Snow Bowl I - The Fumble Call

Snow Bowl

On January 19, 2002, the Patriots and Raiders met at Foxboro Massachusetts to decide who would play in the AFC Championship game against the Pittsburg Steelers. Most sports commentators felt that it all came down to one call. With 1:47 left in regulation, Charles Woodson knocked the ball from Tom Brady for a fumble and for a moment it looked like the end of the Patriots season.

However, the play was to be reviewed, and as the stadium speakers played Genesis' hit song "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", Walt Coleman walked over to the monitor booth to see a replay.

Here is the complete "controversial" fumble call as it aired on the Raider's Radio Network. You'll be able to hear how quickly the emotions of announcers Greg Papa and Tom Flores change from the moment the Fumble occurs to the final ruling by Walt Coleman.

Compress MP3 Format7.6 MB
Streaming Real Audio1.9 MB

As of March 4, 2022, The New England Patriots now lead the series against the Oakland/LA/Las Vegas Raiders: 18-14-1 (.439), including a 2-1 record in the postseason.

Patriots fans will always remember the Patriots/Raiders game in 1976. New England held a 21-17 lead with 40 seconds remaining, but lost when Ken Stabler scored on a one-yard run with 10 seconds left. The Raiders' final drive was kept alive when referee Ben Dreith called an unsportsmanlike penalty on Ray Hamilton to give Oakland a 1st-and-goal at the one yard line.

Brief Transcript:

Tom Flores:They have to get it a little closer than that to get the field goal...but the big thing right now is the Raiders have to keep them out of that area. They have to put more pressure which they did that time the only problem was Greg Biekert didn't come up with the tackle...
Greg Papa:Brady out of the shot gun again, three recievers left, Redmond on his left out of the gun. Woodson showing Blitz....Woodson he is trailing on Brady cause a FUMBLE...
Tom Flores:FUMBLE..FUMBLE...
Greg Papa:Biekert dives on the ball...The Raiders have the ball...The Raiders take over and Charles Woodson came out of a corner blitz and he rock his former Michigan team mate, the guy who lockered only two stalls from him in Ann Arbor and knocked the ball away and Greg Beckon dives on it. The Raiders take over at Midfield and the Patriots are out of timeouts. The Raiders are 1:43 away from going back to the AFC Championship game.
Tom Flores:What a huge play by Charles Woodson and the thing about it Greg is that I don't know if Tom Brady saw him coming...he was coming from his right side which is not the blind side.
Greg Papa:All of New England all of the Nation saw Woodson coming...
Tom Flores:The Play is going to be reviewed Greg...
Greg Papa:Why
Tom Flores:Because Upstairs...Upstairs is going to review whether it was a fumble or not I guess
Greg Papa:Well its the replay people, Was his arm coming forward?
Tom Flores:Well his arm..Ah..the offical on the field said his arm was coming forward, we didn't see we didn't see a replay yet
Greg Papa:The field call was it was a clean fumble
Tom Flores:Right
Greg Papa:Hold on here, Walt Coleman the Referee is going into the monitor booth. Here it is, Brady back to pass (Croud Cheers) and No
Tom Flores:No..NO
Greg Papa:The croud reacting because he pumped...he he..that's a fumble that is a fumble and Beeken recovered...there are all reacting here...they are showing it on the Diamond Vision here. Brady pumps he does bring it forward but that's not to pass the ball and then I think he comes to a stop...and then Woodson hits him. This will be...this will be a fumble and the Raiders will get the ball in my opinion John...
Tom Flores:Ya it not ...he didn't...he didn't..he stopped his..he pumped it.. he was pulling the ball back. He was not going to throw the ball he was pulling it back and then then Woodsen hit him and it came out.
Greg Papa:He was not looking...He was looking to throw the ball but his arm was coming forward he's pumping and then I do believe he still came to a any event that's a clean fumble Woodson with a tremendous hit what a call by Chuck Russ to have to call that corner blitz and Woodsen had him all size up he pounced him....Beeker hit it off his right knee then had to dive in the snow to come up with it before it was recovered by New England.
Tom Flores:Ya, The Pats are anticipating they are going to get the ball back because they sent their offense back on the field just to get ready.
Greg Papa:Well
Tom Flores:Which is smart on their part because they get ready because the clock will start right away if they do rule it a ah.. incomplete no it won't it be ruled an incomplete pass that's right so time will be out..I take it back...
Greg Papa:Well the biggest decision is going to be everything and again his arm is coming forward and my opinion that's not a pass he pumped the ball. I think Walt Coleman is going to keep it Raiders ball... This will decide the football game.. Walt Coleman
Walt Coleman:The quarterback arm was going forward it is an incomplete pass, second and ten on the 43.
Greg Papa:Walt coleman is going to overturn that...
Tom Flores:I don't believe that..
Greg Papa:Awe Man..what call that is
Walt Coleman:1:47 seconds on the clock 1...47...
Greg Papa:We got to get a rule book out I don't think its enough just for the arm to come to be coming forward it has to be coming forward in a passing motion..He not looking to pass that ball
Tom Flores:No
Greg Papa:How can he look at that play and say he passing the ball he's completly flat footed he was pumping the ball and he was almost to a stop
Tom Flores:He was bring it back.. your right
Greg Papa:I don't believe this call is accurate but this just turn the whole game around.
Tom Flores:I am just surprise I am just surprise easily becaused Walt Coleman overturned his own call.
Greg Papa:Is it all predicated on whether the arm is coming forward Tom, don't you have to be in a passing motion.
Tom Flores:Well, the arm is coming forward but that time it was coming forward but he was bring it back he was not following it through he was bring the ball back to his chest as you do in a pump motion.
Greg Papa:He was clearly pumping there was no dought he was not looking to throw the ball he was pumping but and Woodson, Gruden really extense here. John Gruden just call the line judge over, the line judge is explaining what happing he is actually is going through the panamine of what Tom Brady did.

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Compress MP3 Format7.6 MB
Streaming Real Audio1.9 MB