Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jack “The Assassin” Tatum (11/18/48-7/27/10)

It has been reported that Jack Tatum died yesterday at a hospital in Oakland, CA. from a heart attack. The Assassin is best known for his hard hitting no-nonsense approach to roaming the middle of the field. Many receivers found out the hard way coming across the middle on the Soul Patrol in the 1970's. One such example is Tatum's bell ringing and helmet flying hit in the 1977 Super Bowl on Minnesota Viking receiver Sammy White but Tatum is probably better known for his paralyzing hit on Darryl Stingley of the New England Patriots.

The Assassin quipped, "I play a hard-hitting game. I just like to have the receivers think about me a little bit while they're trying to catch the ball." Unfortunately the manner in which Tatum played the game in the '70's would have landed him suspensions and fines in the Common Era. Even though Tatum is known for his hard hitting approach to the secondary he did play an integral part in the Raiders 1976 season. The Raiders went 13-1; oh those were the days, on their way to beating the Vikings 32-14 in Super Bowl XI – Go Willie Brown!!!! I digress.

Mr. Tatum, the manner in which you played football will be missed. My prayers go out to your wife and three children. Today the Raider Nation lost one of its founders.