Kiszla: Disgrace of Jon Gruden reminds us why Broncos Country should appreciate Vic Fangio more


Could every NFL fan who bet Jon Gruden would lose his job before Vic Fangio kindly raise your hand?

Gruden owns a Super Bowl ring and 102 more regular-season victories than Fangio, but in my book, that’s not the most crucial difference between these two football coaches.

Uncle Vic is good people. Coach Chucky? Not so much.

I would play for Fangio in a heartbeat. Gruden revealed the racist, homophobic and misogynistic feelings in his heart during a disturbing series of emails unearthed by The New York Times and Wall Street Journal that led to his resignation as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

“Relationships are important in this business, more so now more than ever,” Fangio said Thursday, when I asked him about the importance of having the trust of players in Denver’s locker room, especially in the face of adversity that a two-game losing streak can bring.

But if we have learned anything during this sad week for the NFL, it’s that virtue often has virtually no correlation with victory.

In a sport where big, self-important media burnish the legends of big stars until they are as shiny as the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Fangio is a working-class grunt in the league’s coaching fraternity compared to Gruden. Coach Chucky led Tampa Bay to a championship at age 39, served as ESPN’s lead commentator on Monday Night Football for a decade and signed a 10-year, $100 million contract to coach the Raiders in 2018.

Gruden won our respect. What fools we all were. In the crass language of his emails, it’s apparent Gruden disrespected everybody from NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith to commissioner Roger Goodell, while taking offense to the inclusion of either gay players or female referees in pro football.

If those ugly revelations don’t make you way angrier than Colin Kaepernick silently protesting racial injustice during the national anthem, maybe you should not only take a hard look in the mirror but at what prejudice might fester in your heart.

“I just think there’s no place in the world, let alone our league, for the opinions that were expressed and especially the words used to express those opinions,” said Fangio, when commenting earlier this week on Gruden’s spite-filled potty mouth. “Myself and my organization are definitely against that. It was a bad situation.”

The league needs more good men like Fangio and fewer of the attitudes born under the dark under-belly of the NFL’s good-old boy network.

But now Broncomaniacs have Raiders Week without Coach Chucky to boo. That’s OK, because the NFL works in mysterious ways. Isn’t it a strange coincidence that Sunday will be the time when the Broncos finally honor coach Mike Shanahan with a spot in the Ring of Fame?

Nobody disliked the Raiders more than Shanny, whose beef with the late Al Davis was so bloody rich he once ordered a San Francisco quarterback to throw a football at the owner’s head during warm-ups prior to a game. And far better, at least as far as Broncos Country is concerned: Shanahan’s record during his tenure …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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