Dinosaur organization has dinosaur coach, film at 11

Jon Gruden conned the world into thinking he was a football genius.

Jon Gruden conned the world into thinking he was a football genius.
Illustration: Getty

There isn’t much to add to the whole Jon Gruden dumbassery that my colleagues Carron Phillips didn’t address yesterday or Criss Partee the day before. Gruden never deserved his position, certainly didn’t do much to earn it while he was there, and then was found out as a world-class asshole who also didn’t win enough games. Gruden wasn’t even a good analyst, he just kept telling people he was and people believed it. Get Rich Gannon to an MVP once and apparently you can sucker an entire sport, as long as you commandeered ESPN’s bullhorn.


Gruden wouldn’t have had a coaching job if there wasn’t one NFL organization up the ass of its own history as much as the Raiders are. Which is why they’ve been irrelevant pretty much ever since Gruden left the first time. This is a team still living up to whatever it believes it was in the ’70s and ’80s, somehow ignoring the fact it hasn’t won a playoff game in 19 years. And this current team looks sure to make it 20.

But maybe that’s not how the Raiders view success. Maybe they view it as still being perceived as some sort of misplaced biker gang that they were able to just throw pads on. No football team has been that in decades, certainly not a successful one. Gruden was supposed to represent…something when they went to the recycle bin. I couldn’t tell you what, the franchise trading on their history as someone who “got” the Raiders. The only renegade they could find apparently, even though he’d been part of the machine with ESPN for years. Some renegade.

This wouldn’t have been hard to find if the Raiders really wanted to before they hired Gruden. But take one look at the garbage Davis son and ask yourself if he even bothered with an interview, much less due diligence. You’ll come to the answer quickly. The only thing Davis thought about was making a splash and being in the headlines, and he got more than he bargained for in that department.

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And now Gruden’s been found out and left on the side of the road where he always should have been. Instead of trying to analyze it or seeing if there’s something to be learned, we should just be happy that another bigot is out of the NFL and will be better off without him. Carl Nassib won’t have to deal with questions about what it’s like to have his boss be outed as a homophobe, despite Gruden’s song and dance over the summer. Nassib can just go about his job.

And the Raiders can go about what they’ve been to anyone who’s been a football fan for only the past two decades: An afterthought. A curiosity at best. Background scenery. We were all happier that way.

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