Happy 10th Anniversary Tuck Rule - NBC Bay Area

Happy 10th Anniversary Tuck Rule

Oakland Raiders' fans will forever remember the day the legend of Tom Brady was born.



    Happy 10th Anniversary Tuck Rule
    Tom Brady gets sacked by Charles Woodson just moments before the tuck rule made its most infamous appearance.

    Ten years ago today, one potential dynasty came to an end while another was born.

    Oakland Raiders' fans will never forget the image of Charles Woodson tackling the soon-to-be golden boy of football, Tom Brady.

    As Brady fell to the floor, the ball squirted out of his hand and the Raiders recovered -- seemingly sealing the game while securing a seat to the Super Bowl.

    Instead the officials took the ball away from Oakland and the legend of "the tuck rule" was born.

    What is the tuck rule, you ask all these years later? Many still wonder. The National Football League rule book defines it as:

    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. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble.

    What that actually means is anyone's guess. But what it meant in the moment was that Brady got to play in his first Super Bowl and Raiders fans were left to watch Jon Gruden's eventual exit and the term "Snowjob" found its way on the lips of Raiders' fans.

    The former Head of NFL Officials Mike Pereira still defends the decision. On a recent appearance on KNBR radio he said the call was the right one and the rule is still on the books.

    But he did give Raiders' fans an anniversary gift. He said the rule should be erased from the books in this era because when the ball comes out, it looks like a fumble and everyone thinks it is a fumble.

    In case you want to relive the pain, forward to about three minutes and 30 seconds into the YouTube clip below.