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Sorry, Notre Dame, Jon Gruden's committed to ESPN

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 16th 2009 4:04PM
jon_gruden_ESPNThings are not going well for Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis. He's in the midst of a rough season, not likely to make a bowl game, and rumors are rampant that he will be fired after a five-year-term that has not brought the university a national championship. The number one name on the lips of everyone to replace Weis is ESPN analyst, and Super Bowl-winning head coach, Jon Gruden. However, this morning ESPN locked up Gruden with an extension on his current contract which expands his responsibilities as an ESPN talking head.

In addition to sticking with the ESPN Monday Night Football color commentary role -- in which he's pretty much been Mr. Enthusiasm -- Gruden will be working the NFL Draft, the Pro Bowl, Super Bowl week, and on radio the Rose Bowl and the BCS game. Basically, if Gruden is talking football, he's doing it on ESPN air.

Gruden's extension makes sense in light of the Notre Dame situation. Gruden would be just the kind of high-profile football superstar that Notre Dame would want to recruit. He's got a huge public personality, a recognizable face and image, and a football pedigree. He even has a colorful nickname, "Chucky," as in the Child's Play movies with the evil looking doll. When angry, Gruden and Chucky share facial similarities.

There's also reason to believe that Gruden's dream coaching job might've been ND. His father was an assistant coach in South Bend under Dan Devine, and Jon had wanted to attend the university, but passed up the chance because he didn't think he'd ever get on the field. Presumably, he was no Rudy.

So now, ESPN gets to keep him. That's not a bad thing, but it would be better if Gruden channeled a wee bit more Chucky and got a little surly during the broadcasts, you know, just for fun.

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November 17 2009 at 9:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert Blessing

Gruden is the best fit to be added to MNF in a long time. With his love, enthusiasm and expertise of the game it is very enjoyable to watch. I have been following im for a long time as a Buc's fan and find him to be comfortable and having fun without any of the pressures of a head coach.

November 17 2009 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Never liked him----too full of himself.

November 17 2009 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm very dissapointed, Jon Gruden,along with Jawarsky

November 17 2009 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gruden is like a Teenage Student Body President with a lot of football knowledge. He is overly eager and although I truly appreciate his football analysis he doesn't have the intuitiveness for the game he's actually working. Think of how often John Madden would make a point about a player or the situation a team was in and then all of a sudden it came to pass as if he was a psychic. Gruden? Not so...yet. He's still so excited just to be sitting in that chair that he comes across a little bit TOO much like a Pollyanna.

But, I was hoping he would replace Wade Phillips at Dallas, so I'm not saying Gruden is hopeless. :)

November 17 2009 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And here I thought Gruden was campaigning for the coaching job of the Cleveland Browns last night. He kept mentioning his connection to the area, etc. That and how he liked the Browns and that they had some talent that needed to be used. He was complimentary of Brady Quinn, talking about watching a tryout of his and also his connection to Mike Holmgrem, who may become the next GM of the Browns. Very interesting!!!

November 17 2009 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The MNF guys are the best group to do the broadcast for as long as I can remember. They make watching the game fun. Gruden was a great add.

November 17 2009 at 10:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gruden will be on Sunday night footbal with Al and Chris within two years. You heard it here first. The only way it will ever get back to the glory days of Cosell and Meredith.

November 17 2009 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Keep Chucky on MNF. After the Kornholer and Dennis Miller debacles, they finally got one right. Used to think Gruden was just angry butthead but at MNF he seems like a nice guy and you can almost feel the guy's love for the game.

November 17 2009 at 10:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Chucky is too opinionated for this job. Last night was terrible, we all know he doesn't like the Ravens, I thought he wanted to "DO" Brady Quinn, I think he's in love. He totally dissed the Ravens every chance he got. A reporter should be more objective!

November 17 2009 at 7:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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