NFL.com - Head coaches who have been fined by the NFL for violating rules of wearing face masks on the sidelines have appealed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports, per source.
Vic Fangio, Jon Gruden, Sean Payton, Kyle Shanahan and Pete Carroll are the head coaches appealing the $100,000 penalty assessed by the league last week in its effort to uphold COVID-19 protocols and safety. Their respective teams -- Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks -- were also fined $250,000, bringing a grand total of fines to $1.7 million.
Jon Gruden. Coach. Champion. Covid-19 survivor. Recipient of a $100,000 fine. REBEL?
That's for the world to decide. And it's fair to say that the football consuming public is speaking out with one voice that this mask he semi-wore during yesterday's Raiders game at New England was a pure act of defiance.
Only Jon Gruden and his God know for sure. What the rest of us can confirm without fear of contradiction, is that he is the only person in America who's worn a Covid mask in this manner. Seriously, they've been required in my state since early April. We've all seen literally thousands of strangers sporting them in all styles, sizes, descriptions and modes of operation. And not once has anyone done this jaunty, rakish, half on/half off style that barely covers their nose and mouth.
That can't be a coincidence. I think it's not. At least I like to think it's not.
The NFL's rule is silly (pardon the pun) on its face. These coaches spend 16 hours a day with these players without masks. Only for the three hours a week they're on television do they wrap up. It's window dressing. Messaging. Marketing to show the world and their broadcast partners they'll perform any sort of empty gesture to seem concerned. And if anyone ought to have dispensation from the rule is a guy who already had the 'Vid. So if Gruden were to grab a mask approximating a pair of ladies' unders to get his point across, that would be beautiful.
More to the point, it would be so very Raiders of him. It would be in the proud tradition of the organization that perfected the art of rebellion against the league. It's what Al Davis would've done. Or Jon Matusak. Phil Villapiano. Art Shell. Matt Millen. Ted Henricks. Kenny Stabler. Forced to obey a nonsensical rule just for the optics would've sent any of those great legends of the Raiders' glorious past headed to the nearest Oakland nudie bar for some slightly used "face" coverings, threats of $100,000 fines and pinkeye be damned.
It's probably too much to ask that it be true. Maybe Gruden is just the crackpot we think he is and had no idea he made his mask look like panties. But I'm going to choose to believe he did just because I want it to be true.