Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jack Tatum RIP--Avoid Clotheslines

There's a report that former Oakland Raider defensive back Jack Tatum died from a heart attack today. If I remember right, Tatum was especially good at "clotheslining"--tacking a wide receivers by ripping your arm across his face as he's running forward with the ball. Clotheslining had very much a comical effect because the other player's face would be stopped cold while their torso and legs still spluttered forward.

During his heyday, I LOVED Jack Tatum as a former high school linebacker. He was the ultimate in "assassin cool" as a defensive player during the 1970's--even better than Dick Butkus had been during the 1960's.

That is until a trademark Tatum hit resulted in the full paralysis of New England receiver Darryl Stingley in 1978.

Jack Tatum didn't seem so cool at that point.

And he retired a couple of years later.

Tatum's memory is always going to be tarnished by Stingley's paralysis and his own lack of any remorse for ruining the guy's life.

And it should be.

I have to admit that I had remorse for Stingley's injury just for being a Jack Tatum fan.

Ultimately, the really cool, super-tough guy thing so great after all.

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