Jack Tatum Dies at 61: The Asasssin Will Hunt No More

For most of the Raider Nation, spirited and violent play was a simple way to explain how the Raiders operated in the 1970's.

A far easier act was letting someone watch Jack Tatum patrol the grounds he called home.

Jack, for most of his career in Oakland, was considered by many to be the best at what he did: forcing opponents to either give up on the ball or wake up on the sidelines wondering what area code they were in.

Today, Jack will hunt no more, as he has died of a heart attack at 61.

Known more for the hit that crippled New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley in a meaningless preseason game, after football Jack would face his own personal demons: diabetes, losing all five toes on one foot, and then having his entire other leg amputated.

Leaving behind a legacy of hard hits, a wife, and three children, he was known for his talent on the gridiron even before coming to Oakland.

At Ohio State, his name is now used for the best hit of the week, given to the Buckeye who delivers the strongest hit.

If not for Lou Holtz persuading then-coach Woody Hayes to switch him from running back, things may have turned out differently for him, both in college and the pros.

Probably the most fitting tribute for the Raiders, coming into this season, was a player named Mike Mitchell, who felt Jack was a role model and wanted to play like him.

Rest in peace, Jack. We'll miss you.

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