On Monday, March 27, Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Famer Ron “Jaws” Jaworski joined “Pizza With the Pros” to discuss his time in and around the NFL.
Jaworski, who recently turned 72, spent 10 seasons with the Eagles from 1977 to 1986 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the franchise. He threw for 26,963 yards, 175 touchdown passes and amassed 69 wins during his tenure in Philadelphia.
In Jaworski’s mind, though, no win stands out more than the 1980 NFC Championship game against the Dallas Cowboys during a cold, bitter day at Veterans Stadium.
“Beating Dallas during the NFC Championship game was the biggest game I was ever involved in here in Philly. Obviously, we lost the Super Bowl that year,” he said. “We had to beat Dallas every year, ‘77, ‘78, ‘79, ‘80, so lo and behold in ‘80 we get the NFC Championship game at Veterans Stadium, 15 below zero wind chill factor — Cowboys hated cold weather.”
With the 20-7 win, Jaworski and the Eagles advanced to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance where they lost to the Oakland Raiders in New Orleans, 27-10.
“We were pissed off, angry, you name it all. But there was a piece of us in the back of our minds saying, ‘we’re young, we’re good, we’re gonna get back there,’” he said. “When you get that opportunity, you better make the best of it. We felt we were going to get back and we never did.”
Not long after his retirement, Jaworski began carving out his own niche in the broadcasting and media industry. He hosted shows at SportsRadio 94WIP, worked on football-related television shows and became heavily involved with NFL Films, which is the premier football production company.
His decision to pursue a second career following his playing days was by no means on a whim.
“Probably for the last seven or eight years of my playing career, I was thinking about post-playing careers,” Jaworski said. “I was doing WIP radio post-game shows after I retired. I’m an Eagles Hall of Famer, I’m an [NFL] All-Pro, I was getting paid $50 a game, because I needed to get experience.”
The Youngstown State graduate went on to spend five years in ESPN’s Monday Night Football (MNF) booth and now contributes to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s “Eagles Postgame Live.”
“All of a sudden, the producer starts counting you down, ‘five, four, three, two, one and go,’ and the minute that light goes on, you’re in 20 million people’s houses. You feel your heart rate go up — you’ve gotta have your best,” Jaworski said of his time with MNF.
According to Jaworski, in order to find success in any profession, dedication is paramount.
“If you’re not willing to put the time in, do something else. Find something else that garners your passion, because nothing is easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it. So, if you want to be successful, don’t be afraid to put the time in,” he said.
The former quarterback is learning that lesson every day, as his golf course empire expands even further. He is set to open his eighth course very soon.
It’ll be back-to-back speakers from the Eagles when Director of Corporate Communications Anthony Bonagura comes to Rowan on April 3 in what will be the penultimate “Pizza With the Pros” of the spring semester.
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