On Wednesday March, 20, 2013 the NFL owners decided the ‘tuck rule’ has run its course and should be eliminated from the game. This is great news to all the fans that were negatively affected by the ‘tuck rule’, but probably won’t make them feel any better.
The tuck rule was a huge factor in the 2001-2002 AFC Divisional playoff game when Tom Brady was sacked by Charles Woodson late in the fourth quarter. The Raiders then recovered the ball and seemingly won the game as New England was behind by three points. Initially it was called a recovered fumble, but after review was ruled an incomplete pass. (It wasn’t until after the game that referee Walt Coleman stated he was incorrect and it was a fumble because of the ‘tuck rule’ and not an incomplete pass.) The Patriots then kicked a field goal and went into overtime, to win with another field goal.
And here we are, 11 years later, still talking about this. Well now it’s all over, the tuck rule is gone! Unfortunately for Raiders fans, it does nothing to heal the wounds of the 2001-2002 season. But at least now the rule is gone, and if the Raiders actually make it into the playoffs again they won’t have to worry about the tuck rule affecting the outcome.
Not surprisingly, the voting for eliminating the tuck rule wasn’t even close. The tuck rule was eliminated by a vote of 29-1. As you know there are 32 teams in the NFL, so how could this be? Well two teams abstained from the vote. One of the teams was the Washington Redskins, and the other? The New England Patriots! This wasn’t very surprising considering owner Bob Kraft told ESPNboston.com on Monday, “I love the tuck rule and forever will”. He also went on to add “I know Al Davis, may he rest in peace, is probably smiling,” As a lifelong Patriot fan I would like to thank the tuck rule for all its done, thanks for the memories, tuck rule.