Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by NE_PATS_FAN_54, Apr 5, 2007.
people keep bringing up the hit itself...."Hey, it's unfortunate, it's a rough sport, these things can happen, etc..."
These are people who don't know anything about what came between these men.
Tatum was scum because of the inhumane way he DEALT WITH THE SITUATION!!!! Sure it was "legal"....that doesn't make it ok to not have compassion toward someone you put in a wheelchair for playing a GD game.
The saddest line was Sports Center reporting that "there was no flag thrown"....???!!!!???? A ******* flag makes it fair to effectively end a man's life? Are we this delusional? There has to be a REAL penalty for intentionally taking a player out of a game (never mind paralyzing them)....15 yards DIDN'T DETER JACK TATUM....and doesn't deter coaches/players from headhunting today. Let's please stop pretending that player safety has progressed because of 15 yards.
Not to digress, but I saw Logan Mankins get ejected for roughing up a guy in a scrum (something that happens ALL THE TIME). And then I saw Tom Nalen dive at Igor Olshansky after a whistle in plain view and NOT GET TOSSED, before watching Igor respond with a far less threatening forearm blow and GET TOSSED.
How about this: cutting a lineman, going low on the QB in the pocket, headhunting a receiver coming across the middle, will get your own ass ejected. You can't legislate the extremes out of a game as inherently passionate as football, but there needs to be a proportionate response to acts which can by consensus be deemed dirty play.
You can go back to the earliest days of football when it was glorified rugby and read tales of players kicking each other in the heads until they caughed up the ball or got their heads broken....there's a balance between track and field athlete and caveman....you have to regulate the game in a way that defines the parameters of what a football player is.
The integrity of the game is based on basic but powerful human instincts, its artistic purity comes from the coordinated chaos that happens after each snap. Football is not a game for stupid people (it took the better part of a century for society to accept this). Thought is what conditions how players behave and REACT on the field.
I strongly believe players can learn how to hit each other without destroying the integrity and art of the game -- anyone who thinks otherwise should learn their history. It starts in Pop Warner and high schools. It starts with the stigma that SHOULD'VE BEEN applied to Jack Tatum....who instead was CELEBRATED for his senseless brutality, and who today is implicitly defended by hordes of clueless pundits, who in the same breath mourn the passing of Stingley, who must now be tossing in his grave.
Most people mature after killing or paralyzing a total stranger. Most have figured out that life is more important than football, but Tatum can't go there....
Today "the assassin" is still a dumb punk in an adult's body whose sum total of life experience amounts to a bunch of cliches about playing the game hard....he hides behind the apology card when it was never about apologies....instead it was, as Stingley put it, about a spiritual reconciliation.
Playtime is over Jack. Time to grow up.
I don't know man...and I have to preface this by saying that being born in 1980, what I know of football in the 70s is from NFL Films, and stories told by former pros I know from that time. But having played football, and having stood in silence when a friend was thought to be paralyzed (Zia Combs in the Utah game in 2002) on the field, I don't necessarily disagree with the theory that Tatum was in the wrong here. First and foremost, I'm under the impression that he didn't attempt to injure Stingley, and is remorseful for his actions after the fact. I'm not excusing the decision not to contact Stingley, rather the play itself. It can be argued that it was the preseason, and unnecessary, which I can buy. However, you are taught to be the most bad-ass mofo as possible on the field. You are taught that you are a machine, that you are almost infallible. Hit hard. Take no prisoners. Punish the opponent at all times possible. That is why it's so difficult when an opponent is injured at your hands. You suddenly are lifted out of this world of invincibility, and thrust into the real world, where your conscience can eat at you as you watch someone else lie on the ground. Tatum is merely a product of the football mentality. I made money last fall by producing a "Guns Don't Kill People, LaMarr Woodley Kills People" t-shirt. On the back was a "hit list" of opposing QBs to check off after LaMarr got the "kill." I wished no ill towards any of these kids, but during the games we wanted nothing more than for LaMarr to continuously punish them. Tatum was the same way- he marketed himself. I've been in NFL rooms pregame, and on the sidelines during games. When there are injuries, the entire sideline is basically numb, knowing that it could've been any one of them lying there. But before and after games, it's the big hits that are the talk of the room.
Having seen more then a couple Tatum interviews, I can tell you I was never under that impression.
I also read one story where after the game, Madden walked up to Tatum in the lockerroom after the game and asked him if he was alright.
Tatum asked Madden why wouldn't he be.
The man made only one attempt to ever talk to Stingley, and it was to pimp his book.
Even though I could never prove this, just from the interviews I have seen of Tatum, I fully believe he enjoyed the rep that hit gave him and would have done it again if he had to do it all over again. Just my opinion of course.
It was a clean hit. He really did what he was supposed to do. For a guy who took so many cheap shots, the hit that caused the disaster was a clean one. But he played up that tough guy image so much that I think initially his response was to build his image.
The sad part (from the Tatum side) to me is that Mr Tough Guy never had the toughness to be human toward Stingley after it happened.
Tatum tried to build this manly personna and in the end Stingley was man enough to forgive him and talk with him, and Tatum wasn't man enough to face the consequences of the clean hit because he spent so much time throwing cheap shots.
There is no better way to see what Tatum is about that to dig up the story of the NC State db Chuckie (cant remember his last name, want to say Dukes) who was paralyzed by a hit and how the guy who hit him (totally clean while running the ball) had his life changed forever. IIRC, he lives out west, and every year on the anniversary of his death (I think its around christmas too) gets in his car and drives across the country to be at the cemetary. I dont remember all the details, but that guy has had a very difficult life dealing with what happened.
I saw one interview with Tatum, they ran it on NFLN yesterday. I'm thinking it's fairly recent. He seemed somewhat remorseful to me. I would hope he wouldn't choose to do it again if given the opportunity. As for after the game, how soon did they know the extent of the injury? On NFLN they made it seem like the team didn't know right after the game, in which case Tatum's comments would make a little more sense.
So what constitutes a "dirty" hit?
a) The ball was thrown very high by Grogan. I haven't seen the film in a while and don't want to go looking for it, but it was so high as to make it uncatchable by Stingley, or any 7 foot Boston Celtic as Bill Walsh once said.
b) As if that's not enough, the ball was well beyond Stingley when Tatum decided to blast him.
In the speed of the game, you could say that a defender can't reasonably judge things fast enough to not blast a receiver when he should just run by (ball too high, ball gone).
No matter what, Tatum should have been going to the hospital to visit, not Madden.
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