Jon Gruden Says Goodbye to ESPN

Photo Courtesy: U.S. Air Force/Airman First Class Caleb Nunez

Author: Noa Rubnitz
Having former coaches on a broadcast of Monday Night Football is great. You get the “inside the huddle” type of conversation from coaches, but what is special is the attitude you see as a broadcaster that is invisible as a coach.
As Jon Gruden heads back to Oakland to Coach the Raiders, I was saddened to see such a great personality and human being that really brought a great presence to television leave the business. Watching his press conference in front of the Oakland Raiders backdrop, Charles Woodson made an appearance to congratulate and support his former coach and colleague as he heads back to one of the best fan bases in the nation. As many argue that coaches get the easy way into broadcast, I would argue that their ability to call a game and give commentary that others cannot gives the audience something special.
Listening to Jon Gruden every Monday was a gift. To be honest, it was a cross between coach commentary and my father speaking to me. It was something that cannot be forgotten. Whether it was making a smoothie live on broadcast or giving fans a laugh, his ability to humanize every play is something I will note for my future broadcast career.

I think there is something truly special about Gruden’s character that I don’t explicitly see in many coaches. His contract is for 10 years and $100 million, but it doesn’t seem like he’s here for the paycheck.
“I don’t really know the terms. All I know is this year I’m gonna be coaching in Oakland. And next year I’m gonna be coaching in Oakland,” Gruden said at his introductory press conference, via Raiders Wire. “And I want to help deliver the best football team we can for the people here in Oakland. And how long I stay here will be determined by how well we play.”
To share that with the public is something fans will look up to. His love for the game goes beyond the paycheck. His love for educating fans about football will be missed.

With a rough season for the Oakland Raiders, Gruden’s comeback will be crucial. Making sure to recruit on the defense is vital despite their offensive injuries this past season, but Gruden’s comeback was bound to happen eventually.