Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Nothing surprises us in the sports world anymore. The recent scandals involving
Manti Te'o, Lance Armstrong, and Suzy Favor Hamilton should only confirm that. 
But when Tim Brown and Jerry Rice, both Hall of Fame receivers, accused former
Oakland Raiders head coach Bill Callahan of throwing Super Bowl XXXVIII to
 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, more than a few eyebrows were raised.

A full 10 years after the Raiders were embarrassed 48-21, Brown and Rice said, 
without any hard facts, of course, that Callahan wanted to stick it to the Raiders 
and let his former boss, Jon Gruden, win the Lombardi Trophy. With a week 
before the real hype starts, the media has picked up this story and is running hard 
with it.

According to both Brown and Rice, Callahan changed the game plan against the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers just 48 hours before kick-off. Granted, it may have been
a bad coaching move, but it's hardly reason to accuse Callahan of 'sabatoging'
the organization he was employed by.

OK, let's cut threw all the BS and get some facts straight  before you go to the
water cooler and say to your buddy, "That Callahan is an S.O.B. The guy threw
the Super Bowl because he loved Chucky and wanted his former boss to win
the game. That's what Tim Brown and Jerry Rice said, so it must be true."

There is no way an NFL coach is going to 'let' a former boss win the Super
Bowl by sabotaging it. To think that for even a millisecond, is absurd. Every
coach knows what winning a Super Bowl does for their career and legacy.
There have been only 29 coaches in the history of the game to win the Lombardi
Trophy. 29. That's it, that's all. The Lombardi Trophy is what every coach lives
for. Winning one validates you as a great coach.

If Brown and Rice are to be believed, then Callahan just gave up his shot
at history so another coach, Jon Gruden, could win it instead. How utterly stupid.
John Harbaugh wants that trophy and piece of history. Do you think he's going
to throw the game, just so his baby brother can have it? No, way. Two weeks
from Sunday, they'd probably brawl each other at mid-field if it meant winning
the Super Bowl

Sure, Tim Brown, OK, Jerry Rice. You as players know how much pride and
ego it takes just to make it to the NFL, much less the Hall of Fame. Now, you're
going to tell us that Bill Callahan, a man who paid incredible dues to get to the
top of his profession, is going to lay down for Gruden, his former boss. Are you
saying that he just wanted to stick it to the Raiders and lose simply because he
didn't like the Raiders? Right.

People, do you see how incredibly ridiculous this is? And it's ridiculous that
Rice and Brown said that Callahan's last minute game plan change caused center
Barret Robbins to go off the rails and AWOL. Robbins, you may remember,
went bar hopping, got drunk out of his mind, and didn't show up for the game.
Rice and Brown are blaming Callahan for that, too.

A full 10 years after the fact, Rice and Brown are smearing Callahan's good
name. Why did they wait so long? Why did they choose to talk about it leading
up to the Super Bowl? Interesting. The media is sure to blow this story out of
the water, because after all, it's what the media is great at.

Interestingly, Lincoln Kennedy, a former All-Pro lineman on the team, refuted
the story of Rice an  Brown, but it didn't really get all that much play because
hell, why let the truth get in the way of a sensational story. Kennedy admitted that
changing the game plan so soon before the Super Bowl may have been a bad
coaching move, but it was hardly enough for Brown and Rice to call it 'sabatoge'.

I guess Dick Vermeil 'sabatoged' the Philadelphia Eagles by setting strict curfews
and having long and hard practices before they got blown out by the Raider in
the 1981 Super Bowl. I'm sure Dan Reeves of the Denver Broncos 'sabatoged'
his team before they got destroyed by San Francisco, 55-10, in Super Bowl
XXIV. Must have been his unbearable dress code that he imposed.

When asked for a reaction to the story by, Gruden texted, "Give
me a break. No thanks."

Let's reiterate one thing. Brown and Rice had no concrete evidence that Callahan
'sabatoged' the Super Bowl. It was just their expert opinion. Rice admitted that
Callahan didn't like him for some reason. Hmmm. An axe to grind, maybe? In
the world of diva's and egomaniacs? Nooooooo. That's never going to happen,
is it?

Callahan's reputation has been dinked forever. People are now going to wonder
about him just because two of his former players accused him of something shocking
without having any facts.

But that's just a microcosm of how are society thinks and works. You don't need
to have any facts, just a hunch, a belief,  agenda, or an axe to grind, and  you
can screw up a man's life and reputation forever.

Look what happened to Bernie Fine. Look what's happening to Bill Callahan.
Ridiculous, utterly ridiculous.

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