During last night’s embarrassingly bad Monday Night Football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers, our favorite trio of "bottle is half full" commentators needed something to fill the airwaves.
The game was very bad and not even remotely entertaining. I can’t remember the last time I had almost no interest in a football game, even though I was betting on it.
So Jon Gruden, he of the “this is the greatest [insert something] you’ll ever see" Grudens, found something appalling on the sidelines.
Derek Anderson was laughing. Not knee-slapping, fall-over laughing, but chuckling. Gruden couldn’t believe it. To paraphrase, he alerted Jaws (Ron Jaworski) of said infraction and felt that if you were getting your butt kicked, it should bother you. It should matter to you.
My biggest problem with this is that we don’t know the context. For all we know, Deuce Lutui made a joke about how bad they were playing and Derek Anderson chuckled. Like the way you chuckle when your politically incorrect family member mockingly jokes about our President, and everyone just kindly laughs it off instead of getting into a heated political debate when all you want to do is eat and get the hell out of there.
Derek Anderson probably wanted to get the hell out of there.
And is laughing during a bad game really that bad? I imagine some infantrymen while storming the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 might have commented on how the weather was kind of chilly for a June morning or how they should’ve joined the Air Corps, or the Navy. What I’m getting at here is: Joking during something horrendous doesn’t mean you don’t take it seriously, it means you need to think about something other than how horrible said event is.
Which leads me back to Jon Gruden.
On November 8, the Pittsburgh Steelers were hosted by the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. Pittsburgh is led by resident dirtbag and serial alleged groper Ben Roethlisberger. Jon Gruden commented on how Ben Roethlisberger has overcome so much adversity and how he’s managed to come out of it and still play so well.
Adversity is taking the baseball field as the first black man to do so and perform while racial epithets are slung at you from the stands. Adversity is becoming a major league pitcher with only one hand. Adversity is being down 3-0 in a best of seven series and coming back to win it. It is not asking for your six game suspension to be reduced to four because no one has accused you of raping them recently.
Perhaps if Jon Gruden had a daughter, or a niece or a soul—he might see things differently. Perhaps he misspoke and realized how stupid he sounded while speaking of Ben overcoming said obstacles—obstacles Ben willingly threw in front of himself and now claims redemption by not throwing more obstacles in his way.
Let’s just be glad that Jon didn’t spot Ben laughing on the sidelines during a bad game, or when an accusation was leveled, because that’s just unacceptable.