The Final Positively Gruden, Titans at Chiefs Wild-Card: Will You Remember Me?
Welcome to the final rendition of “Positively Gruden,” a space that has been dedicated to chronicling the top cheers, compliments, and commendations from America’s fawning former (for now) coach. As the famous Philadelphia hip hop quartet, Boys II Men, once crooned, it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. And earlier this week, we said our formal goodbyes to the coach by reflecting on the uniqueness of his announcing style and tenure in the booth. Gruden’s imminent departure to the Raiders was certainly the elephant in the room during the broadcast, even with Titans thrilling comeback to defeat the Chiefs 22-21. Though the professionals at ESPN still soldiered on with a solid broadcast.
Like them, we at TFG still have a job to do, and dutifully sketched out one final list of Grudenisms. So without further ado, for the last time, here they are.
As always, top Grudenisms are graded on a sliding scale of hyperbole, vivid imagery, and outright absurdity.
18. As the game starts, “Remember the Titans, Sean.”
17. “You blow a pickup against Derrick Johnson and you’re gonna pay for it.”
16. On Justin Houston, “he’s an amazing player. Everybody talks about sacks, and that’s all they talk about, but nobody talks about the great plays made when they’re dropping in coverage. That’s as good as it gets.”
15. On Travis Kelce, “he should be on the Pro Bowl….Kelce has shredded man coverage, and now he THUMPS zone coverage. What a player he is.”
14. “Welcome to Dick LeBeau’s strange, confusing world.”
13. More LeBeau love, “His greatest strength is the ability to lead men.”
12. “[DeMarco] Murray wasn’t a good third down back, he was a great third down back.”
11. On Marcus Peters, “That’s one corner I don’t mess around with, I want to throw the ball on the left side. The problem is, Darrelle Revis is in town.”
10. “Smash mouth, they call it exotic smash mouth, but there’s nothing exotic about this smash mouth.”
9. On the Titans two-point conversion, “These are crazy, creative Star Wars formations.”
8. With a succession of Smith-related Grudenisms (while the Chiefs were winning), “I would not let this man out of town. What he’s done on and off the field all season long and winning back-to-back AFC West titles. He runs the show here.”
7. “He’s the man of the year candidate for the Chiefs, he’s trained his eventual replacement, Patrick Mahomes, he’s never complained, then he throws for 4000 yards, he has a 105 QB rating, he runs for 300, he wins back to back division titles. I just can’t compliment him enough for handling this situation. He couldn’t have done it better.”
6. “I don’t know how many times I’ve seen Alex Smith lure the best of them offside with his hard count. Just listen to this voice inflection.”
5. “All he wants to do is win.”
4. “Alex Smith is the straw that stirs the drink.” (And next year, literally for Patrick Mahomes.)
3. Dropping some coaching knowledge, “That’s why I call them a tight END. Because they’re tight at the end of the line.” (You can see why the Raiders paid him $100 mil.)
2. On Marcus Mariota, “What a performance by the third year man out of Oregon. You know, Sean, when I met Mariota, I swear nothing bothers him. I tried to bother him, I’m good at that. I could not bother him.”
1. After the game, “Remember the Titans, I’ve been telling you that for the last month.”
And just like that, he’s gone.