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.
Yup. Original photo by Ashley Newman. Comparison by @blooney44. pic.twitter.com/AevfxVJWij— Brandon Darnell (@bdarnell) November 18, 2017
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.
For all those wondering, Jon Gruden is actually 2,500 miles away from Calhoun's ... in Seattle prepping for #MNF. Production mtgs w/ the Seahawks this afternoon. https://t.co/vWwPfnhkg6— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) November 19, 2017
Unreal. Nobody does a coaching search like Tennessee does.