The NFL recently repealed the Tuck Rule, which was a strange and often-misunderstood rule concerning the throwing motion, intent, and loss of the ball by the quarterback (this is a terrible explanation – just read the linked article). The phrase “Tuck Rule” has special resonance for Pats and Raiders fans due to the infamous Tuck Rule Game. I remember watching the play and being heartbroken when it happened, only to have a complete turnaround when the ref made the ultimate call – and by complete turnaround I mean it was like being in an elevator crash and then being rocketed into space. Long-suffering Raiders fans were upset and raised an uproar when this happened (if Twitter had existed back then it would definitely have crashed). We even longer-suffering Patriot fans were ecstatic, of course. Lost in all of the controversy, though, were three facts:
-The Tuck Rule was interpreted correctly.
-The Competition Committee of the NFL had a chance to change the rule after the season and didn’t.
-The Raiders had plenty of chances to win the game and had only themselves to blame. Bill Simmons made these same points in this old column (about halfway down).
Pats fans of a certain vintage will get the Sugar Bear Hamilton reference. He was called for a phantom roughing-the-passer call in the 1976 playoffs, and the call resulted in a Raiders win. The Tuck Rule is gone, likely forever, but we will always have the memories.