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Super sabotage?! Two ex-Raiders say yup!

  • Two former NFL players allege former Raiders coach Bill Callahan lost Super Bowl XXXVII on purpose
  • Callahan calls players' allegations 'ludicrous and defamatory'
Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown claims his former coach Bill Callahan lost Super Bowl XXXVII on purpose.
Bill Callahan

As we get ready for Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, the talk this week centers around the Super Bowl from a decade ago. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers soundly defeated the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII. All these years later, it appears the pain from that loss still exists for some players. 

In a recent interview on Sirius/XM NFL Radio, former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown blamed his ex-coach Bill Callahan for the loss, saying he changed the team's game plan the Friday before the Super Bowl because he was friends with Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden. Gruden had been the coach for Oakland before he took the position at Tampa Bay.

Bleacher Report: Did Bill Callahan Sabotage the Oakland Raiders?

"We all called it sabotage ... because Callahan and Gruden were good friends," Brown said. "And Callahan had a big problem with the Raiders, you know, hated the Raiders. You know, only came because Gruden made him come. Literally walked off the field on us a couple of times during the season when he first got there, the first couple years. So really he had become someone who was part of the staff, but we just didn't pay him any attention.

"Gruden leaves, he becomes the head coach ... It's hard to say that the guy sabotaged the Super Bowl. You know, can you really say that? That can be my opinion, but I can't say for a fact that that's what his plan was, to sabotage the Super Bowl. He hated the Raiders so much that he would sabotage the Super Bowl so his friend can win the Super Bowl. That's hard to say, because you can't prove it." 

NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver and former teammate Jerry Rice echoed Brown's sentiments in a call to ESPN's NFL Live on Tuesday.

"In a way, maybe because he didn't like the Raiders, he decided, 'Hey look, maybe we should sabotage a little bit and let Jon Gruden go on and win this one,'" he said.

Callahan, now an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys, responded to the allegations late Tuesday.

"I am shocked, saddened and outraged by Tim Brown's allegations and Jerry Rice's support of those allegations," he said. "To leave no doubt, I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegation. To suggest otherwise, especially at this time when it involves the Super Bowl, is ludicrous and defamatory."

So what do you think? Would a pro football coach internationally lose football's biggest game on purpose? Why would the players make these allegations? Share your thoughts about it in the comments below.

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