Tuesday, July 27, 2010

R.I.P. Jack Tatum

“I like to believe that my best hits border on felonious assault.” - Jack Tatum

Jack "The Assassin" Tatum, a true Raider legend and iconic figure in the Raider Nation, passed away today at the age of 61 due to a heart attack.

Tatum was drafted by the Raiders in the 1st round (19th pick) in 1971 out of OSU and became notorious for being arguably the hardest hitting safety to ever play in the NFL. During his tenure with the Raiders (1971-1979), Tatum earned 3 Pro Bowl trips, racked up 37 interceptions, and helped the Raiders win their 1st Super Bowl.

Tatum's intimidating presence, ultra-cool swagger, and menacing stare gave the Raiders defense an original identity and place in football lore. The "Soul Patrol" of Tatum, George "The Hitman" Atkinson, Skip "Dr. Death" Thomas, and "Old Man" Willie Brown were a riveting group to watch.

Six years ago I had the good fortune of meeting Tatum and getting his autograph at a Raiders fundraiser for FB Steve Smith. I knew that I would only have a minute or 2 to say a few words to Tatum since there was a huge line of Raider fans behind me. I ended up simply saying, "It was an honor and privilege to watch you play for the Raiders, Mr. Tatum. Thank you." Tatum, grey dreadlocks and sunglasses on, sitting behind a desk, handed the picture back and gave me a subtle nod.

Here's a classic video of highlights showcasing Tatum & Atkinson. R.I.P., Mr. Tatum.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

CJ, How old are you that you used to watch Tatum

7:32 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


8:32 PM  
Blogger raiderpirate said...

A Raider great no doubt RIP #32

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tatum. Hayes. Haynes. Stork. Tooz.
Snake. Ghost. Judge.
Fred. The list goes on and on and on.
God bless the old Raiders and especially now

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

That last one was me, CJ. F'ing blackberry malfuction left my name off.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Snake, Tooz, Stork, Wiz, Judge, Old Man, Hitman, Dr. Death, 00, Assassin ...

it seems to me that we need some players that have earned colorful nicknames if we are going to recapture the glory!

Suggestions for the current roster?

Rolando "Die Hard" McClain
"Sea Bass" Janikowski

help me out here ...

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

I always liked Sebastard Janikowski, as in the other teams hate seeing the guy on the field. He's cash money every year. Much beyond that, I need to see something on the field worth nicknaming!

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

Saw some stuff in the first two preseason games, CJ. Like a defense. That actually stopped the run and sacked the QB. And a QB who can move in/out the pocket, has good field of vision, good aim, and good judgement. Looking forward to the season for the first time in ages. And my son just started at Cal this week, so we're catching some games live this year. Other than Davis and Reno, Cal will struggle this year. He'll need the break!

7:44 PM  

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