Tuck this poll away! Brady wins!


(Photo courtesy of New England Patriots)


It was a surprisingly close battle in our Christmas Gift poll, with three of the five named giveaway games garnering 25 percent or more of your votes, but in the end, the "Tuck Rule'' that started it all in New England ruled.

Who will forget Tom Brady, shoulders slumped, walking to the sidelines as snow cascaded down upon him in 2001, his Cinderella season seemingly over as Charles Woodson danced in his face after recovering his fumble?

But, wait a minute!

What fumble?

That's what Oakland Raiders' fans are still wondering after officials ruled Brady hadn't fumbled the ball; he'd just tried to launch a two-handed bounce pass from his chest. And so New England's playoff chances were alive! Four years later, they'd won three Super Bowls, including their first one that season, while the Raiders were in free fall.

Merry Christmas!

"It's the only one of the five to have triggered a dynasty,'' says our Rick Gosselin. "It was the ultimate gift."

The "Tuck Rule Game'' garnered 27 percent of your votes, barely nosing out both the "Holy Roller'' (where Ken Stabler and Dave Casper fumbled and kicked the ball forward until Casper fell on it in the end zone to beat the Chargers and inspire a rule change) and the "Miracle at the Meadowlands'' (when Giants' quarterback Joe Pisarcik fumbled away a victory to the Eagles' Herm Edwards with only seconds remaining when all he had to do was take a knee). Each of those finished with 25 percent of the vote, one of them coming from our Clark Judge.

"This one was a close call between the Miracle at the Meadowlands and the Holy Roller, but, the end, how can you not vote for a miracle in New Jersey?'' The Judge said. "All Joe Pisarcik had to do was take a snap, take a knee and shake hands. Pretty simple, right? Yes, Herm Edwards, there is a Santa Claus."

Trailing them was Leon Lett's Thanksgiving Day "giveaway'' at 15 percent and, surprisingly, "The Music City Miracle,'' which got only 6 percent of the vote. I guess voters gave the Titans more credit for turning a phenomenal series of laterals into a 75-yard Kevin Dyson touchdown return that knocked the Buffalo Bills out of the playoffs with 16 seconds to play than blaming Buffalo's not-so-special special teams' performance on that play. Our Ron Borges disagreed.

"The Tuck Rule was actually the right application of a bad rule so I discount it, not to mention the Raiders still had time to A) stop Brady and B) win the game,'' Borges said. "But the Music City Miracle was the biggest gift in the playoffs since the Immaculate Reception. What were those Bills thinking? Not much.''