Bill Callahan calls sabotage claim 'defamatory'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on January 23, 2013
A Super Bowl from a decade ago is back in the news.
Over the weekend, former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown claimed that then-head coach Bill Callahan changed the offensive gameplan on the Friday before the 2003 Super Bowl against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and insinuated that he may have "sabotaged" the game. Brown said Callahan didn't like the Raiders and wanted his friend, Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, to win. Some people have sided with Brown, some haven't.
Now, Callahan has spoken out. The current offensive coordinator / offensive line coach with the Cowboys released a statement Wednesday night, which was published by CBS.
"There are many people who are disappointed by the outcome of Super Bowl XXXVII, but none more than me," Callahan said in the statement. "While I fully understand a competitive professional football player's disappointment when a game's outcome doesn't go his team's way, 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.
"To leave no doubt, I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegations. Like every game I ever coached on the professional or collegiate level, I endeavor to the best of my professional ability to position my team to win. To suggest otherwise, especially at this time when it involves the Super Bowl, is ludicrous and defamatory. I have always honored the spirit of competition that drives us to sport as children and, for the lucky few, sustains us in adulthood.
"Any suggestion that I would undermine the integrity of the sport that I love and dedicated my life to, or dishonor the commitment I made to our players, coaches and fans, is flat out wrong. I think it would be in the best interests of all, including the game America loves, that these allegations be retracted immediately. I want to extend my personal and my family's deep appreciation to the coaches, players and fans who have come forward and thoughtfully spoken out against these ill-conceived allegations."
That's a pretty strong denial, and it could be an indication Callahan is willing to take this to another level.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com