Simon Samano, USA TODAY Sports
Tim Brown caught us off guard over the weekend with his claim that former Oakland Raiders coach Bill Callahan intentionally threw Super Bowl XXXVII so that his old boss, Jon Gruden, could win a championship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Perhaps even crazier than Brown's accusation is the fact that Jerry Rice, who was on that 2002 Raiders team, is in complete accordance.
"For some reason - and I don't know why - Bill Callahan did not like me," Rice said on ESPN, via ProFootballTalk. "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.'"
As we know, the Buccaneers annihilated the Raiders 48-21. And as far as Brown and now Rice are concerned, the fix was in once Callahan decided to alter Oakland's offensive game plan 48 hours before the game.
Callahan vehemently denied the whole thing in a statement obtained by USA TODAY Sports' Mike Garafolo.
"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," Callahan said. "To leave no doubt, I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegations."
Rice siding with Brown on this controversy is obviously a big deal. That fact wasn't lost on ESPN host Trey Wingo, who stopped Rice to ask if he realized the magnitude of his words.
"Yeah, I know exactly what I'm saying," Rice said.
Rice even went so far as to reiterate that center Barret Robbins was especially perturbed by Callahan's last-minute changes, to the point that, as Brown alluded to, maybe that is why Robbins went off the deep end and was AWOL for the game.
"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.
Wow, wow and WOW -- to all of this.
Of course, former Raiders offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy refuted these sabotage claims to USA TODAY Sports' Lindsay Jones, so this could just be a case of wide receivers sticking together.
In fact, that's what I'm going with.
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