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Bill Callahan -- Super Bowl Saboteur?


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#1 dcmissle


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

Heard about this in the morning, but it has now broken into the msm:

http://sports.yahoo....43376--nfl.html

Tim Brown is not a nut, and Barrett Robbins' behavior has always been a mystery, even acknowledging his psychological issues.

Seems outlandish, but Jon Ritchie confirms Brown's assertion that the game plan on offense was changed the Friday before the game from heavy run to heavy pass, which may well explain Robbins going AWOL.

Fascinating in its own right, and more fascinating because Brown is up for the HOF, Trestman is now a HC in the League -- and, of course, Chuckie has a prominent role at ESPN.

#2 Harry Hooper


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

Hard to put much stock in it. In their minds the Raiders never get beat, they get victories taken away from them.

1) If the original plan was to run the ball, why did Brown tell Charlie Garner he wouldn't get a lot of carries?

2) Maybe the downward spiral of Robbins led to the plan change, and not the other way around?

#3 dcmissle


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

Hard to put much stock in it. In their minds the Raiders never get beat, they get victories taken away from them.

1) If the original plan was to run the ball, why did Brown tell Charlie Garner he wouldn't get a lot of carries?

2) Maybe the downward spiral of Robbins led to the plan change, and not the other way around?


1. Supposedly, they were going with big backs; Garner was small.

2. Would be odd because center was in charge of protections. If anything, you'd stay with a run oriented attack.

#4 TheoShmeo


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

It's hard for me to believe that Bill Callahan wouldn't have wanted a SB win and "SB winning coach" on his resume more than he'd want to screw the Raiders.

I don't have much exposure to Tim Brown but I did listen to him on Sirius XM on the night after the Pats beat the Texans for a few hours and he sounded pretty out there to me.

#5 dcmissle


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:28 PM

It's hard for me to believe that Bill Callahan wouldn't have wanted a SB win and "SB winning coach" on his resume more than he'd want to screw the Raiders.

I don't have much exposure to Tim Brown but I did listen to him on Sirius XM on the night after the Pats beat the Texans for a few hours and he sounded pretty out there to me.


I agree with your bolded point.

But speaking of out there, I would not be shocked to learn that Al Davis learned of the game plan mid week, ordered it changed, and everything flowed from that point.

#6 johnmd20


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:28 PM

Ridiculous to think he sabotaged the game because he wanted Gruden to win. Absolutely ridiculous.

#7 Harry Hooper


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:34 PM

But speaking of out there, I would not be shocked to learn that Al Davis learned of the game plan mid week, ordered it changed, and everything flowed from that point.


Yeah, Davis may even have worried that someone in the organization had leaked info to Gruden. Maybe Callhan was also worried about that, and the original plan had been a ruse all along. Alternatively, Pollard lost his copy or swapped it for magic beans.


Wouldn't a center have to do more one-on-one blocking on running plays rather than passing plays where he'd been working a double-team most of the time?

#8 glennhoffmania


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:39 PM

Yeah, sorry Tim. I don't buy this theory for a second.

#9 Myt1


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:44 PM

Ridiculous to think he sabotaged the game because he wanted Gruden to win. Absolutely ridiculous.


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#10 DrewDawg


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:54 PM

Sound to me like Callahan overthought things, thought he'd be clever by outfoxing everyone that thought he'd go with his strength and surprise them.

You want sabotage during Super Bowl week, call Parcells.

#11 VORP Speed

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:54 PM

Callahan's issue wasn't active sabotage, it was being too stupid/lazy to change all the offensive audible calls from the ones Gruden had installed in previous years. Does anyone remember John Lynch and Derrick Brooks calling out the Raiders' audibles and the Bucs' defense knowing exactly what they meant? I think it was Lynch that was mic'd during the game and you could actually watch it unfolding. This is mentioned by one of the Raiders players in re-butting Brown's asinine theory in the interview, as well.

#12 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:01 PM

Typical Raiders, they were robbed, just ask them.

I don't buy this for one second. A professional coach deliberately throwing his chance at a championship away because he liked the opposing coach? 100% bullshit.

#13 dcmissle


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

Sound to me like Callahan overthought things, thought he'd be clever by outfoxing everyone that thought he'd go with his strength and surprise them.

You want sabotage during Super Bowl week, call Parcells.


I like this post.

#14 Gunfighter 09


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

Pats fans calling someone sore losers. Rich. The trophy cases still look the same.

Anyway, the fucked up game plan was obvious mid second quarter of that game. When they played the Bucs in 99 (45-0 Raiders win) they ran it down their throats.That Raiders team set records for passing yards, but they could run the ball very well when they needed to. The best example is when they crushed a good Chiefs team 24-0, barely throwing the ball, in the last regular season game. They led the NFL in rushing from 2000-2002. It made no sense to try and throw the ball on that Bucs team, especially considering the giant size disparity between the Raiders line and backs and the smallish Tampa 2 defense that Monte Kiffin led which was #1 in the NFL against the pass. At that game, me and by brother were aghast as they ran the ball a total of 9 times the whole game.

Further, as Gannon, Jerry Rice and NFL films have all confirmed, the Raiders passing audible calls were so well known to the Bucs that the Tampa DBs were beating Raiders receivers to their breaks. All of the above players have criticized Trestman and Callahan heavily for his refusal to change their signals. Which, led to John Lynch laughing on the sidelines and Rich Gannon (who threw 10 interceptions in over 650 attempts prior to that game) throwing 5 picks in the Super Bowl.

What is obvious is that Tim Brown (one of my all time favorite players) is letting his loyalty to a dead crazy person get the best of him. Clearly, Al changed the game plan because he would rather lose his way than win someone else's way. Many, many Raiders have talked about Al fucking up game plans late in the week several times over the last twenty years.

As for the Barrett Robbins angle, one thing to consider is that this was the last Super Bowl with only 1 week between Championship week and the Super Bowl. That extra week would have helped the Raiders quite a bit. All of the game plan controversy would have been figured out in Alameda prior to travelling to San Diego with two weeks. Leaders like Gannon and Brown would have had time to go to Davis (as they supposedly did a couple of times that year) to ask for differnt strategies and they might have been successful. The audible signals clearly would have been changed, giving Chucky less of a strategy advantage. Most importantly, Robbins probably would have gone home when he freaked out, rather than Mexico.

Either way, none of it matters now. They fucking lost, and it sucked, and January 19th, 2002 was the last time the Raiders displayed any on-field relevance or competance.

#15 dcmissle


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:36 PM

Pats fans calling someone sore losers. Rich. The trophy cases still look the same.

Anyway, the fucked up game plan was obvious mid second quarter of that game. When they played the Bucs in 99 (45-0 Raiders win) they ran it down their throats.That Raiders team set records for passing yards, but they could run the ball very well when they needed to. The best example is when they crushed a good Chiefs team 24-0, barely throwing the ball, in the last regular season game. They led the NFL in rushing from 2000-2002. It made no sense to try and throw the ball on that Bucs team, especially considering the giant size disparity between the Raiders line and backs and the smallish Tampa 2 defense that Monte Kiffin led which was #1 in the NFL against the pass. At that game, me and by brother were aghast as they ran the ball a total of 9 times the whole game.

Further, as Gannon, Jerry Rice and NFL films have all confirmed, the Raiders passing audible calls were so well known to the Bucs that the Tampa DBs were beating Raiders receivers to their breaks. All of the above players have criticized Trestman and Callahan heavily for his refusal to change their signals. Which, led to John Lynch laughing on the sidelines and Rich Gannon (who threw 10 interceptions in over 650 attempts prior to that game) throwing 5 picks in the Super Bowl.

What is obvious is that Tim Brown (one of my all time favorite players) is letting his loyalty to a dead crazy person get the best of him. Clearly, Al changed the game plan because he would rather lose his way than win someone else's way. Many, many Raiders have talked about Al fucking up game plans late in the week several times over the last twenty years.

As for the Barrett Robbins angle, one thing to consider is that this was the last Super Bowl with only 1 week between Championship week and the Super Bowl. That extra week would have helped the Raiders quite a bit. All of the game plan controversy would have been figured out in Alameda prior to travelling to San Diego with two weeks. Leaders like Gannon and Brown would have had time to go to Davis (as they supposedly did a couple of times that year) to ask for differnt strategies and they might have been successful. The audible signals clearly would have been changed, giving Chucky less of a strategy advantage. Most importantly, Robbins probably would have gone home when he freaked out, rather than Mexico.

Either way, none of it matters now. They fucking lost, and it sucked, and January 19th, 2002 was the last time the Raiders displayed any on-field relevance or competance.


Thank you.

There may be less to this than Tim claims -- but much more to it than people here may be willing to acknowledge.

#16 Myt1


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

There may be less to this than Tim claims -- but much more to it than people here may be willing to acknowledge.


Well, you can't be a little pregnant, right? I mean, he either tried to sabotage the game or he didn't.

#17 dcmissle


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:59 PM

Well, you can't be a little pregnant, right? I mean, he either tried to sabotage the game or he didn't.


People noted from the get-go that a HC would not sabotage a game, and i agreed.

But I find it quite plausible that Al did because he would rather lose his way than win someone else's, recognizing that he was an aging know-it-all who probably thought he would win.

I knew nothing of this backstory until this morning -- particularly, the last-minute change in the game plan -- and find it fascinating.

#18 Gunfighter 09


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:02 PM

Well, you can't be a little pregnant, right? I mean, he either tried to sabotage the game or he didn't.


Tim's criticism is unfair to Callahan and reflects an anger that many of those Raiders have hinted around at for years that is probably best directed at Al Davis.

#19 Al Zarilla


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:29 PM

Callahan's issue wasn't active sabotage, it was being too stupid/lazy to change all the offensive audible calls from the ones Gruden had installed in previous years. Does anyone remember John Lynch and Derrick Brooks calling out the Raiders' audibles and the Bucs' defense knowing exactly what they meant? I think it was Lynch that was mic'd during the game and you could actually watch it unfolding. This is mentioned by one of the Raiders players in re-butting Brown's asinine theory in the interview, as well.

Absolutely, that was the overwhelming storyline of that super bowl, that Gruden was drilling into his players all pre-week practices what plays the Raiders were going to call and how they ran them. Gruden himself even played the part of Rich Gannon in the drills. During the game itself, there were shots of Gannon and John Lynch on the sidelines laughing their asses off. That year there was only a week between the conference championship games and the super bowl. Hard to believe there was even time to change everything up at the last minute.

#20 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:37 PM

Pats fans calling someone sore losers. Rich. The trophy cases still look the same.


After more than 10 fucking years of the Tuck Rule complaints, to see Tim Brown blaming the head coach and accusing him of sabotage is a bit much. It's always something with that group.

Sometimes they have a legit complaint (Siragua's dirty hit on Gannon in the AFCCG a couple years before this), but this column strikes me as more "we was robbed" talk.

The rest of your post was quite informative, and I thank you for it.

#21 mt8thsw9th


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:40 PM

I was actually talking with someone about that game the other day. The big issue was Callahan didn't install a new offense after taking over for Gruden, and Occam's Razor was that Gruden, as the Raiders' former head coach, knew more often than not what the Raiders would be running in certain situations. It speaks more to Callahan not trying to fix what wasn't broken to begin the season (and as Gruden's OC, why would he?), and not being a good enough head coach to properly gameplan for their head-to-head matchup.

That, and the Buccaneers were simply a better team than the Raiders, so shit happens. Running the ball a bit more and they're still likely getting blown out in that game. The Buccaneers put up 27 points on offense before the NFL MVP threw 3 pick sixes.

#22 dcmissle


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

Tim's criticism is unfair to Callahan and reflects an anger that many of those Raiders have hinted around at for years that is probably best directed at Al Davis.


And now, Jerry Rice backs Brown's accusations.

Yep, Jerry flipping Rice: http://profootballta...n-sabotaged-us/

I'm still on the same page with Gunfighter, but good Lord.

#23 cornwalls@6

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

And where the hell have they been for the last 13 years? This reeks of the ESPN/First-Take idiocy rearing it's ugly head in other outlets. In which it's better for ex-players who want some viablility in the media to say something loud and stupid, than it is to provide actual insight or analysis. See Brown, Lomas.




Edit: 10 years, not 13. Still too long for much credibility.

Edited by cornwalls@6, 22 January 2013 - 05:51 PM.


#24 johnmd20


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:04 PM

And where the hell have they been for the last 13 years? This reeks of the ESPN/First-Take idiocy rearing it's ugly head in other outlets. In which it's better for ex-players who want some viablility in the media to say something loud and stupid, than it is to provide actual insight or analysis. See Brown, Lomas.




Edit: 10 years, not 13. Still too long for much credibility.


Yeah, your messy math notwithstanding, now this is coming out? It's horrendous and impossible to believe. The Bucs knew the offensive signals and *that* was a story after the Super Bowl.

#25 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:14 PM

I gotta say, at some point Callahan's going to make a public rebuttal of this nonsense, if only because his professional integrity is being publicly questioned. They're essentially accusing him of throwing the Super Bowl, that accusation can't go without a response.

#26 Gunfighter 09


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:16 PM

You guys hear that someone fairly important in the Raiders organization who was famous for his vindictiveness died last year?


That probably has something to do with why this is coming out now.

Edited by Gunfighter 09, 22 January 2013 - 06:16 PM.


#27 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:57 PM

Ohhhh.....Raiders.

I watched the Al Davis: A Football Life the other day and I enjoyed it. I watch a lot of 70s Raiders stuff. They get inflated to high heaven (I swear I've seen the same clip of Ted Hendricks in a joker mask about 1,000 times) but it must have been pretty fun to root for a completely ludicrous set of players who won 10 games year-in, year-out. Although they only got over the hump once they are rightly one of football's most famous teams. The stories of Raiders drinking it up in North Beach, acting as bouncers and raising hell are famous.

Their slow decline into football's biggest gong show is actually kind of sad. Davis was an asshole without equal, but his contributions to the game are inestimable (every Patriots fan should thank him for scaring the total living shit out of the NFL as AFL Commissioner). His franchise isn't worth taking note of anymore.

#28 jacklamabe65


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

I agree with your bolded point.

But speaking of out there, I would not be shocked to learn that Al Davis learned of the game plan mid week, ordered it changed, and everything flowed from that point.


Wow - that scenario makes so much sense.

#29 dcmissle


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

I gotta say, at some point Callahan's going to make a public rebuttal of this nonsense, if only because his professional integrity is being publicly questioned. They're essentially accusing him of throwing the Super Bowl, that accusation can't go without a response.


The peppering of questions to people on that Oakland coaching staff. Among the people on that staff, two HCs in the NFC. Trestman, and a fella named Jim Harbaugh.

http://profootballta...ns-accusations/

#30 LondonSox


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:02 AM

I am shocked that jerry rice and tim brown would make such an attack on the hc.
Ok so the gameplan changed, but it's not like they wouldn't have practiced passing in training.

It is BIG leap from the gameplan changed to the HC deliberately threw the game because he liked Gruden and hated the Raiders. That is not 1+1= 2 maths. It's quite a leap, and one hell of an accusation to jump to. The fact that Jerry Rice backed it up instead of saying, yes the gameplan changed is insane to me.

Plus I'm dying to know why wait 10 years if you believed this. My note would be notre dame could really use a crazy sports story to distract from their mess and Tim Brown is Notre Dame and then some.

I think this claim is outrageous personally, with zero evidence. Tim Brown has no idea why the gameplan was changed, and I dare say he knows less now than he did ten years ago when he didn't talk about it.

#31 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

As expected, Callahan responds:

"I am shocked, saddened and outraged by Tim Brown's allegations and Jerry Rice's support of those allegations," Callahan said in a statement released to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. "To leave no doubt, I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegation. To suggest otherwise, especially at this time when it involves the Super Bowl, is ludicrous and defamatory.


"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."


That last sentence hints as a lawsuit, no?

#32 dcmissle


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

As expected, Callahan responds:



That last sentence hints as a lawsuit, no?


Seems to me that he is merely claiming the moral high ground.

I don't think Bill has the appetite or wallet for this kind of litigation. And even if he did, I'm not sure anyone's interests would be served by wide ranging discovery into the week of SB preparation.

It would likely to expose him as a eunuch -- which would make him no different than anyone who coached for Al Davis since John Madden, but is embarrassing nonetheless. Note that the carefully composed statement does not refute the allegation of a sudden, dramatic and late change in the game plan on offense. Jon Ritchie -- who has no dog in this fight -- has said that this happened.

Edited by dcmissle, 23 January 2013 - 11:14 AM.


#33 Myt1


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:13 AM

Well, not one he would have chance of winning, unless Tim made the accusations in England.

#34 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

There's nothing about suddenly switching a game plan on Friday that indicates deliberate sabotage. Incompetence? Sure. Ownership meddling? Sure.

I see no conflict in Callahan's statement and in switching the game plan late in the week. Maybe he and his coaching staff had a change of heart. Maybe Al called up an demanded it.

#35 dcmissle


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:23 AM

I don't believe anyone believes the sabotage claim, especially since Brown has walked it back a bit, though Rice hasn't.

I don't think this leads to litigation unless Jerry Jones wishes to fund it to create an additional diversion from the various goings on in Dallas.

#36 LondonSox


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:39 PM

Rice seems to have backed off, I just heard "I never said he sabotaged" on PTI.



#37 TheoShmeo


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

Callahan's statement was undoubtedly written by a lawyer, perhaps with the assistance of a PR firm.  That doesn't mean that he's necessarily going to sue.  But the first shot was written with the assistance of counsel.



#38 maufman


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:08 PM

I'm stunned that Callahan's former assistants haven't fallen over themselves, when asked, to deny the allegations. And Frank Middleton, an offensive lineman who was (I think) the first to come to Callahan's defense, didn't have kind things to say about Callahan:

 

 

Callahan hated us. He didn't want to see a lot of us succeed because of who we were. I do believe Callahan had bad feelings against us. But to say he threw the game, I can't say that.

 

Other players, including Rich Gannon, have been more unqualified in their rebuke of the Brown/Rice story, and personally I can't believe the allegations are true. But both Rice's decision to back Brown, and the less than united front presented by other players and coaches, makes me curious as hell about what actually did happen.


Edited by maufman, 23 January 2013 - 06:09 PM.


#39 soxfan121


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:09 PM

1. Jerry Rice was the best WR in NFL history. And he is not a smart man, at all. I listened to his comments where he's asked about Brown's comments and they were ramblings of a not-very-smart man asked about something another guy he respects said so he kinda Brick Tamblin'ed the whole thing and just repeated things. And yes, that sentence was written in the rambling, not-very-smart way that Jerry Rice speaks. 

 

2. Tim Brown is a bitter man who doesn't truly believe Callahan intentionally threw the game but does blame Callahan for blowing Brown's last attempt at a ring. Brown irrationally blames Callahan for the game plan change, ignoring his own long history in Oakland and his first-hand knowledge of the guy who REALLY called all the shots. If Callahan changed the game plan - like GF09 and others have said - Callahan changed the game plan because Al Davis told him to change the game plan. Callahan can't tell the real story because it's pissing on Al's grave (to some in football circles) and it sounds weak by Callahan.

 

3. Bill Romanowski's radio interviews on this subject have been classic Romanowski lunancy/intensity. I highly recommend seeking them out. And for the record, Romanowski thinks Tim Brown is a good guy and totally full of shit.



#40 Gunfighter 09


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:40 PM

1. Jerry Rice was the best WR in NFL history. And he is not a smart man, at all. I listened to his comments where he's asked about Brown's comments and they were ramblings of a not-very-smart man asked about something another guy he respects said so he kinda Brick Tamblin'ed the whole thing and just repeated things. And yes, that sentence was written in the rambling, not-very-smart way that Jerry Rice speaks. 
 
2. Tim Brown is a bitter man who doesn't truly believe Callahan intentionally threw the game but does blame Callahan for blowing Brown's last attempt at a ring. Brown irrationally blames Callahan for the game plan change, ignoring his own long history in Oakland and his first-hand knowledge of the guy who REALLY called all the shots. If Callahan changed the game plan - like GF09 and others have said - Callahan changed the game plan because Al Davis told him to change the game plan. Callahan can't tell the real story because it's pissing on Al's grave (to some in football circles) and it sounds weak by Callahan.
 
3. Bill Romanowski's radio interviews on this subject have been classic Romanowski lunancy/intensity. I highly recommend seeking them out. And for the record, Romanowski thinks Tim Brown is a good guy and totally full of shit.


Wow, I irrationally love Tim Brown and Jerry Rice and agree with this whole post.

#41 dcmissle


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:10 PM

Great post by soxfan. So why now? And there must be a better answer than the 10th anniversary.

#42 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:13 AM

Ohhhh.....Raiders.

I watched the Al Davis: A Football Life the other day and I enjoyed it. I watch a lot of 70s Raiders stuff. They get inflated to high heaven (I swear I've seen the same clip of Ted Hendricks in a joker mask about 1,000 times) but it must have been pretty fun to root for a completely ludicrous set of players who won 10 games year-in, year-out. Although they only got over the hump once they are rightly one of football's most famous teams. The stories of Raiders drinking it up in North Beach, acting as bouncers and raising hell are famous.

Their slow decline into football's biggest gong show is actually kind of sad. Davis was an asshole without equal, but his contributions to the game are inestimable (every Patriots fan should thank him for scaring the total living shit out of the NFL as AFL Commissioner). His franchise isn't worth taking note of anymore.

Well, there is the little matter of that once having come about as a result of having the refs ignore their holding and pass interference against the Pats and, when the Raiders had *still* effectively lost the game, calling a roughing the passer penalty on the Pats that was totally out of place in the refereeing style of 1976 and that gave the Raiders new life.  There was that little matter of taking a title that the Pats might've won with their best team before the early 2000's.  So, Patriots fans might not fall all over themselves thanking Al Davis.



#43 maufman


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:31 AM

Great post by soxfan. So why now? And there must be a better answer than the 10th anniversary.

The answer is unknowable, unless you can climb into Tim Brown's brain.



#44 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

For a game widely perceived as a blowout, the score was 34-21 with 3 mins left, when Tampa punted away to Oakland. So Oakland came back from 34-3 down to make it close via a couple of deep bombs from Gannon and a blocked punt return for a TD, which is not something you'd expect from a team being coached by a guy trying to sabotage things. Brooks had a pick 6 with 1:20 left to salt things away, but the game got tight in the final quarter.






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