Charles Woodson is here at the Super Bowl, for what he probably believes should be the third time in his career.
He came here once with the Raiders, but there was another time when his Silver and Black team seemed poised to reach the NFL’s ultimate game. And Woodson nearly made the play that sent them well on their way. It was a forced fumble in the snow against Tom Brady. A forced fumble … that wasn’t.
Yes. The tuck rule.
Instead of the turnover late in the divisional playoff game icing a Raiders win, it was ruled an incompletion and the Patriots were able to tie the score, force overtime, and eventually win that game as well as the first of their three Super Bowl titles.
Woodson has gone so far as to say that Brady -- a Michigan teammate of his -- "stole" his Super Bowl ring. "I'm still waiting around to get mine," he said in a conference call with New England reporters earlier this season when the Packers faced the Patriots. "I've had that flashback more times than I would like. I catch that game on the classic football channel sometimes. That’s a bad memory for me, but it is what it is."
The tuck rule popped up again in the playoffs this season, although with far fewer consequences, in the Chiefs-Ravens blowout. That application had former head of NFL officiating Mike Pierera write on FOXSports.com:
“I think it’s time to change this rule … A pass should only be ruled incomplete if the ball comes loose in the actual act of passing the ball. If it comes loose in the tucking motion, then it should be a fumble.”
Woodson, here with the Packers and 10 years removed from making the term “tuck rule” common knowledge in NFL circles, was asked about that on Monday.
“I just read a couple of weeks ago that there may be some thought to review that rule again and maybe throw it out,” Woodson said. “If they do that, I will be a happy man.”