In your bizarre sports news of the day, NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Tim Brown is suggesting former Raiders head coach Bill Callahan sabotaged his own team at Super Bowl XXXVII.
In fact, Brown claims Callahan threw the game because he hated the Raiders and wanted to help his buddy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden get the win.
Really? Well, at least one former Raider agrees this is the way it went down in 2003. Stay tuned … it gets weirder.
In a conversation with Sirius XM NFL Radio, Brown claims that Callahan’s last minute move to switch the Raiders’ offensive game plan from run first to a passing game, was not only an attempt to sabotage the team;s Super Bowl chances, but is also what sent Raiders center Barret Robbins into a manic-depressive state that saw him go missing in Mexico the day before the big game.
“We all called it sabotage,” says Brown. “Because Callahan and Gruden were good friends. And Callahan had a big problem with the Raiders, you know, hated the Raiders.”
Still, Brown admits his opinion is just that, and can’t rightly be stated as fact. “[Callahan] hated the Raiders so much that he would sabotage the Super Bowl so his friend can win the Super Bowl,” says Brown. “That’s hard to say, because you can’t prove it.”
Brown claims Callahan only came to the team because Gruden brought him on board, and when Gruden departed, Callahan had his chance to put the team under.
As if Brown’s claims weren’t bizarre enough, another player from the team is backing him up. Former Raiders fullback and ex-ESPN analyst Jon Ritchie tells ESPN’s Chris Mortensen he agrees with Brown’s assessment.
“I’ve said it for years,” Ritchie writes to Mortensen. “What we practiced heavily during the week is not what we ran in that game. Could have been due to Barrett’s absence. It was never explained to me … I always thought it would get sensational like this.”
Other players — perhaps using a bit more logic — have shot down the sabotage theory, making statements to ESPN such as, “We got out-played and out-coached. Period,” and “[Callahan] may have known something we didn’t know.”