Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker and current ESPN football analyst Ray Lewis commented on Tom Brady’s legacy today when he went on Sirius XM Mad Dog Radio. More specifically, Lewis spoke passionately in regards to a January 2002 playoff game that saw the New England Patriots defeat the Oakland Raiders 16-13, eventually moving on and winning Super Bowl XXXVI.
Lewis said that the key review in the game — which was the “tuck rule” — that overturned a potential Brady fumble, is the reason that people are even talking about Tom Brady’s legacy today.
“When we — the first time we created something called a tuck rule, it’s the only reason we know — I’m just being honest — the only reason we know who Tom Brady is, because of a tuck rule. There’s no such thing as a tuck rule! If the ball is in your hand, and I knock it out your hand, whether it’s going backwards, forwards, lateral, sideways, however it’s coming out, that’s a freaking fumble.”
Lewis believes that the play is essentially the turning point of Brady’s career:
“But guess what we created? We created a freaking tuck rule! They don’t go to that championship game — they don’t go to that championship game if that tuck rule, if that ball is not called a tuck! That’s a fumble!” he said. “Charles Woodson made that man clearly fumble the ball and they named it the tuck rule, something that we’ve never heard in today’s game. So now you’ve got to ask yourself: When did the legacy really start?”
If the Patriots don’t win that game, then Super Bowl XXXVI’s game-winning drive doesn’t happen, and Brady has one less championship.
Here is the link for the full audio clip.