The Raiders lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII, 48-21. That is a fact. There is no disputing that.
What isn't so clear is how or why the silver and black lost. Was it because Rich Gannon, who was named the NFL MVP that same season, threw five interceptions -- three of which were returned for touchdowns?
Tim Brown, who caught one pass for nine yards in the game and is the franchise's all-time leader in career receptions (1,070), has his own reasoning.
"We go into the Super Bowl knowing that we don't have a chance to win," Brown told our Comcast SportsNet cameras months ago. "The only way we have a chance to win this game is if Tampa Bay doesn't show up; if they don't come out of the locker room."
Brown alleges that Raiders head coach Bill Callahan, who served as Jon Gruden's offensive coordinator in Oakland from 1998 to 2001 before taking over the reigns, changed the team's gameplan two days prior to the Super Bowl because he wanted the Raiders to lose.
"We have guys on the sideline at the Super Bowl who are trying to get to the head coach; guys who want to fight him at the Super Bowl on the sideline. That's how jacked up that thing was.
"In the locker room, that's all anybody was talking about it. 'This is sabotage Callahan. You did this for Gruden.' You hate the Raiders organization so much, and the fact that it was your boy across the field, this was the perfect opportunity to do what you did."
Jerry Rice, who caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the game, supported Brown's claim on Tuesday.
Late Tuesday night, Callahan issued the following statement in response to the allegations:
"There are many people who are disappointed by the outcome of Super Bowl XXXVII, but none more than me,” Callahan said in a 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.”
The story took another bizarre twist Wednesday morning when Tim Brown claimed he never said Callahan sabotage the Super Bowl.
Raiders fans -- what do you think of this situation?