When Tim Brown and Jerry Rice made their bizarre accusations that their former coach, Bill Callahan, sabotaged the team in Super Bowl XXXVII, they both dragged former Raiders center Barret Robbins into it: Brown and Rice both said they thought Robbins, who abruptly left the team the day before the game, had a mental breakdown that was triggered by Callahan suddenly and unexpectedly changing the game plan.
Robbins, however, says he doesn’t remember that.
In an interview with Sports Radio 610, Robbins said that he had been dealing with mental and physical health issues before the Raiders got to the Super Bowl, and Robbins says he has no memory of anything related to Callahan’s game plan for that game.
“I would be absolutely wrong to tell you that that was the case,” Robbins said. “If Tim Brown goes on record and says that he changed the game plan on Friday, I don’t remember. Because you’ve got to understand, I was going through a manic episode that had lasted more than two weeks. At that point in time, when we went to the Super Bowl, I was having to shoot my foot up, I was having acupuncture, going through a lot of pain. It was a lot of stress. Pain is a big trigger when it comes to bipolar, that was something I was going through, as well as self-medicating.”
Robbins also said, however, that he doesn’t have any reason to believe Brown was wrong.
“I’m not going to say that I remember the exact meeting that that took place, but I haven’t heard anybody deny it,” Robbins said.
If Robbins hasn’t heard anybody deny it, that simply means he hasn’t been paying attention to the story. Callahan has denied it in the strongest terms, and he’s been backed up by multiple people who were in the Raiders’ offensive meetings before the Super Bowl, including former quarterback Rich Gannon, former offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy and former assistant coach Jim Harbaugh. And Brown himself has backed off his initial claims.
It’s been more than a month since Brown made his initial accusation against Callahan, and the topic is still being raised with players and coaches who were on that Raiders team. Whether he meant to or not, Brown opened a very large can of worms when he suggested that his old coach threw the Super Bowl.