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  1. #1
    License to Lillard tlongII's Avatar
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    I thought about putting this in the NFL forum, but decided to put it here instead...

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5413917

    Former Oakland Raiders and Ohio State defensive back Jack Tatum has died of a heart attack.

    Tatum, a three-time Pro Bowler, was 61.

    "We have lost one of our greatest Buckeyes," Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said in a statement. "When you think of Ohio State defense, the first name that comes to mind is Jack Tatum. His loss touches every era of Ohio State players and fans."

    Known as "The Assassin" during his career, Tatum was renowned as one of the most feared hitters in the game. The footage of Tatum knocking the helmet off of Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sammy White in Super Bowl XI is one of the marquee images in the history of the game.

    But Tatum's most infamous hit came during a preseason game.

    In Oakland on Aug. 12, 1978, New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley ran head-on into Tatum on a crossing pattern. The blow severed Stingley's fourth and fifth veterbrae and left the receiver paralyzed. Eventually, Stingley regained limited movement in his right arm and was able to operate his electric wheelchair on his own, but Stingley died from the after-effects of Tatum's hit on April 26, 2007 at the age of 55.

    Chuck Fairbanks, the Patriots' coach at the time, said he couldn't find anything illegal or dirty about the hit. Nor did the officials; no flag was thrown on Tatum.

    "I saw replays many, many times, and many times Jack Tatum was criticized," Fairbanks said. "But there wasn't anything at the time that was illegal about that play. I do think probably that play was a forerunner for some of the changes in rules that exist today that are more protective of receivers, especially if there is head-to-head-type contact. I think that probably pre-empted some of the things that happened today."

    Tatum and Stingley never reconciled. In 1996, they were supposed to meet for a TV appearance, but Stingley called it off after being told it was to publicize a book written by Tatum.

    Tatum said he tried to visit Stingley at an Oakland hospital shortly after the collision but was turned away by Stingley's family members.

    Oakland drafted Tatum 19th overall in 1971 out of Ohio State, where he was a two-time All-American and won a National Championship in 1968. He played nine years in the NFL and won a Super Bowl as a member of the Raiders in 1976.

    Tatum suffered multiple health problems relating to diabetes after his retirement in 1980. He had all five of his toes on his left amputated in 2003 due to a staph infection and later lost his right leg after an arterial blockage forced another amputation.

    "He endured a lot of problems, and it's unfortunate he passed away so young," former Buckeye teammate John Hicks told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. "He was a tremendous athlete and a great person."

    Tatum was a three-year starter for the Buckeyes and named to the All-Big Ten team three times. He was named the National Defensive Player of the Year in 1970. Ohio State give a "Jack Tatum Hit of the Week Award" to a defense player every week.

    He is a member of both the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

  2. #2
    License to Lillard tlongII's Avatar
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    R.I.P.

    One of the greatest football players of all time.

  3. #3
    Ina world of hype, we win IronMexican's Avatar
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    South LA, where it's at.
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    R.I.P


    Only got to hear stories about him.

  4. #4
    A neverending cycle Trainwreck2100's Avatar
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    and Al Davis still lives at 102 years old


    lol raiders

  5. #5
    Get Refuel! FromWayDowntown's Avatar
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    The Assassin -- RIP. He certainly excelled at the most violent aspect of a violent game. He was among the best in the profession before the Stingley incident; I think that the play changed the way he played ever so slightly -- as it would be reasonable to expect of anyone with a conscience.

  6. #6
    00 06 12 13 21 32 44 50 bus driver's Avatar
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    I
    Known as "The Assassin" during his career,

    never saw this dude play but damn were nicknames cool back in the day!
    with a nickname like that in football you know this dude must have been one badass

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