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Tom Brady Now Says the Tuck Rule Play was a Fumble. STOP.

Sigh. Tom Brady is either messing with the internet just for laughs and clicks, or he truly believes he fumbled on the play that is generally considered the Big Bang of the Patriots Dynasty. This play:

Giphy Images.

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It's been 20 years. TWENTY freaking years. And I've been fighting this same war ever since. I'm like Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow, returning to the same battlefield over and over again. The only difference being that I believe I have never, not ever, been defeated. This is the hill I would die on. But no one has even wounded me in two full decades. 

So I don't mind repeating myself. The notion the Raiders are still promoting - that The Tuck Rule was made up on the spot and had never been called before, its an out-and-out lie. As I said when the NFL Network released a documentary about that Raider fans felt validated their position:

Wrong again, you sad, pathetic, costumed little reprobates. NFL Films plays it pretty much down the middle. But what else could they do? Because as "controversial" as the Tuck Rule is said to be, it wasa rule. It was properly applied in the playoff game, as it had been before. NFL Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2:

"When [an offensive] player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his arm starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body."

It’s a myth to say Walt Coleman made it up on the spot or that it had never been called before. In fact, here’s a clip of the Tuck Rule being called against the Patriots earlier in the 2001 season. But no one made a big deal out of it or remembered it because all that game is remembered for is Mo Lewis cracking Drew Bledsoe open like an egg and unleashing the dragon of Tom Brady upon the world.

I expect it from them. I expect it from America. I expect it from two generations whose minds have been poisoned from being taught by their parents, the media, the popular culture and in schools that the Patriots Dynasty is not legitimate. 

Who I don't expect it from is man who had the ball knocked out of his hand as he aborted his pass attempt. That is a fight I do not wish to have. But I will, since I've been dragged into it. 

Let me say again that when Walt Coleman first went under the replay hood on that Snow Globe-like night in Foxboro (incidentally the last game played in the old, shitty stadium as Gillette was under construction above it in a perfect metaphor for the fate of the franchise), the first words out of his mouth were reportedly, "Oh, fuck." Because with the first viewing he knew his crew had blown the call on the field. That according to Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2, it was still Patriots ball. No matter what Brady says replying to some random's TikTok. 

A couple of fun facts about that play. 

First, it occurred with 1:50 left in regulation and the Patriots out of timeouts. Meaning that if it had happened just 10 seconds of game clock earlier, it could not have been reviewed. 

Second, I was doing a promotional appearance for one of my books (did you say Father's Day is coming up?) when an older gentleman told me he was working the chain gang for that game. And when the officials gave the ball back to New England, they left it in the same spot where they'd first given it to Oakland. So five yards behind the original line of scrimmage. They pointed out the mistake and Coleman correctly moved it five yards closer to the Raiders end zone. Adam Vinatieri's subsequent field goal that sent it to overtime was good by, at most, two yards:

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So suck on those nuggets, you bunch of revisionist historians. 

I can keep going on this. And I'm sure in the years to come I'll still be winning this fight. All I ask is that Tom Brady stop taking a dump on our legacy and remember where he came from.