Thursday, April 05, 2007

Darryl Stingley 1951-2007

I didn't know who Darryl Stingley was before I read up on him today. What I did read happened to be very interesting. Darryl Stingley was an old school receiver for the New England Patriots until he became paralyzed in an Exibition game in '78. He unexpectedly died today, still a quadriplegic, at the age of 55. As of now, no cause of death has been given.

Jack Tatum (Oakland Raiders) was the man who paralyzed him. He and Stingley NEVER reconciled after the paralyzing incident. Ironically, in 2003 Tatum lost a leg to amputation because of complications with diabetes. He now gets around either with a prosthetic leg or via Stingley got around for the majority of his life. Here're a few interesting facts about the Stingley and Tatum:
  • Tatum, the former Oakland Raiders safety who in the late 1970s was one of the most feared men in football, had lost his left leg below the knee in April as a result of complications from diabetes and now was suffering from an arterial blockage that might cost him the lower part of his right leg.
  • Tatum wrote a book ['They Call Me Assassin'] and in it he said he went out there to hurt and maim people. Stingley was really hurt by what he said.
  • After paralyzing Stingley, Tatum made the statement, "I thought it was just a good football play. I hit him with my head and shoulder. I was just trying to do my job. It's unfortunate but it happens." As unfortunate as it was, he never offered an apology or even spoke with Stingley.
  • A few years ago, representatives of Tatum proposed a reconciliation with Stingley to be televised on Fox. Stingley was all for it until late Globe sportswriter Will McDonough called and told him Tatum was coming out with a new book and wanted to use the interview to boost sales.
  • Stingley once said: "If he called me today, I'd answer. If he came to my house, I'd open my door to him. All I ever wanted was for him to acknowledge me as a human being. I just wanted to hear from him if he felt sorry or not. It's not like I'm unreachable. But it's not a phone call I'll be waiting for anymore." (

I don't know if it was the "macho-ism" of Tatum or if he just didn't givva damn, but that's real f**cked up! I know that he didn't owe him anything, but a "hey dawg, my bad" would've been nice. Hopefully he's sorry in his heart. Darryl Stingley sounds like he was a stand up guy. May he Rest In Peace.

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