There are sore losers. And then there’s Tim Brown.
According to Pro Football Talk, the former Raider receiver told SiriusXM NFL radio that he believed the Raiders coaching staff intentionally threw the game to help out their “friend” Jon Gruden. So before “Harbaugh Bowl”, where two brothers will meet and give it their best shot, is it possible that we saw “Chucky Bowl” or “Grudengate?”
Here is an excerpt of what Brown had to say:
We all called it sabotage . . . because Callahan and [Tampa Bay coach Jon] Gruden were good friends 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.
But the facts are what they are, that less than 36 hours before the game we changed our game plan. And we go into that game absolutely knowing that we have no shot. That the only shot we had if Tampa Bay didn’t show up. -(SiriusXM Radio via Pro Football Talk)
Brown would go on to say that the loss of center Barret Robbins was also a key factor in the loss, saying that Robbins was “unstable” and that he should have “manned up” and played. Now, I’m sure I could be wrong, but I doubt that the degree Brown may or may not have received from Notre Dame qualifies him to assess the mental health of others. Turns out that Brown is probably wrong about Robbins’ ability to play, as it was later discovered that Robbins suffered from bipolar disorder and substance addictions. There were reports that he was completely physically and mentally incapable of playing in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.
Perhaps Brown is the one who needs to man up, and simply admit they were the worse team in Super Bowl XXXVII. The Buccaneers had an incredible defense that refused to be stopped, and that was scoring more points than they were allowing in some games. The Raiders offense was impressive, but they proved on the field that they were unable to score when it mattered. The offense failed to score a touchdown until the game was out of hand. Furthermore, Barret Robbins was not the one missing from the unit that allowed 3 touchdowns and two field goals en route to a 34-3 lead in the third quarter. That was the Raiders’ defense, a defense that was unable to stop Brad Johnson‘s offense. If Brown wants to blame someone, start calling out Rod Woodson and the defense. Or just shut up, and take his loss like a man.
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