The Final Score: Yes, @RobertJaworski7 is perfect for these times
PBA legend Robert Jaworski is a year older. One more year removed from the moments that made him unparalleled. The farther we go from the Toyota glory years, the more we leave his Ginebra era behind, the taller his tales become.
I've interviewed Sen. Jaworski several times. Yet I can't call him "Sonny". I always envied veteran sports broadcaster Andy Jao for having that privilege. When Mr. Jao referred to Jaworski as "Sonny" on-air, it felt so intimate, like he knew the ins and outs of the Jaworski folklore, like he was one of the chosen few.
Robert Jaworski is not my Facebook friend. Hindi ko siya Ninong sa kasal. I've never been to his house. We've never had a meal together. Kahit coffee man lang. I don't have his cellphone number. I don't know him personally. But I do know this: Jaworski made me a basketball fan.
In Jaworski's time, there were superstars, there were enforcers, there were underdogs and there was royalty. The Big J, like no one else around him, was a volatile combination of everything. Action Star. Comedy King. Father Figure. Executioner. Saint. Icon. Elder. Hero. Villain. Commander-in-Chief. Legend.
During his 20-plus years in the PBA, he represented what people admired. He stood for what people detested. The arguments will never end. Was he a dirty player or did he just play with passion? Should he be canonized for playing as long as he did or criticized for not knowing when to stop? Was he loathsome? Or was he legendary?
I own several Jaworski number 7 Toyota jerseys. They weren't given. I had them made. Norman Black once saw me wearing one. He smiled. Tim Cone saw me wearing a two-tone Toyota jersey during another occasion. He smiled too. The stories followed. Jaworski did this. Jaworski said that. Unbelievable. Unforgettable. They shook their heads. They reenacted the moves.
How can Jaworski's myth survive in these times? Can anyone be a 47-year old Playing-Coach in this day and age? Fortunately, today's players no longer have to disappear in Jaworski's shadow. They no longer have to clash with the sage. 1988 upstarts like Jojo Lastimosa played against Jaworski, fought through comparisons and survived to become legends themselves.
Still, I believe Jaworski lasted so long because he mattered to each generation he played for. He was made for the sensibilities of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. He mattered to fathers and their sons. He mattered to wives and daughters. He mattered to me because he made sure basketball meant something.
Jaworski would've mattered to today's fans. A player like @RobertJaworski7 will make people tweet. He will force them to take sides. They will wait for him to sink a three-point shot. They will wait for him to whack someone on the arm. He will make them say:
@RobertJaworski7 mag-retire ka na!
@RobertJaworski7 don’t ever leave the Barangay!
@RobertJaworski7 is a Living Legend!
Happy Birthday Senator Robert Jaworski. You were impossible to ignore. Legends are impossible to suppress. — GMA News
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