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Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Art Shell stands up for Jack Tatum

By Bill Williamson

While the friends and family of Darryl Stingley are still struggling to forgive Jack Tatum for the play that defined both players’ lives, one of Tatum’s teammates and fellow Oakland Raider, Art Shell, remembered him as a great, clean player and as a good man.

In an email Shell made it clear Tatum will be missed in Oakland. The two were teammates in the 1970s in Oakland. Shell was a Hall of Fame tackle and was twice Oakland’s head coach.

Tatum, a hard-hitting safety who left Stingley paralyzed after delivering a hit in a 1978 preseason game, died at the age of 61 Tuesday.

“Jack Tatum was a great football player that played within the rules, with a great passion for the game,” Shell wrote. “He was a loveable guy who cared about his family, his teammates and winning. He also cared about winning in life ... Janice and I will miss him ... Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

The feeling  in New England is understandable, but Shell's quotes show another side of Tatum.