John Gruden was done a huge favor when he was traded by the Oakland Raiders to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002 for draft picks and money. Oakland was successful with him at the helm, but you could tell their run was about to end. He inherited a Tony Dungy team that was poised to win the Super Bowl and took them to the top. He rode that wave for 8 years and made a lot of money with that win. He then rode that to a successful career as a commentator on Monday Night Football and a successful quarterback camp. He had a 43% winning percentage, but yet was able to parlay that past career into $100 million and a gig with the Oakland Raiders again. He had the world by the short hairs, but Chucky's past was about to haunt him, but was it justified.
Now, I will never condone what Jon Gruden said in those emails. I will not get into what was said. We all know what was said, and it was demeaning and degrading. No excuse for it. These emails were released to the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on October 8. This was a Friday, on Monday the 11th, Gruden wasn't terminated or forced to resign, so the NFL threatened to release more damaging emails on the 11th, if nothing was done. So Gruden was forced out, or forced to resign. So the first question, of course, is why the threats against Oakland. Something really was starting to smell, coming out of all of this. The combination of 650,000 or so private emails and only the ones considering Gruden and his "private" conversations with then president of The Washington Football Team, Bruce Allen were published. Why was Oakland owner Mark Davis being punished and bullied through all of this? All of the dirt and garbage that has come out about what went on in Washington under Daniel Snyder has been an embarrassment to the league, but what was even more of an embarrassment was the punishment, in the eyes of other owners and the public. Now they are looking at even more problems. Gruden may have a case, here.
Roger Goodell and The NFL have another problem on their hands. Gruden was the scapegoat here. You knew it was only going to be a matter of time before he was going to react. I am guessing that he couldn't come to an agreement in terms of a settlement with the Raiders. Or he couldn't come to a settlement that was to his liking. So the next turn is the NFL. Does he want to try to take on the NFL. He will never coach in the NFL again. He may never be a commentator for the NFL again, if he continues this lawsuit. It's obvious that this doesn't matter to him. But does he have a chance? Does the NFL need this headache. Did they screw up with the way they handled this? This lawsuit could expose the NFL in bad ways. There are a lot of alliances that could be made to look bad. There were reasons that Chucky was made to be the scapegoat. This has ruined his career, so he may feel he has nothing to lose. I agree with him. Even before this lawsuit, his days of coaching in the NFL were done. A lot of the ways the NFL goes about doing their business is very antiquated. And I think this is going to be exposed in this lawsuit. Something tells me there is so much more that is out there, but folks are so intimidated by the long arms of the NFL, that no one wants to speak out, fearing job security. My only hope of all this mess, is , if there is garbage that goes on, and has gone on, and nothing was done about it, this will expose it, and fix those problems. My realistic thought is there will be a deal made, such as a non disclosure deal for Gruden, and this too, will be swept under the rug. And that is a shame, and a sham.
The University of Texas lost a football game this past weekend. They lost a football game to Kansas. Yes, Kansas. How many of you had them losing to Kansas. Not me. Not many people, especially the alums and boosters of The University of Texas. Texas is 4-6 in Steve Sarkisian's first year as head coach at Texas. 4-6. Now I know it's early and only his first year. But tell me what has Steve Sarkisian really done that warrants him as this elite coach in college football? He was 34-29 as a head coach at The University of Washington. That, for some reason was enough for him to be able to secure the head coaching gig at USC. And once he got there, he had a 9-4 record in his first year, then 3-2 when he had his infamous drunken episode at a USC pep rally. He was put on indefinite leave, and ultimately replaced by Clay Helton. He was eventually hired as offensive coordinator in Atlanta after Kyle Shanahan was hired in San Francisco, and their offense abruptly fell 11 points a game under his guidance.
Sarkisian was then hired to be Nick Saban's offensive coordinator at Alabama. A plum job, if there ever is one. And his reward? Another head coaching gig at a high profile university, this time Texas. Everything is big in Texas, including expectations. Overzealous is the name of the game in Texas when it comes to their sports teams, right Jerry Jones?
So bring on Sark. He goes 4-1 in his first five games. And boom, the bottom is falling out. Five straight losses. Can there be anything lower than losing to Kansas? Texas and Oklahoma are abandoning the Big 12 for the SEC. We all know why. You know the saying, money talks and ........ walks. Will Sark be going with Texas to the SEC. Will we see him go up against Saban? Sarkisian has lived a charmed coaching life, along with Lane Kiffin. What both have in common is their USC connection. Two overrated coaches. People bitch about Jim Harbaugh, calling him overrated. all he does is win 80% of his games, and has gone to a Super Bowl. Yet he gets vilified for not winning "big games". Texas would love to be in that position. They would love to have a coach that can win at least 9 to 10 games. It will not happen with Sarkisian. It may never happen for anyone in Texas, especially with them moving to the SEC. Hey, Texas. Welcome down to the level of Nebraska. A former powerhouse, living on past glory, that may never reach it again.
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