CAFL – Professional American Indoor Football in China

Philly Inquirer Spotlights Jaworski’s AFL Assist

PHILDELPHIA, April 29, 2014 – Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jane Von Bergen sat down with CAFL’s Ron Jaworski to discuss the AFL’s return to ESPN broadcasts, in which Jaworski played a key role. An excerpt from that article appears below.

Win or lose, Sunday was a big day for the Philadelphia Soul, the arena football team co-owned by former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski.

That’s because the game against the Iowa Barnstormers marked the first time since 2008 that sports network ESPN showed an Arena Football League game, the first one telecast this season.

“It is ridiculously exciting to have the worldwide leader back with the Arena Football League,” Jaworski, 63, said Thursday, stopping for a conversation in the ballroom of Valleybrook Country Club, one of five golf courses he owns in the region.

Question: Obviously, as a longtime ESPN analyst, you know a lot of people at the network. Did you have anything to do with convincing ESPN to broadcast AFL games?

Answer: Yes. I talked to a lot of people and fortunately I’ve developed good relationships with John Skipper, who is the president, John Wildhack and Norby Williamson – these are the guys that are the top executives at ESPN, and, by the way, they like the product. It’s a little bit of niche product, but people are insane for football.

Q: But why Philadelphia?

A: Philadelphia is a really good arena market. People in this town love football. We had 12,300 at our season opener.

Q: What’s normal?

A: About 10,000.

Q: The last AFL game ESPN broadcast was the 2008 championship, won by the Soul.

A: Unfortunately, the league went dark in 2009; it shut down to basically retool the business plan. We were dark for two years after winning the championship.

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