Rich Gannon quarterbacked the Raiders in their Super Bowl 37 loss. (Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Earlier today, former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown made a shocking revelation when he claimed that then-head coach Bill Callahan tried to throw the game when the Raiders and Buccaneers faced off in Super Bowl 37. In that game, Jon Gruden, who coached the Raiders for four years prior to that Super Bowl season, led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 48-21 victory. Brown accused Callahan of throwing the game due to his friendship with Gruden, which according to Brown was the only reason Callahan ever came to Oakland.
“We all called it sabotage .. because Callahan and [Tampa Bay coach Jon] 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.”
Brown was overly suspicious of a Callahan conspiracy due to the fact that Callahan drastically changed the game plan just nights before the game against the Buccaneers. The change had a tremendous effect on center Barret Robbins, who ended up leaving the team and missing the game because he was frustrated with how Callahan’s changes would affect his ability to play the game.
Brown’s quarterback in that Super Bowl game, Rich Gannon, responded to Brown’s comments today while hosting his SiriusXM Blitz program with Adam Schein. Here’s what Gannon had to say:
You can tell that this situation weighed heavily on Gannon, as ten years later he still has trouble digesting many of the events of that fateful weekend. But the reason Brown’s comments are so hard to believe is that teams work so hard to make it to the Super Bowl, so why would you throw all that away? I think Gannon said it best: “There was too much in it for all of us…we had too much vested in trying to become world champions that, from a selfish perspective, we all wanted to win.”
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