Every time you tuned on ESPN during April, chances were Ron Jaworski would show up to report on the NFL draft.
But whenever he saw old NFL friends and coaches on his travels, Jaworski fielded one question more than any other: Do you have any room in your Atlantic City golf tournament for me?
The 23d annual Ron Jaworski Celebrity Golf Challenge will take place Sunday and Monday at Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield. The first day features the popular Acme Celebrity Shootout, in which 10 sports figures team with amateurs for a $100,000 purse.
And people are just begging to get in.
"It is amazing," Jaworski, the former Eagles quarterback, said recently. "As I travel around the country and I'm at games, players ask me about it. They want to come and play, to be invited to Atlantic City. So it's easy to get guys to come here.
"Nobody wants to leave. I had lunch with Mike Ditka when we were in Chicago for the Soul [Arena Football League] game. He originally couldn't make it, because he was supposed to go to Ireland to play golf. Well, they canceled the trip and now he wants to come. I said, 'Coach, I've already filled your spot.' He said, 'Well, kick somebody out. I'm the defending champ.' "
As it stands now, Ditka is first alternate and will participate the second day in the UPS Celebrity Pro-Am, which features more than 50 luminaries in sports and entertainment.
The field is top-heavy with football players. Jaworski will be joined by current Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and former players Rich Gannon, Vince Papale, Sterling Sharpe, Tony Siragusa, Bruce Smith and Joe Theismann, along with veteran NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer and former Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams.
"We'll probably knock the baseball player out on the first hole. That's usually the plan," Jaworski joked.
The big winner in the two-day event is the United Way together with the Jaws Youth Fund. Jaworski said the tournament is approaching the $2 million mark overall in donations, and he hopes to raise close to $200,000 this year.
"That's kind of the beauty of this," he said. "So many people have hung together - sponsors and players. It's a lot of the same familiar faces. There's a waiting list for players and groups to get in, so it's been a success in that regard. Quite honestly, when I started it 23 years ago, I never thought it would just keep going and get bigger and bigger."
Perhaps the shoot-out's most interesting contestant this year is Theismann, a regular participant, who is being replaced in ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast booth by Jaworski this season.
"There's no animosity," Jaworski said. "Joe and I have spoken a number of times. He knows how these decisions are made. I had no input whatsoever, none."
Tickets, priced at $15, are available at the gate for both days.