Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown is walking back his claim that head coach Bill Callahan sabotaged Super Bowl 37 in 2002 so that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could win.
Brown said that Callahan inexplicably changed the Raiders’ game plan on the Friday before the Super Bowl. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Callahan had prepared the team for a run-heavy attack, taking advantage of the Raiders stout offensive line against the smaller defensive line of Tampa Bay. But Callahan suddenly changed course, against the objections of his players, and opted for a plan that called for 60 passes according to Brown.
Hall of Famer Jerry Rice — a teammate of Brown on Oakland — chimed in to agree with Brown, claiming that Callahan “didn’t like” the Raiders even though he was running the team and wanted his friend Jon Gruden to win.
Speaking on Dan Patrick’s radio show today, however, Brown seemed to be backtracking according to Yahoo! Sports:
“I’ve never said [Callahan] sabotaged the game … That’s something that can never be proven … We can never go into the mind of Bill Callahan . . .I should have said we could have called it sabotage. It was a question, not a statement. You cannot prove it.”
In the meantime, Bill Callahan released a statement categorically denying Tim Brown’s Super Bowl sabotage accusations:
“There are many people who are disappointed by the outcome of Super Bowl XXXVII, but none more than me. While I fully understand a competitive professional football player’s disappointment when a game’s outcome doesn’t go his team’s way, I am shocked, saddened and outraged by Tim Brown’s allegations and Jerry Rice’s support of those allegations made through various media outlets over the last 24 hours.
“To leave no doubt, I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegations. Like every game I ever coached on the professional or collegiate level, I endeavor to the best of my professional ability to position my team to win. To suggest otherwise, especially at this time when it involves the Super Bowl, is ludicrous and defamatory. I have always honored the spirit of competition that drives us to sport as children and, for the lucky few, sustains us in adulthood.”
Do you think that there is any substance to Tim Brown’s accusations, such as they are, that Bill Callahan purposely threw Super Bowl 37 or is this just sour grapes? Would an NFL coach reaching the pinnacle of his profession — the Super Bowl — actually want the other team to win?