Positively Gruden: Falcons at 49ers

Welcome to another rendition of “Positively Gruden,” where I chronicle the top cheers, compliments, and commendations from America’s favorite fawning former coach.  During last night’s 49ers-Falcons game, we most likely said farewell to an American institution, one that, for all its flaws, has born witness to so much football joy over the years.  Of course, things may shake out differently depending on what happens next week, but for all intents and purposes, it’s time to turn the page and move on to new beginnings.

But enough about Jon Gruden’s coaching search. There was also a thrilling football game last night, most likely the last in famed Candlestick Park.  The hero, of course, was NaVorro Bowman, but there were also a plethora of great nuggets from Gruden, who was, at times, giddy during his final broadcast of the season.  Perhaps he has something lined up in Texas . . . .

At any rate, we now have, at the very least, eight whole months until another Jon Gruden broadcast.  So I tried my best to savor this broadcast, and capture as many Grudenisms as possible.  If you’re reading this, coach, just know that I will always appreciate you more than those overpaid players, bandwagon fans, and meddling owners.  What you bring to Monday Night Football is a constant, which does not succumb to the whims of tipped passes or an arbitrary pass interference call. (In other words, please don’t leave me.)

As always, top Grudenisms are rated on a sliding scale of hyperbole, vivid imagery, and outright absurdity.

On Colin Kaepernick, “He’ll run you out of the stadium. . . He doesn’t just scramble for first downs, he can scramble for touchdowns.”  But later, “You’re going to have to make your living throwing the football. You can’t scramble all the time.”

On Eddie DeBartolo, “He was into winning, not making money, one of the most generous people you’ll ever meet.”

On Mike Nolan, “He’s not afraid to come up with some of the most exotic schemes you’ll ever see.”

After a Falcons sack, “Well, Colin Kaepernick, welcome to the world of Mike Nolan.”

On the 49ers running game, “That’s what this offense does, they bring in big bodies and then STOMP you with Frank Gore.”

Roddy White can run a lot of routes from different locations on the field.  He gets shot out of there like a CANNON.”

On Anquan Boldin,”Desmond Trufant better be careful pulling on Superman’s cape.”

On NaVorro Bowman, “It’s hard to believe somebody could say that you have a better linebacker than Patrick Willis on your football team, but that’s the argument here in San Francisco.” (Note: this comment was made in the third quarter.)

After a Patrick Willis hit, “Steven Jackson wants to go back to St. Louis.”

After a Ryan-White TD long bomb, “Eric Reid…feels the WRATH of Roddy White.”

After a Falcons TD, “What a drive by Matt Ryan. Heart of a champion.”

On Bill Walsh’s book, “Get a copy of that book for your coaching friends for Christmas.”

After a 49ers TD, “BYOB. I call that Be your own blocker.”

You got great eyes, Mike. I forgot how high we are at Candlestick. We are literally on the 200th story.” (I feel like Gruden isn’t properly using the word “literally”)

That’s one of the most well-designed onside kicks I’ve ever seen…. I’m putting that on my special teams highlight reel when I’m doing training clinics in the offseason.” (Hint hint, GMs)

Gruden to Tirico, “You’re really good on that telestrator. You could be the weatherman if you wanted to.”

On Tony Gonzalez, “He’s the original Joker. He can run any route in any formation.”

After a Candlestick montage, “You act like you’re here for all these events, Mike. How do you know this much history about a STADIUM?

On Colin Kaepernick, “He’s really fast, Mike.”

On instant replay strategy, “I wouldn’t be challenging spots if Tony Gonzalez was involved.”

After the Bowman pick-6, “That’s one of the great plays by a Middle Linebacker …. (wait for it) …. EVER.”

(There it is.)