After a day off, The Stack is back and there are a few items in the news from yesterday which top the rest so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Wednesday, January 23:
Sean Payton re-instated
Roger Goodell truly is a smart man. The commissioner re-instated Sean Payton into the NFL as New Orleans Saints head coach a week before he goes to New Orleans for Super Bowl festivities. Goodell and Payton met Monday, a meeting Goodell called "very productive." Payton returns to New Orleans now, free of any distraction and talk of him going to the Dallas Cowboys. He's ready to get back to work and make New Orleans a playoff team once again. The defense needs a lot of work and Drew Brees clearly wasn't the same without Payton. Payton knows what he did in letting defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (still not re-instated) run his bounty program was wrong and it cost the Saints dearly this season.
Goodell better know that the folks in New Orleans won't take too kindly to him after the penalties he gave Payton and other members of the Saints organization. But getting Payton back on the job with the Saints will definitely make him less of a villain.
Did Bill Callahan sabatoge the Raiders Super Bowl dreams?
Ten years ago, the Oakland Raiders got destroyed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. The ten year anniversary of that defeat is sour grapes for wide receiver Tim Brown who says then head coach Bill Callahan, who took over the Raiders head coaching job after Jon Gruden left for Tampa Bay, sabotaged the Raiders gameplan and therefore ruining any chance of them beating Bucs, all but giving Tampa Bay the Super Bowl.
According to Brown, the offensive gamplan the Raiders installed was to run the ball a lot since their offensive line averaged well over 300 pounds versus the Bucs defensive line which averaged 280 pounds. The Friday before the Super Bowl, Brown alleges that Callahan changed the gameplanto throw early and often, close to sixty times. The Raiders ended up throwing the ball forty-four times and ran it just nine, but you get the picture.
ESPN analyst Jerry Rice backed Brown's claims on Tuesday on NFL Live on ESPN. Said that Callahan perhaps wanted Gruden to win the Super Bowl because the two were friends.
Then there is the saga with center Barrett Robbins who inexplicably left the team only days before the Super Bowl. According to Brown and Rice, he begged coach Callahan not to change the gameplan and became so distraught. That is a little difficult to believe. Robbins was a little mentally unstable. It's hard to think that this one incident sent him over the edge.
Really the whole thing is ridiculous. Even if this were true, why bring it up now? Sure it's painful, but to bring it up before this Super Bowl? Maybe Brown just wanted to spice up the week headed into the Pro Bowl. If that was his goal, he's doing a great job. Brown says he's been talking about it for ten years. If that's the case, very few were paying attention. I'm sure there is part of the story that's true, but just how much I don't know. If Callahan really did do this, it's awful. Throwing the Super Bowl essentially; gamblers and the NFL would be irate. Callahan can deny it all he wants, but if any of this is proven true, then he's in a lot of trouble.
Right now though, it sound like Brown and Rice just have a grudge that's been building up now for quite some time and they thought now would be the perfect time to let the world know.
Coming up Thursday: Super Bowl storyline #1 plus other top stories from Wednesday in sports.