Notorious Raiders defensive back Jack Tatum, whose hit on Darryl Stingley during a preseason game in 1978 left Stingley a quadraplegic, has died at the age of 61.
According to 10TV.com, Tatum suffered a heart attack.
Tatum suffered from diabetes for years. He lost all five toes on his left foot, and his right leg was amputated.
The hard-nosed safety’s autobiography was titled They Call Me Assassin. For the youngsters in the crowd, YouTube will get you up to speed regarding Tatum’s substance, and his style. (And please wait to see Tatum’s hit on Earl Campbell. Then stick around to see whether Sammie White’s head was in his helmet while it was rolling around on the field.)
A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Ohio State presents during the season a “Jack Tatum Hit of the Week” award.
Adored by Raiders fans and generally despised by those who followed every other team, Tatum was a key part of the fabric of the game in the 1970s. There hasn’t been another Jack Tatum, and there likely never will.