RIP: Jack Tatum (1948-2010)

Former Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers defensive back Jack Tatum died of a heart attack today, WBNS-10TV reports.

Tatum was 61 years old.

A two-time All-American linebacker and defensive back at Ohio State University, Tatum was first-round draft choice of the Raiders in 1971.

Tatum was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Nicknamed "The Assassin", Tatum delivered plenty of big hits on receivers crossing over the middle during his ten-year career. Tatum intercepted 37 passes during his career, and was named to three straight Pro Bowls (1973-75). Tatum helped the Raiders to a win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI, and played a key role in the "Immaculate Reception" against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the '72 playoffs.

But Tatum remained most known for his hit on New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley during a pre-season game in 1978, which compressed Stingley's spinal cord, fracturing two vertebrae, rendering Stingley a quadriplegic for the remainder of his life.

Stingley passed away in 2007, and the two men never reconciled.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Tatum's family, friends, and loved ones.

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