30 for 30: The Tuck Rule

Patriots fans and Raiders fans alike will forever remember the Tuck Rule Game back in 2002. This week is the 20th anniversary of this controversial play and the overturning of said play. This award-winning series 30 for 30 re-examines this game and the controversial play that will forever define this game, season, and two fandoms. I will never forget this moment in time as a huge New England Patriots fan.

The award-winning team at ESPN Films goes back in time and discusses whether or not the tuck rule play is a fumble or not. Talking heads of veteran players and Hall of Famers from both teams such as Teddy Bruski, Troy Brown, Adam Vinatieri, Willie McGinnis, Lincoln Kennedy, Tim Brown, and Eric Allen analyze this game and controversial play, along with head referee Walt Coleman, and Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots head coach and the owners of both teams.

These two legendary players are friends despite this moment in sports history linking them. They debate back and forth the merits of the Tuck Rule, and whether it was a fumble or incomplete pass. The film shows how luck or being in the right moment at the right time can propel someone and their legacy forward, in the case of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, or prevent a possible dynasty in the case of the Oakland Raiders. Both Tom Brady and Charles Woodson, college teammates at the University of Michigan, sit down and go over these games from beginning to controversial ending. As you might think, it’s a contentious reunion yet enjoyable one. 

They had a lot of fun banter back and forth reminiscing about the play, game, and where their careers were headed, and what their legacies were destined for in the years to come. Woodson would leave the Raiders and go to the Green Bay Packers and Brady Would become the greatest player in NFL history.

It’s games like these and plays like this that would be the reason why the NFL is the greatest league in all professional sports. The fact that these two old teammates in college can be defined by such a controversial play yet still be friends is a testament to how big the game of football is. The talking heads all had different perspectives on this play and game. And Walt Coleman never refereed another Oakland Raiders game in his career again. This was the last game in the history of old Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. What a game it was! No matter how you look at it, it will be forever remembered in the annals of history as The Tuck Rule Game!

5 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media

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