Jon Gruden: The Worst Father-in-Law on Facebook

Former Las Vegas Raiders HC Jon Gruden
Former Las Vegas Raiders HC Jon Gruden
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

One of my favorite humor tropes when writing an opinion column is the Facebook father-in-law.

You can picture him, right? Balding, paunchy, 50- to 60-something, long-suffering wife, exasperated adult children: the network television crime procedural demographic. I adopted him as a barely coded racist/sexist stock character who could slip past the censors at nervous media outlets. The Facebook father-in-law is the person who wrote letters to the editor about Cam Newton's hats and claimed to stop watching the NFL four years ago because of the protests (yet always knows who won on Sunday). He's the guy who ruins Thanksgiving. You don't want him babysitting your kids overnight because he'll make them watch The Outlaw Josey Wales so they can learn about manhood (especially if they are girls). He may not be your actual father-in-law, but you still know a half-dozen of him, and his most distinguishing characteristic is that he can't stop bleating his hateful, hurtful sociopolitical opinions as publicly as possible, ignoring every hint that it's time to shut the hell up.

It turns out that Jon Gruden is a Facebook father-in-law. We should have known all along. The racist emails about DeMaurice Smith that were made public on Friday were just the tip of the iceberg. Gruden, per Ken Belson and Katherine Roseman of the New York Times, just couldn't stop sharing his thoughts about female referees, gay players, and foxy cheerleaders (plus Rodger Goodell and various political figures) with Washington Football Team exec Bruce Allen, a piece of work in his own right.

Of course, all the racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs were preserved in emails, because men like Gruden (and Allen) checked out technologically circa 1998. There are probably hundreds of Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:reshared chain letters about Hilary Clinton or razor blades in Halloween candy among Gruden's epistles as well.

Just think for a moment about the level of staggering, self-absorbed privilege at work here. Gruden was a famous broadcaster with lucrative endorsement deals during this period of correspondence. He had no affiliation with the Washington Football Team, no reason to offer vulgar, unsolicited opinions in writing. All he had were tens of millions of dollars in earning potential and a public reputation to lose. And while the 2011 strike and 2016 protests were major events that everyone involved in football had vehement opinions about, the only motivation Gruden could possibly have for weighing in on Michael Sam or female referees was vicious downward-punching hate and fear. Gruden's emails, like many a father-in-law's Sunday dinner rants, betray him as a tough-talking coward, a weakling bullying the vulnerable to feel strong.

Gruden lost his job on Monday; he technically "resigned," but you know how such resignations go. There's a lot of lost employment going around the Facebook father-in-law community these days. Like Gruden, most of them can't shut up. They cannot stop bragging about where they were on January 6, what they think of their company's vaccine mandate, or whose lives, in their opinion, matter. Society is stuck with people like Gruden because society nurtured them for generations. But we no longer have to venerate them, respect them, or allow them to hide behind the protections of power. In fact, we can and should strip them of their wealth and fame, even when it's expensive and inconvenient, because it's dangerous to keep people like Gruden in positions of leadership.

Goodbye, Gruden. You'll only be missed as a convenient comedy punching bag. As to the rest of the racist, homophobic, sexist fathers-in-law out there: you are on notice. Because if the NFL won't put up with your shit anymore, no one will.

Quick Hitters

Let's cleanse our palate with a look at some of the other news from around the NFL on Monday and Tuesday"

Rick Bisaccia Takes Over as Raiders Head Coach: That's just Tom Cable wearing a fake moustache, folks.

Trey Lance Suffered a Sprained Knee in the 49ers' Loss to the Cardinals: The 49ers are discovering that 2021 is just a repeat of 2020 with some glimmers of false hope sprinkled in. The rest of us realized that months ago.

Giants Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney Apologizes for Throwing a Punch at a Cowboys Defender on Sunday: "I have learned that fisticuffs solve nothing except arguments between offensive line coaches," Toney did not say.

A Fan Spread Ashes of a Deceased Family Member at Heinz Field During the Broncos-Steelers Game: Are we 100% certain that Ben Roethlisberger isn't just slowly crumbling?

Ezekiel Elliott Suffered a Minor Injury from Landing on a Hard Pylon Camera on Sunday: FOX responded by assuring the Cowboys that the Poison Dart Stiletto 4K Maximum Def Camera (with Platinum Notched Bayonet Zoom Lens) is perfectly safe. Also, we now know how Tyrod Taylor is going to die.

Urban Meyer Says he Wants the Jaguars to Run for 250 yards and Throw for 250 yards Every Week: Meyer also wants a different NFL head coach to be caught sending abhorrent emails every week so he can look noble and competent by comparison.

Walkthrough Tank Watch: Houston Texans

Every Wednesday, Walkthrough will check in on one of the NFL's worst teams to determine what's going wrong, what (if anything) is going right, and what (if anything) they can do to start heading in the right direction. Somehow, we made it to Week 6 without focusing on the Texans.

The Texans Story So Far: After defeating Urban Meyer's Neglected Children in the season opener, the Texans have alternated games in which they throw scares into potential playoff teams with games in which they curl into a little ball and wait for the hurting to stop.

The Texans lured the Patriots into a slopfest by mixing long drives, turnovers, and a timely flea-flicker in Week 5. But they self-destructed after taking a 22-9 lead, allowing the Patriots to come back for a 24-22 victory that dropped the Texans to 1-4.

What's Going Wrong? You know most of this stuff.

  • Owner Cal McNair is the type of person who thinks mixing horse de-wormer with his Scotch can cure male pattern baldness.
  • Team Svengali Jack Easterby is the guy who conned your sister-in-law into blowing the family savings on a pyramid scheme to sell CD-ROM audio bibles voiced by Kevin Sorbo.
  • General manager Nick Caserio runs the roster and payroll according to the "look busy and do favors for old friends" principle.
  • Head coach Nick Culley is the substitute teacher who lets the kids play blackjack if they finish their worksheets early.
  • Deshaun Watson is Dr. Manhattan on Mars: most of the world doesn't really want him to return, no matter how many of us really need him.
  • The entire depth chart looks like an IDP fantasy league free-agent pool after a 14-team draft.

Despite all of this, the Texans would be 2-3 and may even have tilted the Browns or Panthers games in their favor if Culley and his staff didn't treat every fourth down like the first one they encountered in their lives.

Is Anything Going Right? Defensive coordinator Lovie Smith's beard looks fantastic. The Texans play hard and do not appear to have given up on Culley, his staff, or the situation.

What Needs to be Done? The Texans will remain an irresponsibly run franchise until the day Easterby gets bored and wanders off to found a combination PAC/direct-market pillow company. But lots of NFL franchises throughout history have been run by delusional ninnies, and many of them found ways to not humiliate themselves on a weekly or annual basis. With that in mind, here's what the Texans can do to achieve the baseline level of competence of, say, the Washington Football Team.

  • Trade Watson for Anything. ANYTHING. Like, for instance, a conditional second-round pick in 2023 that becomes a first-rounder if he isn't swallowed up by the legal system and/or the commissioner's Go Away I'm Busy list for two solid years. Whatever. Forget the near-mint condition value in the Beckett's guide, Texans: this is a sheriff's auction, not a Sotheby's auction.
  • Trade Everyone Else. Laremy Tunsil is playing like he wants out; lots of teams need a left tackle. Whitney Mercilus has served his time in purgatory; send him to a contender who needs an edge rusher. The Texans have 500 veteran running backs on their depth chart; the Ravens, 49ers, and (maybe) Chiefs are desperate for healthy bodies. The Texans should try to load up on mid-round 2022 and 2023 picks by selling off the rights to all the veterans Caserio signed because he wanted to do their agents favors hoped to keep the team competitive.
  • Play Some Rookies. Davis Mills is just about the only rookie receiving regular playing time on the Texans. That's an obvious problem to everyone but the Texans. They need to elevate some guys off the practice squad and pull some youngsters off the waiver wire. Caserio and Culley can sell it to Easterby as a youth movement. If Easterby objects, they can shut him down with Luke 19:14.
  • Hire a Fourth-Down Guru. It doesn't have to be an analytics genius. It can just be a veteran coach who has had a good night's sleep and some coffee who doesn't get all flustered because Bill Belichick is on the opposite sideline. The Texans just need someone who can explain to Culley that he should not decline a penalty and THEN punt and warn him about the dangers of turning a fake punt into one of Easterby's improv routines.

So How Bad are the Texans? They're better this year than the Jets and Jaguars. Within the locker room, they may be less dysfunctional than the Jaguars, Raiders, and perhaps the Giants. But their front office structure threatens to cast a shadow across the decades and galaxies,

What's Next? The Texans visit the Colts next week. Carson Wentz is suddenly and temporarily playing well, and he's such an Easterby "culture fit" that he may be auditioning for his next employer.

Walkthrough Prop Watch: Defensive Player of the Year (and more)

Every Wednesday, Walkthrough handicaps the field in an NFL awards race or some other type of futures bet.

Sound the Walkthrough Prop Bet Siren! WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP. Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs is currently +900 to win Defensive Player of the Year. WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP.

Diggs is a nearly perfect DPOY candidate. He already has six interceptions, meaning he's already a lock to be the league leader in that category. (Seven or eight interceptions are generally all it takes to lead the NFL in interceptions these days.) Diggs plays for a high-profile team that is all but guaranteed to reach the playoffs. He comes equipped with a redemption narrative after a miserable rookie season, as well as a famous older brother for further storyline appeal. And while DPOY is typically an edge rusher's award, Stephon Gilmore won it in 2019, so cornerbacks are definitely in play. All that at +900? Gimme Gimme GIMME.

Myles Garrett is the DPOY front runner at +350. Garrett leads the NFL with seven sacks, 4.5 of them against Justin Fields and the Bears. Garrett's an All-Pro, but he'll need more than his customary 12 to 13.5 sacks to wrest the award from Diggs.

Aaron Donald is sitting at +650 by virtue of being Aaron Donald. It's a sucker's bet: the three-time DPOY winner has set his own bar too high, and voters may end up with Rams fatigue if Matthew Stafford remains a strong presence in the MVP vote. Defensive Player of the Year is typically awarded either to someone having a breakout season or a repeat champion, though the voters implicitly cap the repeat winners at around three trophies. Darnold now has three awards, tying him with J.J. Watt, Ray Lewis, and Lawrence Taylor. He'll have to do something unprecedented to win a fourth time.

The rest of the DPOY field lacks excitement. You can get Matt Judon at +3500 if you think he will lead the Patriots back to the playoffs and the credit won't be eaten up by Bill Belichick and Poised Mac Jones. Chandler Jones has cooled to +3000. Haason Reddick is at +5000 for the true Panthers believers left in the audience. Both of you.

Comeback Player of the Year Update: Did you wager on Dak Prescott to win Comeback Player of the Year at +225 back in July when Walkthrough told you to? If not, it's too late: Prescott is now -175 to win the award. Joe Burrow is second at +800, even though many voters may not think of him as making a "comeback" in his second season. Jameis Winston sits at +1400, which isn't an awful play: he's positioned to become the favorite if something unfortunate happens to Prescott.

Defensive Rookie of the Year Update: Since this is turning into the all-Cowboys edition of Prop Watch: Micah Parsons is the favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year +350. Walkthrough understands the reasoning but hates the payout: DROY is a very buzz-oriented award, and Parsons can win by being the famous rookie playing well for the huge-market team enjoying success. But we would need about +500 to bother squeezing this particular orange.

Patrick Surtain II is an awful bet to win DROY at +450: voters are likely to forget the Broncos exist in about three weeks. Jeremiah Owusu-Karomoah is having an outstanding year for the Browns at +750, but he suffered an injury against the Chargers that bears watching and may have trouble drawing attention away from Parsons, the better-known college player on the higher-profile team with (yes) the easier-to-spell name.

Coach of the Year Update: You know which Cowboys personality is not going to win any awards? Mike McCarthy, who is at +1400. The Cowboys could finish 16-1 and my colleagues would vote for Matt Rhule for doing such a fine job getting the Panthers to 9-7-1 while ladling praise on newly hired Raiders head coach Kellen Moore.

Chargers coach Brandon Staley, on the other hand, makes a worthy favorite at +450. Coach of the Year is all about exceeding expectations and adding a degree of novelty; Staley's Chargers check both boxes. Kliff Kingsbury at +850 is a more appealing play than Staley as injuries turn the NFC West into a two-team race. Kingsbury's offensive scheme is flashier than the Chargers' system, which could sway some voters if both teams finish near the top of the playoff seedings.

Sean McVay and Sean McDermott are splitting the Sean vote at +1100. McDermott may have missed his chance last year; success is now expected of him. McVay won in 2017, and two-time winners are relatively rare. Also, no one actually bets on Coach of the Year, in part because it's like the Best New Artist Grammy, and also because normal people bet on the team if they think the coach is great.

Urban Meyer sits at +10000, tied with Mike Tomlin of all people.

Jon Gruden sat at +2200 as of Monday afternoon. If you bet on him, you deserve to lose money.


259 comments, Last at 17 Oct 2021, 8:52am

#1 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 10:23am

You sure are high and mighty, Mike. glad to see you're the one worthy of casting the first stone. Don't get too light headed sitting on your high horse while it stands on a soapbox on top of your ivory tower.

I'm no Gruden fan, and I don't like the things he said in his emails that recently came to light.

But I'm far less a fan of flaming lefties like you. Nice football site. I appreciate the stats, and I think you ought to be able to have opinion columns. I hope you also think we ought to be able to have opinion comments on those columns.

Attitudes like yours are making things worse in this country.

Points: 0

#2 by Charzander // Oct 13, 2021 - 10:33am

You're more a fan of racist/sexist/homophobic bigots than you are of someone with a different opinion than you? Sounds about right.

Go back to Facebook, father-in-law.

Points: 0

#211 by bigfrogs // Oct 14, 2021 - 8:13pm

Gruden criticized someone for their looks while getting called chuckie on a regular basis.  Very hypocritical and misplaced criticism 

Points: 0

#4 by Pottsville Mar… // Oct 13, 2021 - 10:36am

I'm not sure what the point of this comment is. Are you saying that Gruden is bad, but that we shouldn't make fun of him? Or are you saying that the only people who can make fun of him are those who are perfect in their personal lives?

Points: 0

#7 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 10:46am

I'm saying that Tanier is over-simplifying and politicizing the Gruden story, and tribalism is already a bad enough problem. Yes: racism is bad. No: racism is not exclusively on one side of the aisle.

People are welcome to criticize immoral behavior, but it comes across as very polarizing if it's not done with a bit of humility. Tanier comes across as though he has none, IMO.

Am I racist or sexist or homophobic? I'd say no. I'd love to believe that it's 100% true. I'm not 100% certain, but I'm aware and I try my best. Am I prideful? Sometimes, absolutely. Am I selfish? Certainly, although I can be pretty selfless at other times, too. Do I want all of my sins exposed to the light? Certainly not, but that doesn't mean that they're not there, and it doesn't mean that they're bad.

EDIT: last line should've read "and it doesn't mean that they're not bad." Typo or Freudian slip? Uh oh.

Points: 0

#10 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 10:58am

Yeah, but you said "I'm no Gruden fan," followed by "I'm far less a fan of [...] you."

That's a comparison. So... criticizing immoral behavior without being humble is worse than what Gruden did?

Wait: aren't you criticizing Tanier's immoral behavior without being humble?? Oh, the reasoning, my poor head!

Points: 0

#26 by morganja // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:44am

It seems like it touched a nerve. I find that some of my friends run into the same problem. They hold a very narrow perspective in which all sorts of vile behavior is justified, explained away, or simply ignored. But they really do have a moral core. It is painful for them to step out of their perspective, and see that these actions, unfiltered through their narrow world view, violate the morals that they otherwise, or would like to think, they adhere to.
That is why they immerse themselves in their radio shows, websites and social media that constantly reinforces that worldview. Without that constant immersion, without the constant 'interpretation' added to every single issue, things begin to come into focus that they would rather not see.
This isn't unique to one political party. 
Spend some extensive time in the woods without any media telling you what to think on each and every issue. Just the wind and the trees, the mountains and the creeks. Leave the Works of Man behind and immerse yourself in the Works of God. It is amazing how absurd everything seems when one returns to 'civilization', and how hard it is to squint in just the right way to interpret the world the way one did before. Or why one would want to. 

Points: 0

#99 by BlueStarDude // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:24pm

uh, read humor much? lol. love it.

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#101 by Pottsville Mar… // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:34pm

There were two arguably political lines in the article. One was a throwaway referencing forwarded email conspiracies about Hillary Clinton, which is almost a trope in itself. The other was the following:

They cannot stop bragging about where they were on January 6, what they think of their company's vaccine mandate, or whose lives, in their opinion, matter. 

Those three topics are three of the biggest examples of misinformation on Facebook (and similar sites). Social media is teeming with hot takes that are only tenuously based in reality. If you're seeing this as political, well, that's a bit of a tell. I don't think racism and sexism only occurs on one side of the aisle, and I also don't think Tanier's article indicated that it does. He was simply comparing Gruden emailing shitty things to people who post shitty things on Facebook.

Your first comment was the first explicit tie to tribalism or political parties. Not only that, but your comment wasn't along the lines of "why did Tanier use examples of topics that are more widely shared by conservatives than liberals?" Rather, your comment stated "I'm no Gruden fan ... But I'm far less a fan of flaming lefties like you." If you think that political polarization is a problem - and I would agree with that - then you may want to start by looking in the mirror.

Points: 0

#9 by fb29 // Oct 13, 2021 - 10:54am

You’re a bigger fan of racists and homophobes than of Mike Tanier?

This has to be a Russian troll, right?

Points: 0

#11 by theslothook // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:07am

I'm going to give you a bit of advice, as I learned the hard way. Opinions like yours that run counter to the prevailing zeitgeist, especially on the internet, are going to be met with 0 nuance. It will ruin your FO reputation, should that matter to you.

Points: 0

#13 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:17am

Opinions like yours that run counter to the prevailing zeitgeist, especially on the internet, is going to be met with 0 nuance. It will ruin your FO reputation, should that matter to you.

Sooo... what you're saying is that before speaking, you should take into account the ideas and beliefs of the time when making comments around other people.

When hasn't this been true??

Points: 0

#21 by theslothook // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:36am

This is probably going to be the last response I give to this topic. And possibly the last comment I make at FO. I'll come for the articles and the interesting stats as Peter said above. I'm sure many people who have already made up their minds about my character are going to rejoice at that statement.

Let's start with the fact that I don't regard everybody or even most peopl to the left of my pinky toe as a crazy communist ready to send anyone they deem a radical to the gulags. And I don't consider everybody or most people to the right of my pinky toe to be a hate spewing racist ready to bring back apartheid.

You asked what has changed? Decency and respect for the intelligence of people who disagree with you. But it's become clear to me that this is a product of social media and the internet largely. People can engage in demagoguery because they have the beauty of anonymity.

Quite frankly, no one would have the guts to say these things to my face even if they were much bigger taller and stronger than me, cuz most people aren't so vitriolic in person. Furthermore, if they do meet me, they will probably come away realizing I'm a pretty nice guy with pretty even-handed sentiments and a whole lot of respect for everybody despite color race or sexual orientation.  How do I know this? Because I have friends of different races, sexual orientations, and gender. And I've spent years working with such people. If my behavior is imperfect I've clearly done stuff to correct it because they've continued to work with me and engage with me and be my friends. I don't work in a single person startup. 

I have never met Peter, the op. Full disclosure I agreed with what he said and I did not read into it as him diminishing racism sexism or whatever else you think he's doing. And I suspect if lots of people met him in person, they would realize he also is very thoughtful about these topics at hand. The quickest and laziest thing to do if you disagree with his overall point is to suggest otherwise, tar him with the worst rhetoric that's convenient to your cause, and forever silence him such that dissenting opinions even a tremor away from the screaming majority never get heard. 

The irony is, change occurs when the minority speaks out and slowly wins the day with logic. The unfortunate part is there's also a minority that does the opposite. If all we ever do is silence the minority we're left with a majority with all of its beauty and all of its warts. To me, we only get stuck in the mud if we silence every dissenter.

And Peter makes a deeper point. I'm not a Christian or religious by any means, but it certainly evoked judge not less ye be judged.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. Everyone has a right to say what they want. Part of my humility is to recognize that if I read something directed at me that I find distasteful, I'm not going to be Bart Simpson with infinite powers and turn that person into a jack in the box. If someone with opinions I don't like gets publicly shamed, I'm not going to be with the mob pointing fingers and laughing hysterically at their downfall. But the internet has allowed everyone to do that with the safety of anonymity. It's not just Jon Gruden, it's people like Monica Lewinsky. That's what has changed. If you don't believe it I suggest you listen to what she has to say. And the other part of Peter's humility is recognizing this. For some the mob directs their vitriol at Gruden and everybody sees it as righteous Justice. For others the cause is shaming someone for adultery. Thank God we have progressed to the days where we don't Stone them to death. But thats to highlight the virtues of cultural change and the dangers of blindly following the screaming majority.

For me personally, I will ignore them, not read their replies, and simply leave a forum that I enjoyed belonging to. It's a cost to me to give that up but a price I'm willing to pay for the reasons I've stated over and over. If I can't and wouldn't silence them with threat of loss of livelihood, I have the benefit of turning them off. 



I did not agree with Peter singling out lefties, but again, I didn't jump from that point to complete character assassination 

Points: 0

#25 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:44am

You asked what has changed? Decency and respect for the intelligence of people who disagree with you.

glances at history

When has this ever been true??

Points: 0

#31 by theslothook // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:00pm

Glances at the obvious

There wasn't an internet in the past(although if you want to be pedantic, there was). There also wasn't a figurative microphone in every persons hand and way to shout out others from the comfort of your own home with complete anonymity(I guess unless you are famous). In the past, it took a McCarthy led beauracracy to uncover damaging privately sent messages. Nowadays, just about anyone can have that done to them. I could be even more officious by noting that we didn't have computers or databases that stored your messages. But I have respect for your intelligence that you know these things. 


In the past, someone like Pat if he wanted to disagree wouldn't be typing emotive statements meant imply how much I am missing the obvious or clueless I am compared the genius that he is. Maybe he would, but he certainly would be selective about who he is directing that at. I certainly don't because once again, I have humility. Something clearly lacking around here. 

I have slowly lost my patience on this. Everyone's an internet tough guy. 


Proving things have changed from the past is hard; especially since we don't have good metrics on what is considered rude/disorderly standardized across all time periods. However, there is some evidence that polarization in speech has certainly gone up over time; if that does anything for you.

Points: 0

#39 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:09pm

There also wasn't a figurative microphone in every persons hand and way to shout out others from the comfort of your own home with complete anonymity(I guess unless you are famous).

Do you know why I stressed this?

Because it's important. Because the only thing that's changed is that now, it isn't only powerful people who get to expose the hypocrisy of others. It has always been true that the powerless have had to watch what they say.

In the past, someone like Pat if he wanted to disagree wouldn't be typing emotive statements meant imply how much I am missing the obvious.

Of course I would! There have been opinions sections in the newspaper since forever!

Points: 0

#37 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:08pm

I didn't do a nuanced enough job, certainly. I didn't mean to single out all "lefties", rather just "lefties like you" (referring to Tanier).

I appreciate your comments.

Points: 0

#252 by BigCheese // Oct 15, 2021 - 10:21pm

This implies you would be perfectly fine with someone from the right doing the exact same thing.


The fact that you thought it important to throw in the "lefties" part is an undeniable sign that you are definitely part of the polarization you seem to hate so much.


Also, I hate racist, sexist, homophobic DBs far more than I do anyone based on their political opinions. Which is someonthing someone who actually hates polaization (instead of not liking beliefs they share caleld out) would also feel, IMHO. But maybe that's just me...

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#221 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 4:06am

Yeah, what time period do these people want to go back to? They never say, it's always just some imagined past when they could be bigots without consequence.

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#15 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:22am

I'm not too worried about my reputation as a commenter. I've been reading FO since 2008-ish but I haven't commented more than a couple dozen times.

I'm old enough to remember when today's prevailing zeitgeist belonged to those who were anti-establishment. 

Points: 0

#154 by Cleared for Contact // Oct 13, 2021 - 4:33pm

Gruden is a reactionary dinosaur, how much more "establishment" can you get? 

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#220 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 4:03am

It really is funny how so many people who think of themselves as "anti-establishment" tend to offer the most heterodox, bog standard reactionary opinions.

One fun thing to do is ask these people who they think "the establishment" is. Turns out it's Black people, feminists, Jews and trans people. Who, not surprisingly, were the people they were already against in the first place. What a coincidence!

Points: 0

#234 by bigfrogs // Oct 15, 2021 - 6:08am

This is a very strange comment considering that "these people" are very often extremely pro jew, so much to the point that they get criticized about defending israel to a T in the middle east.  I guess its usually easier to just list off lazy intersectional traits and see what sticks.

Points: 0

#256 by bigfrogs // Oct 16, 2021 - 2:26pm

"of or relating to intersectionality"


Playing dumb also works

Points: 0

#257 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 16, 2021 - 5:30pm

I am aware what intersectionality is, it just has nothing to do with my original comment, so I thought maybe you'd made a typo or something.

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#102 by Pottsville Mar… // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:44pm

I would say this works in both directions. Most forums consisting of thoughtful, reasonably intelligent people - and I'm including FO here, I hope - will engage productively with almost any well-reasoned, well-presented argument. But when the initial comment hops right to political polarization and ad-hominem name-calling, it's much less likely to get a productive response, regardless of what underlying opinion is being expressed.

Points: 0

#52 by andrewmilne // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:32pm

I think there should be a support group for Facebook Father-in-Laws who are just SO HURT that the modern world calls them on their "harmless" crap and that the world has changed so much that there are actual consequences for actions and they don't win every battle simply by being white, male and entrenched in power.

Wait... there is! Facebook!

You can disagree about right and wrong and the severity of various actions, that is all good. But this attitude that the people who are sincerely expressing their moral condemnation of what they think are bad acts are, right now, a bigger problem than people committing those putative bad acts? I can imagine a slippery-slope, "Salem Witch Trials/Nazis" kind of defense, but seriously? Do people actually believe that, or is it just a deflection strategy?




Points: 0

#83 by JudoPrince03 // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:59pm

I'm tiring of this narrative of needing to gently explain away narrow-minded, ignorantly based view points. 

Points: 0

#152 by Cleared for Contact // Oct 13, 2021 - 4:30pm

Who said you can't have an opinion?  Your comment was posted and remains on the site.  Who exactly are you worried about oppressing you?  

Points: 0

#155 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 4:38pm

I wasn't sure what might happen when I posted the comment 5 hours ago. I've been to football sites where the writers can have opinions on topics that the commenters cannot.

Points: 0

#222 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 4:07am

Serious question: What "opinions" are you worried you're not allowed to have? Be specific, don't say "conservative views" or whatever.

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#253 by BigCheese // Oct 15, 2021 - 10:26pm

Conservative: I have been censored for my conservative views

Me: Holy shit! You were censored for wanting lower taxes?

Con: LOL not those views

Me: So...deregulation?

Con: Haha no not those views either

Me: Which views, exactly?

Con: Oh, you know the ones

Points: 0

#160 by MrMan // Oct 13, 2021 - 5:14pm

Hmm....a man in power who clearly has truly hateful thoughts and ideas and feel free to document them in writing doesn't seem to bother you that much but someone with an opinion different than yours is "making thins worse in this country".  


Points: 0

#3 by Tom Tulpa // Oct 13, 2021 - 10:34am

Extra Spicy Tanier is best Tanier.

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#60 by Mike Tanier // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:49pm

Have you tried Siracha Lime Tanier?

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#5 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 13, 2021 - 10:36am

Hey, look, there's FO Fathers-In-Law, too!

"The Texans really aren't terrible, they're just terribly coached" is a story I can get behind - I'd love to see a baseball-style selloff for draft picks and/or young players. Could be fun.

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#105 by Pottsville Mar… // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:49pm

Culley has had some game management issues, as has been pointed out. But the Texans seem to be playing hard and remaining surprisingly competitive, despite the almost complete lack of talent on the roster. Culley might not be a championship-level coach, but he doesn't seem to be the primary reason the Texans are terrible this year.

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#112 by Mike Tanier // Oct 13, 2021 - 3:02pm

Culley is a symptom, not an illness. He is over-promoted because of Easterby and knows it. So he's making the most of the situation, probably by making sure he maintains good relationships on all sides.

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#6 by NYChem // Oct 13, 2021 - 10:39am

it's matthew 9:14, not luke, but appreciate the christian sentiment. And you reinvented Aaron Donald as Darnold in the second reference in your 3-times DPOY paragraph.


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#27 by takeleavebelieve // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:46am

In reply to by NYChem

Shyeah, right, as if we wouldn’t notice! Oh hold on… Aaron Donald, Sam Darnold, Dan Arnold. Wow, that’s weird. 

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#36 by justanothersteve // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:04pm

In reply to by NYChem

The text says Luke 19:14, though the link doesn't go there. Luke 19:14 states: But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. (KJV) I'd say that sounds what everyone will be saying to Easterby given the Texans likely future. 

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#84 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:01pm

If Tanier can't tell the difference between a fisherman and a physician, should we really be surprised when he criticizes the 2017 Browns and Bills for being overly-Moneyball (and then finding success in 2020/2021)?

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#91 by mehllageman56 // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:10pm

That article is great.  It's also really depressing for a Jets fan to read it now, when the other two teams have succeeded in turning it around and the Jets have not.

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#187 by t.d. // Oct 14, 2021 - 8:22am

...and, hey, it only took about 15 years for them both to get it turned around (Jags fan, so I'm looking on in envy, too)

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#103 by StraightCashHomey // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:44pm

In reply to by NYChem

In fairness to Mike, Sam Darnold did a hell of a job shutting down the Jets offense for three years. 

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#8 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 10:48am

Couple things. First, indulging in demeaning stereotypes as a rejoinder to a lackwit who lost his career via demeaning stereotypes is certainly ironic, but perhaps not in a good way.

Next, the only reason the NFL won't put up with crapbags like Gruden is because no single coach can possibly be very important in the NFL. When a person truly is of utmost importance to any bureaucratic organization, just about anything short of criminal activity resulting in incarceration will be tolerated, and often even then. The structure of football kind of works against any individual reaching that level, but I suspect that a Brady or Manning-level of qb could have troves of anti-gay or anti-women slurs of the most vile type revealed in emails, to little career effect. The structure of basketball just about guarantees that the NBA GOAT candidate could do so, as the Kobe Bryant example suggests.

It is unpleasant to reflect on the fact that, in all our moralizing, what we will accept or not accept, as tolerable behavior, usually depends on how much we perceive we need the person engaged in the behavior, but the truth of it is not dependent on its pleasant nature, or lack thereof.



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#17 by drobviousso // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:23am

Well said Will.  As a long time poster that has demonstrated a significant amount of good will and level headedness over the many, many years of being part of this community, I hope that your comment gets noticed and that Tanier has a few second thoughts about the opening of this walkthrough.

Christian rock doesn't make christianity better, it just makes the rock worse.  I see the same thing going on here...

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#19 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:32am

The use of demeaning stereotypes tends to be the result of lazy intellectual effort, so it was kind of jarring to me to read Tanier, whose work I've generally been an admirer of for years, employ one in commenting on Gruden.

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#40 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:10pm

If you followed Tanier on Twitter, you would not have been nearly as surprised. I don't recommend it because I don't recommend Twitter in general. It does seem that Tanier's penchant to replying to Twitter trolls has bled into his other work as he increasingly assumes the people who don't agree with him are all trolls.

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#46 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:23pm

No professional writer should use twitter, other than to provide links to their real writing. It destroys intellectual talent, like eating a large pizza and drinking a 6 pack before bed each night destroys athletic ability.

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#55 by drobviousso // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:40pm

Everyone shits.  Its only a problem when they don't confine it to the toilet that is twitter. 

FO generally has a no policts policy for this reason.  Tanier has a history of skirting the edge of that rule, or bounding right over it.  Like most people who do that successfully, its usually excused (including by me) because it carries a combination of insight, humor, and skill.  The court jester is a time honored trope, but its a really hard act to keep up.  I hope this is just an abertation and that we can expect a return to form soon.

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#57 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:46pm

I genuinely enjoy his football insights (for the most part).

His anti-moneyball article in 2017 was a travesty though, and this response to it nails the reasons I hold Tanier's writing at arm's length:

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#61 by Mike Tanier // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:53pm

In reply to by peterplaysbass

To be clear, I have zero second-thoughts about my opening, mean every single word of what I wrote, and am proud of what I said. 

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#63 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:59pm

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

You're a better football analyst than political analyst though, and I speak for many who are quiet on the issue when I say I enjoy the former more when you engage in the latter less.

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#93 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:16pm

You obviously fervently believe otherwise, but a "favorite stock character" used as a repeating trope in opinion pieces (think of the ridiculous Tom Friedman's cab driver) is extraordinarily tedious, even before addressing the notion of tying that trope to an immutable physical characteristic, and unflattering physical description, along with having the person be of a certain age range, and despised by those around them. It's every bit as lazy as habitually yammering about a hypothetical 20 something excessively pale millenial who is always on social media hectoring others about violations of woke code.

Using a trope frequently is nearly always a crappy idea.


(edit) Going to apologize here, because that was excessively harsh. Writing well on a weekly basis is really, really, hard, which is why so few do it well. Or do it well for a while, then stop. I just really dislike frequently employed tropes. And Tom Friedman.

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#144 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 13, 2021 - 4:12pm

I, too, dislike Tom Friedman. Common ground!

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#77 by BigRichie // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:50pm

"FO generally has a no politics(sic) policy"??

They're not AS political as some sports sites, I suppose, but their politics are clear. I can't imagine there's a Trumper on staff (with one possible exception; could maybe be why you never read him in Audibles)

Mike's politics are basically the same as Al Sharpton's, and FO has no problem with Mike forwarding those views whenever something social comes up on the NFL beat. I can tolerate those occasions - so long as they stay sufficiently occasional - with only the mildest annoyance, while appreciating what else Mike brings to this beat. Along with the other writers.

I evangelically proselytize this perspective to all you other posters!

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#86 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:04pm

Part of the problem is the right's ability to overlook the unseemly parts of members of the left because of their legitimate contributions to society in other areas, whereas much of the left demonizes right and would rather eliminate their contributions.

The logical are bullied by the emotional.

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#107 by Pottsville Mar… // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:53pm

Weren't you just criticizing the author for indulging in tribalism and political stereotypes? I'm so confused.

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#182 by LionInAZ // Oct 14, 2021 - 1:38am

The converse is also true: the right demonizes the left and would rather eliminate their contributions, and the emotional are bullied by the logical (or more accurately, the status quo promoters).

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#198 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 14, 2021 - 10:16am

If you believe that the right wing is the "logical" side these days, you'd better check again.

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#200 by Theo // Oct 14, 2021 - 11:03am

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

It depends on what your standards are and how far your knowledge reaches.

Bunch of bible thumpers will never be on the 'logical' side.

But a bunch of hysterical feminists shouting 'all white men are racists' aren't either.

Like I said before; both sides stink.

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#217 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 3:52am

Yeah, um, the difference is that one of these two groups has a massive power base in this country and the other one does not.

Also, if you find yourself regularly getting called racist by "hysterical" (nice dog whistle there, very subtle) feminists, maybe the problem is you.

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#216 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 3:48am

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

Yeah, better do it before they OD on horse paste.

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#90 by mehllageman56 // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:08pm

Both Will and I have been told to cool it down about politics in different threads (I don't think we were arguing with each other on that one, although we have different views).  There have been threads that were deleted due to excessive political ranting.

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#215 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 3:47am

"Mike's politics are basically the same as Al Sharpton's"

LOLOLOLOL. You're telling on yourself buddy.

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#218 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 3:55am

The reason there is no Trumper on this site is because this site at least tries to be intellectual / analytical and Trumpism is....not those things. 

I bet there are a few centre right staff here though, and nobody strikes me as an extreme leftist (I'm guessing you tend to perceive everyone to the left of Ronald Reagan as "extreme").

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#20 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:34am

It is unpleasant to reflect on the fact that, in all our moralizing, what we will accept or not accept, as tolerable behavior, usually depends on how much we perceive we need the person engaged in the behavior,

Why is this unpleasant? I mean, it's unpleasant when you word it this way. But I can rephrase it as "someone who has power over you can behave differently."

The real unpleasant part is considering if your opinion of what is tolerable - rather than what you can accept - changes. Those are totally different things.

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#24 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:43am

You are correct. It would have been more accurate to write, "What we claim to be behavior that we will tolerate or not tolerate, based on the intrinsically moral/immoral nature of that behavior, usually, in reality, depends, on how much we need the person engaged in that behavior".

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#32 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:01pm

This is still different than what I'm saying, though. Obviously, people in power over you get to act differently. If someone can get you fired, bankrupt you, etc., yeah, obviously you'll have to tolerate what they do much more than from someone who can't do those things. That's just self-preservation. That's not disturbing at all.

The disturbing part is if the fact that a person is in power changes someone's opinion of the behavior to where it isn't wrong.

As in: I have a deep-seated need for person X. Person X does something that if anyone else did it, it'd be terrible. I now believe that what person X did is not terrible.

That's disturbing as hell. Because now that person doesn't just have power over your life, he has power over your soul.

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#41 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:12pm

People will literally hallucinate things that do not happen, in order to avoid cognitive dissonance, so I think it likely the degree to which they need another human being will, not terribly infrequently, literally change what they think is terrible behavior. They'll just hallucinate a rationale as to why this is an exceptional circumstance.


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#67 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:25pm

so I think it likely the degree to which they need another human being will, not terribly infrequently, literally change what they think is terrible behavior.

I... really hope you encounter better people, Will.

Not saying there aren't people like that. Absolutely, there are. I just don't associate with them if I don't have to.

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#74 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:45pm

I don't think you need to associate with people closely to observe what I'm describing, especially in an technological age in which it becomes possible for literally everyone to to put their thinking on public display.

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#22 by Meaningful gam… // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:39am

There are no Gruden fans (besides, perhaps, Mark Davis.) And Gruden doesn't own a team. And he said mean things about Goodell. All of which is why he was served up as a sacrificial lamb. While the masses (and Tanier) get distracted by demolishing the incredibly-low-hanging fruit that is Gruden (or, inexplicably, arguing about the degree to which he should get demolished) the fact that only 6 emails were leaked out of 650,000 is incredible. If anything, the weird specificity of what was leaked should shine a brighter light on the amount of information that isn't being released. Add to that the fact that the results of the investigation are going to be given via oral report specifically because that way there is no written report to leak and it's not a large leap to suppose that the Washington Football Team And International Forced Prostitution Ring did terrible things that we don't even know about yet. Meanwhile, we're at that scene in The Big Short where Casey (the reporter) tells the Brownstone guys that he's not running their story because he has a mortgage and a wife in grad school. The Football Media Complex will make mince meat of Gruden because that's what they've been implicitly asked to do. It keeps their mortgages paid and it keeps eyeballs off of Goodell and Snyder. This is a bit like a sharply hit grounder right to the shortstop and he immediately fires to first with no thought of trying to turn two. Yes, Gruden deserves to be ridiculed for his written thoughts, but don't do it to the exclusion of keeping an eye on more powerful people who have acted in a manner that is much worse.

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#28 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:48am

Yep. While the league gives the Super Bowl Halftime show this year to a 100% documented violent beater of women, and a likely rapist.

Ya' literally can't make this shit up.

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#175 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 13, 2021 - 8:45pm

The "why now?" is easy - the WFT investigation that the NFL doesn't ever want the public to see was just completed.

The "why these emails" is probably because they were going to get leaked, anyway, as a part of the discovery in the Snyder/Allen lawsuit.

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#219 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 3:57am

I do wish we could see a lot more emails and wonder why Gruden has become the fall guy (still, as a Raiders fan, good riddance). In particular, I hope someone does a CTRL+F for the word "Griffin". I bet that would make Gruden look like pretty tame.

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#223 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 4:11am

Are you seriously comparing racist, homophobic and sexist stereotypes to the stereotyping of...white guys on Facebook (which is 100% accurate and doesn't hurt them in any way)? Come on man, you are better than this.

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#235 by Will Allen // Oct 15, 2021 - 6:59am

I am seriously saying stereotyping large groups of people is a stupid way of describing the world. I prefer less stupidity as opposed to more. Come on man, do your preferences differ?

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#12 by MRLewin // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:10am

But would he still have a job if the Raiders were 5 - 0?

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#14 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:20am

In reply to by MRLewin

If the Raiders had been 31-22 on his 2nd tour, 5-0 right now, instead of 22-31, there's a chance he'd still be there, depending on how well Mark Davis is situated to stand up to Goodell and other owners. My sense of it is that Davis is not well situated in that regard.

Now, if Jerry Jones had a coach with a 41-12 record, and a trophy to hoist, who had such emails revealed? Yeah, I'm pretty confident he survives, even with the dumbass efforts of managing the crisis that Gruden displayed.

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#18 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:29am

Kareem Hunt has 5.4 yards per carry and 5 TDs through 5 weeks

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#50 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:30pm

...and Leonard Little had a long, productive career. The hired help is immune as long as they're productive.

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#23 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:42am

depending on how well Mark Davis is situated to stand up to Goodell and other owners. My sense of it is that Davis is not well situated in that regard.

Oh, heck no. Davis (and his father) have ticked off the league way too many times. I mean, his dad sued the NFL and won. I'd even say that if Gruden had been the Cowboys coach, he'd still be there. Regardless of record. Because we never would've heard about this.

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#49 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:28pm

Yeah, I think Jones get this suppressed. There are owners and there are OWNERS, as has been made clear in the past.

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#65 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:21pm

The funny thing is that I don't mean this to be disparaging to Davis. Actually, entirely the contrary - he's one of the owners I respect the most. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if even if Davis had the pull that Jones had, that Gruden still would've been fired.

Part of the thing that drives me crazy about all the people cringy-complaining about Gruden being fired for private emails is that I do not think that Mark Davis fired Gruden due to public pressure. I think Mark Davis fired Gruden because I don't think Davis can work with a guy like him.

Davis and the Raiders have consistently been on the right side of stuff like this. Which... is likely part of the reason that he isn't an "OWNER."

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#92 by mehllageman56 // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:15pm

With what we know now with the release of these emails, the original divorce between Gruden and Al Davis looks a little different.  I wonder how much Al knew about Gruden's real attitudes, and if he just didn't want him around even if they were winning.

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#224 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 4:14am

Yeah, this is the franchise of Tom Flores, and Art Shell and Amy Trask and Carl Nassib. 

I'm not naive enough to think Gruden would still have been fired if the team was 5-0 and coming off two great seasons instead of ordinary ones, but damn, Gruden is really screwing up the brand here.

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#16 by morganja // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:22am

Yikes. It sucks to publish an article only to have your Father-in-Law be the first to comment.

There is nothing wrong with watching The Outlaw Josey Wales!

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#88 by Mike Tanier // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:07pm

I used Outlaw Josey Wales as an example because my late father showed it to some of his grandkids when they were about 6 and my stepsister freaked. She had a point, I think, but I still found it rather funny. 

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#95 by mehllageman56 // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:17pm

It's a good example, considering the novel it was based on was written by a former KKK member who pretended to be a Native American.

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#109 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:55pm

as opposed to senators who pretended to be Native American? 

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#111 by morganja // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:58pm

It is such a strange phenomena. It is written by that awful human being, but in fact promotes ideals that run completely counter to the KKK and that mindset. It does display the southern idea of the civil war, but that is just setting, not really important to the main idea, which is that hatred and violence only begets more hatred and violence. Those that live by the sword shall die by the sword. It demonstrates that there is a better way. 
How it got to be written by that guy is mind boggling. 

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#127 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 3:24pm

Some feel the same way about Orson Scott Card's work.

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#146 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 13, 2021 - 4:15pm

I have to commend you on your coverage of comment talking points. It's almost like this is performance art or something.

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#195 by Pat // Oct 14, 2021 - 9:54am

False equivalence ("X is bad," "look at Y, it's not bad, what's the difference?") is a really, really good (bad? good?) debate tactic, because it requires the other person to immediately divert and explain another topic that they might not be familiar with. It's probably the hardest logical fallacy to deal with because it isn't on its face a logical fallacy like a tu quoque or converse error - it requires Y to actually be a bad example, which requires knowledge of it.

Which is why they get used all the time in talking points, because when you've got a false debate going on (e.g. two people pretending to discuss something, when both of them actually have the same opinion) they're even more impactful, because the false equivalence just gets passed off as a true equivalence. Usually shows up as a one-off reference.

Just think about football pregame talk shows. "Team X is struggling, they've got to establish their run game!" "Absolutely, it's just like team Y last year, no run game, no victory!"


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#129 by mehllageman56 // Oct 13, 2021 - 3:26pm

I haven't read the book, so I really cannot comment on it.  I do like the movie, and agree with your assessment of it.  Often, artists are better people in the creation of their work than in real life.  Also, people can change; they can grow, or decay.  It is astonishing that the director of Repulsion decided decades later that it was ok to have sex with an underage girl.

The Searchers would have been a better example, because John Wayne is more likely to be loved by that Father-in-Law, and his character is an absolute monster in that film, which many people refuse to see.

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#29 by Jetspete // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:52am

I'm not sure what Tanier's point is, other than that he has some deep-seeded hatred of his father in law that he should probably get checked out.  

It goes without saying what Gruden said in private is offensive and unacceptable.  But as football fans are we really going to pretend Gruden's thoughts aren't shared by at least half the members of our teams? 8 of the last 10 super bowl coaches are white guys past AARP qualification, y'all really think their emails are squeaky clean? Face it, we root for laundry and the people that occupy it.  And what the NFL did to Gruden is a significantly bigger story than anything this "father in law" wrote.  Goodell is a tyrant who must resign, as his arbitrary decision to wield power can destroy any of our teams.  This is the same man who destroyed a cabinet of tapes to protect the patriots, but saw fit to destroy the Raiders because Gruden called him a bad word.  

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#30 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 11:57am

Good grief, for the final time, Roger Goodell is merely the errand boy, sent by billionaire grocey clerks, to collect a bill.

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#34 by Jetspete // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:02pm

does this comment have a point? yeah we get it, owners are in a protected class. We learned that three years ago when one was caught getting sex at a strip mall and nothing happened to him.  

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#42 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:12pm

The point is that getting rid of Goodell will change exactly nothing.

You really want to seriously change things in the NFL, start by getting rid of the bylaw preventing other teams from becoming owned like the Packers.

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#45 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:17pm

Yes, the point is that the person you are descrbing as a tyrant is merely a puppet/functionary. The tyrants, if they are that, are the billionaires who hold his strings.

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#54 by Jetspete // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:35pm

I disagree wholeheartedly that a stronger commissioner couldn't pushback on the owners.  We all grew up watching David Stern build the NBA, and even guys like Rozelle and Tagliabue were popular with fans.  Goodell is an anti-commissioner, working solely for the benefit of the owners.  He's a smart legal mind who saved the owners billions on the concussion settlement, but pretty much every other major decision he's made has been a disaster.  he's given a pass because the sports media needs NFL content and won't burn a bridge.  Heck even Peter King yesterday said he wasn't willing to say Goodell leaked the emails, and he's as protected as it gets.  

And I believe that, in politics, sports or any instance, the use of selective leaks to smear an enemy is tyrannical.  It is probably even worse in the NFL case, because it forces any other coach or executive who might be on the emails to fall in line or risk being unpersonned by Goodell.  

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#58 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:48pm

If you think anybody the owners hired would have that job more than 5 minutes, after more than 24 of them perceived their errand boy was pushing back in a way they disliked, you've misapprehended the nature of the people who own NFL teams. 

I'll forgo a debate on whether making data public, no matter how nasty it may be, can be "tyrannical".



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#69 by mehllageman56 // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:34pm

Right now, Dan Snyder can't push back on Goodell, because who knows what's in those emails.

Who knows what's lurking in the Washington emails?  Roger Goodell knows.

For all we know he has blackmail material on 24 of the owners now.

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#78 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:50pm

They can get rid of him this afternoon, and sue him into poverty for trying to blackmail them; perhaps even have him incarcerated. No, Roger Goodell, is not blackmailing 24 NFL owners.

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#96 by mehllageman56 // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:18pm

Yeah, you're right.  Still, that only the Gruden emails have come out is concerning.

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#100 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:28pm

I think it's definitely "concerning" if you actually thought that the NFL (as a whole) was actually really trying to weed out people with opinions like Gruden's. But... I don't think that's actually the case.

That being said, I don't actually think the NFL's a total monolithic entity (and the stories of heated discussions at owner's meetings back me up on that) and the Davis family and the Raiders have traditionally been really good about stuff like this, so at least to me, it's good to see.

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#139 by Will Allen // Oct 13, 2021 - 3:44pm

Tell me you wouldn't watch a movie where Col. Kurtz is reincarnated,.and hired to coach the Raiders, with Capt. Willard as his put upon Quality Control Assistant!

I need raiderjoe's input!

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#185 by Raiderjoe // Oct 14, 2021 - 6:55am

If Colonel Kurtz was reincarnated to be head coach of Raiders wousl be good and win Super Bowl in second year. Weird press conferncds for sure. Mihgt even coach team while face painted in camouflage.  Then loses midn afetr loss to Broncos in 3rd sesaon. and descends into madness. M. Davis decides cannot fire Kurtz because tema won Super Bowl in second season (probably to Bears btu possibly to 49ers) and fans woudl be mad btu fans not sure of how nuts Kurtz has becoem.  

Davis then tells Quality Control coach Willard that he Has to get green noteboook from Kurtz. Green notebook contains Kurtz's awesome plays. Willard goes into Kurtz's office when sleeping (Kurtz sleeping, not Willard sleeping) and staels green notebook

 Kurtz now becomes crappy duue to notv having notebook anymore. Willard, nwo with notebook, gets elevated to offensive coordinator. Raiders offense becomes more majestic than normal due to Willard having green notebook and also tremendous football minf. Tema still loses because of Kurtz's insnaity which leads to dumb 4ht down decisions and weird ramblings agetr press conferences abrou razor edges and slugs and thr horror. Guys like Peter Kong have no idea what si going on. 


Willard then convinces Kurtz to resifn.  Helps him write resignation letter. Kurtz tells Willard, "put in there how awesome i was at oen time"


so then Willard becoems head coach and Raiders win four of next five Super Bowls


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#210 by Will Allen // Oct 14, 2021 - 6:43pm

The man is a genius...

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#33 by TimK // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:01pm

I suspect the Raiders have a not inconsiderable pile of dollars more with Gruden resigning than if they'd fired him. They might well have been able to fire with cause (some kind of 'bringing team into disrepute' sort of thing, perhaps?) but Gruden resigning makes sure the breaking of the contract is on his side, and should let the Raiders off anymore payments to Gruden or assorted lawyers (which would likely have been required with a firing).

Given the somewhat underwhelming results of Gruden's coaching and roster wrangling, this is quite possibly a good result for the Raiders. Getting a head start on the coaching search for next season could be a good thing too. Certainly plenty of time to do all the due diligence they can want to do.

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#43 by BigRichie // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:14pm

That when a white father-in-law of no particular wealth-nor-status-nor-anything-at-all-of-societal-notability carps about multimultimillionaire Cam Newton, that counts as 'punching down'.

(a la the white male privileged Bud Bundy and the poor doubly oppressed Sasha Obama)

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#44 by BigRichie // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:17pm

Neither Jerry Jones nor any other owner nor anyone would've been able to shield Gruden from THIS! He'd be toast if he'd won 6 of his last 5 ballgames by a combined score of 200 to 0.

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#47 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:24pm

Mike Tanier called Vince Wilfork "6 midgets in a trench coat" 

Cancel, plz.

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#56 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:44pm

Tanier also called a man with a multi-racial family a "white supremacist" and shutdown all criticisms with snide insults:

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#59 by drobviousso // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:48pm

This is why you shouldn't start shitting in the living room.  It just invites more of the same.

Look, I know the OP started it, but I'm asking you, personally, to not continue it.

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#62 by peterplaysbass // Oct 13, 2021 - 12:57pm

Are you referring to the first comment on this article?

That's me.

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#98 by drobviousso // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:23pm

No, Tannier's article is intended to be the OP as I've used it, but I see that this is an ambiguous use of OP.

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#225 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 4:19am

Oh lord, an "I can't be racist, I have a black friend (sexual partner)" in the wild.

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#64 by IlluminatusUIUC // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:10pm

As many have noted, I'm sure that there are lot of people in the NFL who share Gruden's abhorrent views. The difference between those guys drawing a check and Gruden sitting at home was A) making a paper trail and B) taking swings at guys like Glazer and Goodell who have the power to disappear him.

And frankly, maybe in 2011 you could think an email could stay private forever, but after watching Donald Sterling get run out of the NBA and Clinton's emails splashed across the internet (multiple times!) then you would have to be a complete moron to put that stuff in writing. Which Gruden is.

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#70 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:35pm

The difference between those guys drawing a job and Gruden sitting at home was A) making a paper trail and B) taking swings at guys like Glazer and Goodell who have the power to disappear him.

It's not entirely that. I mean... OK, being serious, it's mostly that. But it doesn't have to be. Gruden had a chance to own up to those comments when they first came out. He didn't. Because he doesn't actually realize they were wrong. It's one thing to have a crappy opinion. Hell, I thought Washington's defense wasn't going to suck this year, so I'm certainly not immune from crap opinions. But it's entirely another thing to practically double down on it.

Think about this: how do you think the conversation between Davis and Gruden went on Friday? If it goes something like "Jon, WTF were you thinking with those emails?" and "man, I was just venting to Bruce. The lockout really sucked, and I was seriously pissed. It was way out of character for me, and just dumb." Do you really think he went to Davis and said, 'hey man, it's my opinion, I'm stickin' with it, there's a bunch of other crap in the NFL I hate too.' Of course not. I guarantee he tried to convince Davis those emails were out of character for him.

Now Monday rolls around, and the other emails come out. So why does Davis fire Gruden now? Why does it have to be about the opinions? Why can't it be because he feels lied to?

I've said elsewhere that organizations/people don't actually get in trouble from abhorrent views. They get in trouble when they never realize their views are abhorrent. Which is a much different thing.

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#80 by IlluminatusUIUC // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:54pm

I think we are talking about different things. I agree that Gruden doesn't feel his own views are abhorrent, they are almost certainly not regarded as such in his circle. As others have pointed out - Gruden never would have sent these insults if he didn't think the recipients would agree and/or laugh.

My point is that the other people who hold those views don't write them down and therefore keep flying under the radar. And that after we've spent the decade watching hack after leak after hack, only idiot -ists get caught. Smarter -ists are still employed in the NFL today.

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#85 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 2:04pm

It's not entirely different, though! There's a fundamental difference between "idiot -ists" and "smarter -ists." The smarter -ists know what they're doing is wrong, and need to avoid getting caught. Which in some sense makes it worse - but it also makes it better because they are actually stopping to consider other people's feelings.

It's not a small improvement, either, in my opinion. The less those opinions are able to propagate around, the fewer people they can infect. And the less they feel freely able to have those opinions, the less they actually have them.

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#226 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 4:23am

Also, saying "I think Washington will have a good defense" is a bit less harmless than "I hate Black people"

It's like how people always try to use weasel words like saying "you can't handle different opinions". Well, which kind of "different opinions"? Are we talking about "chocolate is superior to vanilla" or are we talking about "transgender people should be sterilised" here?

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#68 by AFCNFCBowl // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:28pm

The email leak was done for one obvious reason, and that was so the Raiders could escape Gruden's horrific $100 million contract, his terrible drafting and his late-season collapses. Gruden is essentially having his career destroyed over some remarks from 10 years ago that were clearly exaggerated, without racist, sexist or homphobic intent.

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#73 by AFCNFCBowl // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:41pm

You are missing the point. Most coaches probably have used racial or homphobic slurs in emails at least once.

The fact the NFL is refusing to release the rest of the WFT investigation tells me this was all about getting Gruden out of Vegas.

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#76 by Pat // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:49pm

Sure, perfectly fine opinion to have. But don't paint this as Gruden getting his career destroyed from something a decade ago. That's not what happened.

I don't actually agree with the argument that the Raiders are doing this - I don't think Davis is that savvy. Internally I think it's far more likely it's someone who really doesn't like Gruden.

Which, if you think about it... actually might not be separate from the content of the emails.

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#72 by theslothook // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:39pm it comes. Also I do disagree with this comment, but cast 0 aspersions on the poster, his ethics, or how he is as a person.

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#227 by Duff Soviet Union // Oct 15, 2021 - 4:25am

"without racist, sexist or homphobic intent."

Um.....really? Is this the "we don't know what's in his heart" defense?

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#75 by andrewmilne // Oct 13, 2021 - 1:47pm

Has anyone here explicitly defended what Gruden said?


Has anyone here explicitly argued he should not have resigned/been forced to resign?


(I might argue that some might implicitly be saying that, but let's not argue...)

So it seems like there is agreement on the actual events out there in the world.

Has anyone argued that Mike Tanier, a writer, has, by expressing in writing his opinions on these events, made the world a worse place, and that his act of doing so is symptomatic of a greater problem with the world, a problem that is worse than what Gruden, a man in a position of power and public influence, did, and what other people like him do every single day and often get away with?


FFS. Just... FFS

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