Tim Brown cannot be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for this. He cannot.
And by “this,” I mean, not being able to sustain the Bill Callahan-Threw-The-Super-Bowl story more than one day. How can you not be able to stretch that baby out a couple of days?
[RELATED: Romo calls Tim Brown's claim 'ridiculous']
By now, everyone has weighed in on the Brown (and by extension, Jerry Rice) claims that Callahan preferred hating his players to rooting for his own career. Nearly everyone has dismissed the claim as utter and complete nonsense, barring some smoking rocket launcher.
And the general consensus is that Callahan and the players did loathe each other, but only the year after, when they went from the Super Bowl to 4-12. And this charge was based on 2003, when they all gave up on each other and sparked an as yet not completed decade of slop.
And Callahan’s denial, which reeked of “Back off or we go to lawyers,” gets to be the last word.
[RELATED: Callahan denies Brown's Super Bowl sabotage story]
Brown’s backpedaling in the face of such fire must be noted by those of us who were actually waiting for the next installment in this pie fight. Charges like this are too enormous (and in this year of suspended belief, too delicious) just to disappear like cigar smoke aimed at a ceiling fan.
In other words, damn it! This had a chance to be really good. As in really weird.
Perhaps Brown’s dislike of Callahan bent his memory. Perhaps he had some grudge that needed airing. Perhaps he started talking, as he occasionally did, and the governor in his head shorted out. Maybe, and this seems least likely of all for obvious reasons, he wanted to make a pre-Hall of Fame voting splash.
But Brown is now reassembling the narrative to find a more reasonable conclusion to the last big game the Raiders have played, and we are left with a bad case of scandalus interruptus. Callahan’s reputation as an honest but overmatched NFL coach is apparently restored, Brown is now viewed with some skepticism, and nobody is quite sure where Rice stands.
But closure? Nahhh. This is just one of those stories that will float out there unresolved and, for the most part, forgotten. As opposed to the Manti Te’o story, which will always be unresolved but remembered for a very long time. Or the Lance Armstrong story, whose resolution seems increasingly certain, and harsh.
Oh well. Like the Lakers, jaw-slackening chaos can’t always win. But it’s still the way to bet.