|Commentate so hard!|
University of Tennessee fans, apparently dissatisfied with losing close games to both superior and inferior teams, are calling for coach Derek Dooley's head and have swallowed the little red pill that makes a fan base think that Jon Gruden is willing to step down from his Monday night pedestal and charge to the rescue (since apparently his wife was a UT cheerleader). There are so many flaws in the validity of this rumor that I'd never mention it except the prospect of not having to see his squinty face or listen to his hyperbole every Monday is too juicy a bone to leave unchewed.
All six people who regularly read this blog know that, for me, Jon Gruden is the pinnacle of Monday Night Buffoonery. Worse than Dierdorf. Worse than Dennis Miller. Worse than Ron Jaworski. Way worse than Tony Kornheiser (who everyone else hated but I loved). Gruden is fancied as the NFL insider who can break down the plays, highlighting the offensive and defensive formations so we, the humble viewers, can better grasp the intricacies of the sport we spend nearly 20 hours a week watching. In ESPN's imagination he is John Madden incarnate. The difference being that Madden had a rough lovability about him, a sense of humor and a way of making the plays we just watched fun to re-watch. All Gruden does is praise the living daylights out of whatever gritty QB happens to be holding the football, then drops inane codes for the schemes we're seeing: Banana left, 30-squat! Triple cookie rubber cat! A-Flap, sweaty hooker!
Maybe I'm just not enough of a student of the NFL, but knowing the arcane names for defensive formations doesn't seem to be doing enough to advance my enjoyment of the game for the tradeoff of having to listen to Gruden rant them at me. I assume Mike Tirico invests heavily his ongoing emotional therapy. So to the Vols I wish you the best of luck. Gruden may or may not be a good football coach. And I personally won't believe myself free of him until I see him strolling the streets of Knoxville in hand-me-down, orange pants, but I sure am pulling for you.
As you all know, 60% of the time I'm 100% wrong about my Thursday night forecast. Which gives me great hope that my fear of the Seahawks can only be a good sign for the 49ers. But like Gruden in orange pants -- I'll believe it when I see it. The 49ers have a lot going for them in general, but much of it is based on their ability to run the ball, to run the clock, and keeping opponents from doing the same. Unfortunately Seattle is pretty good at those very things, plus they have one of those wacky young QBs who is just as apt to throw a pick as they are to scramble for a 60-yard TD, which when mixed with a clinically insane coach leads to meth-lab levels of volatility. Volatility is not something that plays into the 49ers game plan. For proof re-watch the Giants delivering large whuppings on the 49ers who, unable to figure out if they should clamp down the run or the pass, clamped down on neither.
I'm still starting the 49ers D b/c you just don't bench star players not named ARod. Keeping Gore on the bench against a smothering Seattle run D, starting VD and crossing my fingers. If Russell Wilson is smiling at the end of the night I'm probably not. Unless Gruden calls to confirm that he's headed to Knox-Vegas, that would help ease my suffering.