Bill Callahan “outraged” by Tim Brown’s Super Bowl allegations

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It was only going to be a matter of time before newly appointed Dallas Cowboys play-caller Bill Callahan responded to allegations by former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown that Callahan sabotaged Super Bowl XXXVII.

Brown has been outspoken this week criticizing how Callahan handled the offensive game plan heading into the game after changing their approach at the last-minute. Fellow Raiders receiver Jerry Rice even supported Brown’s allegations against Callahan.

Callahan released a statement Tuesday night saying he is “shocked” and “saddened” by the claims against him and vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

“There are many people who are disappointed by the outcome of Super Bowl XXXVII, but none more than me,” Callahan said in a statement. “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 twenty-four 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.

“Any suggestion that I would undermine the integrity of the sport that I love and dedicated my life to, or dishonor the commitment I made to our players, coaches and fans, is flat out wrong. I think it would be in the best interests of all including the game America loves that these allegations be retracted immediately. I want to extend my personal and my family’s deep appreciation to the coaches, players and fans who have come forward and thoughtfully spoken out against these ill-conceived allegations.”

Callahan calling the claims “defamatory” and demanding they be “retracted immediately” seem to point toward Callahan potentially pursuing legal action against Brown if the nine-time Pro Bowler doesn’t backtrack on his comments. Quarterback Rich Gannon, linebacker Bill Romanowski and tackle Lincoln Kennedy have all come to Callahan’s defense.

145 responses to “Bill Callahan “outraged” by Tim Brown’s Super Bowl allegations

  1. I would love to see Bill Callahan try to justify how awful that gameplan was in a court of law to prove defamation. THAT would be a real treat.

    Look, maybe Tim Brown and Jerry Rice, two of the most respected players of the last 20 years, are wrong about Callahan. It’s a heavy accusation, sure. But Callahan’s game plan was so unfathomably stupid, and changing it all two nights before the Super Bowl is just ridiculous.

    Callahan is a horrifyingly inept head coach who managed to run the Raiders into the ground before going to Nebraska and undoing the most consistent program in college sports. He’s a buffoon who should be coaching some backwater private high school team somewhere. His only defense to their claims is that, “hey, I didn’t throw the game, I’m just an idiot!”

    Kudos to Tim Brown for at least bringing it back to people’s attention how grotesquely incompetent Bill Callahan is.

  2. All I can think is, maybe Tim Brown’s floating this crazy conspiracy theory in order to deflect attention away from all this Manti Te’o madness. He’s circling the wagons, trying to protect Te’o and the Notre Dame brand.

    If Golden Tate breaks into a Krispy Kreme anytime soon, my theory is valid. Also, pigs will be flying.

  3. You want him to retract his opinion? Lol

    Dont forget Jon Ritchie supports Brown and Rice too.

    Brown has mentioned this years ago. The press is just now bringing it to the limelight.

    Notice how its the Defensive players who are supporting Callahan. We’re they in the offensive meetings?? Hmmmm. Gannon is the only one on the offense. He knows those picks were on him, so passing the blame to Csllahan would make him look foolish.

    The truth is somewhere in the middle.

    Many will ask why z coach would throw away a chance to win a SB. Maybe in his mind, just making it to the SB was good enough. Losing it wouldn’t doom his career.

  4. I would also add that of the people defending Callahan, Rich Gannon should probably be disqualified due to his friendship with Gruden and Callahan. Gruden and his offensive coaching staff were basically the first people to ever give him a shot in the NFL. He’d probably defend Callahan if he was accused of murdering a bus full of nuns.

    And Romanowski has literally never been honest about anything in his life, and could honestly make a claim for being the lowest scumbag to come through the NFL over the last 40 years. If HE’S defending you, you got more problems than you could possibly imagine.

  5. What else would you expect him to say? By the way, that statement sounds very much like it was written by Callahan’s attorney.

    Obviously none of us know what happened and until there is evidence to the contrary, Callahan should be presumed innocent. But, on the other hand, is Jerry Rice known for making or supporting false allegations against anyone? As in, has he EVER made a false allegation against anyone in the past?

  6. Seriously, for Tim Brown to wait 10 years to bring this up…sounds like a WR who didn’t perform well tryna boost his own ego with an excuse as to why they lost.

  7. why didnt someone ask him if he changed the game plan 48 hours before the gamw…………

    i have no doubt that he didnt want to lose the game but did he really change the plan that close to gametime??????????????

  8. Tim Brown has never held any punches back his whole playing career. SO on the eve of the HOF balloting why go crazy now and stir up this crazy mess? I hope this doesnt hurt his status. Anyone who has done what he did and put up the stats with these QBS marc wilson, Jay schroeder, Vince evans jeff hostetler, rich gannon and jeff george should be in… period.

    People forget he was a restricted free agent and signed an offer sheet with the broncos and al davis matched to keep him in oakland. imagine timmy with elway…. He would have been in his first year…

    I really hope this doesnt mess anything up for Tim he should be in the HOF…

  9. While I believe he is most likely telling the truth, did you really expect Callahan did come out and say, “Yeah, I did it.”?

    Another thing I notice here is that he doesn’t deny his hatred for the Raiders organization. He never mentions a commitment to the organization or Al Davis, only the players, coaches, and fans.

  10. The Faiders. Hilarious. Consistent Commitment to Excrement.

    When’s the last time legitimately good news came out of Jokeland? And no, the release of JaMuffin Ruffles doesn’t count.

  11. Still no explanation regarding changing the game-plan and keeping the same audibles and calls that Gruden knew and passed on to his defense? how about the Barrett Robbins imploring him not to change the game-plan with no time left for him to practice blocking calls?.

    Callahan needs to go into detail, not just say “it’s not true”…..we’re way past that when 3 more players agree with Brown.

  12. Now i don’t know if he sabotaged the super bowl but…he didn’t do anything to win the damn game!! The bucs defense knew every single call we made!!! And for callahan to not change any of the terminology when playing the man that built ur offense is bordering on sabotage!! That is the 1 and only reason that d had 5 ints and 3 returned for tds!!!

  13. I see absolutely NO upside to any player making this kind of accusation. One can call out a coach for being a poor coach or point out certain suspect strategies, philosophies etc. Heck, a player can say that the coach is a low-down dirty egg-sucking mule. Stating a coach deliberately lost a game is simply not a provable thing, regardless the stature of the accusing player. Even if the charge IS true, it is not possible to PROVE!! This traveled road opens up a can of worms that no player wants to experience. At the very best, he comes across as a bitter, small, poor loser who is not able to take responsibility for his role in the loss, and risks tainting his reputation for the rest of his life…no upside whatsoever.

  14. he ran the plays jon gruden knew by heart. he played not to win.

    hes gonna try to blame it on Al, even if Al said pass the ball more, I still believe callahan sabotaged the game by calling the pass plays gruden knew by heart,

    there was something shady about that game, how does jerry rice get blown out on superbowl sunday with the mvp at qb.

    maybe callahan was in cahootz with gruden, thats why he changed it up. lip sync?

    i dont trust callahan. i trust jerry rice who is one of the greatest of all time and played with the best.

    2001 – tony siragusa “fell” on rich gannons arm, KO’d AFC title game, no flag. andre rison flagged offensive PI late TD in 4th qtr.

    2002 – tuck rule.

    2003 – callahan sabotage

    Al Davis also tried to get Kaepernick in draft…

  15. If if he did not coach to lose that game then he should just man up and say “I messed up, probably should have done things differently”, I could respect that.

    But just saying it’s not true means nothing, explain yourself……..

    “Dumbest Head Coach in Super Bowl History”.

  16. “Any suggestion that I would undermine the integrity of the sport that I love and dedicated my life to, or dishonor the commitment I made to OUR PLAYERS, COACHES AND FANS, is flat out wrong. ”

    Didn’t he do exactly that with the whole, “Dumbest Team In America” soundbite?

  17. I believe Callahan. It sounds like sour grapes from Brown (that never won the big one) and Rice (who was cast aside in San Francisco and finished his career as a journeyman.)

    Ironically, Tim Brown and Charlie Garner both played for Gruden and the Bucs after their loss in the Super Bowl, and Rice almost signed in Tampa before choosing the Seahawks.

  18. to bill callahan, just wanted to let you know that my imaginary girlfriend believes you tried your best.

  19. How difficult is it to interview Kirby?

    1. week of preparing for the run, followed by

    2. meeting to change the game plan at the last minute, followed by

    3. personal situation for BR, followed by

    4. his disappearance, followed by

    5. Treu taking over at Center, followed by

    6. inability to run even if they wanted to, combined with

    7. not changing the calls AND Gruden preparing the Bucs D for Richie G’s habits to get so many interceptions

    all add up to a Raider nightmare.

    When BR goes down not much can happen after that but it seems (allegedly) that the combination of the meeting plus the personal situation pushed BR over the edge.

  20. Probably had nothing at all to do with the fact that Callahan isn’t a great HC and the Raiders were playing their former coach. Callahan was probably laughing his butt off after the game over the fact that he finally got to stick it to Tim Brown.

    Bad HC, dumb gameplan, doesn’t mean it was sabotage.

  21. Nowhere in those three paragraphs does it say “I didn’t completely change the game plan 48 hours before the game and that isn’t why my Center went off the deep end,” however.

  22. Warren Sapp once said that Al Davis changed the gameplans late in the week many times. If Callahan had changed the gameplan on Friday….he would of been fired. It was an Al Davis call to change the gameplan, Tim is wrong in blaming the puppet HC.

  23. Good for Bill. Lost in Tim Brown’s delusional ranting and raving is the fact that he is slandering a man who makes his livelihood coaching in the NFL. Oakland fans have plenty to be upset about regarding that loss, from Barrett Robbins and his mental breakdown to the putrid performance of league MVP Rich Gannon, but to accuse a man of sabotage is cowardly and disgusting.

    The Raiders have a proud history that includes multiple Super Bowl victories, but ten years ago they lost to a better team. It was a convincing defeat and the Raiders haven’t really been the same since. Instead of dwelling on the past, I think it’s time to focus on the future. Tim Brown needs to do the right thing and apologize to Bill Callahan. It’s one thing to criticize the coaching, it’s an entirely different and potentially harmful thing to accuse someone of sabotage or suggesting that a fix was in. I wouldn’t blame Callahan if he were to pursue legal action, as these comments could damage his career. Do the right thing and apologize, Tim, you’re better than this.

  24. Why does he not just answer the question. Did he scrap his installed gameplan on Friday that was designed to run the ball to a heavy passing attack?

    If he did then the sabatoge would be his stupidity not his intent.

  25. Well Bill you have a way with words. I was initially convinced by Brown and Rice’s allegations of bombing the Superbowl, but now I am back on team Callahan. Yes, you may have had a pretty horrendous gameplan, but none of us can deny that you tried your best.

  26. I found it hard to believe he would throw the game, but if he always acted like he hated the team you would understand Brown and Rice believing what they do. Even the 10 years for the story to come out makes sense, it’s so long ago the guys probably don’t remember exact events or plays but their impressions of those years, coupled with loyalty to a team mate in Robbins, along with blaming Callahan for the game plan may have all fused together in their heads to create the image of “He betrayed us”.

    On the note of the game plan, I’d love to hear what happened there from Callahan. Why weren’t they throwing all along with Gannon, Brown and Rice? Why switch on Friday? Was Al the one who switched it?

    I don’t think anyone is lying, but the game plan switch has been pretty much confirmed with no one denying it. so Callahan should explain that little nugget.

  27. By Callahan not changing the hand signals/audibles/playcalling that Gruden possibly “known” about (By being the previous head coach) or changing the game plan 2 days prior to the Super Bowl can be considered as sabotage. I’m co-signing Jerry & Tim only if the phrase sabotage it kept within that context…then yes, Callahan is guilty as sin. If I were the Cowboys I’d fire him right now before the season gets underway.

  28. Rafael Palmiero, NFL Style. This guy just got a promotion, probably jockeying for a HC job with Dallas, and won’t badmouth Jerry’s deceased pal Al by addressing the claims of him hating and walking out on the team several times. If he was willing to walk out on them then, these most recent rebuttals are worth the same as Tony Dungy’s bar tab!

  29. Tim Brown vs Joe Bugel and OC Ray Perkins, 1997:

    “The game against the Chiefs was so frustrating for the team that quarterback Jeff George and wide receiver Tim Brown, a perennial Pro Bowl selection and another outspoken player, began to call their own plays, ignoring Perkins. It was a mutiny, pure and simple, and it didn’t stop when the game ended.” – NY Times, Dec. 14

    Tim Brown, 1995 interview:

    interviewer: “he’s not a big fan of personnel executive Mike Lombardi. At one point, Brown detoured into a scathing, unsolicited critique about how Lombardi, and not Davis, is the reason people don’t want to play or coach for the Raiders.

    A surprised and perplexed Lombardi had no comment.”

    Tim Brown, 2013:

    Disrespects Marc Trestman’s hire by the Bears by pointing out Trestman gave Jerry Rice a few more targets than Brown back in 2001.

    Tim Brown is an attention-you-know-what.

  30. I’m in the camp where if I was ever accused of something that was vehemently not true, I would immediately come out swinging with a gut statement denying it (i.e. I feel if an innocent person were accused of a crime like child molestation, they would be outraged, rather than oddly laid-back like Sandusky on Costas’ show). Just like Callahan did.

    Personally, I feel Callahan is a poor coach, but there is just no way you throw a Super Bowl because you hate your own team. I feel it’d be mighty hard to coach a team you secretly despised all the way to the Super Bowl.

  31. I watched that game with my friends over spending some ‘quality time’ with my girlfriend back then. We broke up two years later and I think you sabotaged my relationship Bill.

  32. This so dumb! Who cares. It was so long ago. At the end of the day, the players and the coaching staff of the raiders went into the super bowl unprepared and got stomped on by the bucks that day. Get ova it already, Holy f**k!

  33. this is a senseless situation…Tim Brown and Jerry Rice throwing Bill under the bus and blaming him only for a loss 10 yrs ago is truly childish and ignorant…I’ve lost respect for Tim Brown and I’m shocked at Jerry Rice as well..this is so bizarre to bring this up 10 yrs later…let it go and move on, geez.

  34. I have list a ton of respect for Tim Brown and Jerry Rice for this sour grapes garbage! To say that Callahan sabotaged the Super Bowl is ludicrous. The Raiders only passed the ball like 3-4 more times in the super bowl then they did in the AFC championship game, how is that changing the game plan? and to blame Callahan for the centers mental breakdown is just plain stupid! Face it, YOU LOST!! Not because Callahan “sabotaged” the game, but because the Bucks where better and played a great defensive game!!

    Quit your crying 10 years later and face it…….YOU LOST!!!

  35. None of this is surprising. Tim Brown has become a sad, bitter man over the years. I guess someone feels they deserve to be in the HOF, and is pointing the venom wherever he can.

  36. Tom & Jerry overlooked the detail of the Raiders being the only team in the history of the league to win games both running the ball 60 times, and passing the ball 60 times in that same 2002 season.

  37. Hey Callahan, if your threatening to Sue somebody it should be the media. There the one’s who blew this story up and made it into a big soap opera.

  38. So, the Raiders had their butts handed to them in their last Super Bowl and so it HAS to be sabotage? They couldn’t have lost because their defense SUCKED and Gannon threw a TON of picks? Gotcha.

  39. I have to say there is some merit to this theory for a couple of reasons.

    1. I watched this super bowl and I remember the sideline camera catching Jerry Porter saying very loudly early in the game (when it was still in contention) that he wanted to ‘see what their guts were like. Let’s RUN the ball’.

    2. I also remember the sideline camera on the Bucs side catching their defenders saying ‘They’re doing exactly what coach said they were going to do’.

    3. The 2002 Raiders weren’t THAT pass happy in the regular season. Their in season run/pass play balance was 619 passes to 414 runs. They scored 26 TDs in the air and 21 on the ground. That’s no where near what happened in the Super Bowl

    4. Play balance in the super bowl for the Raiders was 44 passes to 11 runs. That is pure lunacy. Any coach worth 2 cents would know you cant win a game that way.

    5. In the first half of the game, the Raiders trailed 20-3 and were getting the ball back at half time. Their play balance the first half? 8 Runs (1 by Gannon and two to run the clock to half time, and two by the FULL BACK) to 21 pass attempts/sacks.

    6. No Charlie Garner?? The guy had almost 1000 yards rushing AND receiving in the same year. Averaged 5 plus yards per carry and 10 plus yards per reception.. and yet he got 7 carries (again, two to end the first half) the whole game. Makes no sense, especially when the game was still in contention at the half. He was targeted only 3 times in the first half for plays of 8, 6, and 8 yards.

    7. The best way to beat a Cover 2 defense is to run right at it. The worst way to beat a cover to defense is to keep passing the ball when the pass rush is effective. Is there anyone that doesn’t know this? Didn’t Callahan?

    8. Gannon had a whopping 7 completions and 2 INTs in the first half. Was that game plan working so well that it didn’t have to be adjusted in the Super Bowl?

    9. To have lost this Super Bowl this way with hall of fame talent on the field, you have to wonder is Bill Callahan the worst Super Bowl coach EVER, or was something else afoot? Given the relationship between coaches and the hard evidence, its hard to call it completely out of the question.

  40. So Bill Callahan threw the game by telling Gannon to throw to you? There’s a new one. Ok, I guess you know if you suck that badly or not, so I’ll take your word for it.

  41. Why is tim brown complaining about a super bowl they lost over a decade ago? get over it. Besides gannon had had one of the worst qb performances in Superbowl history and with the defense Tampa bay had that year it wouldn’t of mattered what game plan the raiders went with… they were gona lose

  42. Well spoken Bill. We couldn’t believe anybody was that dumb. btw, isn’t it possible that a game plan can get changed during the game anyway?….maybe during halftime, if things don’t go as planned? or will the recievers complain that they were not supposed to get that kind of action…..Tim Brown just dropped a notch in my book, & Jerry Rice followed. Why wouldn’t they have made this complaint immediately after the game?

  43. I think Tim Brown is an ignorant person. First he complains he didn’t get the ball enough when they got Jerry Rice and now he blames a coach for losing the superbowl, ignorant! Seems to me hes enjoying the attention hes getting about his comments, after all i didn’t even remember who he was until this story broke! And shame on Rice too! If the players would of played better, mainly Gannon, they’d of had a chance!

  44. If anybody could actually make Callahan alter the game plan, it was Al Davis, he had the final say in every aspect of the organization, and we all know how much he love the vertical passing game. And honestly, the Raiders lost to a better team coached by Gruden on offense who knew the Raiders’ offense better than Callahan, and to a dominant defense with several future HOF in their prime coached by living legend Monte Kiffin.

  45. he’s gotta be the dumbest coach in America…
    I “saddened” he didn’t have Tue brains to change the terminology at the VERY least.
    I don’t think he threw the game on purpose I just think his coaching was “defamatory”. GFY Bill.

  46. This sounds an awful lot like a press release. Why couldn’t he just come out and say something real, rather than having a lawyer/associate prepare a statement for him?

  47. Where is the evidence that supports such an outlandish and thus far unfounded claim by Tim Brown?

    Personalities involved with the Raiders and Al Davis are well known for being outspoken and disgruntled. However, making claims without a shed of any evidence such what has happened here will only tarnish the legacies of Jerry Rice and Tim Brown. They were great players, but they will now be known for being malicious and not understanding how to logically argue. What did we learn? That certain prima donnas didn’t like some of the coaching staff and are sore losers.

    I thought the worst part (making wild unfounded accusations which were usually very spiteful) of the Al Davis Raiders died with him, seems I was wrong.

  48. Who among us wouldn’t be willing to intentionally lose a potential career and life altering game just to help out a friend and get back at the terrible employer who gave you a chance to coach in this game?

    Maybe if they had been facing the Eagles instead, Callahan would have wanted to lose the game so poor Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid could get a Super Bowl ring.

    I guess this bothered Tim Brown so badly that he waited 11 years to talk about it, instead of say the day after the game…..

  49. Changing the game plan 2 days before the biggest game of your life is totally understandable. I cant believe anyone would question something that trivial… and lol at the legal action threat. The story gets more flabbergasting…

  50. Legal action? Ha.

    Several players have now said that Callahan did change things up in the days before the game. If that’s false, Callahan should say so. If it’s true, he should just explain why he changed things up.

  51. Does Brown have a book coming out or something and this guy is just looking to be controversial ? The guy was a gr8 player but this thing is just nutty. Then Rice chimes I on it… These are pretty serious allegations and then to sit on it for 10 years makes zero sense.

  52. “Or dishonor the commitment I made to our players, coaches and fans, is flat out wrong.”

    Notice he left out Team Ownership.

  53. I am a life long Nebraska fan and I don’t believe he sabotaged this game. I believe he is simply incompetent. From what I can gather of his Pro/College head coaching career, he is a great recruiter. He definitely knows his X’s and O’s, and is regarded as a great o-line coach. That being said he is not a leader of men . He probably did change the game plan, and thought he was a genius doing so.

  54. Don’t let it drop Callahan. Let little Timmay either retract or spend the few shekels he has left defending his absurd, libelous, comments. Tim’s just a bitter little brother that thinks he’s more than the sum of his parts.

  55. Fascinating situation. It is interesting that nowhere in his statement did Callahan mention anything of substance or specificity… Did he change the whole game plan on Friday, as claimed? If so , why? If not, why do these very well known players claim he did? Simple questions to answer, I would think. Instead, a bunch of legal-speak…..

  56. Jealous/vindictive Timmy Brown also tried to sabotage John Madden’s 2006 induction into the HOF by claiming that UNNAMED Raider players from the ’70s ‘told me’ that Madden was responsible for the Raiders not winning more Super Bowls.

    Big John didn’t even bother to dignify Brown’s verbal garbage with a response at the time. But since that time, I haven’t viewed any statements/opinions made by Timmy as more than just trash.

  57. Coach, did you or did you not change the game plan the Friday before the game?

    Save the outrage, just explain that, and it all goes away.

  58. When the Player voted the best in the NFL–who also happens to have lots of class & intelligence–has the courage of his convictions to go out on a very long limb for friend and principle…you better believe there is some substance to Tim Brown’s allegations.

  59. Well, that response seems a bit vague. I wish he had been a little more forceful and specific.

  60. Tim Brown will use Notre Dame Athletic Director to speak for his behalf stating he was hoaxed into making those statements

  61. Bill Callahan – he’ll do what ever it takes to win, except change the names of the calls from the ones put in place by the other teams head coach.

  62. And the next offseason scandal is ON!!!! ’11 Lockout, ’12 Saints Bounty & ’13 Did Da Raiders throw the Superbowl!?!?

    The NFL RULES!

  63. Whether Callahan changed the game plan is a question of fact. Either he did or he didn’t.

    If Callahan did change the game plan, then truth would be an absolute defense to a defamation claim. If Callahan didn’t, then as a public figure, he would have to show actual malice.

    As to Callahan’s intent or motivation for allegedly changing the game plan, that’s opinion. It is not a fact capable of being proven true or false.

  64. Well, that letter was certainly written by a lawyer.

    I don’t know if he has grounds for a defamation suit- neither player said that they had any proof that Callahan threw the game, just that his strange method of preparation made it seem possible to them.

    Should be a fun 2 weeks.

  65. I can understand why since the coach he was coaching against knew the entire play book a mistake two days before the Super Bowl yes ,but to think he did it on purpose c’mon guys that’s way to far fetched and I do believe you owe the man and us football fans an apology , you guys are vets you should know to keep your mouths shut unless you have irrevocable proof I lost a lot respect for you guys sore losers.

  66. Looks like Bill’s lawyer did some pretty nifty CYA statement composing. Its obvious, if Bill wasnt smart enough to change the play terminology, he wasnt sharp enough to compose a response like this!!

    Sabotage? Im not sure about that, but he IS guilty of not changing Gruden play terminology! I guess that in itself could be construed as sabotage..

  67. The allegations really don’t make much sense. Who, with a chance to cement their name in football history by winning an NFL Championship, says “Nah. You take this one bro!”? You can say he was a bad coach who botched up when it was on the line, but sabotage implies intent to lose and I cannot fathom why you’d do that.

  68. He should at least consider litigation. This has caused irreparable harm to his (already not-so-stellar) image as an employable coordinator.

    One should not flippantly say things such as this to garner attention. Why would you say it at ALL (10 years later!)?

  69. Sorry but Tampa Bay is getting WAY to much credit for winning that game. The bottom line without Gruden coaching they don’t even beat the Eagles let alone the Raiders in the Super Bowl. So please STOP with this better team won BS, because they were only the bettter team because Callahan never changed any plays, any signals or any audibles. And let’s not forget Gannon was a career back up who Gruden turned into an MVP of the league, so you don’t think he didn’t know his tendencies and everything there is to know about him. So please STOP giving the the team any credit. All the credit goed to Al davis for trading Gruden.

  70. Rice threw Moss under the bus twice when Moss didn’t glowingly endorse his record when he broke it, and then when Moss retired…now he’s throwing Callahan under the bus. Rice is a punk in my view, and if he didn’t do on the field what he had done, would be looked at like an egotistical idiot with no character. Tim Brown, good luck getting in the Hall, as it probably won’t be for awhile now. Just an awful statement. It hurts people, fans and the integrity of the game. Say it to Callahan’s face, not the media.

  71. The comments here say a lot about what NFL fans are willing and not willing to believe. The attributions of motive are what strike me as bizarre.

    The Super Bowl is the most bet upon event in America. When you see a situation you don’t understand, follow the money. A coach changes the game plan on Friday. The all-pro center actually GOES MISSING for Pete’s sake. This is a recipe for losing.

    Now keep in mind that millions of dollars are going to change hands at the end of the game. You really think someone threw the game because they are pals with the other head coach? These people probably don’t even let their kids win a game of Candy Land they’re so competitive.

    IF this game was thrown the first place to look would be Las Vegas.

  72. My comments:

    Throwing the game might be a little strong, but yes Callahan doesn’t answer questions about changing game plan 48 hrs before game.

    Tampa’s D was very good, but they did get help from the Raiders not changing audibiles and Gruden knowing the offense. Tampa’s D knew what plays were coming.

    Plus Gruden gets too much credit. He’s good. But he did win with Dungy’s guys and not much else after that.

  73. I don’t believe he intentionally did anything wrong, but if the game plan was changed after practicing a different game plan the rest of the week that was run heavy to pass heavy… That sure sounds like an Al Davis move.

  74. BTW… Football games are about match-ups. What Brown said is that their offensive line had about a 70 lb. per person advantage over the Tampa Bay DL. Therefore they would run rather than throw at a top notch secondary.

    They practiced that until Friday. Then the game plan changed inexplicably. According to Brown, and this should be something that can be verified, the center freaked out because of the changes and that was part of the reason he had a psychic break and headed to Tijuana.

    According to Brown Callahan wanted to pass 60 times which would have been pretty much every down. The idea that this was a bad game plan was born out by the 5 interceptions and 3 pick 6s.

    Then there’s NFL Films who still show video of the Buc players laughing on the sideline and saying that they practiced against every one of these plays all week. People want to say that that’s because Gruden knew the playbook, but there was a whole season worth of film on the Raiders that would tell you tons about the playbook. Neither the film or a prior knowledge of the playbook tells a coach what subset of plays to plan for all week, but Gruden knew what would be called.

    The “official narrative” has holes in it. Big ones. Now people are calling Brown and Rice bitter and delusional. That’s a lot easier than defending the facts. Callahan would be a fool to take this to court and I doubt that the league would let him. A sport that concerns its self so heavily with image isn’t about to let this thing be questioned publicly by a team of lawyers.

    I say the whole situation stinks. Would a player or coach throw a Super Bowl? I don’t know. Would a boxer throw a world title match?

  75. Plus Gruden gets too much credit. He’s good. But he did win with Dungy’s guys and not much else after that.


    Gruden only won because how familiar he was with the offense which he installed. That’s the ONLY REASON THEY WON. PERIOD

  76. After reading this story and doing a little research, I initially wanted to side with Brown and Rice and come to the conclusion that he probably did lose on purpose, or at least didn’t care enough to try to win. But then I realized that both Brown and Rice are drawing conclusions that are based on their own (potentially incorrect) perceptions of the guy. Their emotions are obviously affecting how they are evaluating his actions. And let’s not forget how horribly inaccurate human memory is. Ten years after the fact, Brown and Rice both may have unknowingly omitted or changed a large amount of details, even if their stories still match.

    But the big thing I cannot get past: never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to ignorance. It sounds to me that Callahan was just really, really inept. He very likely could have changed the gameplan at the last minute in a misguided attempt to correct his mistake once he learned that his former boss knew exactly what he was doing. He might not have changed up audible signals because he just didn’t have the presence of mind to consider that Gruden still knew them. It’s entirely possible, and I’d say probable, that Callahan was just completely outmatched and completely unprepared for the job. It’s certainly more probable than a guy intentionally sabotaging a Super Bowl.

    As it is, it sounds to me like he inherited a pretty good team and didn’t do much to change any of it (which would explain why he got to the Super Bowl and then failed miserably).

    I questioned how someone could be appointed head coach when they were so laughingly inept at the job. Then I remembered what I watched yesterday, NFL Film’s Top 10 Worst Teams, and I realized that terrible head coaching isn’t all that uncommon in the NFL. So really, out of the two explanations, I have to side with the more reasonable one: Callahan just sucks at coaching football teams.

  77. Bill Callahan has absolutely NOTHING for which to answer to everyone here, or America. Even if he changed the game plan, we would not be talking about new plays; obviously some of them (Gannon 5 ints; had a running back 11 carry-17 yds) had their jock straps flame-thrown on the field.

    Is there defamation? Yes, even if claims are implicit … if it’s an unfounded accusation, and since one cannot prove this by fact, this clearly should head into court.

    Of note, I saw another article in which Gannon rejected the claims.

  78. To therealbleedcoltsblue – You are saying that it would be a good idea to put the ball into a 1000 rushers hand against the 5th ranked defense in the league instead of in the hands of the 2002 NFL MVP QB and his 2 hall of fame wide receivers. Think about that for a moment. 1 guy, or 3 great players? Now if you were an intelligent person you would say that having more weapons would be better. In 2002 the Raiders were by far a pass first team. You even gave the perfect example of that. The average NFL team is very close to 50/50 pass/run during that era of football. The Raiders were 60/40 favoring the pass that year. The Raiders were considered a pass first team, and all of the pundits were evaluating the Raiders two hall of fame wide receivers and NFL MVP QB against the Bucs cover 2 D, and their cornerbacks. So the idea that the coach would change his gameplan to fit the strength of the team is a GOOD idea. Trying to be something that you are not is what causes confusion. If anyone should be blamed for “throwing” the game, it should be Rich Gannon. He was throwing the ball everywhere but to the Raiders. The Bucs were just in his head. Can’t blame Callahan for that. The Raiders got beat down like little biznitches. Suck it up buttercup. This just sounds like a lot of sour grapes. I guess that’s why Tim Brown sucked so bad when he came to Tampa to be the fair catch king. He was bitter, and hated the team that abused him and the Raiderettes.

  79. “Just answer the question Bill … did you change the game plan 2 days before the game?”

    Who cares if he changed the plans. Their center having a breakdown could have certainly factored into it, as could have Al Davis.

    It’s no different than if your starting QB was declared out, and the backup not having the skills to execute the same offense as the starter.

    The real problem is Tim Brown having an issue ten years later. If they changed the gameplan and won, Brown probably wouldn’t have said a damn thing.

    Callahan has been in the league long enough, I’m sure he’s not throwing a SB for anyone, as he realizes how difficult it is to even get there, much less win one.

  80. raidernation210 – Gruden won with Dungy’s defense. But it was his offense. Then after the Super Bowl, he got rid of Dungy’s pro bowl players (Sapp & Lynch). That’s why the Bucs dropped off like they did. Coaches can only do so much. NFL teams do such a great job of scouting that it is very difficult to “hide” the plays you run, unless you never run the same play twice. The difference is in the execution of the play. If you and everyone else on the planet know that I am about to run the ball up the gut with Alstott, and you still can’t stop it, that’s not coaching, that’s execution. The Bucs executed the Raiders into the ground that day. End of story.

  81. Tim Brown was so upset over the Super Bowl gameplan that he waited 10 years to start complaining about it.

    I heard him trash Trestman, and now he’s trashing Callahan… If I didn’t know better if anyone is holding a grudge it’s Tim Brown.

  82. Some of you don’t get it. Brown and Rice aren’t saying that he is a bad head coach. That’s a fact. He got fired for that at the Raiders and at Nebraska. They are saying that he lost the Super Bowl ON PURPOSE. Being a bad coach isn’t a scandal. Throwing a professional football game, especially the Super Bowl is a HUGE scandal.

  83. I have to lol at the suggestion that Callahan is considering a lawsuit. Defamation doesn’t apply to an opinion. There also has to be actual malice involved. I can’t see him gaining anything from going to court.

  84. If anything, one could claim it was unintentional sabotage for not changing up Gruden’s playbook a little bit and the verbiage involved as well. I highly doubt any coach would ruin their chance to win a Super Bowl on purpose.

  85. You know what I remember from this game? early 4th qtr the Raiders scored 3 td’s in a row, went for 2 on each and didn’t get any… If Callahan had them kick all 3 PAT’s, they would have been down 13 with 6 minutes left and all the momentum steamrolling their way, with the Bucs reeling… Instead they were down by 16, needing basically 3 scores and it was outta reach when Gannon threw that last pick. Thats coaching error right there.

  86. A hollow statement, it means nothing.

    Anyone who watched the game saw what happened. Anyone who has paid attention after has seen the clips of Bucs defensive players claiming they knew what was coming. Bill didn’t do enough to tweak the offense/cadence/call at line/ whatever to make it challenging for Gruden.

    Then the added stress to an already stressful situation sent your mently unstable center over the edge.

    It was poorly managed from the start and the results speak to that. That much is certain, that much is fact.

    And he is still a delta bravo

  87. Well whoever is telling the truth, one thing is for certain, the Raiders offense in that game looked nothing like the offense that had been shredding D’s all season. The Bucs D were very good, but they weren’t that good! The gameplan obviously went wrong, whether that is sabotage or not is a completely different matter.

  88. It’s a serious allegation. You can sell me on the fact that Calahan used poor judgement changing the plan or even sell me on the fact it was stupid. But selling me on him trying to lose is another story. I’m not buying it.

  89. If you knew anything about Al Davis, you’d surely know that he liked the power running and the vertical game, not the dink and dunk stuff they were running at the time, he put up with it because it was working: just win baby.

    Al did not chanhe the game-plan…

    Bill Callahan, aka “The Dumbest Coach in Super Bowl History” did.

    As a guy above pointed out, the Raiders called 3 legit running plays in the 1st half, the other 5 were 1 by Gannon, 2 to end the half and 2 to the FB….where were Wheatly and Garner?.

  90. why doesn’t anyone bring up the fact that jon ritchie also corroborated browns story? i think a former espn employee and stanford grad is a pretty reliable source

  91. Just because Brown and others are saying Callahan changed the game plan does not mean he was trying to sabotage the Super Bowl so Gruden would win. I don’t care how good a friend Gruden may have been the question has to be would Callahan risk his whole career and give up winning the Super Bowl? That does not make any sense.

  92. @boobsmcgoo

    “Some of you don’t get it. Brown and Rice aren’t saying that he is a bad head coach. That’s a fact. He got fired for that at the Raiders and at Nebraska. They are saying that he lost the Super Bowl ON PURPOSE. Being a bad coach isn’t a scandal. Throwing a professional football game, especially the Super Bowl is a HUGE scandal.”

    The problem with Brown’s story is that all logic is on Callahan’s side. There simply isn’t any logical reason for him to throw a Super Bowl. The only reason that comes even close to being logical is money, but that doesn’t make much sense when you’re talking about an NFL coach (who was compensated handsomely). If he had a gambling problem or deep financial debt, we would have heard about it by now and his career would probably be in ruins. Art Schlichter, for example. None of the evidence points to anything other than Callahan being a bad coach.

    It’s certainly possible that he hated the team or the players enough to throw the Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean it’s logical. I don’t see the motivation here, unless Gruden and him actually arranged something prior. Changing up the gameplan at the last minute speaks more to ineptitude than premeditation, I’d wager.

  93. I understand the “thinking” here – coach Callahan is pondering his situation a few days before superbowl XXXVII and thinks “I’m working way too hard already, and if I win this, my phone will be ringing off the hook … I know, I’ll have to throw the game – and besides if I get too many of those rings, I may not be able to raise my hand.” I guess that might make sense to some fan – somewhere – sometime?

  94. What I don’t get, is that Tim Brown made these same claims back in 2003. Where was all the media outrage back then? I mentioned this a few posts up, but for some odd reason the site deleted it. I guess they don’t want anyone to know that this accusation has been made before nearly ten years ago. Meanwhile it keeps people asking why bring it up know due to their not knowing that it has indeed been brought up before.

  95. Bill Callahan’s lawyer wrote a very nice statement for Bill. That was one of the most lawyered up statements I’ve read since Vilma’s. My wife, a practicing attorney for the last 20 years, agrees that his lawyer wrote that.

  96. @dontfeedgigantor

    I am actually in agreement with you. My comment was directed at those who point out Callahan’s ineptitude as strengthening Brown’s argument.

  97. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Jerry Rice because of his support of crybaby Tim Brown. I expect this kind of garbage from a Golden Dumba** like Brown, but Rice??

    If I were Callahan, I’d have forgotten about the lawyer-written statement and said simply, “OK, Little Timmy. Put up or shut up. Produce the evidence or retract. Time to stop acting like some entitled child; be a MAN.”

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