Former NFL great Tim Brown made one of the most baffling, hard to believe claims you'll ever hear - even in a post-Manti Te'o hoax world - on Tuesday when he suggested Raiders coach Bill Callahan sabotaged Super Bowl XXXVII.
Well, given a day to think about it (or given a day to to hear from his lawyers, perhaps) Brown is softening his stance.
On Tuesday: "We all called it sabotage...because Callahan and Gruden were good friends," Brown said on an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio.
On Wednesday: “I’ve never said [Callahan] sabotaged the game,” Brown said on the Dan Patrick Show.
Oh. OK then.
Here's the rest of the quote from the Dan Patrick Show, after Brown claims he never said Callahan sabotaged the game:
"That’s something that can never be proven," Brown said. "We can never go into the mind of Bill Callahan. . I should have said we could have called it sabotage. It was a question, not a statement. You cannot prove it."
The main reason you can't prove that claim is because it's preposterous to believe that a coach, in a moment that would change his entire career and really his entire life (think for a moment how we view Jon Gruden, owner of one Super Bowl ring, vs. Callahan, owner of none) would basically throw a Super Bowl out of some weird grudge. It was a strange claim from the beginning, so it's not a surprise Brown is backpedaling a bit now. Here's more from the Dan Patrick Show, talking about Callahan changing the game plan at the last moment:
“We all were concerned about it,” Brown said. “It was a drastic change.”
“If you go back to the old gameplan on Friday, you don’t have time to change your [audible] calls.”
The Buccaneers, with Gruden, were well versed in many of Oakland's audible calls.
This isn't the first time Brown has blasted Callahan. Even though the recap of the interview on the radio show's web site said Brown, "never had a cross word with his former coach," he went on KNBR Radio in late 2003 and called for the coach to get fired, via the Oakland Tribune:
"I don't think he can be the Raiders coach next year," Brown said in 2003. "I don't think he will be the Raiders coach next year. I don't think he should be the Raiders coach next year.
"He coached to get fired in my opinion, and that's what I think should happen to him. If he doesn't want to be here, he doesn't need to be here."
Brown also tried to clarify his remarks from this week on Twitter:
Raider nation, in sure u r waking to the news of what unsaid about our last super bowl.. I just want u to know 2 things, comments where made
— Tim Brown (@81TimBrown) January 22, 2013
In support of Barrett, but absolutely NOT to hurt callahan.What I relayed is factual, I'm sure others will back me up when/if necessary.. — Tim Brown (@81TimBrown) January 22, 2013
Callahan has already said he was "shocked, saddened and outraged" by Brown's initial comments (and Jerry Rice's support of them) in a statement today. It was inconceivable as of a few days ago that a coach would have to actually deny that he sabotaged his team in a Super Bowl, but Brown opened up a pretty big can of worms with his comments.
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