Did we hit peak grumors tonight? I think we did. November 18th, 2017 will go down as the night that we were all duped by a BBQ restaurant.
It all started with a picture of Peyton Manning. That wasn’t the news though. It was the back of a guy’s head that was sitting with him. Yes, really.
The back of this guy’s head kinda sorta looked like Jon Gruden and people RAN with it.
A couple of people started “confirming” it. By now, you know how this goes. The interesting part — the part that got everyone believing — was a confirmation from Calhoun’s management.
Calhoun’s management confirms with me that Jon Gruden was at their Calhoun’s on the river location earlier and that he requested privacy.— Dan Harralson (@danharralson) November 18, 2017
My college roommate is a manager at Calhoun's on the river. He confirms Gruden and Manning were there tonight.— Patrick Murray (@PatMurrayWBIR) November 18, 2017
Just got further clarification. His Grudeness was indeed at Calhoun's tonight. Was also reportedly at Copper Cellar last week during the UT/Mizzou game. None of this means he is taking/has took the job. Just means he's been around a lot lately.— Russell Smith (@Russell___Smith) November 18, 2017
After the word spread and everyone bought it, of course it all came crashing down.
ALERT: Just got a call form @calhouns... now they’re being told it might NOT have been #Gruden with #Manning. Apparently their staff has conflicting views of whether it was or was not Chucky. Will share when they say more!— The Sports Source (@SportsSourceTV) November 19, 2017
Calhoun’s was even forced to put out a statement on the matter. Yes, a BBQ restaurant was the source of news on an item in the search for a new Tennessee head football coach.
We’d like to take a moment to clear things up as well as apologize. We got excited- like everyone. Please read: pic.twitter.com/AIyVvmppKC— Calhoun's (@calhouns) November 19, 2017
Finally, we got some concrete information from an ESPN public relations guy. Gruden was in Seattle the whole time! Of course he was, he has a game to call up there on Monday night.
Unreal. Nobody does a coaching search like Tennessee does.