Fighting Math and Science, Jon Gruden Only One Who Wants to Stick To Sports

The NFL Combine, which has always been an objectively stupid thing for anyone to care about, is providing us more fodder for the diminishing Stick To Sports crowd, and here's the proof.
The news that the league's new official pizza has changed from Papa John's to Pizza Hut. You, being of sound mind, don't really give a damn, but after getting involved in league and national politics and paying the predictable price, Papa John's founder/CEO John Schnatter has either decided or had it decided for him that he will do his football business on a team-by-team basis only.
And right about now, Pizza Hut's CEO, David Gibbs, is currently forming a gag as part of his employees' uniforms.
This is what happens when you don't Stick To Sports – on this case, sausage.
Indeed, while the combine churns out its usual informational detritus, the weird stuff is all about politics, including the fight over whether Dallas Cowboys owner and tribal chieftain Jerry Jones can be billed for the legal fees he helped cause by joining in a brawl over the continued employment of one of his own employees, the still gingery but increasingly twitchy R.S. Goodell.
That, too, is not Sticking To Sports, unless the sport you like is billionaires trying to stab each other in the front.
Indeed, the only person who wants to STS in Indianapolis this week is Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who apparently (and probably just for comedic reasons) has come out against both math and technology with a Luddite rant about analytics that will both endear him to his acolytes and further prod his future detractors.
"Are you talking about the analytics, the GPS, all the modern technology?" he said in his combine presser when asked about the league's new plan to arm coaches with more tracking data for all players. "Man, I'm trying to throw the game back to 1998. You know, really as a broadcaster, I went around and observed every team, asked a lot of questions, took a look at the facilities, how they're doing business, there's a stack of analytic data or DAY-tuh, however you want to say that word."
Oh, yes. We forgot he doesn't mind pretending to hate the dictionary, too.
"People don't even know how to read it," he said. "It's one thing to have the data - or DAY-tuh - it's another thing to know how to read the damn thing. So, I'm not going to rely on GPS and all the modern technology. I will certainly have some people that are professional that can help me from that regard. But I still think doing things the old-fashioned way is a good way, and we're going to try to lean the needle that way a little bit."
So Gruden is turning back the technology clock to a simpler time, just as he has tried to do with the collective bargaining rules about time spent with players. No doubt he will also find fault in time with the new report from the league's chief medical officer about the increase in reported concussions between 2016 and 2017, and whether that means the league is opposed to concussions or reporting them.
But there goes the NFL against – not sticking to sports. Because brain health isn't sporty.

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