Tuck rule change won't ease pain

March, 20, 2013
3/20/13
2:03
PM ET
Closure?

Probably not.

Some wounds never heal. The events of Jan. 19, 2002, in snowy Foxborough, Mass., fall under that category in the Raider Nation. It was the inspiration for the tuck rule.

On Wednesday, more than 11 years later and in the heat of the Arizona desert, the NFL voted to make the tuck rule go away. Yes, for the Oakland Raiders it is 11 years too late. The team even tweeted as much last week when the rule change was proposed.

We all know the gory details. Late in the 2001 AFC divisional playoffs, New England quarterback Tom Brady appeared to fumble. But it was ruled a pass. Had Oakland been awarded the fumble, it would have would have gone to the AFC title game. Instead, the Patriots came back and won the game.

The sting is still felt in Oakland.

Now it is over. But so what? It doesn’t change history.

Meanwhile, I did find it interesting that New England owner Robert Kraft abstained from the vote.

His decision to abstain could be perceived to be a message to the Raiders. The late Al Davis was famous for abstaining from league votes. Had the legendary Davis still been alive, I’m sure he would have been the first owner in line to cast a ballot in this vote.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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