A week ago, ESPN dropped a bombshell on the football-watching world with the prodemotion of Ron Jaworski from Monday Night Football.
Jaworski has called it “bittersweet,” Jon Gruden created the impression that he didn’t agree with the move, and Mike Tirico told Dan Patrick on Friday that Tirico was told the reason for the move but added, “I’m not going to share that with everybody because that’s not everybody’s business.”
Jaworski also has addressed the situation on 97.5 The Fanatic with Mike Missanelli (via SportsRadioInterviews.com), once again calling it “bittersweet.” Jaworski also provides more on the basis for the move.
He starts off by explaining that the reasons are “pure speculation based on what I’ve heard from our president, John Skipper, and [executive vice president] Norby Williamson and [executive vice president] John Wildhack.”
If so, that’s not speculation. That’s fact.
“They just feel that a two-man booth was the way to go,” Jaworski said. “And obviously, I’m the odd man out. I’m the 60-year-old guy and Jon’s the young guy that they believe is the future. I’m not going to argue with that. . . . I think what was crystal clear is they had great respect for me, incredible respect, which I truly appreciate. . . . They put me in a position that is really, really good in giving me the platforms to develop some of my own programming to do some things that I’ve always wanted to do. And at the end of the day, they’re paying me a lot of money, so I can’t argue with any of that.”
It sounds like Jaworski believes ESPN selected Gruden over Jaworski based on age: “I’m the 60-year-old guy and Jon’s the young guy that they believe is the future.”
If anyone at ESPN actually told him that, ESPN has potential liability to Jaworski for age discrimination.
Of course, the fact that ESPN is paying Jaws a lot of money to continue working for ESPN goes a long way toward keeping him from filing suit. Which, if Jaworski’s speculation is based on, you know, information that is true would have resulted in ESPN paying Jaws a lot of money to not work at ESPN.