Behind The ScenesNFL

AARP’s newest member, MNF analyst Jon Gruden, is far from retired but officially owns the card

On Saturday, ESPN’s Jon Gruden celebrated his 50th birthday. Monday night, he started to feel his age a bit.

During halftime on Monday Night Football’s Pittsburgh-Washington game, booth partner, Mike Tirico, helped in presenting both a birthday cake to Gruden and a card he can proudly carry in his wallet – or at least in the trunk of his car.

“I had no idea this was coming,” said Gruden, who was presented with an oversized, official AARP card. “Mike was behind the AARP card. He was supposed to ask me about the Redskins’ first half performance and in come four Redskins cheerleaders with a birthday cake. The cake and cheerleaders were the mastermind of [MNF producer] Jay Rothman. Mike followed up with the card. I’m still waiting to give my first-half analysis of the ‘Skins.”

Included in the perks Gruden will be able to enjoy as an AARP member – anyone 50 or older is eligible – are: Discounts on travel and everyday savings, subscription to AARP The Magazine and courses such as driver safety.

“When we talked about having some fun at Jon’s expense, I reached out to Katy Kay, who is the Director of Corporate Relationships for AARP,” Tirico said. “Our paths crossed covering golf in the late 1990s. She told me she had the perfect idea and sent the card and a few t-shirts to us in DC.”

“When we heard Jon was turning 50, we thought presenting him with a membership card on-air would be a fun way to welcome him to the club,” said Michelle Alvarez, spokesperson for AARP. “He’s joining [actors] Johnny Depp, John Stamos, and Lisa Kudrow, among others, who also hit the big 5-0 in the last few weeks and is another great example of what 50-plus looks like today.”

Sheldon Spencer contributed to this post

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