The biggest Super Bowl story of the week surrounds not the Harbaugh Bowl ahead of us, but a Super Bowl that happened a decade ago. Both Jerry Rice and Tim Brown have come forward and said they believe head coach Bill Callahan threw the Super Bowl by choosing to switch the Raiders gameplan less than 48 hours before kickoff.
Needless to say, Callahan has come out and denied this outrageous claim.
“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.”
Rice and Brown allege that Callahan switched the gameplan the Friday of the Super Bowl, increasing the Raiders passing attack and decreasing the role of the run game. The Raiders ended up throwing ball just three times more than they did in the AFC title game, but for some reason this is absurd to both Rice and Brown.
The fact of the matter is the Raiders had Charlie Garner as their running back that year and had an MVP quarterback throwing to two legendary receivers. So it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that throwing the ball over running it in this situation was probably the smarter move. Besides, if the Raiders had run the ball 44 times, Rice and Brown would likely be complaining about how the Raiders didn’t throw enough, so it’s hard to side with them in this whole matter.
Plus, they’re basically accusing their former head coach of perpetrating the biggest pro sports scandal since the 1919 Black Sox and they barely have enough evidence to even think about making the allegation let alone publicly do so. Rich Gannon stepped forward earlier on Tuesday to defend his head coach, saying the Raiders threw the ball so much because they were behind for most of the game by a sizable margin.
Callahan insisted though, that he did not throw the Super Bowl.
“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,” said Callahan. “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.”
All of this reeks of a couple of sore losers still upset that they lost a Super Bowl a decade ago. For Brown, it was his only shot at a title and for Rice it remains one of the only blemishes on his record, so naturally they’re going to want to blame someone for it.
Who knew they’d go to these lengths though.