You know how some announcers have a “thing?” Maybe it’s a catchphrase, or quirk in their personality. Maybe it’s saying “back-back-back” during the Home Run Derby, or getting really, really excited about March Madness. Maybe it’s pointing out obvious things, or going off on tangents, or, simply, “ONIONS!”
In the case of ESPN Monday Night Football color commentator Jon Gruden, it’s using the phrase “This Guy.” A lot.
Gruden, the tremendously enthusiastic former coach who has made a name for himself by announcing football games as only a tremendously enthusiastic former coach could, was in midseason “This Guy” form last night during the Jets — Texans preseason game.
Here were his stats, as tabulated by SportsGrid Video Assignment Editor Timothy Burke:
* Gruden had a total of 11 “This Guy”s, up from 5 last week. Our tally was a bit different than this one, which had Gruden clocked in at 14 total.
* Broken down by quarter, Gruden had none in the 1st, 7 in the 2nd, 4 in the 3rd, and none in the 4th.
* Most of Gruden’s “This Guy”s occurred during a five-minute span in the 2nd quarter, leading us to believe that ESPN’s producers saw his dangerously low output from the 1st quarter and relayed a dramatic “WE NEED MORE ‘THIS GUY’S” plea into the MNF booth.
* We did not count borderline occurrences or slightly altered versions of “This Guy,” such as “These Guys” or “That Guy,” because we’re trying to do serious work here, and if we start counting such occurrences we’ll be headed down a “slippery slope,” as Mr. Burke points out.
* All of the “This Guy”s were lead-ins to an overwhelmingly positive point about the player in question.