I’m sure there isn’t a Patriots fan that hasn’t heard the comments of Ray Lewis, the not quite brain surgeon former All-Pro middle linebacker who used to play for the recently defeated Baltimore Ravens, concerning the “tuck rule” being the only reason anyone knows who Tom Brady is. Lewis is saying that if it wasn’t for that one single play Brady wouldn’t have accomplished anything in the NFL and we wouldn’t know who he is.
There is no mistaking his words for any other meaning. This is a quote from the audiotape, via NBCSports:
“When we — the first time we created something called a tuck rule, it’s the only reason we know — I’m just being honest — the only reason we know who Tom Brady is, because of a tuck rule. There’s no such thing as a tuck rule! If the ball is in your hand, and I knock it out your hand, whether it’s going backwards, forwards, lateral, sideways, however it’s coming out, that’s a freaking fumble! But guess what we created? We created a freaking tuck rule!”
He rambled on further:
“They don’t go to that championship game — they don’t go to that championship game if that tuck rule, if that ball is not called a tuck! That’s a fumble! Charles Woodson made that man clearly fumble the ball and they named it the tuck rule, something that we’ve never heard in today’s game. So now you’ve got to ask yourself: When did the legacy really start?”
Now, I looked it up because I didn’t know the year the rule came into effect, and it turns out it was 1999, three season prior to the Raiders/Patriots division playoff game where the rule first came into the limelight. After seeing it in execution and with the huge backlash over it, the NFL did finally repeal that rule…11 years later in 2013.
Listen, I know what Lewis is saying is just sour grapes. Lots of former athletes that have turned to the media to extend their time in the spotlight often show their true colors when talking about former rivals. They can’t help themselves, it just comes pouring out of their mouths. It’s also not like some former players on football pre/post game broadcasts aren’t pro Patriots. But what Lewis said is just about as dumb thing that can be said about Brady.
I really wanted to put in this posting a cheap shot on Lewis, mentioning that only a guilty plea to obstruction of justice saved him from being charged with two counts of murder and likely in jail for the rest of his life, but while looking up a link for some information on the case I came across a great quote by Lewis given to USA Today:
Said Lewis: “You want to talk to me about something that happened 13 years ago right now?”
This is where I get to use one of my favorite lines…Hey Ray, can you define “irony”?