Brooks-Brees fallout continues

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Everyone has an opinion on the controversial hit 49ers lineback Ahmad Brooks put on Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

The play has been one of the lingering storylines of Week 11.

Here’s the backdrop: The 49ers appeared to get the ball on a turnover with about three minutes to go. But Brooks was called for a personal foul for a hit to Brees' neck. The 15-yard penalty and gave the Saints new life. It was a questionable call because it appeared Brooks hit Brees' shoulder more than neck. New Orleans finished the drive with a game-tying field goal with 2:06 to go. The 49ers likely would have won the game had the penalty not been called.

Many observers thought the officials blew the call and Brooks’ hit on Brees was clean. 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said coaches downgrade players for penalties. Harbaugh said Brooks was not downgraded.

If Brooks is fined by the NFL for the hit this week, he may get some financial relief. ESPN analyst and former hard-hitting NFL linebacker, Ray Lewis said on the air he would pay for half of Brooks’ fine because he felt strongly it was a clean hit. I’m sure Brooks would grant Lewis his wish.

Meanwhile, the officials and league may have sided with New Orleans on the call, but much of the United States did not. In an ESPN SportsNation poll, only two states voted that they believe the officials made the right call -- Louisiana and neighboring Mississippi.

While readers across of the nation have spoken, the NFL’s voice is the only one that matters.