During a Monday Night Football broadcast of the Atlanta Falcons' 31-18 defeat of the Detroit Lions, Jon Gruden said this: "I wouldn't have a Twitter account if it was the last Twitter account available. I guarantee you. You've got to let that Twitter stuff go." His broadcast partner Mike Tirico tries to engage him in some friendly Twitter-banter, the type of stuff you'd expect from announcers in the waning seconds of an uncompetitive game played three days before Christmas, but Gruden entertained none of it.
Today, nearly a year and a half later, Jon Gruden has joined Twitter.
Gruden is up to more than 23,600 followers (and counting) in the two hours since that tweet.
This account was clearly created at the urging of ESPN. It's no coincidence @GrudenCamp launched the day of the NFL Draft, after all. He follows eight accounts, and they're all in ESPN's NFL family. This will be an extremely (and perhaps exclusively) ESPN-centric feed. (Update: Now Gruden is following only ESPN's Monday Night Football account.)
This, however, demonstrates the power of Twitter. There is absolutely no better marketing vehicle, especially in the sports industry, than Twitter. It's irresistible. Considering the build up, intrigue, amount of big names, and general unpredictability of this draft (check this tweet from draft historian Gil Brandt for perspective), tonight's first round should set all sorts of viewership ratings - on television and Twitter. Which makes tonight the perfect opportunity to launch Gruden's account.
Which all begs the question: how many followers do you think Gruden will have by tomorrow morning? I'm setting the over/under at 100,000.