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« : January 24, 2013, 12:00:09 AM »

Sabotage?       Bucs recall Super Bowl differently


Simeon Rice, who helped shut down the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, called it crazy that some Oakland players think they sabotaged by coach Bill Callahan.
 (Getty Images)
Andrew Astleford is an award-winning journalist who has written for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Indianapolis Star, The Washington Post and Orlando Sentinel, among other outlets.

 TAMPA, Fla. —

Sabotage? Sour grapes. Super Bowl conspiracy? A large, loud “Whatever.”

Usually, a 10th anniversary is associated with tin. This one will be recalled for tainted words. Four days after former Oakland Raiders receiver Tim Brown said on Sirius XM NFL Radio that then-Raiders coach Bill Callahan switched from a run-first plan to a pass-heavy approach late, scrambling their chances in Super Bowl XXXVII, some winners from that night a decade ago are confused. Confounded. Steamed. 

“Basically, he said that we didn’t win the game, that he gave us the game,” Simeon Rice, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end, told FOXSportsFlorida.com about his team’s 48-21 rout in San Diego. “The sabotage factor is crazy, because you would say, ‘How do you even get in that game and lose that game if it was about sabotage?’ Basically, you’re putting mortality into your careers. That means the head coach is trying to get himself fired and trying to get himself out of the league. If that’s the case, why wait for the big stage with that magnitude?”

Good question. Even Brown seemed to straddle both sides of a pit of his creation. In the same interview last Saturday, he said, “It’s hard to say that the guy sabotaged the Super Bowl. You know, can you really say that?” (He later denied that he said Callahan sabotaged the game.)

Let’s rewind. The crux of Brown’s claim is that Callahan, now the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive coordinator, all but shined the Lombardi Trophy for his pal Jon Gruden to graffiti the silver and black. Jerry Rice, then a Raiders receiver, backed the theory Tuesday on ESPN by saying, “In a way, maybe because (Callahan) 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.’ ”

Callahan, of course, denies the X-Files talk. He said he was “shocked, saddened and outraged” by Brown’s assertions and Jerry Rice’s support of them.

Lost in the back and forth is that former Bucs have pride too. For some, this is worth a laugh. And a shake of the head.

“It’s funny,” former Tampa Bay safety Dwight Smith, who intercepted quarterback Rich Gannon twice that day, told FOXSportsFlorida.com. “Tim came to play with us (in 2004). He never mentioned anything when he came to play here.”

“Being the football man I am, I kind of I understood where he was coming from, basically talking about them changing their offense because we were more of a pass defense,” Smith continued. “We weren’t that strong against the run that year (allowed 97.1 yards per game). … I can understand them thinking about that in their game plan. But I can also see them wanting to go back to what got them to being (11-5). … I know it would have seemed crazy to me if (coordinator) Monte (Kiffin) would have came and changed our whole defensive plan on the Friday.”

Callahan’s original plan, if presented the way Brown claims, suggests the coach was drifting from Oakland’s strength. At regular season’s end, the Raiders led the NFL by averaging 279.7 passing ypg (the Bucs owned the league’s best pass defense by allowing 155.6 ypg). Gannon threw for a career-high 4,689 yards, and he produced 26 touchdowns, a total that he only surpassed twice (28 in 2000 and 27 in ’01). Meanwhile, the Raiders were much weaker as a rushing offense, averaging 110.1 ypg, good for 18th in the league (the Bucs ranked fifth in rush defense).

By the end, the Raiders played the pavement to the Bucs’ steamroller. Tampa Bay outgained Oakland 365 yards to 269. Gannon was intercepted five times, three of which were returned for touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Raiders squeaked out 19 yards on 11 carries. Checkmate.

Almost 10 years later, Brown’s words have stirred emotions as well as memories. To some, his jab at Callahan caught the Bucs’ jaw too.

The blowout? Members of the winning sideline will keep their rings, thank you.

“I get it that he’s bitter about the situation. He’s bitter about losing and in the way that they lost,” Simeon Rice said. “It was a total blowout. It was almost like they shouldn’t have even been in the game. … I just shook my head (after hearing Brown’s claim) like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m glad we won that game.’ I guess that’s how it is when you lose. That’s when you walk away with those type of ghosts in the back of your mind, thinking about the past and how it could have been different and all the things that went into it.”

There are big-money questions left unanswered, though. Why has this come out now? If true, why wait?

“I just want to know how you have guys from that team who work on TV — Jerry Rice, Tim Brown — and this is the first you’re hearing of it,” Smith said. “You’d have thought at least one of those guys would have came up with it before.”

Sour grapes? Sabotage?

For some former Bucs, Brown’s talk is just silly.

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.

Fennelly: 2002 Bucs fire back at Raiders' Brown


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego in 2003.

 By MARTIN FENNELLY| The Tampa Tribune
Published: January 24, 2013


 Saturday marks an important anniversary in local sports history. It will be 10 years since the Oakland Raiders let the Buccaneers win Super Bowl XXXVII to become world champions.
True, former Raiders wide receiver and Hall of Fame finalist Tim Brown spent Wednesday backpedaling from his assertion that then-Raiders coach Bill Callahan sabotaged the game by switching game plans late because he hated the Raiders so much he wanted his friend Jon Gruden to win the big game, a motion seconded by none other than Jerry Rice.
Too late, Tiny Tim!
You're an idiot!
Here we were, for 10 years, thinking the Bucs simply beat the ever-living silver and black out of Brown and his teammates, 48-21.
"Some things don't deserve a response," Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks said.
Or do they?
Granted, who can forget the other teams that threw their championship games? I mean, isn't sports history one big Black Sox scandal?
Remember Super Bowl III, when Colts coach Don Shula ordered Bubba Smith to play on his knees to give Joe Namath a better view of his receivers?
And there was Lake Placid, 1980, when the Russians switched goalies against the USA just to show that Brezhnev who was boss. Do you believe in fixes? Yes!!!
Tim Brown's bilge is more than sour grapes. It's certifiably insane grapes.
Like the Bucs needed any help beating Oakland. Like Jon Gruden needed even a baby push to out-coach Bill Callahan.
"You're telling me (Callahan) threw it, Super Bowl, everything on the line?" Warren Sapp said, loudly, over the phone. "That's like being at 25,000 on Mount Everest, and you only got 4,000 feet left, crisp, clear, top of the mountain in sight, and you just go, 'Nah, I think I'll just lay here a while.' "
Brooks, when he heard Brown's comments, texted some of his 2002 championship teammates:

Didn't we beat them fair and square?

"We killed them," Keyshawn Johnson said to Brooks. "We kicked their (butts). You did your job, I did my job, we all did, and we beat them all day and night and let's just leave it at that."
There was never any question in my mind, or in the minds of Jon Gruden and his players, that the Bucs were ever going to lose that Super Bowl.
And the idea that if the Raiders had run a little more … against the best defense in the NFL, one of the great defenses in league history …
"Obviously, Tim and Jerry, they had problems with Bill," Brooks said. "And our game kind of got tied in with that. I don't know what their problems were, but the tape of that game speaks for itself — loudly.
"To think you would automatically beat us with a few more rushing attempts, that I'm not buying. A few more rushing attempts with Charlie (Garner) and Tyrone (Wheatley) — really?"
"Who was going to move me?" Sapp said. "Who in the hell was going to move me?"
Tony Dungy has won a Super Bowl. He made the Bucs defense, too. He knows the deal, and here's his take, sabotage wise:
"I've never heard of anything like that ever happening. I guess, if I really felt that way, sabotage, could I really hold it in for 10 years?"
"It was the third horizontal West Coast offense we'd faced," Sapp said. "I was faster than Tim Brown and damn near as fast at Jerry Rice."
The Raiders, in fact, were sabotaged in San Diego that Super Bowl night. It was as plain as day.
The saboteurs wore red and pewter and just a trace of popsicle orange. The saboteurs had names like Brooks, Sapp and Rice, and Lynch, Barber and Jackson, names like McCardell, Pittman and Jurevicius, names like Alstott and Johnson and Johnson.
Derrick Brooks sealed it when Bill Callahan ordered Rich Gannon to throw that interception that Brooks returned for a touchdown.
There is still pride in these parts about that 2002 season, or wherever Bucs wear those championship rings, especially when what they did, and will always have done, is questioned by anyone or anything.
"That was our game," Warren Sapp said.
Have a happy anniversary, gentlemen.

« : January 24, 2013, 12:53:58 AM michael89156 »
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Pewter Report  >>  Boards  >>  The Red Board (Moderators: 3rd String Kicker, PRPatrol)  >>  Topic: Simeon Rice, Dwight Smith, Warren, Keyshawn, Brooks, comment on ChuckyGate « previous next »

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