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 wheelchair...like 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." (Thirdside.org)
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.