Jack Tatum was known as one of the hardest hitting safeties throughout the NFL. He was known as a hard hitting safety which made his team the Oakland Raiders one of the most well known and toughest in the NFL to date. One of his most dangerous and well known moments in the game was his tackle that left Darryl Stingley of the New England Patriots totally paralyzed from below the neck. According to John Hicks a former teammate at Ohio State, Tatum for years suffered from health problems including diabetes and on Tuesday it got the better of him.
At an Oakland hospital on Tuesday Jack Tatum was pronounced dead at the age of 61. Tatum’s monster hit to Stingley was in 1978 at Oakland Coliseum. Stingley was about to lunge for a pass but was incomplete while Tatum came charging from the opposite direction and slammed into Stingley which resulting in him having his 4th and 5th vertebrae severed. Stingley died in 2007 and spent the rest of his life in a electric chair with only partial ability to move.
According to friends Tatum was never the same after the incident with Stingley and tried to see him once which was after the incident but was turned away by Stingley’s family members. Even though he may have injured Stingley he did now say at any point in his life that it was a mistake. He was known as a tough player and all players know the risks that are involved in the game.