It’s History, but I just Can’t Let it go

I at least admit it.

When your team is struggling so much, there’s no where else to go but the past. In this case, the bitter past.

It doesn’t help that people are still writing about it, bringing up the heartbreak again. Hmmmm….wonder why they are and why it’s such a controversy….maybe because it was WRONG!

I’m talking about the infamous “Tuck Rule Game”. The one where the Oakland Raiders were robbed of an AFC Championship Game. Inappropriately named because the rule shouldn’t have even been applied here, as you’ll read later.

Tampa Bay’s game tomorrow at New England inspired this article by Ira Miller on how the tuck rule changed at least nine team’s fortunes. He makes some interesting points, although he and Bill Belichick continue to lie to themselves in thinking it was a legitimate and correct call, “according to the rules”. Miller, who consistently writes negative pieces on the Raiders franchise, isn’t exactly objective when he writes….

A word here first: The Raiders, Gruden and many other apologists will not agree with this, but the fact is that the officials ultimately got the call right and that the rule was neither new nor unknown — and, after the controversial play, the Raiders still had plenty of chances to stop the Patriots from tying and ultimately winning the game, and failed.

At least he didn’t mention this whacky New England-born excuse for the call: “Woodson hit Brady in the head anyway and should have been called for roughing the passer”. This is being promoted by the likes of Bill Simmons (guess what? a New England fan) and this loser who dedicates a whole blog to Raider Hating. What a sorry lot.

Regardless of what New England apologists say and what happened afterwards, the game was won. Over. New England was essentially given a “fifth down”. The evidence shows it and the call on the field should never have been overturned. The Tuck Rule should not have applied here.

The ‘Tuck Rule’

From the NFL rule book, Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2, Note 2:

“…any intentional forward movement of [the passer’s] 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.”

That’s all fine and dandy, except for these pertinent facts:
THERE WAS NO FORWARD MOVEMENT. THERE WAS NO ATTEMPT TO TUCK. THE BALL WAS BEING HELD BY TWO HANDS AND STATIONARY AFTER A PUMP FAKE.

And where was the “Undisputable video evidence” supposedly required to overturn a call? One more time for clarity: The call on the field was fumble. Game Over.

Robbed

Some still point to a famous photo of the play that showed Brady with both hands appearing to touch the ball, as if it were the Zapruder film unraveling the Kennedy assassination.

“I’ve never seen anybody throw a pass with two hands on the ball,” Jim Gruden, the coach’s dad, said this week.

Jim Gruden, at the time a 49ers scout and now a Bucs consultant, watched that game from his Tampa home with his wife, Kathy.

“When I saw it, I was jumping up and down because I knew (the Raiders) were going to go to the AFC Championship Game,” he said. “The game was over. Then I saw the flag out, and I knew they were going to (change) it, and I told my wife, ‘We’re going to get screwed on this one, I guarantee it.'”

You can take Mike Holmgren’s advice and ask “50 guys at a bar” or most NFL players.

Brooks and Chris Hovan, a Bucs defensive lineman who was playing for Minnesota at the time of the controversy, had no stake in the outcome of that game. Both of them said this week, however, that they were watching the game and, in their minds, the Brady play was clearly a fumble.

Sorry, I’ll never let this one go. It still hurts.

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