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83-Steelers-43
04-05-2007, 01:33 PM
Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

By The Associated Press
Thursday, April 5, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) ? Darryl Stingley, paralyzed after a vicious hit during an NFL exhibition game nearly 30 years ago, died today. He was 55.

Stingley was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after he was found unresponsive in his Chicago home, according to Tony Brucci, an investigator with the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The cause of death was not immediately available. An autopsy was scheduled.

Stingley, a star receiver with the New England Patriots, was left a quadriplegic after he was hit from behind by Oakland's Jack Tatum while trying to catch a pass.

The hit on Aug. 12, 1978 broke Stingley's neck, and he spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Stingley regained limited movement in his right arm and operated his electric wheelchair on his own. Tatum's hit became a symbol of violence in the game.

Stingley was born and raised in Chicago. A star running back at John Marshall High School, he attended Purdue on a football scholarship. In 1973, he was a first-round draft pick of the Patriots, owned by Robert Kraft.

"On behalf of the Kraft family and the entire Patriots organization, we're deeply saddened by news of Darryl Stingley's death, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Stingley family at this time," team spokesman Stacey James said.

Stingley served as executive director of player personnel for the Patriots and often visited paralyzed patients. He wrote a book about his experiences entitled "Happy to Be Alive," published in 1983, and 10 years later started a nonprofit foundation in Chicago designed to help inner-city youth.

In a 1988 Associated Press interview, he talked about the day that changed his life.

"I have relived that moment over and over again," Stingley said. "I was 26 years old at the time and I remember thinking, 'What's going to happen to me? If I live, what am I going to be like?' And then there were all those whys, whys, whys?

"It was only after I stopped asking why, that I was able to regroup and go on my with my life," he said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_501277.html

fansince'76
04-05-2007, 01:39 PM
This is a real downer. The thing that always got me about Stingley's situation is that Tatum really didn't hit him that hard, at least by Tatum's standards, and it was a clean hit. Just a terrible fluke accident. RIP Darryl.

Livinginthe past
04-05-2007, 01:45 PM
He was a pretty inspirational character by all accounts, and tried to make the best of a raw deal.

Apparently he was in quite a bit of pain in recent years, so it may have been a merciful release.

RIP Darryl.

HometownGal
04-05-2007, 03:08 PM
I remember that hit by Jack Tatum, which was, as fansince states above, a clean hit with an unfortunate end result. Darryl Stingley was an inspiration to all paralysis victims and those with disabilities and will be sorely missed. Condolences to the Pats' organization and most of all, to Darryl's family. RIP Mr. Stingley. :tombstone

Stlrs4Life
04-05-2007, 05:40 PM
RIP Darryl.



IMO, that is no way a clean hit. Tatum didn't do anything clean. Just ask Lynn Swann.

tony hipchest
04-05-2007, 05:48 PM
i heard an interview with the tight end who was 1st to stingleys side after the hit (i forget his name). many patriots are still a little peeved over the hit. while legal, at the time, the rules have been changed to protect a defenseless player.

what upset people is how tatum relished the hit, wrote books off of it, commercialized, profited from it, and never really showed any remorse. stingly seems to be the most forgiving, which is one reason so many respected and admired his resolve. i hope his life didnt become so unbearable that he didnt do something to end it himself.

fansince'76
04-05-2007, 05:55 PM
RIP Darryl.



IMO, that is no way a clean hit. Tatum didn't do anything clean. Just ask Lynn Swann.

As I recall, Grogan led Stingley too far on the pass to begin with, which essentially left him hanging out to dry - Grogan deserves as much blame as Tatum. It was almost 30 years ago now, so my memory of it may be a bit fuzzy, but that is how I honestly remember it happening.

Suitanim
04-06-2007, 03:55 PM
Tatum is hurting too, so karma bit him in the ass...

fansince'76
04-07-2007, 12:23 AM
IMO, that is no way a clean hit. Tatum didn't do anything clean. Just ask Lynn Swann.

As I recall, Grogan led Stingley too far on the pass to begin with, which essentially left him hanging out to dry - Grogan deserves as much blame as Tatum. It was almost 30 years ago now, so my memory of it may be a bit fuzzy, but that is how I honestly remember it happening.

I would like to amend my earlier statement - it'd been years since I'd seen this clip, but it proves conclusively that Grogan hung Stingley out to dry on this one, and even more so than I remembered - maybe Grogan should have been the one to apologize:

5fpbnPHoi04

Put your hatred of Tatum aside for a moment and tell me honestly how exactly is this a dirty hit? Simply a tragic occurrence as the result of a hard, but clean, hit.

OneForTheToe
04-07-2007, 04:37 PM
I can only see that as a tragic outcome to a cleanbut violent hit. Grogan did hang Stingley out, but he hardly intended to do that. How many times did Bradshaw hang Swann or Stalworth out over the years? It happens ............. 99.9% of the time the receiver shakes it off and returns to the game ..... years later at some reunion of the team sharing a laugh about it with the QB. In this case though, no laughs ... just a terrible tragedy.

silver & black
04-07-2007, 04:41 PM
RIP Darryl.



IMO, that is no way a clean hit. Tatum didn't do anything clean. Just ask Lynn Swann.

How did I know that it wouldn't take long for a post like this. If you actually saw the game, (I did) it was a clean hit. I defy you to explain in what way the hit was dirty.

It wasn't even a hit, really... more of a collision than a hit. It was an unfortunate accident, nothing more. An unfortunate accident that Tatum has been unjustly vilified for ever since.

Why not blame Grogan for throwing a crappy pass that put Stingley in that position? Because that argument is just as weak as " it was a dirty hit"... thats why.

Tatum played the game hard, he hit hard, (harder than anyone before, or since) and he was, and still is a class guy, weather you believe it or not.

If this would have happened to any other player other than a Raider, there would NEVER have been so much made of it.

silver & black
04-07-2007, 04:50 PM
i heard an interview with the tight end who was 1st to stingleys side after the hit (i forget his name). many patriots are still a little peeved over the hit. while legal, at the time, the rules have been changed to protect a defenseless player.

what upset people is how tatum relished the hit, wrote books off of it, commercialized, profited from it, and never really showed any remorse. stingly seems to be the most forgiving, which is one reason so many respected and admired his resolve. i hope his life didnt become so unbearable that he didnt do something to end it himself.

I have to disagree with you. Tatum never relished the hit. He was just as upset over what happened to Stingley as everyone else.

What Tatum refused to do was apologize for the hit, because there was nothing dirty about it. It was an unfortunate accident.

Read his book: "They Call Me Assassin". He never liked the name, let alone relished it.

Stingley wasn't the only victim of an unfortunate accident that day.

silver & black
04-07-2007, 04:55 PM
Tatum is hurting too, so karma bit him in the ass...

C'mon Suit, what karma? For what? A clean hit? It is an unfortunate truth that this can happen to any player at any time in this game. Tatum isn't hardly the only player to ever seriously injur another player on the field.

silver & black
04-07-2007, 04:56 PM
I would like to amend my earlier statement - it'd been years since I'd seen this clip, but it proves conclusively that Grogan hung Stingley out to dry on this one, and even more so than I remembered - maybe Grogan should have been the one to apologize:

5fpbnPHoi04

Put your hatred of Tatum aside for a moment and tell me honestly how exactly is this a dirty hit? Simply a tragic occurrence as the result of a hard, but clean, hit.

Thank you. It's nice to read an objective view from an opposing fan. I've seen that video a hundred times over the last 30 years... I don't see how anyone can call that a cheap shot. I still see the same hit from time to time in the NFL today.

I really hate to say this, but... every time I hear the "cheap hit" claim, all I hear is Raider hating. If it had been any other team besides the Raiders, there wouldn't be/wouldn't have been near the fuss made over it. It would have just been a very unfortunate accident that happened to a good guy.

fansince'76
04-07-2007, 04:58 PM
Read his book: "They Call Me Assassin". He never liked the name, let alone relished it.

Stingley wasn't the only victim of an unfortunate accident that day.

I have read it, S&B - to this day, Tatum still carries around ALOT of guilt over what happened to Stingley. Tatum was simply doing his job that day, and he has expressed remorse for what happened, but he has not apologized for the hit (nor should he have to). Sorry, but that's football - I'm glad these kinds of occurrences are fairly rare considering the number of football games there are during a season (and that's at every level, not just pro) and the thousands of hits that occur during those games.

silver & black
04-07-2007, 05:12 PM
I have read it, S&B - to this day, Tatum still carries around ALOT of guilt over what happened to Stingley. Tatum was simply doing his job that day, and he has expressed remorse for what happened, but he has not apologized for the hit (nor should he have to). Sorry, but that's football - I'm glad these kinds of occurrences are fairly rare considering the number of football games there are during a season (and that's at every level, not just pro) and the thousands of hits that occur during those games.

Thanks for being real about it. It is amazing when you think about the 1000's of hits in an NFL season, that rarely is a player seriously injured.

MasterOfPuppets
04-07-2007, 06:16 PM
it was no more of a dirty hit than the pop smith put on that bunghole.:tt02:

BettisFan
04-07-2007, 08:01 PM
before i saw the interview with tatum i was like " ok you know its really sad and its one of those 1 in 10000000 flukes that happen and i bet the guys who did it must have felt terrible for the rest of his life" then after i saw it and he talked about how he said he was sorry but liek in his book he brags about it alot and he calls him self the "assassin" i mean come on!

sumo
04-08-2007, 12:17 AM
How did I know that it wouldn't take long for a post like this. If you actually saw the game, (I did) it was a clean hit. I defy you to explain in what way the hit was dirty.

It wasn't even a hit, really... more of a collision than a hit. It was an unfortunate accident, nothing more. An unfortunate accident that Tatum has been unjustly vilified for ever since.

Why not blame Grogan for throwing a crappy pass that put Stingley in that position? Because that argument is just as weak as " it was a dirty hit"... thats why.

Tatum played the game hard, he hit hard, (harder than anyone before, or since) and he was, and still is a class guy, weather you believe it or not.

If this would have happened to any other player other than a Raider, there would NEVER have been so much made of it.

Tatum a class guy????? - S&B - I have enjoyed reminiscing with you over the past several months about the 70s era and I liked a lot of the players from the Raiders during that era - but IMO, I don't think Tatum has ever been a class guy - sorry - and he didn't let up after the Stingley incident either - Noll referred to him as a 'criminal' for his late hits that were nothing more than vicious cheap shots - Tatum was a hard hitter and a decent football player - but 'class' is not a word I can associate with him - as for his post football career, I don't know that much about him except - Stingley agreed to appear with Tatum on the Best Damn Sports Show - until he found out what Tatum was going to say and that he was only doing it for publicity on his book...class??

LambertIsGod58
04-08-2007, 10:03 AM
Tatum a class guy????? - S&B - I have enjoyed reminiscing with you over the past several months about the 70s era and I liked a lot of the players from the Raiders during that era - but IMO, I don't think Tatum has ever been a class guy - sorry - and he didn't let up after the Stingley incident either - Noll referred to him as a 'criminal' for his late hits that were nothing more than vicious cheap shots - Tatum was a hard hitter and a decent football player - but 'class' is not a word I can associate with him - as for his post football career, I don't know that much about him except - Stingley agreed to appear with Tatum on the Best Damn Sports Show - until he found out what Tatum was going to say and that he was only doing it for publicity on his book...class??

Sumo wrapped it up for me very well...An argument can be made about the hit on Stingley. Whether or not it was clean. But I will say that Tatum was not even close to a clean player. Tatum wasn't the only one on those 70's Raiders teams that wasn't clean. It's a fact. Whether or not you can accept it is another issue. Sometimes the truth hurts. And to say he's classy, is a joke in itself. I also remember that Tatum is the one ultimately responsible for the Immaculate Reception. If he had played the ball instead of drumming up one of his "hard" hits, the Raiders would have won that game.

silver & black
04-08-2007, 11:06 AM
Sumo wrapped it up for me very well...An argument can be made about the hit on Stingley. Whether or not it was clean. But I will say that Tatum was not even close to a clean player. Tatum wasn't the only one on those 70's Raiders teams that wasn't clean. It's a fact. Whether or not you can accept it is another issue. Sometimes the truth hurts. And to say he's classy, is a joke in itself. I also remember that Tatum is the one ultimately responsible for the Immaculate Reception. If he had played the ball instead of drumming up one of his "hard" hits, the Raiders would have won that game.

Tatum was/is very much a class guy... off of the field. He did his job on the field, like no one before, or since.

I never said that Tatum, or a few others at that time didn't take cheap shots... players on every team in that era took cheap shots... even the Steelers. Lambert was sure no angel.

I thought Noll was refering to George Atkinson witht the criminal tag?

I have met Jack Tatum, as well as a few other Raider greats, and I have found them all to be class guys.

fansince'76
04-08-2007, 11:13 AM
Sumo wrapped it up for me very well...An argument can be made about the hit on Stingley. Whether or not it was clean. But I will say that Tatum was not even close to a clean player. Tatum wasn't the only one on those 70's Raiders teams that wasn't clean. It's a fact. Whether or not you can accept it is another issue. Sometimes the truth hurts. And to say he's classy, is a joke in itself. I also remember that Tatum is the one ultimately responsible for the Immaculate Reception. If he had played the ball instead of drumming up one of his "hard" hits, the Raiders would have won that game.

I remember Tatum admitting in his book that he took the rules right up to their limits. An example being his "hook" move, which involved using his forearm and bicep as a "hook" and nailing opposing players in the facemask, which at the time was legal. As soon as the NFL banned it, he stopped doing it. LC and Mean Joe used the headslap from time to time until it was banned by the NFL in 1977. Does this make them dirty too?

silver & black
04-08-2007, 12:08 PM
I remember Tatum admitting in his book that he took the rules right up to their limits. An example being his "hook" move, which involved using his forearm and bicep as a "hook" and nailing opposing players in the facemask, which at the time was legal. As soon as the NFL banned it, he stopped doing it. LC and Mean Joe used the headslap from time to time until it was banned by the NFL in 1977. Does this make them dirty too?

No, it doesn't make them dirty. Pro athletes will do what ever is necassary to win. They take the rules to the limit, anything for an advantage.

Like it or not, the Raiders of Tatum's era were a rough, physical team that used intimidation as an advantage.