I asked Wes Welker on Tuesday if his collision with Aqib Talib in the AFC Championship could be equated to a game of chicken.

“In a big game like that, of course,” said Welker, the former Patriot whose collision with the Patriots corner knocked Talib from the game and deeply irked Bill Belichick. “You’re out there trying to help your team win. Both guys are trying to be competitive, I think, and it worked out the way it did. Hopefully he’s doing good.”

In the nine days since Talib and Welker rammed into each other, the play’s been dissected like the Zapruder film.

But hysteria from both sides over whether the hit was clean or dirty, whether the contact was early or late, and whether Welker is now on Belichick’s “HATE SOOOO MUCH!!!” list has made it near impossible to get to the meat of the play.

Welker got to it Tuesday.

They collided because neither guy backed down. Because they are both wired that way and -- in a game of this import -- you don’t step around a pick. And when Welker realized which way Talib was going, it was too late for him to take evasive action.

Welker didn’t think before the snap, “Now I take out Aqib for the game…” but he did set out to take Talib out of the play. That’s what a pick does. This was one that went bad.

This was Welker’s third Super Bowl Media Day. Over the 30 minutes I posted up at his spot, he was interviewed by Deion Sanders, ESPN’s Chris Berman and the Steelers Brett Keisel (awkwardly). He fielded questions from kids and entertainment reporters. He was glib and smooth.