For the second time in a week, we find ourselves sitting on a number with only one real option.
He was out of the league before I was born. People my age and younger may be surprised to find out (or be reminded) just how long he spent in Philly: 7 years. He spent 11 years as a Redskin. So the disparity between the two cities is not as great as you would imagine, yet he started more than twice as many games for the burgundy and gold (108-41). His career record as a Redskin is 52-51-5...that's a lot of ties, huh? When you look up and down the years he spent in D.C., it doesn't appear that he helmed any world-beaters. But he is simply beloved. When you talk to those fans that were around in the late 60's and early 70's, it was as if the hardships of the franchise and the mediocre records bonded Sonny and D.C. more...Sonny was "our" guy.
His association with the Redskins has spanned most of our lives. Even if you are too young to remember him in pads, his calls on the radio in all of our formative years--and still today--make him, his voice and his likeness synonymous with the Redskins.
On his playing style, Sonny had this to say:
All I ask of my blockers is four seconds. I try to stay on my feet and not be forced out of the pocket. I beat people by throwing, not running. I won't let them intimidate me into doing something which is not the best thing I can do.
Vince Lombardi had this to say about Sonny:
Jurgensen is a great quarterback. He hangs in there under adverse conditions. He may be the best the league has ever seen. He is the best I have ever seen.
Not too shabby coming from the man the ultimate trophy is named after. Sonny played one season under Lombardi, and during that 1969 season, he led the league in attempts, completions, completion percentage and yards passing. I read that Sonny played for NINE different head coaches in the NFL--yep, he's a Redskin alright. And this post would be incomplete without a Cowgirl-beatdown moment. On Thanksgiving day in 1965 (and at RFK, not in Dallas), the Skins spotted the Cowgirls a 21-0 lead. Sonny put up 411 yards to lead the Redskins to a 34-31 win, including the winner, a 35-yard pass to Bobby Mitchell.
From his work with Sam Huff and Frank Herzog (and now with Larry Michael), to his amazing and in-your-face homerism every week as he boldly predicts Redskins' wins regardless of the opponent, to his SJ-9 brand of cigars--Sonny is a HUGE part of our lives every season.
I found this video tribute online.
It was rather hard to find video that I could post up here. I would love if in the comments section people could add links to classic Jurgensen video.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone.
#9 Sonny Jurgensen