ESPN dropped a trailer for the upcoming 30 for 30 installment The Tuck Rule, which will premiere February 6th.
The film explores, as you’ve likely guessed, the infamous Tuck Rule game from the 2001 playoffs that saw the Patriots defeat the Raiders thanks almost entirely to a critical ruling that awarded New England possession after what was maybe a Tom Brady fumble. Obviously without that win, Brady doesn’t win his first championship that year, and while he still likely would have turned out to be one of the best of all time, history undeniably would have been changed.
Directed by 30 for 30 vet Ken Rogers and Nick Mascolo, the film’s centerpiece appears to be the fact that it puts Charles Woodson (who made the hit on Brady) and Brady himself in a room together to watch the game and the play, and captures their reactions and interaction throughout. That’s in addition to plenty of other interviews, of course, but seeing Brady and Woodson (former college teammates!), two decades later, going back and forth over what ended up being one of the biggest plays of their respective careers.
From ESPN’s release:
In the documentary, Brady and Woodson sit down together and look back, for the first time ever, on their fateful collision that snowy night in Foxboro. “The Tuck Rule” will premiere February 6 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The film will be made available on ESPN+ immediately after its premiere, along with the rest of the 30 for 30 library.
Said co-director Ken Rodgers: “The Tuck Rule is certainly one of the most controversial calls in the history of sports, but it may also be one of its most consequential. It proves that one moment, this moment, any moment, can change our lives – just as it did for Brady and Woodson twenty years ago today. It was awe-inspiring to hear these two friends talk with each other about that moment for the first time in their lives. Their emotions about that night are still fresh.”
Along with an exclusive sit-down between Brady and Woodson, the film features interviews with referee Walt Coleman, Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown, Willie McGinest, Mark Davis, Tim Brown, Eric Allen and Lincoln Kennedy. The film is co-produced by ESPN, NFL Films, 199 Productions, and Build Your Legend Productions.
This definitely feels like a smaller scope 30 for 30, and that’s totally fine. ESPN is also very much in the Brady business right now, between this and Man in the Arena, which is perhaps overkill for some viewers. Still, it’s good to have 30 for 30 back, especially for the dead weekend before the Super Bowl.