When Tim Brown made the claims initially that Bill Callahan intentionally sabotaged the Raiders in Super Bowl XXVII, it seemed shocking but one claim was not enough to force Callahan to answer for anything. Then today Jerry Rice backed up his former Raiders teammate in saying Callahan had ill intentions.
Having one Hall of Fame receiver and one Hall of Fame finalist both making the same statements and both using the word "sabotage" forced Callahan to respond. Here is what he had to say:
"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 24 hours," Callahan said Tuesday in a statement to the Associated Press. "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 to 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."
This is the first we have heard from Callahan on the matter but it will not be the last to be sure. This was a statement. He will sit in front of reporters at some point, all of whom will be dying to ask him all about it.