With the Oakland Raiders unlikely to host a Monday Night Football game that isn’t hosted by ESPN’s Night At The Roxbury “B” team, former Raiders coach Jon Gruden will be in the area only when the 49ers have a home game in prime time on the first work night of the week.
And so it was in Week 14, with the 49ers facing the Cardinals at Candlestick Park.
The game brought former Raiders coach Jon Gruden back to town, and so he attended a “crowded backroom Raider reunion” at a sports bar in San Leandro, according to Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune.
Gruden reportedly “sprung” for the party (“the hot dogs are paid for, so don’t f–king waste any of them”), which was attended by a “seemingly never-ending reception line of invited guests, many of whom are going to be glad their names won’t be mentioned here.”
“Look at him,” a Raiders employee told McDonald. “He’s still a rock star.”
A crowd of Raiders fans developed at the bar as word of Gruden’s presence leaked out. And as he headed for the bus, a “glut” of Raiders fans chanted, “Come back Jon!”
McDonald speculates that Gruden possibly could return as head coach, due to the fact that he has not publicly disparaged the team. ESPN on-air colleague Ron Jaworski told McDonald that he’s never heard Gruden say a bad word about owner Al Davis.
But, as McDonald points out, Gruden was shipped to Tampa nearly eight years ago because he wanted more money and more power. He’ll want even more of it when he returns to the NFL.
Especially since he’s still a rock star.