A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots got together in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game. It was snowy night in Foxboro, Massachusetts which made for a really interesting football game in many, many ways.
Late in the game with while Oakland was leading 13-10 Raiders’ cornerback Charles Woodson hit Patriots quarterback Tom Brady while in the pocket forcing what looked to be at the time a fumble on which Raiders’ linebacker Greg Biekert recovered. Naturally this caused some levels of elation among the citizenry of Raider Nation (Yours truly was among this group.)
This elation would prove to be fleeting because referee Walt Coleman reversed that call after reviewing the play. Coleman invoked NFL Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2 which was installed into to the league rule book two years prior. This little-known rule would then go down in history as “The Tuck Rule.”
The Tuck Rule reads as follows:
When [an offensive] player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his arm starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble.
The Patriots would be rewarded the football and would go on to win the game and start one of the more annoying dynasties in sports history. This blog ain’t about them, though.
At the time, as an Oakland fan I was pissed and would remain that way for a few years. Yes, the Pats started a dynasty but the Raiders remained a good team and would make the Super Bowl the next year while evacuating themselves all over the clean linens in the bed while doing so. Among the Raider faithful the Tuck Rule game would go down in lore as the moment the once proud Oakland Raiders franchise turned into a joke of a team.
We kept telling ourselves that game started it all, while in truth the last 12 years is a mess made by the organization and not the league, Jon Gruden, or anyone else. Look in the mirror.
That game floated back into our minds last week when the NFL decided that the NFL Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2 is hereby rescinded. When the news hit I glanced at my twitter Time Line and saw the following from the Raiders: “Adios, Tuck Rule.”
I then thought to myself, “Get the ***k over it!”
That in itself is my message to my fellow Raider fans: Just Get the ***k over it!
That game in Foxboro did not cause the last 12 years of terrible football and horrible front office moves. Walt Coleman’s reversing of the fumble did not cause JaMarcus Russell and Darius Heyward-Bey (I assume that all dudes who aren’t French, from Louisiana or some other former French possession, with hyphenated names drink Zima, dress like Russell Westbrook, and listen to Drake in their free time.) be drafted in the first round. Nor did it cause the Davis family (Is Davii the plural of Davis?) to trade for Randy Gene Moss or Carson Palmer. Nothing that happened in that game caused the Raiders to become the Bengals.
So again, I implore my fellow Raider fans to shut the hell up and get over it. Our squad sucks because it is poorly ran shell of its former self that looks in the mirror and thinks its reflection still looks great. The only problem is the mirror has been covered with a picture from 1978, when things were good. Sadly, this is the current culture of my team and its fan base.
Big damn deal but I still don’t care that the Tuck Rule is gone it changes nothing about the reality of the Oakland Raiders being terrible.
Question: Is there anything about your favorite sports teams that you hate? (For instance I pull for Alabama’s football team but don’t like Nick Saban.) Do they continually make baseless excuses about poor on an off the field performances? Sports if filled with false narratives that get the Liberty Valance treatment so which ones are attached to your teams?
Vaya con Dios.
The Geto Boys– Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta (Explicit)