When Jay Gruden thought one of his Arena players was using drugs

I have no idea if Jay Gruden will succeed as a head coach in the NFL, but I have no doubt at all that he will succeed in his equally important quest to provide funny, light-hearted, enjoyable material for local sports blogs.

This was a mission that Mike Shanahan failed at, grievously and repeatedly. He was as fun as a parking enforcement official during rush hour. Like, don’t just take my word for it; here’s Boz:

Hiring Gruden was inspired in at least one way. He’s the anti-Shanny. He arrives as the indoor underdog, the Arena Football League Hall of Famer — all plucky, not Chucky. They say by 50 you get the face you deserve. Is there an opening for Shanny as the boatman on the River Styx? Gruden, 46, still looks like everyone’s kid brother.

Anyhow, the point is, there will be fun Jay Gruden stories. Here’s one. It comes from Ball Hogs Radio’s Adam Bradley, who went to Watkins Mill High, the same high school that produced Mike Brown, who played for Gruden with the Orlando Predators. Brown’s whole description of Gruden as a coach is worth a read, but I especially liked this part:

There was one time one of the assistants over heard me tell a teammate ‘I knew where to get the powder.’ I was talking about protein but the assistant went and told Jay what I said and they thought I was talking about cocaine. The next day Jay took me aside and said, ‘Look Mike, you’re a young guy with so much potential and I don’t want you to fall off into the drug and party scene.’ He said he’s seen it too many times and that he really liked me and didn’t want to see me ruin my career. I listened to what he had to say and then told him what I was talking about — protein, not cocaine — and Coach busted out laughing. He said ‘ok then, just want to make sure you got your head on straight.’ I appreciated his concerns and could tell he was being genuine when he approached me. 

I know people say Mike Shanahan has a sense of humor, but that strikes me as a story that would have been out of place during the past four years.

(Ball Hogs Radio)

MARTELLUS BENNETT ON LAVAR ARRINGTON

And speaking of weirdness, Martellus Bennett wrote stuff about RGIII on Monday, and so LaVar Arrington said stuff about Martellus Bennett, and so people on Twitter told Martelluss Bennett that LaVar Arrington was saying stuff about him, and then this happened.

 

I love LaVar and he’s my friend so I have to side with him against all koopa troopa-based insults. But I still appreciate the audience engagement.

HARPER HELPING LEBRON FIND MASSAGE THERAPISTS

Just one big-time athlete helping out another.

RENDON HAS MUSTACHE

Last year’s best offseason Nats facial hair was Danny Espinosa’s beard, by a wide margin. This year, Anthony Rendon appears to be in the lead with a new mustache. Though I haven’t really done a survey.

DEFENSE BY NOAH

The Wizards managed to win in Chicago despite some amazing defense played by Joakim Noah.

 

MORE DEFENSE BY NOAH

Randy Wittman was doing some good coaching, and then Noah tried to play defense on him, too. Refs let ’em play, though. (Via Hip Hops)

PALPABLE BUZZ

I do think it’s great that George Washington is doing well. Honestly, I do. And Tuesday night’s meeting with VCU is one of the best local games of the season. But any palpable buzz in the city has somehow evaded my own neighborhood.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

The Caps host the Sharks at 7 on Comcast SportsNet. GW hosts VCU at 7 on CBS Sports Network. All radio and TV listings are here.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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Dan Steinberg · January 13, 2014