We already know how many of 2002 Oakland Raiders feel about Tim Brown claiming that Bill Callahan sabotaged the team in Super Bowl XXXVII. Aside from Jerry Rice, it appears that Brown’s opinion is not shared by many members of the team. And it certainly isn’t shared by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who feel they earned the victory.
“You’re telling me (Callahan) threw it, Super Bowl, everything on the line?” Warren Sapp told Martin Fennelly of The Tampa Tribune 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.’”
Former Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks said “some things don’t deserve a response,” but added that he texted Keyshawn Johnson and some of his other former teammates when he heard about Brown’s comments.
“We killed them,” 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.”
Brooks said that the accusations clearly stem from the problems Brown and Rice had with Callahan.
“Obviously, Tim and Jerry, they had problems with Bill,” he explained. “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?”
And Sapp, of course, had to take a few moments to be himself. By that, I mean he tooted his own horn.
“Who was going to move me?” he asked. “Who in the hell was going to move me? It was the third horizontal West Coast offense we’d faced. I was faster than Tim Brown and damn near as fast at Jerry Rice.”
I don’t know about all that, but the Bucs defense certainly was one of the best — if not the best — in the NFL that season. It appeared as though Oakland was simply overmatched, and even most of the former Raiders would tell you that was the case. Callahan called the accusations “ludicrous” on Tuesday, and it’s no surprise that the Bucs agree. Saying he threw the game is also saying they didn’t deserve to win.
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