More than 16 years later, Raiders fan Ice Cube still bitter about 'Tuck Rule' call

Shutdown Corner

Football fans never forget.

There’s a better chance of the Oakland Raiders changing their colors from silver and black than their fans letting go of the “Tuck Rule” game. Even though one of the NFL’s biggest controversies is more than 16 years old, Raiders fans will complain about it like it happened yesterday.

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A quick history lesson, if you became an NFL fan a couple minutes ago: In an AFC divisional playoff game at the end of the 2001 season, the Raiders thought they sealed a win against the New England Patriots when Charles Woodson sacked Tom Brady and Oakland recovered a fumble. But officials reviewed it, invoked a little-known rule, the Patriots kept possession, won a classic game and for practical purposes that win started a dynasty that’s still alive today.

And the Raiders’ most visible fan still hasn’t buried the grudge.

Big3 Basketball League founder and noted Raiders fan Ice Cube apparently still hasn’t forgotten the “Tuck Rule” game. (AP)
Big3 Basketball League founder and noted Raiders fan Ice Cube apparently still hasn’t forgotten the “Tuck Rule” game. (AP)

‘It was a fumble!’

Ice Cube, the multi-talented founder of the Big3 basketball league, plans to make it out to Boston this summer for one of his league’s games at TD Garden. But his bitterness over the “Tuck Rule” game doesn’t stop, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

The best part of that story is that Ice Cube was so angry about that controversial call, he apparently got a T-shirt to remind folks that he’s never going to forget how his team was (in his opinion … and the opinion of a couple million Raiders fans) robbed.

Raiders fans will never forget the call

Amy Trask, formerly a CEO of the Raiders and chairman of the board for Big3, said she was the one who offered that Ice Cube might wear an “It was a fumble!” shirt. And, like Cube, she hasn’t forgotten about the “Tuck Rule” either.

Trask is right that it should all be in fun, and if we can’t still debate stuff like the “Tuck Rule,” then what’s the point of being a sports fan? Also, it’s hilarious.

‘Tuck Rule’ game was key point in NFL history

Part of the reason Raiders fans have never forgotten that snowy day in Foxborough many years ago is how the franchises involved took much different paths after that game.

The Patriots won their first Super Bowl that season and became perhaps the greatest dynasty in American sports history. The Raiders rebounded the next season to win an AFC championship, but haven’t won a playoff game since. They have been to the playoffs just once since the 2002 season. The “Tuck Rule” game was the last game for Jon Gruden as Raiders coach … and the Raiders hired Gruden this offseason.

Gruden’s return and the lingering bitterness about the “Tuck Rule” is a reminder: Nothing truly dies in the NFL. Fans remember the good, and the bad, forever.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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