GLS Retrospective takes a look at some of the most memorable events in NFL history. Today’s installment features the day Tom Brady got saved by a strange rule.

There are seminal moments for every franchise. Sometimes that moment is a single play. The Tuck Rule game helped establish two things that remain true today. One, Tom Brady’s status as an all-time great and two, poor officiating that even instant replay couldn’t prevent.

The Raiders and Jon Gruden could’ve been the AFC’s team of the aughts if this game goes the other way. Instead, it was Bill Belichick and New England who would go on to dominate the conference.

Some bits and bites:
  • The offcial rule – which was introduced in 1999 – from the NFL: 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. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble.
  • The ruling on the field was a fumble. Referee Walt Coleman needed indisputable evidence to overturn the call. I don’t see how that was indisputable. Brady’s arm wasn’t going forward.
  • I chose the Oakland radio feed clip because Greg Papa and Tom Flores had clearly never heard of the rule and proceed to lose their shit.
  • How great is football in the snow? Patriots fans refer to this game as the ‘Snow Bowl’ – though i think that is mostly because they’re ashamed to acknowledge the true name of this game.
  • Walt Coleman explains his rationale: “The shot he gave me was from the front, which gave me a clear look at exactly what happened on the play. And what it showed is Brady’s arm’s coming forward. And Woodson hits him and the ball falls out of his hand. And that’s clearly an incomplete forward pass. It was easy.”
  • Raiders fans continue to believe they were the victim of a league wide conspiracy. Connect the dots….Open your eyes man.
  • The Patriots would go on to stun the St.Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
  • Jon Gruden was traded by the Raiders to Tampa Bay in the off-season. Only the late Al Davis would trade his coach, but they got a pretty good haul. Two first and second round picks and $8 million in cash went to Oakland. In a soap opera like twist the Raiders would make the Super Bowl that year – where they lost to Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Man….
  • If the Patriots lose that game does Drew Bledsoe come back as the starter next year? Would Tom Brady have faded into obscurity?
  • Some interrogation ‘experts’ in the comments of this youtube video believe Walt Coleman clearly exhibits the demeanor of a liar. This is obviously true.
  •  What gets lost in all of the craziness of this game was the INSANE kick made by Adam Vinatieri to tie the game. Absolutely insane. AV would hit another one to win the game in Overtime.