It will never change the fact that the Oakland Raiders were screwed out of a chance to win win the Super Bowl in 2002, but NFL fans and teams should be happy to know that the controversial Tuck Rule no longer exists. The vote to eliminate the Tuck Rule passed on Wednesday at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix, Arizona.
The vote passed by an overwhelming number, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Tuck Rule passed 29-1, with New England and Washington abstaining.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 20, 2013
In the past, if a quarterback pump faked the football and then lost control while he was bringing it back to his body, it would be ruled incomplete in stead of a fumble. Now, it is a loose ball and up for grabs.
The rule came to the attention of the public during the 2002 AFC Championship Game when Tom Brady was blindsided by then Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson. Brady was bringing the ball back to his body and dropped the ball. To everyone watching, it was a fumble. However, the obscure Tuck Rule saved the Patriots and sparked their come from behind victory and Super Bowl victory.
Thankfully, we no longer have to sit back and question whether or not a fumbled ball or incomplete pass should be ruled the other way.