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Old 04-05-2007, 01:33 PM   #1
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Default Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

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/pitt.../s_501277.html
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

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.
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

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.
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Old 04-05-2007, 03:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

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.
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

RIP Darryl.



IMO, that is no way a clean hit. Tatum didn't do anything clean. Just ask Lynn Swann.
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

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.
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

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Originally Posted by Stlrs4Life View Post
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.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

Tatum is hurting too, so karma bit him in the ass...
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Old 04-07-2007, 12:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stlrs4Life View Post
IMO, that is no way a clean hit. Tatum didn't do anything clean. Just ask Lynn Swann.
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Originally Posted by fansince'76 View Post
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:

[YOUTUBE]5fpbnPHoi04[/YOUTUBE]

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.
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Old 04-07-2007, 04:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ex-NFL player Stingley, paralyzed by Tatum, dead at 55

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.
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