Say goodbye to Gruden Grinders and all of Jon Gruden’s off-the-wall comments. The Monday Night Football commentator is leaving the booth to be the Raiders’ next head coach, and their gain is our loss.
We don’t know who will succeed Gruden on MNF yet, but we know Gruden can never be replaced completely. Here are a few things we’ll miss about him on ESPN:
Jon Gruden was sometimes your dad
After Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota threw himself a touchdown (yes, you read that correctly) in wild card action against the Chiefs, Gruden informed us that the only other player to do this in NFL history was Brad Johnson back in Week 7 of the 1997 season. Then he showed us the highlight ... ON HIS PHONE.
Gruden can do more on his phone than just pull up YouTube highlights, too.
“I text during the game,” Gruden said. “Man, I love technology.”
His segments with props were magical
You know what else Jon Gruden loves? Kettlebells. Or maybe they’re kettleballs. That’s what Gruden called them back in 2013, when he started swinging one around on the set despite the clear threat of harm and personal injury to poor Mike Tirico.
“These are 40-pound kettleballs, and you’ve got to use your legs ... watch out, Mike,” Gruden said.
The only thing better than Gruden enthusiastically swinging a kettlebell around with total disregard for his surroundings is him calling it a kettleball while he’s doing it.
His other favorite prop is a pool noodle. Sean McDonough should have learned from Mike Tirico’s experience. Don’t stand near Jon Gruden when he’s got any kind of prop in his hand.
Gruden smacked the daylights out of this football McDonough was holding to illustrate how he used a noodle to teach Carson Wentz the fundamentals of ball protection at his quarterbacks academy.
It may not be the most tried and tested method. Wentz fumbled nine times, losing five, before his season was cut short by a torn ACL.
Gruden had a way with words
His “spider 2 Y banana” phrase will forever be associated with him. He even turned it into a protein shake live on the air.
But that was far from the only Jon Grudenism. A sampling:
- “Smash mouth. They call it exotic smash mouth,” Gruden said during the Titans-Chiefs broadcast. “There’s nothing exotic about this smash mouth.”
- Perhaps Gruden’s best quote involved a “turkey hole.” What is a turkey hole? We don’t know. We just know this: That’s what Jon Gruden called it.
- “I wouldn’t have a Twitter account if it was the last Twitter account available,” Gruden said in 2012, possibly his smartest take ever.
Good call, Jon. Never tweet.
Gruden didn’t need to know any player’s actual name
Ryan Tannehill spent some time with Gruden at his quarterbacks camp before he was drafted in 2012, but that doesn’t mean Gruden knew how to say his name correctly. It’s pronounced Tann-uh-hill. But Gruden called him Tanny-hill. Close enough.
He also had a boatload of oddly specific and sometimes nonsensical nicknames for players — enough that we’re pretty sure he just came up with things to call them because he forgot their names.
J.J. Watt? That’s a pretty simple name to remember. Doesn’t matter. Gruden called him “the Milkman.” Why? “Because he’s from Wisconsin and the milkman always delivers.”
Raiders fans have to be excited to welcome Gruden back to Oakland. And Gruden obviously still loves Raiders fans.
We’ll miss him on the broadcasts, but you’d better believe we won’t miss a single Mic’d Up segment with Gruden once he’s back on the Raiders’ sideline.