clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dissecting The U-T's Endorsement Of Jon Gruden

The U-T Editorial Board formally endorsed Jon Gruden to be the next Head Coach and Vice President of Football Operations for the San Diego Chargers. Let us examine the editorial more closely.

I am "showbiz"
I am "showbiz"

The U-T's Editorial Board wrote the following yesterday: Editorial 7 reasons to hire John Gruden. There were no number listings in this editorial. There were no bullet points. The UT is a g*ddamn paper of record, my good man!

There were paragraphs however. Nine to be precise. You are about to read an introduction followed by seven paragraphs presenting the reasons for Jon Gruden to come to San Diego. The editorial will be complete after you have read the conclusion. It is like the 5 paragraph essay format you learned in school, only different. Because there are 9 paragraphs. Are you ready?


For each of the numerous NFL teams looking for a new coach or general manager, we’ll likely hear that this will be the "most important hire ever!" But for the San Diego Chargers, this truly is their most important hire ever. The Chargers had numerous home games blacked out in 2012 and have lost the city. Accordingly, the Spanos family should hire Jon Gruden to be vice president in charge of football operations and head coach for the following reasons:

San Diego has been lost. We are like an island in the Pacific left to our own devices to battle polar bears, smoke monsters, and time travel. We are lost, San Diego. But there is no Jack Shepard or Sawyer Ford here. There's not even a John Locke to use reason to save the inhabitants of our lost island city. But there could be a John Gruden. And he could put our lost island city back on the grid so that we may receive the cash settlement we are entitled to from that damn Oceanic Airline that deposited us in this god forsaken island city sports fan abyss. Are you listening Mr. Spanos? We want to see our families!

Reason #1

Gruden is a Super Bowl-winning coach. He took an ascending team with a great defense, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to the 2003 Super Bowl title. He is a proven winner. He has seen every team, up close and personal, as an ESPN analyst and knows personnel.

The Chargers are also an ascending team with a great defense so it's a natural fit for Jon Gruden to come to San Diego. Right? I can't decide if the Editorial Board is being serious or pulling my f*cking leg clean-off and beating me with it. Teams with an offensive line like the Chargers are not ascending. They are DE-scending!

But Jon Gruden is a winner. He won a Super Bowl. Jon Gruden coached 14 years in the NFL with 7 seasons at a record of 9-7 or worse. Winner. Proven winner.

He's also seen teams up-close. He's there so he intrinsically "gets it". Jon Gruden is kind of like side-line reporter, Tony Siragusa. Tony Siragusa also won a Super Bowl.

Reason #2

Gruden is a great communicator who will excite fans and media alike. The Chargers have been hurt by their lack of positive communication for years. Whether it was the arrogance of former General Manager A.J. Smith, the desire for privacy of the Spanos family or the perceived lack of fire from likable former coach Norv Turner, the Chargers need someone to light a fire in this community.

This guy Jon Gruden is on TV. This guy can turn letters into words, words into sentences, and sentences into 5-9 paragraphs of pure passion. This guy has fire. This guy is extremely likable. This guy excites people with his boyish charm and his distorted faces. Great! Communicator! Hire him now, Mr. Spanos.

Reason #3

Gruden is a quarterback guru and offensive genius. He offers the quickest route to unlock and maximize Philip Rivers’ potential and to restore the Chargers’ lightning-bolt offense.

Jon Gruden had an aging journeyman named Rich Gannon in Oakland whose best year in the league was after Gruden left for Tampa Bay. Maybe it was all Gruden's mentoring?

Let's look at Tampa Bay. In 2002 Jon Gruden inherited 34 year old QB Brad Johnson and together they immediatley won a Super Bowl. Brad Johnson however, regressed from that point on until he was out of Tampa Bay and eventually out of the league.

The young QBs Gruden had in his charge were Shaun King, Brian Griese, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski, Tim Rattay, and Luke McCown. Remember those names? The only thing unlocked with those guys was the front door of the facility so they could be sent packing. I don't know that there is empirical evidence that Jon Gruden is a "guru" unless you're counting the times he sits in an ESPN trailer and grills QBs based on what they see on game film.

And haven't we had enough offensive genius in this city?

Reason #4

In Tampa, Gruden retained Tony Dungy’s defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin. He likely would be open to retaining John Pagano as his defensive coordinator. Pagano has the defense performing well.

The Chargers defense is performing well but are they great? Because we all know Tampa Bay's defense was great. Jon Gruden did something in 2002 by doing nothing in 2002. This means if he comes to San DIego and does nothing again the Chargers will win the Superbowl in . . . 2002? I knew I could work the time-travel-Lost-analogy back into this tripe.

Reason #5

As vice president of football operations, Gruden could work with John and A.G. Spanos, Jimmy Raye and Ed McGuire – as long as Gruden had final say on personnel issues. This is a structure that ultimately is the most desirable for the Spanos family.

Doesn't the Editorial Board read anything that Kevin Acee writes? Is the paywall preventing them from delving into the on-line edition of their own paper? Let me help you, U-T. I went to Kevin Acee's twitter feed. It's free . . .


There's also this one . . .


Dean Spanos doesn't like this sort of power structure, U-T Editorial Board. Dean Spanos, Constitutionally speaking, believes in a separation of powers. He's like Montesquieu.

Reason #6

Gruden would require at least $6 million annually, as would most big-name coaches. But with both Turner’s and Smith’s salaries coming off the books, it is almost a push in terms of outflow after year one.

"It is almost a push in terms of outflow after year one."

The operative part of that sentence is "after year one." So it is in fact not a push. Almost a push? I, sure as sh*t, never found any solace when I almost pushed during a hand of blackjack at Binion's Horseshoe. A succession of almost pushes can lead you straight to the gutter and a debilitating meth habit. This is what I've heard.

And it should also be noted that Reason #6 is irrelevant after considering Reason #5.

Reason #7

Finally, Gruden is showbiz.

I don't know what this means.

He would not only win back the fans, but also help sell a new stadium to the citizens of San Diego County.

Only winning (probably a Super Bowl) and a sizable contribution from the Spanos family will get a stadium built in San Diego.

And he is the best insurance to succeed in Los Angeles if San Diego is ultimately unable to deliver a new stadium.

This is just hurtful.


Jon Gruden would provide a packed stadium, an excited city and high TV ratings, and would maximize both revenue and performance. He is a great NFL coach and an exciting communicator and motivator. The U-T believes the Chargers should make the certain choice and hire Gruden as its VP of football operations and head coach.

In conclusion, the San Diego Chargers should hire Jon Gruden for all of the ill-conceived ideas put forth above.

I'm not saying the Chargers shouldn't hire Jon Gruden. I'm just saying that this U-T Editorial is gar-bage.