In a bizarre case, ex-Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown has accused Bill Calahan of “sabotaging” Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003.
In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Brown claims that his head coach “hated the Raiders” and lost the Super Bowl on purpose so that his friend Jon Gruden and the Buccaneers could win.
Callahan reportedly changed the team’s game plan a couple days before the game from a run-attack to passing game, and the Raiders went into the game “absolutely knowing that we have no shot.”
Jerry Rice concurred with Brown, claiming that Callahan disliked the team and echoed Brown’s thoughts.
“For some reason — and I don’t know why — Bill Callahan did not like me,” Rice said. “In a way, maybe because he didn’t like the Raiders, he decided, ‘Maybe we should sabotage this a little bit and let Jon Gruden go out and win this one.’”
The Raiders lost the Super Bowl 48-21 to Tampa Bay, but the game was marred by center Barrett Robbins abandoning Oakland before the game.
Rice claims that Callahan was the cause.
“With Barrett, he was frustrated, like, ‘You cannot do this to us at the last second.’ Maybe that’s why he decided to not show up,” Rice said.
It’s enough for a great a wide receiver in Tim Brown to call out his former coach like that, but for Jerry Rice, perhaps the greatest player of all-time to back him up, Callahan sure has some explaining to do.
Callahan was the head coach in Oakland for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Interestingly enough, following the Super Bowl debacle, he led the Raiders to a 4-12 season in 2003 before being fired. After one of the losses, Callahan called the Raiders “the dumbest team in America in terms of playing the game.”