Monday night’s game will feature the oddity of an older brother commentating for a national television audience about the actions of his younger brother.
The brothers in question are Jon Gruden, 51 and currently a broadcaster for ESPN and part of the team that will call Monday’s game, and Jay Gruden, 47 and the coach of Washington, which hosts the Seahawks.
To be fair, we’ve actually seen lots of stuff like this through the years — Bob Griese calling Rose Bowls quarterbacked by his son, Brian, for instance.
And Gruden calling Gruden has happened before when Jay Gruden was the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals the last three years.
So no one seems to be batting an eye about this week’s Gruden family reunion.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch asked ESPN if there was any thought to not have Jon Gruden broadcast a game involving his brother and got this comment: “We will be transparent about their relationship. Jon is a professional and will call the games objectively.”
Also having no issue with any of it is Seattle coach Pete Carroll. Recall that the broadcast teams meet with coaches and players of each team ahead of time to get some inside info — late-breaking injury news, game-plan stuff, etc. Teams are required to participate in such production meetings per the network contracts that pay billions to NFL coffers.
Carroll this week said he had no issues sharing info with Jon Gruden. “Jon has all the integrity in the world,” Carroll said. “But we will have fun with it.”
In fact, Jon Gruden was also part of the ESPN team that broadcast a Seahawks training camp practice in July, something Carroll enthusiastically welcomed. And maybe this is all just another example that there really aren’t all that many secrets to be kept, anyway.