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Jon Gruden: Hilariously awful or awesome?

The Monday Night Football booth teamRon Jaworsky, Mike Tirico, and Jon Gruden. That’s one HECK of a football announcing lineup! (ESPN)

Since I’ve got nothing else right now, let’s talk a little bit about the Monday Night Football announcing team, shall we?

I generally like the Monday Night Football booth lineup. Mike Tirico is a knowledgeable and excitable play-by-play guy. Ron Jaworski brings his quarterback credentials to the mix and is capable of being critical, especially of offenses (as is typical of former QBs turned color commentators). And Jon Gruden brings in the coach’s perspective. The three work well together and they have good voices that sound solid and football-y.

(Yes, football-y is officially an adjective for describing football voices. Bryant Gumbel doing play-by-play on NFL Network a couple years ago, on the other hand: not football-y at all. Terrible, in fact.)

The question I have about Jon Gruden: Is he good or bad? He can be funny in a decidedly goofy, I’m-my-own-self-parody and oh-there-goes-that-goofball-again sort of way — which I admit I thought was leaving with the replacement of Tony Kornheiser.

Gruden. He’s some kinduva guy. For one thing, this guy is impressed by everybody and everything. One thing he loves to say: “That [insert football player’s name here] is one HECK of a football player!” Everything that happens on the field is a heckuva play or an outstanding display of skill, athleticism, or toughness. You’d think that as a former coach, Gruden wouldn’t be singing the praises of every guy on a 5-9 football team, but, hey, whatever.

Granted, a certain amount of NFL announcing seems to be shameless in-game self-promotion of the league, as in, “Wow, look at how great everybody and everything about the NFL is! Aren’t you glad you’re watching?! You sure should be! Make sure to watch next week, even if it is between two terrible teams we wish weren’t prescheduled to play in prime time!”

I think Gruden officially jumped the shark for me in the Dec. 20 game between the Bears and Vikings. Third-string Vikings QB Joe Webb was in for Minnesota in a rather lopsided losing effort against the Bears, who were on defense. I’m paraphrasing, but the exchange in question went something pretty close to this:

Gruden, analyzing the replay:

“Okay, so the Bears are only sending their front four after Webb. That leaves seven guys out in coverage. And you’ve got two eyeballs per guy. So that’s 14 eyeballs on Joe Webb, watching to see where he’s going with the ball. That’s just not going to be easy for a young quarterback against a tough Bears defense.”

Tirico couldn’t even help himself, chuckling:

“That’s some interesting math there, Jon.”

In words Gruden might himself use, those are seven OUTSTANDING football players using their 14 football eyes to make a football play and win a football game. Heckuva effort. NFL. Fantastic. Whaddaya think, Jaws?

I love it. It might very well be terrible, but I’m honestly not even sure that it is. Gruden. What a card.

Have a safe and happy new year.

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22 comments on this post

ESPN needs to throw the bank at Gus Johnson to get him to MNF

Holmgren might bring Chucky to Cleveland next year. On a side note, I’m anxiously waiting for more tng reviews. (yes I have no life)

Why the microphones? I ask this in general, because we all know that they don’t actually work, so these guys might as well be holding sausages up to their mouths. WTF is with microphones these days?

I hate to admit it–but I miss Dennis Miller. He had the most bizarre MNF announcing ever.

Yeah, I can’t decide if I like him or not either, I do tend to enjoy SNF the best though all-around. We’re always taking bests on just how drunk the announcers are 🙂

I am also laughing at the mental picture of them holding sausages instead of microphones!

I like Gruden. He often makes me laugh, especially when he’s arguing with Jaws.

“Since I’ve got nothing else right now…”


American Football is my favorite sport. I personally dont mind this Jon Gruden. He fills a niche and IMHO, ESPN in general does not broadcast the best Football. NBC is broadcasting my game later today at 12:30 EST (nbc is the best!) I expect SEA to lose to New Orleans. I grew up in Washington State and will always be a Seahawks fan (its frustrating!) and if we somehow pull off this win . . .

BTW I think those TNG reviews would be kinda cool, Season Five was Nineteen Years ago if i’m not too sloppy with my math tonight, and Your reviews have always had a particular unbiased truth.

ZZ in WY

please finish TNG! Your reviews are the best around.

Actually, if I can make a recommendation here, you might want to consider doing some Babylon 5 reviews. For all that the B5 fandom can be a loud and passionate one, there really aren’t that many of us, which means you could be exposing the show to a whole new audience.

It could especially interesting if you haven’t watched the show before, because I for one (and likely am not the only one) would enjoy seeing your unspoiled take on the show as it evolves over the seasons.

Plus, the B5 DVD sets are pretty cheap. You can get all 5 seasons and the movie collection (useful because it includes the pilot and the excellent “In the Beginning”) used for around $110 or so, plus S&H. For that matter, you could just get the movie collection and the first season and take it from there.

The show has its flaws, as all shows do, but its fans are devoted to Babylon 5 for a reason, and you might find yourself what that reason is.

Just a thought. 🙂

Can you please finish your TNG reviews? They’re excellent, and we need closure!

Jammer have you saw the bbc mini series Outcasts? i think it’s a good science fiction series and you could review it! 4 episodes have been released so far and 4 more are coming.

I was just about to bring your attention to ”Outcasts” but karatasiospa beat me to it. Outcasts is closer to BG than any thing else ive come across. Only 8 episodes at the moment but very very good.

Jammer has disappeared a la Kara Thrace. He was an angel all along.


Here he is!! so what about Outcasts? have yoy saw it?

I have not seen “Outcasts.” In fact, haven’t even heard of it until now.

It’s on bbc america, tommorow will air the 5th episode and since it w will be only 8 episodes you have some time to watc it.

No more television series. My focus will be TNG season 5.

Well i hope you will come back in reviewing some tv series in the future allthough beyond Outcasts there will be only Blood and chrome (if it will be a series).Anyway watch Outcasts i think you will like it.

Gruden is the worst. If you ever watched him on the sideline his language was so bad they must have trained him to sah “heck” when he would have said something that they would have to bleep.

The greatest gift I could receive in reference to pro football is for Gruden to SHUT UP or duct tape his mouth, and better still, not show his face. I’m an AVID pro and college female football fan that looks forward every year to football season and then there is still Gruden. It would be so nice to watch the game with the mute button turned off and actually HEAR and see the game. Cannot the guy take a hint? Oh well, I guess there is always a “thorn in someone’s side”!

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