One of the hardest hitting safeties to ever play in the National Football League passed away on Tuesday. Jack Tatum was 61 years of age and he died of a heart attack. Tatum will forever be known as the player that paralyzed the late Darryl Stingley of the New England Patriots from the neck down with a vicious hit in a pre-season game in August 1978.
The hardest hit I ever seen was when Jack Tatum hit Earl Campbell and sent him reeling. I think everyone seen the highlight, but for the younger people who do not know Campbell, Campbell was a running back that was a big bruising running back that did not get knocked backwards by tacklers often. When I saw Tatum makes the hit I knew this guy was the Real Deal.
Tatum was nicknamed the Assassin for such hard hitting ferocity. He made receivers think twice about going down the middle. He won one ring with the Oakland Raiders in 1976. Many would claim he was dirty player, but I cannot confirm or deny that; however, I can say the rules were different when he played and the NFL was little more vicious than it is now.
Tatum is part of the College Hall Fame for his outstanding play at Ohio State University. He not yet made to the NFL Hall of Fame but many players say is he deserves to be there. He will forever be known by some as the hardest hitting safety to ever play the game.