By now, you've heard the scuttlebutt that former Oakland Raider and Nebraska Cornhusker head coach Bill Callahan might have sabotaged his teams chances of winning the Super Bowl. On its face, the charges are patently absurd . The rewards of victory in the big game are so substantial, that hating the Raiders ownership, management, and/or personnel would not be enough reason to throw the game. Nor would a friendship with your opponent. It's pretty easy to dismiss the suggestion on any rational level. That is, until you consider how thoroughly Callahan dismantled Nebraska's football program. Perhaps, these suggestions aren't so far fetched?
This description comes from an article posted at psychologytoday.com:
Self-sabotage is not an act, it's a process, a complex, tragic process that pits people against their own thoughts and impulses. Though we all make mistakes, a true self-saboteur continues to try to fix those mistakes by top-loading them with increasingly bad decisions.
We don't know what ghosts may be haunting poor Bill, that would cause him to undermine his own success. But there are numerous examples:
- Scraps his Super Bowl game plan at the last minute
- Calls his Raiders "the dumbest team in America"
- Selects Kevin Cosgrove to be his defensive coordinator
- Willfully downsizes Nebraska's walk-on program despite a roster screaming for help at a number of positions
- Allows Joe Dailey to throw 42 or more passes against Southern Mississippi, Iowa State, and Colorado in 2004
- Not only recruits Beau Davis, but allows him to throw three interceptions in seven attempts against Texas Tech that year
- Utters the "one game one season" quote to the disgust of NU fans after the loss to CU in the 2004 finale ends Nebraska decades-long string of consecutive bowl appearances
- Makes a throat slashing gesture in defeat to Oklahoma in 2005 and calls their fans "f@#!ing hillbillies"
- Attempts a fake punt at his own 29-yard line in the second quarter which results in a fifteen yard loss to set up Auburn's decisive touchdown then despite trailing by 3 points, opts not to attempt field goals of 51 and 47 yards to tie the game
- Opts to start Sam Keller in the 2007 season over Joe Ganz
- Clinging to a 4th quarter lead against Texas, opts to pass on second and three which results in a drive-killing intentional grounding penalty
- Declares that his coaches are doing an excellent job in all areas during the disastrous 2007 season
- Presumably signs off on bringing Tim Tebow to the New York Jets as part of their offensive staff
This is hardly an exhaustive list. Feel free to provide your own examples in the comments section below.
Husker fans may not love Callahan, but there's one person that needs to in order to break this pattern of behavior: Bill Callahan.