The NFL Draft in Philadelphia has put the city's love for football on display this past weekend. And Ron Jaworski, who led the Eagles to an NFC Championship 1980, was one of the key cogs in bringing the event to the Art Museum.
Ask anyone who checked out the gigantic undertaking on Ben Franklin Parkway and you'll get generally beaming reviews.
"I have pride because it's Philadelphia," Jaworski said, minutes after walking off the stage after helping announce Philly's 43rd overall selection of Sidney Jones. "This is where I make my home. There were skeptics when we decided to bring the draft to Philadelphia and I was not one of them. I believed the passion of the sports fans in this town. I believed they would support it. I belived a partnership with the city, the NFL and the visitors covention bureau would be a huge success and it's obvious after the past few nights."
Upwards of 200,000 fans are estimated to have spent time inside the NFL Draft Experience area over the first two days alone — at the foot of a gargantuan stage at the foot of the 'Rocky Steps.' With so much effort put into design, construction and marketing, it would make sense for the event to come back again, right?
"Philadelphia once again has raised the bar," Jaworski said. "I think the fact that it played out so well, the commissioner, who I have spent a lot of time with, now believes there is a really good chance there is an option to bring the draft back here next year. The business community is thrilled. There will be a $100 million impact."
Analysts on NFL Network's draft broadcast echoed the same sentient, with Mike Mayock proclaiming "Chicago got two years, why can't Philly?"
Precedent suggests Philly will be a favorite for the 2018 extravaganza as after a bevy of years in New York City the draft was in Chicago for consecutive years in 2015 and 2016.
"This city has to be incredibly proud of themselves," Jaws said. "It's going to move, we know that. It left New York to go to Chicago, they did a great job, but Philadelphia took it to another level.
"There are 23 other cities that want to get involved in getting the draft but we arent scared of competition."