An NFL Coach Asked Jerome Baker What He'd Do if He Punched Him in the Face

Ah, the rich tradition of NFL prospect interviews. There’s nothing like them in the world. Where else in society today can you meet a prospective employee and right off the bat ask him if his mother is a whore, he’s attracted to other men and what he’d do if you punched him in the face? I mean, I’m sure those kind of questions were standard operating procedure when they were hiring factory workers during the Industrial Revolution or guys to work in your office in the Mad Men era. But now the only place you’re allowed to mindfuck a guy in a job interview is the National Football League. It’s like the last vestige of days gone by. Of simpler times when the only rule was there were no rules and finding employment was like pledging a frat.

So the question becomes, who is the coach who offered to punchasize Jerome Baker in the face for free? If this was two years ago, I would’ve answered “Jeff Fisher” in a heartbeat. That sounds exactly like the kind of shit that would’ve come out of him to prove what a hardo he is. I think we can immediately rule out all the young turks. Your Sean McVays, Matt Patricias, Mike Vrabels and so on, all grew up in a time of Human Resources and tight corporate policies against anything that exposes companies to bad publicity. And I can’t see it coming from any of your lowkey, Type B personalities like Marvin Lewis or Andy Reid.

Which leads us to the obvious choice: Jon Gruden. That’s my educated guess. This has Gruden’s DNA all over it. Old school. Throwback. Pure Football Guy to the core. Equal parts swaggering Rex Ryan, Jimmy Johnson letting boys be boys and the Emperor telling Luke Skywalker to let the hate flow and strike him down. Truth be told I don’t know what other response he’d expect. There aren’t too many grown men who’d answer “Well, if you punched me in the face right now, I’d sit down with your to try to find the source of your aggression and hope to resolve it peaceably.” Whether you were talking to an accountant or a DI college linebacker. I just know it’s the most Gruden thing I’ve ever heard. And if I’m right, which I’m sure I am, pro football is going to be a hell of a lot more entertaining with his unique brand of nuttiness back where it belongs.