2012 Positively Gruden, Week 2: Broncos-Falcons
Welcome to another rendition of “Positively Gruden,” where I break down the top compliments, commendations, and congratulations from America’s favorite fawning former coach. With Peyton Manning’s triumphant return to the Monday Night stage, my anticipation was palpable. With a media darling like Manning, I was sure the Grudenisms would be flying fast and furious, just as they did two years ago when I compiled perhaps my finest work, an all-Manning edition of “Positively Gruden.” Could I create another Top 10 list based solely on Manning Grudenisms? Floyd Mayweather was in my corner, having tweeted his $500k bet on me in Vegas.
But alas, it was not to be. Sure, Peyton mounted a furious comeback, but if you’ve watched MNF before, you know you have to get the mojo working early to draw in the Grudenisms, before the coach gets fatigued by Mike Tirico’s incessant overanalyzing of refereeing and, you know, analyzing the actual game. (Btw, I happen to love the two-man booth so far because we’re getting real Xs and Os analysis from Gruden on top of the silly stuff we all know and love). Unfortunately Manning came out of the box like a drunk Jay Cutler (ok, a sober Jay Cutler), flinging one ill-advised throw after another and digging the Broncos a hole that not even “The Sheriff” could pull them out of.
Oh, well. At least there was Matt Ryan’s leadership, Roddy White’s precision, and Tony Gonzalez’s dunking ability to keep us entertained. So without further ado, here is this week’s top 11 list. As always the best Grudenisms are graded on a sliding scale of (a) hyperbole; (b) vivid imagery; and (c) outright absurdity.
11. “That kid Tony Gonzalez, he killed me when I was a Raider and he was a Chief. And he followed me to the NFC South, and he killed me when I was a Buccaneer.”
10. “I think it’s a miracle that Peyton Manning’s even playing football.”
9. After a Ryan-White completion, “How about that chalk work for Roddy White. I’ll tell you what, that’s beautiful work on both ends. When you can make a first down and a nice play out of nothing, that’s something.”
8. After a Tony Gonzalez TD, “Watch this dunk. I want to go back and show you his dunks over the years. I love it!” (Wrong sport, dude)
7. After a broken up potential Manning-Thomas TD completion, “That’s big time safety play by number 25, Will Moore. Legal, VICIOUS, and outstanding by the young safety out of Missouri.”
6. “I love Steven Nicholas. He missed that tackle, but watch what happens, Mike. He doesn’t stay on the ground and complain, he gets up like the ground is a HOT STOVE and he chases Willis McGahee down….What an effort play.”
5. “That’s just making a STATEMENT right there….One of the great impact linebackers in football that I’ve studied all year, Sean Weatherspoon.”
4. “Last year’s Rookie of the Year on defense, Von Miller, boy he has a lot of stuff that I LIKE.”
3. After a Ryan-White slant route, “That’s just ball handling, this play action pass, this POWER pass. That’s nasty….If you like power passes get a cut up of that reel. A clinic!” (Power pass? I seriously think Gruden just likes making up phrases to mess with us.)
2. After Manning’s second straight TD (one too few), “Don’t quit on the Sheriff, ok. Don’t quit on any of these Manning brothers.” (Except Cooper)
1. On Michael Turner, “his lower body, the power he has with his legs, it’s significant. I call him ROAD RAGE. Every time he runs the ball, he is angry and you better GET OUT OF HIS WAY. He’s gonna FIGHT YA’ for every foot. That’s an impressive five yard run.”