Remembering Darryl Stingley

Darryl Stingley, the paralyzed New England Patriots NFL wide receiver, died today. He was paralyzed after a brutal (but legal) hit by Oakland Raider defensive back Jack Tatum in a 1978 NFL exhibition game. This incident brought about many improvements in player safety: the anti-spearing rule and the stickum ban.

In his book, They Call Me Assassin, Tatum stated his best hits “border on felonious assault”. Tatum was also involved in the famous Immaculate Reception play from the 1972 AFC divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders.

Darryl Stingley was completely paralyzed by the Tatum hit. In 1983, Stingley authored Happy to Be Alive, a memoir of his life and injury.

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