CLEVELAND — Washington Redskins legend Sonny Jurgensen announced his retirement from broadcasting, thus ending his 62-year NFL career. Jurgensen, 84, spent the past 38 years as the Redskins’ color analyst after having played 11 seasons for the franchise.
“It’s been a great 55 years in Washington,” said Jurgensen in a statement. He joined the broadcast team in 1981, seven years after retiring from playing.
Jurgensen teamed with another legendary player, Sam Huff, as part of a broadcasting team that became like family for Redskins fans. The two would occasionally bicker on the air like two friends watching a game but had a clear chemistry and passion for the game. It endeared them to generations of Redskins fans.
“We lived through the glory years together,” Jurgensen said in the statement.
The Redskins acquired Jurgensen in a 1964 April Fool’s Day trade with Philadelphia, where he spent his first seven seasons. Jurgensen became an immediate hit in Washington. The Redskins had one of the NFL’s best offenses during the 1960s, thanks to Jurgensen and other future Hall of Famers such as receivers Charley Taylor and Bobby Mitchell.
Jurgensen played for Washington until 1974 with his last several years spent partly as a reserve behind Billy Kilmer. In Washington, bumper stickers were made announcing either “I like Billy” or “I like Sonny.” Jurgensen was inducted in the Hall of Fame, but despite his success he never won a playoff game — and didn’t even play in one until his final year.
Jurgensen was twice named All-Pro and five times earned a Pro Bowl berth. He led the NFL in passing yards five times.
“After 62 years in professional football, I still have my health and wonderful family,” Jurgensen said in the statement, “and a special thanks to my beautiful wife, Margo, for letting me work the weekends for all those years.”