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March 23, 2013

Advice for Raiders: Move on from 'Tuck Rule'

There’s a reason the Oakland Raiders haven’t played a memorable game in over a decade.

They don’t get it.

They don’t understand the concept, and everything it entrails in the complex world of the NFL, of winning.

One could argue, because of their quirky and now-deceased owner, Al Davis, the franchise has been in a free fall — they haven’t won more than eight games over the last decade. But it’s more than that as we’ve seen from the recent responses from the ending of the “Tuck Rule.” Their fans, and some of their former players, don’t really understand what happened that snowy night.

As the National Football League rules committee voted to rid the game of the controversial “Tuck Rule,” which is a weird rule, which said “any dislodging of the ball during the forward movement of the quarterback’s arm, would be deemed an incomplete pass.”

It was a stupid rule. If a quarterback is not throwing the ball, and he loses it, it should be ruled a fumble. Yes, I like the end of the “Tuck Rule.”

But in 2001, the “Tuck Rule,” like it or lump it, did exist. It protected referees from making a decision: Was it a pass or not?

That’s not the issue.

The issue is the reaction with a lot of people connected to the Raiders.

Yes, it was a fluke the allowed the Patriots another life in the famous Snow Bowl game on Jan. 19, 2002, when Tom Brady appeared to be strip-sacked by then-Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson with 1:50 remaining in the AFC Divisional game. The Raiders were leading 13-10 and the Patriots were out of timeouts.

But here’s a problem I have with the Raiders.

The game wasn’t over after the crazy call.

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