Ron Jaworski started playing golf when he was 9 years old, and when he got to the NFL, it was what kept him sane.
Tuesdays he always had off, so he would sneak away to the golf course, to be with nature, away from the fans and the media.
Thanks to the NFL lockout, the 9-handicap golfer has been playing about three to four times a week, including participating in Wednesday’s Pro-Am at the AT&T National.
But his days hitting the links may be numbered: Jaws predicted the NFL’s lockout will end by July 21.
“I’m hoping to be in San Diego on August 8 for our preseason opener,” said Jaworski, who is a ESPN broadcaster for Monday Night Football. “Three weeks ago, I wouldn’t have said that. I was very pessimistic three weeks ago. I thought there was a huge delta between players and management. But over the last three weeks, there’s been a lot of positive coming out of the negotiations.
“I’m now confident that cooler heads are prevailing, the attorneys have gone to the sidelines and let the negotiators go in and negotiate the business deal … I’m confident now there’ll be football.”
Once football’s back, Jaworski won’t play golf for another six months. Wednesday he was paired with pro Joe Ogilvie, and Tiger Woods got a chance to see Jaws hit one into the water on 17.
“I’m playing at times really good and at times, really bad,” said Jaworski, who owns four golf courses.
In the meantime, he’s had to answer questions about the NFL’s labor situation.
“I think everyone wants to get a deal done, but it has to be a reasonable deal,” Jaworski said. “Everyone uses the word ‘fair,’ but I’m not sure what ‘fair’ is. I think reasonable is the word because you want the players to be happy and you want management to be happy. If one side is a winner and one side is a loser, you know, no one's going to be happy. They’re working hard to find common ground.”
His eyes lit up when the conversation shifted back toward football, saying he was a true X's and O's football guy at heart.
When asked about the team he used to play for, Jaworski thought the lockout may have been hurting the Eagles, in contrast to perhaps helping his own golf game.
“I’m optimistic on the offensive side,” Jaworski said. “We do have some concerns on the defensive side. There’s been a whole turnover in the coaching staff on the defensive side of the football. Juan Castillo takes over for Tim McDermott.
“So there’s going to be some things they’re going to have address right now as far as working with the players. And this is where the lockout hurts the Eagles, on the defensive side. New coaching staff. A lot of new players. Rookies are not in who were drafted. They’re going to have a lot of catching up to do when they do get into camp.”
-- Tim Rohan