M&T Bank Stadium has been equipped to follow the “Tucker Rule.”
The Ravens ground crew installed a new set of goal posts at the stadium this week as part of the NFL’s rule to extend the height of the posts by five feet. The goal posts will now be 35 feet high after the rule was approved during owner’s meetings this offseason.
The rule to extend the goal posts was proposed by the New England Patriots, and it has unofficially become known as the “Tucker Rule” because of the game-winning field goal that
Tucker’s 27-yard field goal as time expired went over the uprights and was ruled good, giving the Ravens a 31-30 victory. Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick stormed onto the field and grabbed an official to protest the call, but the play wasn’t reviewable and the Ravens came away with a key victory early in their Super Bowl season.
“I think there were a couple kicks that spurred [the rule change] on, but that surely was one of them,” Patriots Owner Robert Kraft said of the proposal at the owners meetings.
Tucker has said he’s confident the kick was through the uprights, but doesn’t object to being attached to the rule.
“Pretty sweet that some football fans are calling this the 'Tucker Rule' haha! #honored,” he tweeted after the rule was announced in March.
The process of putting the new goalposts in place wasn’t as easy as some might expect. The Ravens had to order new sets for M&T Bank Stadium and the practice fields at the Under Armour Performance Center. The four new sets came from the sports construction company Sportsfield Specialties, which had to build new goalposts rather than just tacking on five-foot extensions.
“The reason we had to buy all new goalposts is not because of the extra weight of the five-feet extensions, it’s actually the wind load,” Ravens Head Groundskeeper Don Follett said. “These had to be able to withstand very high winds, so they were tested in winds [of] more than 100 miles an hour.”
All of the new goalposts have been installed at the stadium and the practice fields as the Ravens prepare to open training camp later this month. The team plans to give old goalposts to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Follett said.