Yesterday: The Jon Gruden Era at UM

Lyrics from a melancholy acoustic guitar ballad about a break-up:

Yesterday,
All my troubles seemed so far away,
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Jon Gruden turned down the opportunity to coach the University of Miami’s football team. Here’s one perspective on why the megalomaniacal albino’s no, while clearly not the act of a friend, may not be a bad thing.

Gruden made his mark in winning the Super Bowl in his first year as coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2002. Gruden won [altogether now Cane fans] with Tony Dungy’s players and a great defense built by Lane Kiffin. If that seems harsh, consider that Gruden never won another playoff game at Tampa Bay and his teams lost home wild-card playoff games in the two years they did make the playoffs. His final season there featured a team which collapsed after the same Kiffin announced he would be leaving when the season ended. Like Randy Shannon, Gruden was fired from his last coaching job in a year which began with a contract extension.

All in all, Gruden produced a .507 winning percentage in his seven year stint as a NFL head coach with Tampa Bay. I guess the genius bar is much lower in the post-Shula era, but even Trinidadians would blush at this level of limbo.

If, like me, you thought it odd that the negotiations with UM involved his brother. We shouldn’t have. Coaching is apparently the most family of businesses. Gruden himself is the son of a coach and the 2nd generation names which have crossed his path in his career include; Griese, Kiffin, McKay, Shula, Simms. The theme from Deliverance would seem a nice fit for this degree of inbreeding.

However, given that Gruden is a fellow Roman Catholic, we shall put the above speculation aside and spare him the Saban treatment [eternal sports (i.e. unactionable) hatred]. But the Gruden era was instructive. As we get ready to watch the Heat travel to Cleveland tonight, if Gruden annoyed us this much in just 24 hours, imagine if they had televised his decision after dragging it out all summer.

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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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