ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski was positively giddy talking about the very golfable 60-degree weather forecast for the Philadelphia area and his opportunity to break down Colin Cowherd’s “QB Bracket” — announced officially Monday morning on ESPN Radio’s The Herd.
Jaws’ enthusiasm was tempered a bit when the 17-year veteran NFL quarterback and former Philadelphia Eagles star realized he was on the wrong end of a 1-16 match-up in the “JaMarcus Russell Region.”
“You’re killing me,” he said, upon realizing he was paired against top seed Johnny Unitas. “He was my boyhood idol.”
Confirming his affinity for Unitas, Jaworski noted the framed photo he has in his den with Unitas and Jaws side by side.
Ever the gamer, Jaws still provided Front Row his promised bracket analysis: “Unitas advances, barely, edging me in overtime — make it double overtime,” he said.
The NFL’s 1980 MVP had one more quibble before completing his bracket: “They have Jake Plummer as a 15th seed ahead of me?”
A pairing in the Ryan Leaf Region brought back fond memories for Jaws, as he was roommates with both No. 8 Roman Gabriel (Los Angeles Rams) and No. 9 Randall Cunningham (Eagles). He picked Cunningham to advance.
The Russell Region’s No. 3 seed, Bart Starr, gave Jaws pause as well.
“I was cutting my teeth with the Rams, and Starr was coaching the Packers,” he said. “I grew up watching him play — the Ice Bowl — and all of a sudden I found myself standing next to THE Bart Starr during introductions.”
Jaws’ saved his biggest upset pick for the “Tim Couch Region” where he has No. 7 seed Kurt Warner advancing to the Sweet 16, easing him by No. 10 seed, Jim Plunkett (“I’m still mad that [Plunkett] beat us in the Super Bowl.”) and No. 2 seed, Dan Marino (“How many Super Bowl rings does Danny have?”).
A pair of ring-winners whom Jaws described as “the antithesis, personality-wise” meet in his Russell region Sweet 16, with Jaws giving Unitas the nod over Joe Namath.
“John couldn’t beat Joe in Super Bowl [III], but gets him here,” he said. “Each changed the game in different ways in different times; Unitas with his efficiency, the two-minute drill and the ’58 championship game; Joe had the charisma and helped build the league by legitimizing the AFL [American Football League].”
When Jaws looked at who he has inked in for his title game match-up – Joe Montana and Tom Brady – he said: “They’re very similar. They’re each unselfish, put up good numbers, and were not your prototype first-round draft choices. Neither has great arm strength, or can extend the field with his feet, but they’re field generals, using all the weapons at their disposal to win championships.”
Jaws projects Montana winning Cowherd’s “Greatest Quarterback of All-Time” bracket (the rest of his picks are in the photo above) but fans have through April 8 to vote for their champ and watch as the QB Madness unfolds.
Mike Hill and Mark Schlereth have their own version with the “Uni Bracket”; Mike & Mike in the Morning will announce the wager for their annual “Sheets of Integrity” later this week and SVP & Russillo will also present their bracket concept this week.