Blog Entry

Tatum more than menacing

Posted on: July 27, 2010 3:18 pm

Jack Tatum, who passed away Tuesday, was a heck of a football player. Too bad he's known more as the guy who paralyzed Darryl Stingley.

Tatum was a nasty, mean safety for the Oakland Raiders, a man who hit anything that moved. He intimidated receivers with his big shots, plus he was a good tackler in the hole. I loved watching him play.

But in the summer of 1978, in a meaningless preseason game, his life changed. A hit that some felt wasn't necessary in a game that meant nothing -- I agree -- put Stingley in a wheelchair for the rest of his life before he passed away in 2007.

It also cast a nasty shadow over Tatum.

He was the bad ass who became the poster child for over-the-top violence in the NFL. There were stories that the NFL was too violent, that Stingley's plight might be the undoing of the league's growing popularity.

If Tatum played today, he would have been forced to adjust. Those hits that made him famous now get huge fines. Suspensions come as well. The hit on Minnesota Vikings receiver Sammy White in the Super Bowl knocked White's helmet off with a helmet-to-helmet blow. That's illegal now. But the fans, and those who market big-hit videos, would have loved him.

With the way the game has changed, Tatum might have even been a linebacker now. The big-hitting safety that hits like a linebacker is no more. The back two are now speed, cover-the-field players. Tatum ran well, but at 200 pounds he was considered a powerfully built safety. Add 20 pounds and move him to the weak-side linebacker might have been his path.

That's for debate. His talent isn't. But one hit makes most out there forget that. It didn't help that Tatum never really showed remorse for the hit.

Two men went to the field that summer day wiith little in common, other than a profession and the fact they both played in the Big Ten in college. One hit linked them for eternity, a hit that ended a career and another that earned one man a label forever.

The Assassin.

Those two never did get together to talk about the hit. Tatum tried, but was said to have been denied the chance by the Stingley family.

Let's hope they can finally have that talk now with The Man above mediating.

Tatum had to live with guilt, even if he didn't admit it. How could he not?

That hit also tarnished the reputation of a good football player.





Category: NFL
Tags: Jack Tatum

Since: Jun 14, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2010 6:16 pm

Prisco, you never dissapoint!

You've gotta be the worst journalist ever!

Since: Jun 14, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2010 6:12 pm

Tatum more than menacing

You are the worst journalist ever Prisco!

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2010 3:21 pm

Tatum more than menacing

Tatum didn't need to apologize for nothing because he did a clean hit. It was an unfortunate freak collision that ended in the worse way. In Football people tackle eachother unless some of you didn't know that .. fagsssssssss

Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:58 pm

Tatum more than menacing


It's funny the only "apology" was given 2 YEARS later and done in his book.  Tatum even attempted to hold a press conference to apologize to Stingley as a publicity stunt to help sell his awful book.   Why don't you do some "research" and not use Tatum's autobiography as the gospel.

Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:51 pm

Tatum more than menacing

AN ACCIDENT?  In that he left his feet driving his shoulder / helmet into Stingley's facemask causing Stingleys vertebrae to be dislodged and pinch his spinal cord paralyzing him for the rest of his life.  REAL FOOTBALL right there.  Not to mention the fact that the scumbag NEVER attempted to apologize to Stingley until he was trying to sell his book.  A REAL CLASS ACT.

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 11:22 am

Tatum more than menacing

RIP Jack...

Football is a dangerous sport and you pansies that are calling Tatum a thug are idiots!!

Since: May 4, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 10:39 am

Tatum more than menacing

Muddlehuddle says -

Prisco says that "Tatum Tried"  . .says who?  Tatum.  Its pretty common knowledge that he never tried until 20 years had passed and Jack Tatum deciding he needed money and showed up unannouced at Stingley's door as a publicity stunt.  How would you react in such a situation after all those years.
What Prisco doesn't tell you was that John Madden felt so bad, he was at the hospital every day for MONTHS.  And he was continually visit Stingley over the years . . so Pete once again  GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT!!!

Tatum did try - and you ask who says? Actually, yes, Jack says it.

Well you reference Madden later so try this - "Jack tried. The day Jack arrived at the hospital, he was told he couldn't see Darryl". That is right from Madden's book - Hey Wait a Minute (I wrote a book) page 8. Darryl was in the Eden

Prisco doesn't tell you Madden was there every day for months because he didn't - "I was busy coaching the Raiders, but whenever Virginia and I had a chance , we vsited Darryl in the hospital" (again, from Madden's book.)

You cite Prisco for not getting the facts straight and use Madden as your base for that.
But what Madden really says is different than your 'pretty common knowledge'.

Since: Jun 29, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:26 am

Tatum more than menacing...a dirty punk!

C'mon Pete.  Let's not give any form of props to Tatum.  The hit on Stingley was bush league by anyone's standards.  He intentionally tried to injure him in a worthless preseason game...period!  If there was no prior history with the guy, one disgression could be forgiven.  As we know, that is simply not true as he was one of the dirtiest players of his era.  Further, and most importantly, he never felt any remorse about INTENTIONALLY injuring another player and capitalized in a financial manner by writing a book due only in effect to crippling a fellow player.  The title of his '80 book alone is enough to indicate the character (or lack thereof) of Tatum.  Let's not glorify this goon in death!

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:17 am

Tatum more than menacing

Stabler use to go to games drunk and throw up in the huddle lol. Im just saying. Every Raider in the 70's were bad boys who bent the rules but didn't break them. Tatum wasn't a dirty player, he just hit hard as hell. And did it all the time. quit hating.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2010 11:52 pm

Dirty player. Period.

Tatum was a dirty player.  He didn't care who he hurt.  I never had any respect for the way he played.

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