Ron Jaworski: A great addition to the NFL Alumni Board
I was happy to hear the news that the NFL Alumni At-Large Association Board of Directors recently voted to have Ron Jaworski fill a vacant position. As an NFL game analyst for ESPN and a radio show host, he’s in a great position to talk about the issues facing former players.
Ron had an outstanding 17 year career in the NFL, but he paid price for his success – including multiple concussions and numerous broken bones. Despite those injuries, he displayed remarkable durability, starting 116 straight games, a record at that time for quarterbacks.
“After I retired,” Jaworski recalls, “(trainer) Otho Davis told me he had logged 32 concussions for me. Some more severe than others. In those days, you came to the sidelines seeing stars, they snapped smelling salts under your nose, you went back in.”
Concussions affect players differently. Fortunately for Ron, he has been able to lead a very productive life since his playing days were over.
I don’t know all of Ron’s positions with respect to retired players, but from what I’ve read, he is concerned about the issue of concussions. Ron participated in the NFL Youth Football camps attended by 40,000 young football players and coaches. Ron Jaworski, George Martin, Herm Edwards, Matt Ryan and Saints coach Sean Payton hosted free camps last summer. As part of the camp program the USA Football Coach Smart youth health and safety awareness initiative provided coaches, parents and players with information regarding concussion awareness and management as well as heat and hydration preparedness.
As part owner of the Philadelphia Soul Pro Arena Football Team, Ron utilized the Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey to conduct the ImPACT baseline and post-concussion assessment on members of the football team.
Will “Jaws” make a good retired player advocate? Absolutely!
Does Ron care about the problems that affect us and is he willing to give his honest opinion? Absolutely! If you don’t believe me, read this article and make up your own mind: Ron Jaworski: Current players don’t really give a damn about older players. Here are a few Q&A’s from the interview:
Q: So do you believe the players union is doing a good job representing former players once they’re out of the game?
A: That part does disappoint me. I’ve been around long enough to understand that present-day players, they don’t understand what the guys went through in [the previous work stoppages of 1987, ’82, and ’74]. . . . Quite honestly, I don’t think they really give a damn about the guys that laid the foundation for the game. I think it’s a lot of verbiage, but I don’t think they really care.
Q: Can more by done for former players, especially in terms of their post-football health?
A: I see these guys limping around and the physical handicaps they’re now living under. These guys deserve something. . . . They deserve some compensation for that, and they deserve medical benefits, and they deserve treatment for all the issues that former players are now dealing with. We all know the life expectancy of former NFL players is less than a normal human being.
Could we have a better spokesman? Absolutely not!
In my opinion, we got a first round draft pick with Ron – a seasoned public speaker that has the ability to carry our message like no one else.
Ron has been a strong advocate for a number of different causes. A couple of years ago he testified in front of Congress regarding the issue of childhood obesity. He’s been involved in the issue since 1989, when he fought a proposal in New Jersey to stop requiring gym classes in public high schools. Here is a link to the article regarding his testimony: Ron Jaworski Testimony: Childhood Obesity ‘Startling!’
In announcing the news, Joe Pisarcik, the Chairman of the NFL Alumni Board said “Mr. Jaworski is actively involved in the Philadelphia Chapter, where he played 10 seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles. In addition to his new role of advocating on behalf of all retired players, Ron Jaworski will also actively support the NFL Alumni Foundation’ s motto, “Caring for Kids” through his own foundation, Jaws Youth Playbook. Mr. Jaworski will bring great value and knowledge to the Board of Directors, and we all welcome him to our esteemed organization.”
NFL Alumni Executive Director George Martin said “Our Board members know that Ron Jaworski will be an effective advocate for former players and that is why they selected him for the position. Having played against Ron for many years, I know him to be a fierce and capable competitor and someone who I have grown to respect immensely throughout the years, That same self-determination and success model has been replicated in his off the field accomplishments as well. I look forward to working with him as we strive to accomplish the goals we have set for our organization.”
I hope former players will give Ron Jaworski a chance to prove himself a worthy addition to the NFL Alumni Association Board of Directors.
If you’d like to send him a welcome message, please feel free to do so here at the Jeff Nixon Report. I’ll make sure he gets a copy of all the messages that are posted.