I remember it as if it were last night. Frigid New England evening. Blinding snow. The ball is snapped. Brady goes back. The defense swarms. He partially waves his band. Then gets shalacked from behind. Charles Woodson forces a Fumble! The Raiders recover. I pour a glass of water over my head in celebration. But wait. A weasel referee is signaling something. He convers with the other officials. As water drips down my face, my exicted look decipates. I begin to smell a rat disguised in a zebra costume. He adjusts his audio unit and rules the play as an incomplete pass. Pass? Pass? What pass? Even Jimmy Hoffa could see that it was a fumble. Needless to say the Patriots went on to kick a field goal and claim victory. They edged the Steelers in the conference final & just managed to shock the "prime for the taking" St. Louis Rams.
It begs one to question. What if the Tuck Rule never existed? What would be different? What would be the same? What would really change? Intriguing? Is it not? Let me dust off an ancient orb entrusted to me by legendary Oracle Of Delphi & reveal to you what I see...
Charles Woodson hammers Brady and forces a fumble. The Silver & Black recover. Charlie Garner's rushing gets them into field goal position. The kick is off. It drifts slowly, silently through the thick vail of snowflakes and through the up rights. Raider Nation rejoice. Despite being out of their element, the Raiders are victorious and celebrate while a statuesque Bill Belichick simply gaps. The AFC Championship Game is a seesaw affair with both teams trading touchdown. With the game tied, Rich Gannon throws a bomb to Tim Brown who just manages to get his feet in bound. Rod Woodson intecepts Kordell Stewart's last ditch Hail Mary attempt. The victory is sealed.
Relax Steeler Fans, relax. Soon you shall receive a Real Quarterback. One named after the famous clock in downtown London. One who will lead you to a Super Bowl in his rookie season. But for now. Sit back and watch as history unfolds before us.
The St. Louis Rams had a great team. They had a dominant season, often victory was assured by the start of the fourth quarter. Yet the coaching staff never thought it wise to pull Kurt Warner and have him rest. Instead they allowed him to remain in the game and pad his stats. Unfortunatly in the process of doing so took several punishing and unnecessary hits. Kurt Warner was worn down MVP just ready to fail. They were an overconfident team which about to lose. Rich Gannon has a field day, shredding the Rams secondary. While Warner is dazed & confused after a few hard hits from Bill Romanowski.
Tim Brown is named MVP while the Oakland Raiders are crowned champions.
Motivated at the thought of reviving the Silver & Black Dynasty and fueled by the MVP performance of former Delaware Fightin' Blue Hen Rich Gannon,the Raiders go on to defeat Jon Gruden's Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following year before giving way to New England Patriots. Tom Brady goes on to be a great quarterback and win two Super Bowls instead of three. But alas there is a price for his first failure. Tom Brady never gets his coveted Stetson endorsement and jawdropping Victoria's Secret supermodel Gisele has another beau. Indeed a stiff price to pay for the absence of the obscure and seldom used Tuck Rule.