Positively Gruden: Falcons at Lions, The Final Countdown

Welcome to another rendition of “Positively Gruden,” where I break down the top praise, plaudits, and pontifications from America’s favorite fawning former coach.  For the final, um, “Monday Night Football” broadcast of the year, Gruden and Tirico moved to a special Saturday night, so as not to scare millions kids eagerly awaiting Santa on Christmas Eve with the horrific sight of Matt Stafford’s frattastic fat face. (sorry, bitter Bears fan here).  I’m sure when the season began ESPN had circled this game on the schedule, with two high-powered attacks squaring off in a sure-to-be playoffs preview.  Unfortunately for the network, though, the 2012 Lions proved that 2011 was merely an anomaly, not the beginnings of a dynasty, and ESPN, without flex capabilities, was left with another stinker on their hands.

But seeing as this was the final 2012 “Positively Gruden” (and maybe final ever), The Wise Guy was not going to let you down and simply phone on it.  So I downed some premature egg nog, strapped on a suit and beard, and went to work.  And it turns out, there was some decent material to be chronicled: with Megatron’s record-breaking, Atlanta’s receiving dominance, and Matt Stafford’s flickability all receiving high praise.  And let’s not forget Twitter.  Every time Jon Gruden talks Twitter, he turns into Phil Hartman’s old Unfrozen Cave Man Lawyer bit.  (“I know nothing of your twits and tweetering, I’m just a caveman.  But I do know this: Falcons’ Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter draws up more schemes than there are pictures of wooly mammoths in a paleolithic burial site.”)

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


On Sean Weatherspoon, “Rack and FINISH. I love to see linebackers that RUN THROUGH ball carriers.”

“That’s a beautiful sight watching Calvin Johnson go to work….poetry in motion.”

“It doesn’t matter what round ya’ come in, Mike, where you go to school. You can be from Wayne State, Jim Schwartz is going to play their best players, and I think Joique Bell is their best back.”

“Some cornerbacks get paid to cover, he gets paid to TACKLE.  That is good SOLID Atlanta Falcons defense by Dante Robinson right there.”

“Matt Ryan sees everything.  They come with a field blitz. He says, ‘BRING IT ON, Detroit, I got Roddy White one-on-one.’”

“What a combination, a 24 year-old Matthew Stafford and SUPERSTAR Megatron.”

“How about John Abraham? 34 years old in his 15th season. Man, is he clutch, he’s a big reason I’m out of coaching. We couldn’t block him.”

“Chris Houston continues to struggle at cornerback against these MONSTER receivers from the Falcons.”

“When I saw Barry Sanders play here live when I was coach, he had the talent, he has the town in the palm of his hand, but Calvin Johnson, Mike, there’s not a Lions fan that comes through these doors that doesn’t pay to see Megatron.”

“All these Falcons receivers, if you watch them in practice, they catch about 1,000 balls a day.” (give or take) 

“I just love the way Stafford can flick this ball.” Later, “watch him open his hips and flick it.” (Mrs. Stafford has similar compliments)

During garbage time, on Peyton Manning, “Amazing story. I think he could be the Comeback Player of the Year, the MVP, and even the coach of the year.” (So what does that make John Fox?)

On Roddy White’s hands, “Like a human fly trap, honestly.”

After a Stafford submarine ball, “How’s that delivery, Mike? Dan Quisenberry used to pitch for the Kansas City Royals like Stafford.” (I would have gone with Jenny Finch) 

On Asante Samuel, “He’s one of the great trash talkers in pro football. He’s not one of these TWITTERING trash talkers.”

On the MNF production team photo, “Speaking of great quarterbacks, there’s a heck of a trigger, you did a heck of a job, Mike. Putting up with me…takes a lot of talent.” (Indeed)