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Sonny and Strikes
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Decades before RGiii was even born, Sonny Jurgensen riddled enemy defenses for the Redskins with picture-perfect bullets. We catch up with the Hall of Famer for a look back at his amazing career. Plus, Kelly Kulick, the first woman to win a national title on the male dominated Professional Bowlers Association.
Episode Segments:
 
Sports and Torts: Professional Bowler Kelly Kulick

Kelly is the first woman to win a national title on the male dominated Professional Bowlers Association. In addition, she has won nine professional women's bowling titles (six of them majors). And as you find out in this interview, there's a lot more to being a great bowler than simply tossing a ball down the lane.

Photo by PBA
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Sports and Torts: Hall of Famer Sonny Jergensen

We talk with the Redskins legend about his Hall of Fame career from Duke all the way to the Redskins broadcast booth.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Sonny Jurgensen
Christian Adolph Jurgensen, better known as Sonny, was born on August 23, 1934. He grew up outside of Wilmington, North Carolina, where he attended New Hanover High School. At the age of 23, he graduated from Duke University, where he was quarterback on the football team. Sonny led the Duke Blue Devils to two ACC championships as well as the 1954 Orange Bowl championship. He made such an impression on Duke University that they dubbed September 1st as “Sonny Jurgensen Day.” His graduation from Duke in 1957 did not mean graduating from football, and Sonny went into the National Football League Draft. The 1957 NFL Draft brought the spry quarterback from Duke to the Philadelphia Eagles. For the first three years on the Eagles, Jurgensen was forced to take a back seat to Norm Van Brocklin. Brocklin led the team until Jurgensen took over the position under center in 1961. Jurgensen brought the Eagles to a 10-4 season, and stunned the NFL with his efficiency. Jurgensen had 3,723 yards passing through 235 completions and 32 of them for touchdowns. These numbers led the NFL, subsequently giving him All-NFL honors. Regardless of his instant gratification at quarterback, the Eagles as a franchise were not where the front office wanted them to be, and Jurgensen was traded to Washington Redskins in 1964. Even though Sonny Jurgensen began his NFL career in Philadelphia, he is perhaps best known for his time in Washington. Jurgensen was part of the NFL’s best passing offense with the Redskins, and would accumulate many NFL passing titles. The success of his quarterbacking skills is believed to have attributed to his passing style. Jurgensen was what was known as a drop back passer. He was not mobile, but was an accurate and powerful passer. Sonny is quoted as saying “All I ask of my blockers is four seconds…I beat people by throwing, not running.” After five years in the Redskins organization, a task-oriented head coach was brought in. Vince Lombardi was hired as head coach, and his coaching style contradicted with Jurgensen’s upbeat quarterbacking. Jurgensen had talent, but he also had a lot of fun during practices and training. The Lombardi-Jurgensen relationship was not a problem though--the two hit it off immediately. Lombardi claimed that “[Jurgensen] may be the best the league has ever seen. He is the best I have ever seen.” The relationship was mutual, as Jurgensen claimed that he “learned more in five days from [Lombardi] than I had in twelve years in the NFL.” Heartbreaking to the country, the NFL, and Sonny, Lombardi passed away in 1970. The Redskins brought in George Allen to become head coach. Like Lombardi, his coaching style was completely different than Jurgensen’s playing style; he was defensive-minded. However, this time Jurgensen and the coach did not mesh very well. The playing philosophies, coupled with injuries that Sonny experienced, began to limit his playing time. Sonny Jurgensen finally retired from football after the 1974 season. He completed seven seasons with the Eagles, and eleven with the Redskins. No member of the Redskins has worn his number, 9, since he retired. Sonny Jurgensen left his mark on football. Jurgensen received three NFL passing crowns and was elected to the pro bowl five times. His career passer rating was an 82.6. In 1983, nine years after he retired, Sonny received his spot in Canton, OH at the NFL Hall of Fame. Throughout his career he passed for over 32,000 yards and 255 touchdowns. Jurgensen ranks sixth all time for passing yards (9,639) and touchdown passes (76) in Eagles history. Retiring from football did not mean that Sonny left the sport. The year following his retirement, Jurgensen became a commentator for CBS. After the endeavors on the television, Jurgensen moved back to the team he retired with and began announcing Redskins games on the radio. Sonny Jurgensen can be found today in Mount Vernon, Virginia, fewer than 20 miles from where he finished his career with the Redskins.

More about Sonny

 
Kelly Kulick
On January 24, 2010, Kelly Kulick made sports history by becoming the first women to win a national title on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour. As if that is not impressive enough, Kelly's win came in the PBA's signature event - the PBA Tournament of Champions. Kelly earned a spot into the Tournament of Champions by winning the PBA Women's Series World Championship in August 2009. This is the first time a women received a berth into the Tournament of Champions. Her win also gives her a two year excemption on the PBA Tour. Kelly is no stranger to bowling on the PBA Tour. In 2006, she became the first woman bowler to qualifer full time for the Professional Bowler's Assocation Tour by earning a spot in the PBA Tour Trials Qualifier. The format consisted of 9 game blocks each day for 5 consecutive days across 5 different oil patters. Kulick included a perfect score of 300 on the final day and finished 6th to earn a one year exception on the PBA Tour for the 2006-07 season. Kelly's first victory as a professional was in the 2003 Women's U.S. Open, defeating Carolyn Dorin-Ballard. Other professional titles include the 2007 USBC Queens Championship, 2009 WSOB Shark Champion, and the 2007 Ladies and Legends doubles event with Robert Harvey. She is a six time member of Team U.S.A. (98,99,2000,01,08,2010). In 2001, she was named the Professional Women's Bowling Association Rookie of the Year. In 2000, she was the U.S. national amateur champion and was inducted into the New Jersey Sports Writers Hall of Fame. She won a gold medal at the 1999 Pan American Games and won gold and two silver medals at the 1999 Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) World Championships. She also claimed five gold medals leading her team to victory during the PABCON Championships in Santiago, Chili 2008. Kulick was the 1997 and 1998 Collegiate Bowler of the Year while at Morehead State University (MSU) and was a four-time Collegiate All-American (1996-1999). In 1998, she helped guide MSU to an Intercollegiate Bowling Championship and garnered the first of two Intercollegiate Bowling Championship Most Valuable Player titles (1998, 2000). Aside from competing, she spends much of her time teaching clinics for Dick Ritger. When she's not on the lanes, she spends much of her time at home working in her father's auto shop, KBF Auto Body, in New Jersey. She graduated from MSU with a Bachelors of Arts in physical and health education K-12.

Kelly's Website