Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Former Raider DB Jack Tatum Dead at 61

The Oakland Raiders, and the National Football League, lost a legend today. Former Raiders' defensive back Jack Tatum passed away of a heart attack. He was only 61.

Tatum, the three-time Pro Bowler in his 10 professional seasons (nine with Raiders, one with Houston Oilers), was drafted by Oakland with the 19th overall pick in the first round of the 1971 draft.

"The Assassin," as he was nicknamed, was probably best known for his ferocious hit on New England Patriot WR Darryl Stingley in a 1978 preseason game. The hit paralyzed Stingley from the chest down.
There's no doubt that Tatum was one of the best safeties to ever play the game, and he could arguably have been the most feared tackler to ever step foot on the field. In his first NFL game, Tatum knocked out two of the Baltimore Colts' tight ends, one of which was Hall of Famer John Mackey.

It's a shame we lost Tatum at such a young age, and because of this I may just go and read the books that he wrote about his career.

R.I.P. Jack Tatum

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