|Date of birth: August 23, 1934
|Place of birth: Wilmington, North Carolina
|Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
||Weight: 202 lb (92 kg)
|High school: Wilmington (NC) New Hanover
|NFL Draft: 1957 / Round: 4 / Pick: 43
|Debuted in 1957 for the Philadelphia Eagles
|Last played in 1974 for the Washington Redskins
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 1974
|Stats at NFL.com
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com
|Stats at DatabaseFootball.com
|Pro Football Hall of Fame
Christian Adolph "Sonny" Jurgensen III (born August 23, 1934) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
Early life 
Jurgensen was born in Wilmington, North Carolina. He became active in sports as early as elementary school, when he led his school to the city grammar school titles in baseball and basketball. He later captured the boys tennis championship of Wilmington and pitched for his local Civitan club, who won the city baseball title.
High school 
Jurgensen attended and played high school football at New Hanover High School. He played a number of positions for the team and as a junior was a backup quarterback on the state championship team. After a senior year where he scored three touchdowns and kicked nine extra points, he was chosen to start at quarterback for the North Carolina team in the annual North Carolina vs. South Carolina Shrine Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"Jurgensen was a rugged boy
and could have been outstanding at center,
guard, end or any backfield position."
Jurgensen's high school
football coach, Leon Brogden.
Jurgensen also played basketball and baseball during high school. As a senior on the basketball team, he averaged twelve points per game as a guard and the team was the state title runner-up. That same year in baseball, he batted .339 and played as a pitcher, infielder, and catcher. He also became a switch-hitter.
Jurgensen attended and played college football at Duke University. He joined the varsity team in 1954 as a backup quarterback behind Jerry Barger and he completed 12 of 28 passes for 212 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions. But Jurgensen made the biggest impact that season as a defensive back, when he tied a team record with interceptions in four consecutive games. and ended the season with five interceptions. Duke finished the campaign with a 7-2-1 regular season record and an Atlantic Coast Conference title. Then on New Year's Day, Duke beat the Nebraska 34–7 in the 1955 Orange Bowl.
Jurgensen took over as starting quarterback in 1955. He also retained a starting position in the defensive secondary. Duke ended the season with a 7–2–1 record along with an ACC co-championship, but did not go to a bowl because Maryland received the league's automatic bid to the Orange Bowl. That season Jurgensen completed 37 of 69 passes for 536 yards, three touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed 54 times for 48 yards, and scored two touchdowns. He also punted four times for a 33.7 average and intercepted four passes for 17 yards.
Jurgensen's senior season in 1956 did not start well, when Duke lost to South Carolina, 7-0, in the season opener. This game marked Duke's first ACC loss, coming in the fourth year of the conference's existence. Duke finished the season with a 5-4-1 mark and Jurgensen ended up 28-59 for 371 yards. He threw six interceptions and two touchdown passes and rushed 25 times for 51 yards with three touchdowns. Jurgensen's final career stats included 77-156 passes for 1,119 yards, 16 career interceptions and six touchdowns. He also rushed for 109 yards and intercepted ten passes.
Jurgensen also played baseball briefly at Duke, but turned down an invitation to try out for the basketball team.
Philadelphia Eagles (1957–1963) 
Jurgensen was drafted in the fourth round of the 1957 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was Philadelphia's backup quarterback, behind Bobby Thomason in 1957 and Norm Van Brocklin, from 1958 through 1960. It was during this time as a backup that Jurgensen won his only championship, when the Eagles won the 1960 NFL Championship.
"All I ask of my blockers is four seconds. I try to
stay on my feet and not be forced out of the
pocket. I beat people by throwing, not running.
I won't let them intimidate me into doing
something which is not the best thing I can do."
Sonny Jurgensen, on his playing style.
After Van Brocklin retired in 1961, Jurgensen took over as Philadelphia's starter and had a successful year, passing for an NFL record 3,723 yards, tying the NFL record with 32 touchdown passes, and was named All-Pro. Following an injury-plagued 1963 season, Jurgensen was traded to the Washington Redskins on April 1, 1964 in exchange for quarterback Norm Snead and cornerback Claude Crabb.
Washington Redskins (1964–1974) 
Jurgensen took over play-calling for the Redskins during the 1964 season. He was then selected to play in the Pro Bowl following the season and was also named second Team All-Pro.
One of Jurgensen's most memorable games was during the 1965 season, when the Cowboys took a 21–0 lead at DC Stadium. Jurgensen then threw for 411 yards, leading the team back to win 34–31. He rushed for a touchdown on a quarterback sneak and threw a game-winning 35-yard pass to Bobby Mitchell.
In 1967, Jurgensen broke his own record by passing for 3,747 yards and also set NFL single-season records for attempts (508) and completions (288). He missed much of the 1968 season because of broken ribs and elbow surgery. He did, however, tie an NFL record early in the 1968 season for the longest pass play in NFL history. The 99-yard pass play to Jerry Allen occurred September 15, 1968 during the Redskins' game against the Chicago Bears. Coincidentally, Redskins' quarterbacks had three of the first four occurrences of a 99 yard pass play (Frank Filchock to Andy Farkas in 1939 and George Izo to Bobby Mitchell in 1963 were the other two occurrences of the play). Since Jurgensen's feat, no other Redskins' quarterback has completed a 99 yard pass.
"Jurgensen is a great quarterback. He hangs
in there under adverse conditions. He may
be the best the league has ever seen.
He is the best I have seen."
In 1969, Vince Lombardi took over as the Redskins' head coach. That season, Jurgensen led the NFL in attempts (442), completions (274), completion percentage (62%) and passing yards (3,102). The Redskins went 7-5-2 and had their best season since 1955 (which kept Lombardi's record of never having coached a losing NFL team intact). Sadly, Lombardi died of cancer shortly before the start of the 1970 season. Jurgensen would later say that, of the nine head coaches he played for during his NFL career, Lombardi was his favorite.
The Redskins enjoyed a resurgence in the early 1970s under coach George Allen and made it as far as Super Bowl VII, losing to the Miami Dolphins. However, Billy Kilmer started in place of Jurgensen, who was again bothered by injuries in 1971 and 1972. During this time period, a quarterback controversy developed between the two, complete with fans sporting "I Love Billy" or "I Love Sonny" bumper stickers on their vehicles. The defensive-minded Allen preferred Kilmer's conservative, ball-control style of play to Jurgensen's more high-risk approach. Despite the controversy, Jurgensen was helpful to his rival. Even to this day, Kilmer still stays at Jurgensen's house when he is in town.
In 1974, at the age of 40 and in his final season, Jurgensen won his third NFL passing crown even though he was still splitting time with Kilmer. In what would be the final game of his NFL career, Jurgensen made his first and only appearance in an NFL postseason game in the Redskins' 19-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the first round of the 1974 NFC playoffs. He came off the bench in relief of Kilmer and completed 6 of 12 passes but also threw three interceptions.
In many circles. A five-time Pro Bowl selection, he earned three NFL individual passing titles. He exceeded 400 yards passing in a single game five times, and threw five touchdown passes in a game twice. With a career rating of 82.6, his stats include 2,433 completions for 32,224 yards and 255 touchdowns. He also rushed for 493 yards and 15 touchdowns.
, Jurgensen is recognized as the finest pure passer of his time
Jurgensen's 82.62 career passer rating is the highest for any player in the "Dead Ball Era" (pre-1978).
Broadcasting career 
After retiring from the Redskins' following the 1974 season, Jurgensen began another career as a color commentator, initially with CBS television. Later teaming with Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff, Jurgensen continues to cover the Washington Redskins on radio. On a 2006 NBC 4 broadcast with George Michael, Jurgensen said in his prime he was able to throw the ball 80 yards. He covered the team for NBC 4 from 1994 until December 2008, when Redskins Report was canceled due to budget cuts. He was the main analyst with George Michael's serving as a game analyst at preseason games, studio analyst at training camp, weekly picks, among other assignments.
Jurgensen was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1971 and the Duke Sports Hall of Fame in 1979. He was then inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1999, Jurgensen was ranked the ninth best sports figure from North Carolina by Sports Illustrated and became a member of Wilmington's Walk of Fame in 2004.
See also 
External links 
- 1978: Pete Rozelle, George Halas, Art Rooney
- 1979: Paul Brown, Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski
- 1980: Don Shula, Wellington Mara, Dominic Olejniczak, Pro Football Hall of Fame
- 1981: Lamar Hunt, Tom Landry
- 1982: William Bidwill, Alex Wojciechowicz, Bud Grant
- 1983: F. William Harder, LeRoy Neiman
- 1985: George P. Marshall, Weeb Ewbank
- 1986: Howard Cosell, Vince Lombardi, Vic Maitland
- 1987: Ray Scott, Steve Sabol, Ed Sabol, Bert Bell
- 1988: Raymond Berry
- 1989: Tex Schramm
- 1990: Bill Dudley, Ollie Matson, Steve Van Buren
- 1991: Hugh McElhenny 1992: Chuck Bednarik, Art Modell
- 1993: Elroy Hirsch, Marion Motley
- 1994: Sid Luckman, Sammy Baugh
- 1995: Otto Graham, Chuck Noll
- 1996: Johnny Unitas, Curt Gowdy
- 1997: Pat Summerall, Ralph Wilson
- 1998: Jim Brown, Al Davis
- 1999: Bobby Mitchell, Paul Tagliabue
- 2000: Len Dawson, Deacon Jones
- 2001: Mike McCormack, Mel Renfro
- 2002: Mel Blount, Jim Otto, Jim Tunney
- 2003: Tom Flores, Willie Davis
- 2004: Dick Vermeil, Val Pinchbeck, Don Weiss
- 2005: Larry Wilson, Joe Greene
- 2007: Sonny Jurgensen, Jack Youngblood
- 2008: Eric Dickerson, John Madden, Alex Spanos
- George Allen Head Coach 1971–77
- Cliff Battles RB 1932–37
- Sammy Baugh QB 1937–52
- Gene Brito DE, 1951–53, 1955–58
- Larry Brown RB 1969–76
- Dave Butz DT 1975–88
- Gary Clark WR 1985–92
- Jack Kent Cooke Owner 1961–97
- Bill Dudley RB, 1950–51, 1953
- Wayne Curry Prince George's County Executive 1994–2002
- Pat Fischer CB 1968–77
- Joe Gibbs Head Coach, 1981–92, 2004–07
- Darrell Green CB 1983–2002
- Russ Grimm G 1981–91
- Chris Hanburger LB 1965–78
- Ken Harvey LB 1994–98
- Len Hauss C 1964–77
- Phil Hochberg PA Announcer 1963–2000
- Ken Houston S 1973–80
- Sam Huff LB, 1964–67, 1969
- Joe Jacoby T/G 1981–93
- Dick James RB 1956–63
- Sonny Jurgensen QB 1964–74
- Charlie Justice RB, 1950, 1952–54
- Billy Kilmer QB 1971–78
- Eddie LeBaron QB, 1952–53, 1955–59
- Vince Lombardi Head Coach 1969
- Dexter Manley DE 1981–89
- Charles Mann DE 1983–93
- George Preston Marshall Team Founder & Owner 1932–69
- Wayne Millner End, 1936–41, 1945
- Bobby Mitchell Flanker 1962–68
- Brian Mitchell RB/KR 1990–99
- Art Monk WR 1980–93
- Mark Moseley PK 1974–86
- Brig Owens DB 1966–77
- Richie Petitbon S 1971-72, defensive coordinator 1981-92
- Vince Promuto G 1960–70
- John Riggins RB, 1976–79, 1981–85
- Jerry Smith TE 1965–77
- Charley Taylor WR 1964–77
- Sean Taylor S 2004–07
- Joe Theismann QB 1974–85
- Lamar "Bubba" Tyer Head Athletic Trainer, 1971–2002, 2004–08
- Doug Williams QB 1986–89