— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) January 1, 2013
This morning, Chris Mortensen went on “Mike and Mike in the Morning” to say that the seven teams who fired their head coaches on Monday shouldn’t overlook Jon Gruden as a potential coaching candidate. Like all things Mort does, this was not actual reporting. You can’t even count it as his usual speculation, devoid of insight or corroboration. This was a suggestion. Something Mort thinks should happen. And no one cares what Mort thinks should happen.
Of course, people have been murmuring about the possibility of Jon Gruden’s return for some time, so ProFootballTalk cynically parlayed Mort’s bullshit into a post that suggests that there is actual progress as it relates to Gruden’s return to coaching. In reality, Mort was just talking out of his ass. He knows nothing. But ESPN and PFT know how to play the game of getting people talking about nothing as though it’s actually something.
Finally, Peter King tweeted a link to that PFT article and presented it as proof that Gruden is likely to return as a coach next week. Gruden might eventually end up returning, but that article proves nothing more than cynical traffic and ratings grabs can easily fool even the loftiest of veteran football writers. Who knows how many more outlets will run with the Gruden speculation as though it’s a substantial thing. Because we get the horrible NFL media we deserve.