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Ron Jaworski Finally has His Team, With a Little Help

by Randy Snow

Originally posted on ArenaFan.com, Thursday, October 2, 2003

Ron Jaworski secured the rights to an Arena franchise in Philadelphia some years ago, but it wasnt until rocker Jon Bon Jovi and Philadelphia businessman Craig Spencer came into the picture that the dream finally came true for the former Eagles quarterback.

During a conference call on September 23 with members of the media just a few hours before the official unveiling the Philadelphia Soul expansion team, Jaworski talked about how this team finally came to be.

Ive actually followed the Arena Football League since 1993, said Jaworski. So its a culmination of ten years of trying to bring an arena team to Philadelphia. Four years ago we had the rights to the franchise, but we were not able to put together the arena deal with the Wachovia Center or the Wachovia Spectrum. Fortunately, with Jon and Craig, they were able to consummate a deal. They felt strong enough in my face and my football commitment to bring me on board as part of their team so it certainly is a joyous time for me to see ten years of work come to fruition.

Also present during the conference call were league commissioner David Baker, co-owner Jon Bon Jovi and Philadelphia head coach Michael Trigg, who spent the last six years with the Grand Rapids Rampage and led them to an Arena Bowl title in 2001.

League commissioner David Baker had nothing but praise for the man known as Jaws. I think Ron Jaworski is one of the great X and O guys in all of football. It always impressed me, from early on when I got here, that Ron was a great student of Arena football.

Hes been one those guys who has been an outspoken proponent of Arena Football, so its exciting for me not only to see Jon and Craig Spenser bring the Philadelphia Soul here, but to see Ron Jaworski now get to be a part of it as well.

Unlike Jaworski, Jon Bon Jovi didnt catch arena fever until just this past season.

I was aware of the league obviously, but until it was on NBC, Id never seen a game, Bon Jovi said. Then I started traveling and going to as many games as I could.

Jon is deeply committed to the integrity of the Arena football game, said commissioner Baker. He has demonstrated to me that he is the hardest working guy in all of entertainment and now hes about to be the hardest working guy in all of sports. He and Craig are really doing this the right way.

Philadelphia is the second franchise added this year, bringing the total number of teams from 16 to 18. The New Orleans VooDoo is the other expansion team. A franchise has also been approved for Austin, Texas and if they can secure a lease to play at the arena on the University of Texas campus in the next few weeks, we could have 19 teams on the schedule for next season.

There is also talk of putting the new Philadelphia team in the Eastern division along with the Dallas Desperados to take advantage of the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry that already exists in the NFL.

So it seems that all the pieces are now in place for the Philadelphia Soul. From a football-loving owner and well-known celebrity in Jon Bon Jovi, to a Super Bowl quarterback and analyst in team president Ron Jaworski, to a head coach who has already taken an expansion team and won the league championship in Michael Trigg. All they need now are some players.

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