20-years ago, the New England Patriots took on the Oakland Raiders on a snowy day at Foxboro Stadium and one of the most controversial incidents in the history of the NFL ‘tuck’ place.
With the Raiders leading the game, the Patriots fresh-faced young quarterback Tom Brady, a replacement for the injured Drew Bledsoe, dropped back to pass but Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson burst through to tackle the quarterback as he aborted a pass attempt due to the pressure.
Woodson’s tackle stripped the ball from Brady’s grasp and Oakland’s linebacker Greg Biekert recovered the fumble. It was a moment that could and if you are an Oakland fan, should have sealed the game for the Raiders.
Fumble or no fumble? 🤔pic.twitter.com/KSZ3nJ6Wma
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) May 5, 2022
Officials Review The Play And Make Unusual Call
However, all was not as it seemed. As Raiders players celebrated, the officiating crew reviewed the on-field call and instead of ruling a fumble and defensive recovery, the officials stated that Brady’s arm was in a throwing motion as he attempted to tuck the ball into his body.
They then overturned the original ruling, ruling that it was an incomplete pass due to the “tuck rule”.
The Patriots kept the ball, scored to send the game into overtime, won the match in overtime and then went on to win the Super Bowl against the St Louis Rams, the first of what would be seven for Brady in his stellar career and the beginning of the Belichick and Brady dynasty in New England.
In contrast, the Raiders have never been a genuine contender for the top prize in the NFL since and it is a ruling that still smarts with the Raiders fan base today.
And Tom Brady doesn’t care one bit about that.
Response To Justin Bieber Tik Tok
One of Brady’s celebrity friends, singer Justin Bieber, posted a short video on Tik Tok where he asked for people to tell him something honest.
Amongst the litany of replies to the video, Tom Brady sent in a video reply of his own.
Sitting in the locker room, Brady stated “The ‘tuck rule’ game against the Raiders…” then Tampa Bay quarterback star looked furtively around the room to check that he was alone before whispering;
“It might have been a fumble…”
Everyone keep this on the down low please. pic.twitter.com/xPtrg1kXjr
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) May 5, 2022
In response, the Las Vegas Raiders official Twitter page texted a two word reply to Brady’s video, simply stating “Knew it”.
To be fair to the Raiders, they took the post in the comedic way it was clearly meant and Brady did move to clarify the tongue-in-cheek video a little later stating that the officials ‘probably’ got the call correct.
But, somewhat predictably, it has led to something of an outcry on social media, with the usual collection of foaming at the mouth half-wits desperate to Tweet bile-filled invective at Brady, the Patriots, Buccaneers or anybody linked with them for that matter.
In The History Books
There’s no point in regurgitating old history in the NFL. The game is in the history books as a New England win and nothing will change that now.
The Raiders are not the only team to have been stitched up by what they feel is a terrible call.
But what Tom Brady has proved with this is not just that he is the greatest NFL player of all-time, but he is also an A-Grade troller.
And that he has a sense of humor.