, I didn’t think obscure, dark magic occurred to any other professional sports teams nor could get much worse. I mean, this is a player who has shown in the ultimate team game that one player can make a difference and has come as close possible to murdering players during a game. Godspeed.

City: Alamo, CA
Name: Alex D

Kathryn Bigelow just requested access to the CIA case file on Bernard Pollard.

City: Chicago
Name: Mustafa

I chose a poor time to step into the kitchen for a beer and the girl I was watching the AFC title game with yelped, “some guy on the Ravens just literally knocked out the receiver for the Pats and made him fumble!”

I didn’t even bother to walk over and catch the replay. I already knew what happened: Bernard Karmell Pollard.

City: Denver
Name: Alexander Wilson

If the military ever comes up with something that can blow up its Patriot missile defense system, won’t they have to name it the MX31 Pollard?

City: las vegas
Name: bert silva

Which hit streak is more impressive, Joe DiMaggio’s 56 games or Benard Pollard’s hit streak vs Pats players?

City: Guam
Name: Sean H

Seriously, who is the most hated villain in New England sports history right now?

A. Bucky Dent
B. Maurice Richard
C. Bill Laimbeer
D. Bernard Pollard
E. Johnny Lawrence from Karate Kid (not really a New England reference, but everybody hates that kid).

City: Roseland, NJ
Name: Dan Salvaterra

I have never witnessed one man destroy another entire franchise, and I’ve been watching sports for 40 years. When you finally dig your red swollen eyes out of your NFL approved Patriots bed sheets, can you research if there is anything comparable in team sports history? Or maybe have your staff do the research as you recuperate by watching hours of mindless MTV programming that’s created for 16 year olds. What’s that sound? Oh yeah, it’s the door closing on the Pats dynasty. Brady is 36 years old. How long before we see him in a cold home playoff game wearing a protective glove, unable to throw the ball more than 20 yards down the field? Speaking of Peyton Manning, aren’t the Pats the team equivalent to how you described his career? A dominant regular season team, going 12-4 or 13-3 every year, but can’t get it done in the postseason? The Pats are a “tuck rule” and Adam Vinatieri’s magic foot away from being the Minnesota Vikings or the Buffalo Bills. Oh yeah…sorry about the tough loss, bro. That was brutal. I hope you’re OK.

City: Waxahachie, TX
Name: Tim

Can we safely say that Bernard Pollard’s methodical destruction of the Patriots has moved out of mere Bizarre Sports Coincidences (a QB wearing #12 winning every Super Bowl from 1972 to 80) into Bizarre Historical Coincidences (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both dying on July 4th, 1826)?

City: Frederick, MD
Name: Dave McArdle

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City: Ottawa, Ontario
Name: Ceege

To paraphrase Kyle Reese in The Terminator: “Listen, and understand. Bernard Karmall Pollard is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until every one of the Patriots is crippled or concussed.”

City: Philadelphia
Name: Rob

Could you write an e-book titled, “Things I’ll do When Bernard Pollard Retires”?

City: Weehawken, NJ
Name: Bobby

Bill, for all of the damage he has done to the people of New England, what are the odds that Bernard Karmel Pollard tries to steal the Sports Gal from you, Clubber Lang, Rocky 3 style, when you interview him this week? It is the only logical next step for him. No?

City: Madison, WI
Name: Chris N

I wish I could tell you Steven Ridley fought the good fight, and Bernard Karmell Pollard let him be. I wish I could tell you that – but the NFL is the No Fairy-tale League. He never said who did it (because he couldn’t remember), but we all knew.

City: Laguna Niguel, CA
Name: Jason Waldman

This probably isn’t the best time to mention this, since Bernard Karmell Pollard just wiped out another Patriot, but there are two Sons of (Ulf) Sam(uelsson) that are currently working their way up to the NHL.

City: Columbia, MO
Name: Matt G

So hasn’t the Bernard Pollard curse on the Patriots entered the Tyson Zone? I’m not surprised by anthing Bernard Pollard does to inflict bodily harm on anyone in the Patriots orginazation or really the enire Boston region. Do we know if this gene can be passed on to his children? He has a son! I’m predicting in 20 years his son becomes a great power pitcher for the Yankees who injures Red Sox players on a regular basis.

City: Austin, TX
Name: Michael Lakis

While I was watching the AFC Championship game last night, doing my very best not to throw my remote through my TV, I couldn’t help but wonder why Belicheck didn’t pick up Pollard when he was released by the Texans a couple of years ago. And then it dawned on me, if Pollard were a Patriot, that would give him atleast 175 times per season to blow out Brady’s knee in practice.

City: Cleveland
Name: Andrew

Does the hit on Ridley automatically Move Pollard to The #1 most hated athlete in the Boston area? He is at least partially to blame for 4 Patriot seasons ending in failure. Is there any other player who can say that about another team?

City: Presque Isle, ME
Name: Peter

When they make a movie about Belichick, Brady, Welker, and Ridley taking down Bernard Bin Pollard in a stealth raid they’ll call it Zero Dark Thirty One, and I’ll stand up and cheer at the end.

City: Reno
Name: Ashton

Did you see (through tears no doubt) the camera following Harbaugh when he went to congratulate Pollard and actually said “You won the game for us!” and Pollard replied “I know, right?!?” Obviously your DVR is in a million pieces, but check it out – it really happened.

City: Philadelphia, PA
Name: Jim

CBS played a fourth-quarter montage of Bernard Pollard single-handedly destroying Brady, Welker, Gronk, and Ridley. What was your first reaction seeing all of those plays in a row? The only thing I could think of was Forrest Gump when they were showing all of Lieutentant Dan’s ancestors dying during American Wars. Just four straight clips of dead Patriots seasons.

City: Columbus
Name: Braxton

“What if we told you that one man ended a dynasty not once, or twice, but four times… ESPN 30 for 30 presents: Going in for the Kill, the Bernard Pollard Story.”

City: Gaithersburg, MD
Name: Jake Bradfield

If Orioles fans were to start giving Bernard Pollard top tickets to Red Sox games at Camden Yards, would some Boston sports fan who is also a lawyer attempt the first ever sports restraining order? Don’t think someone hasn’t thought about making a Kickstarter fund under this premise just for torturing Boston fans. I’m a bad person just or writing this, right?

City: Phoenix
Name: Jake

I watched Zero Dark Thirty over the weekend. In the movie, everyone in the CIA referred to Bin Laden as “UBL.” After watching Bernard Karmell Pollard destroy Steven Ridley in the AFC Championship game, it’s time for you need to reconsider how to refer to him. Brady, Welker, Gronk, and now Ridley. BKP is slowly creating a path of destruction through the entire roster. If I’m a fan/coach/girlfriend/mother of anyone on the Patriots roster, I would be terrified. I’m not, and so I enjoyed watching Belichick and Brady crumble in the post season yet again.

City: Natick, MA
Name: Rob

I was trying to think if there is anything worse than walking into a Boston sports bar wearing a Bernard Pollard jersey. I can’t come up with anything that would even come remotely close to generate such rage amongst the patrons. A-Rod, Kobe, Peyton, Eli, a Johnny Damon Yankees jersey… those would be unpopulare, but none of them comes close. Can you think of anything? Pollard is in a class by himself isn’t he?

City: Tyngsboro, MA
Name: Brandyn R

I know Bernard Karmell Pollard is somehow responsible for Rondo’s torn acl… I just know…

City: Boston, MA
Name: Nick A.

Is there any way to blame Bernard Pollard for Rondo’s torn ACL? Couldn’t you see this being a Harding-Kerrigan type scandal, with Pollard waiting for Rondo in the locker room to hit his knee? Is this movie not already in the making? The captivating story of one man who destroyed the hopes and dreams a city. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pollard responsible for brain-washing Tim Thomas to go nuts and quit on the Bruins too. I’m prepared for any Bernard Pollard-Boston sports team scandal at this point.

City: mill valley
Name: jacob goldstein

(i am 13, a pats fan living in marin, and i do a weekly youtube segment in honor of my idol tom brady called sports kid12

Dear Mr. Pollard. If this is not Mr. Pollard, please give this to him:

There is something I would like to share with you. I am a 13 year old boy, and a huge Patriots fan, but I am not going to talk through that perspective. I am going to talk to you as simply an NFL fan. A couple years ago in 2008, You were on the Kansas City Chiefs when you hit Tom Brady in the season opener, tore his ACL, and took him out for the season. I had no idea who you were back then, and was quite frustrated that Brady was injured.
The next year, in 2009, you had come to the Houston Texans. In the last game of the season, when you played vs. the Patriots, as they were going to the playoffs as the #1 seed, you hit Wes Welker, their leading receiver, tearing his ACL. The Texans won that game. The Patriots were moved down to the #3 seed and consequently were bounced by the Ravens at home, the following the game. Many fans started to deem you the “Patriot Killer”, but I thought it was some sheer coincidence.

In 2011, Your first year with your current team, the Baltimore Ravens, you went to the AFC championship, facing none other than the New England Patriots. During that game you hit league leading Tight End and MVP candidate Rob Gronkowski to the ankle, resulting in a high ankle sprain. Before the next play, NFL films recorded you saying quote, “No 87.” The Patriots went on to win that game but lose in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants, due in part to the fact that Rob Gronkowski not playing at 100%. I was extremely mad and thought that 3 injured patriots could be no coincidence.

Yesterday, The Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots played again in the AFC championship. In the 4th quarter, you hit running back Stephen Ridley to the head, forcing a controversial fumble and knocking him out of the game with a concussion. The Ravens did indeed win that game, as right now you are practicing for facing the 49ers. I would like to say that I am extremely angered by that hit and all of the rest of them. 4 times is defiantly not a coincidence.

May you please own up to you actions publicly and stop hurting Patriots players.

Thank you for your time,
Jacob Goldstein

City: El Paso
Name: Albert Gamboa

I don’t think you should ever mention his name again… you know who.

Fast-forward to March 13 …

City: Atlanta
Name: Daniel

Pollard just got cut by the Ravens. You guys need to sign him, only let him practice by watching film and then only let him put on pads on gameday in a locked room. He must run into and out of the tunnel by himself and have his designated zone on every sideline, team plane, team bus, team meal and team meeting. That’s the only way to ensure he doesn’t hurt any more Patriots. Of course Bill Belichek is smarter than me, so he’ll probably sign him and put him on IR with a separated pinky nail then ban him from the state of Massachusetts.

City: Dayton
Name: Danny Wright

Would the Patriots signing Pollard be a good thing (in that you’d never have to play against him in a game again) or a bad thing (in that he’d inevitably injure the whole Patriots offense during practice)?

City: Great falls, va
Name: Thomas

The patriots killer is being released. The patriots have to sign him right? I mean he is like an escaped inmate now roaming the league and probably looking for a team in your division just to get the chance to play you 2 maybe 3 times a year and fill his bloodlust.

City: Baltimore
Name: David Dutrow

What would happen if the Patriots signed Bernard K. Pollard, now that he has been released? Would he still find a way to destroy them or would the Pats have the advantage of destroying others now? Or would it destroy the very fabric of the time-space continuum if he was to play for his nemeses?

City: Nashville, TN
Name: Alex

The Ravens released Bernard Pollard. The Patriots should immediately sign him and then immediately contact HBO about doing Hard Knocks this year. It would be just like watching the Mighty Ducks. The Ducks acquire Adam Banks from their bitter rival, The Hawks. At first nobody liked Banks because they still think of him as a Hawk. But eventually everybody on the Ducks learn to love him. Granted, Pollard seriously injured everybody on the Patriots. But that minor detail would just make it even better reality TV.

City: South Elgin, IL
Name: Nick Patel

What are the chances that the Patriots lock Bernard Pollard, now that he’s been released, to a long term deal til Brady retires? I mean, this could make for the best season of ‘Hardknocks’ ever. There could be an ep dedicated to Ryan Mallett and Pollard engaging in shady talks while the camera pans out to the them watching Brady and the first team practice. You desperately need to push this.

City: New York
Name: Andrew

You and Cousin Sal joke around about the Patriots nabbing the Patriot-killer all the time. If New England doesn’t get him, the Jets, Bills and Dolphins are probably all clamoring to acquire him so he gets 120 minutes of game time to see how many players he can take out in one season. Heck, he’d probably even sneak his way on to the field on offense to try and injure Vince Wilfork and Rob Ninkovich.

City: Houston
Name: chris

Isn’t Pollard becoming a Patriot the logical conclusion to this story? Years crushing the Patriots from the outside, now he will destroy them from within. Or redeem himself enroute to Brady’s fourth ring. Ten years later will be watching a 30-for-30 called “The Manchurian Secondary”.

City: Oakland
Name: Taylor

With Bernard Karmell Pollard set to be cut from the Ravens do you A) See the Pats signing him just to prevent more devastating injuries or B) See him signing with the Pats just to injure all of them from the inside. A modern day Trojan Horse from the Ravens?

City: Richmond, VA
Name: Cameron

The Patriots killer Bernard Pollard has been released, isn’t it now mandatory that the Patriots sign him so he doesn’t kill anymore of their players? Actually, now that I think about, maybe he was released by the Ravens because they knew the Patriots might think that and sign him. It could be a giant plot to have him infiltrate the organization and pick each player on the Patriots’ roster off one-by-one during full contact drills and practices. Wow, now I’m convinced this is John Harbaugh’s most genius scheme yet. Will Bill Belichick walk right into this one?

City: Washington D.C.
Name: Jon Mukri

Based on his track record I think John Harbaugh is baiting Belichick to take Pollard – he’s a Raven Manchurian Candidate sent to destroy Brady from within the Pats organization.

City: fresno ca
Name: Craig

Bill – I just read on ESPN that the ravens cut Bernard Pollard, this is no coincidence. I think this is all part of a collusion plot by the league to get Pollard to the pats to finish the job. Think about it, Pollard gets signed to the pats, gains the trust of his new teammates ( I’m sure he will have to buy ridley, brady, and welker some flowers or something). A few games go by then Robert kraft gets a strange illness, few more go by same illness for belichick. They both end up dying middle of the year and none of you theorys can save this one (no, not even ” no one believes in us”) . Pats end up 5-11 pollard gets cut this time next year and collects a huge check from the AFC contenders, and at some point gives Walter white the risin back. I know this scares you. Sorry for terrible punctuation I’m doing this from an iPod at a Starbucks.

City: McLean, VA
Name: Jim McDonnell

Am I the only one who thinks the Ravens releasing Bernard Karmell Pollard is basically like if the Lannisters cut all their ties with Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane. Why would you anger someone with that proven track record of inflicted pain? Were I a Ravens fan, I’d be utterly terrified all season that Pollard would be lurking, waiting to tear the leg off my new $120 million franchise QB.

City: Lowell – MA
Name: Steve B.

What are the odds the Patriots try to sign Pollard long term and send him to some remote island? At least until Brady retires. Like the franchise wouldn’t pay $3mil a year for him to be nowhere near a Pats game in the future. Hey Bernard, here’s 3 mil, go live in Bermuda from August to February.

City: Ponte Vedra
Name: Mark

Am I the only one who thinks the Pats should go to the ends of the earth to acquire the rights to Bernard Pollard? What would it be worth to have him in a position where he could not ruin another chance at a Super Bowl? How hard would it be for any one of the legions of stats geeks to calculate what he has cost the Pats over the past several seasons? What’s your guess? I’m putting the number at just under $185 million. So you offer him half of that and it’s a brilliant deal. You then estimate how many more seasons he has left in him. Let’s say for argument’s sake it’s 5. A 5 year deal for $92.5 million, and he never has a chance to destroy another Patriot season. Now the tricky part is getting him to agree to take this money and then just stay home because you couldn’t actually put him on the team. Think of the discomfort in the dressing room. Where would you put his locker? Next to Brady? Gronkowski? Ridley? I guess there is now a slot open where number 83 used to be, but let’s not go there. Imagine the nightmare of having him at practice. This is the man who has single handedly kept the Pats from dominating the League since 2001, and he’s done it by playing against them at most one time per year. Can you even contemplate what might happen if he is on the practice field everyday? No, this has to be football’s version of the Golden Parachute. I can’t see any other way forward.

City: Nashville
Name: Rob DeLucas

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. The window of opportunity is finally here. SIGN BERNARD KARMELL POLLARD TO AN 8 YEAR DEAL AND PUT HIM ON IR EVERY YEAR!!!! That’s all I have to say.

Postscript: Pollard ended up signing with the Titans. They aren’t on the Patriots’ schedule this season … unless the Pats and Titans meet in the playoffs.


Filed Under: Bill Simmons, NFL

Bill Simmons is the founding editor of Grantland and the author of the New York Times no. 1 best seller The Book of Basketball. For every Simmons column and podcast, click here.

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