I don’t get the opportunity to interview one of my favorite Eagles, so I jumped at the chance to fire some questions at former Bird’s right tackle Jon Runyan, who recently traded in his cleats for a shirt and tie in his bid to win a Congressional seat.
Unless you’ve been sleeping the sleep of Rip Van Winkle for the last couple weeks, you should already know big Jon has entered the political arena by running as a Republican in New Jersey’s 3rd District. For more information on his policies and how he hopes to change the government, go to his website, www.runyanforcongress.com. You can also follow him on Twitter by looking up @runyan2010.
I’d like to thank Jon and his PR guru Don Povia for making this happen. I had fun coming up with questions and reading Jon’s very candid answers. Hope you enjoy. (Q & A after the jump.)
-Are you concerned some might not take you seriously as a politician due to your professional sports background?
A lot of people ask me why I am qualified to do this. My answer is, one, I’m qualified because I care about our country and its future. Two, I ask them how the so-called “qualified” politicians have been doing lately. Not too well, is the obvious answer! I don’t claim to be a politician. We need a common sense and transparent approach that allows the people to know exactly what is going on in their government and be able to eliminate waste and corruption.
-What’s the most daunting aspect of entering the world of politics?
I don’t see it as daunting; I see it as a great opportunity to continue my commitment to community service in another arena. I have been really involved in charitable organizations here in South Jersey since I signed with the Eagles and consider myself part of this community, not just someone who happened to play football here. The campaign will be grueling and my opponent is a career politician who won’t just roll over and let me win, so there is a lot of hard work ahead. But the one thing I think people of this area know about me is that I have never been afraid of hard work. I encourage everyone to check out my website at www.runyanforcongress.com and follow the campaign.
-If a team in need of a Pro Bowl right tackle gave you a call, would you consider a return to the NFL, or are you done for good?
I am DONE!
-Do you have any bitterness about the way things ended with the Eagles?
Not at all, I am happy that it lasted as long as it did!
-Is Michael Strahan the best defensive end you ever faced? If not, who?
He is, but I cannot throw Reggie White under the bus!
-Unfortunately, you were on two Super Bowl losing teams. How much does it hurt to lose the big game?
Now that I am done, I reflect back on the Super Bowls and can say that not a lot of guys in the NFL ever played in one, let alone two! I tend to block it out most of the year but when this question comes up and when the playoffs start, the video tape always finds its way back on TV and gets me thinking.
-Is being called one of “The Dirtiest Players in the NFL” a badge of honor?
We will call it a label, one that not everyone gets. It defines a style that is very old school. Not a lot of guys are willing to play that way!
-Are the Cowboys as easy to hate as they seem?
I hate whoever I play that week!
-Do you think the Eagles will trade Donovan McNabb?
They have been down that road before, and I always say be careful what you wish for!
-What was your relationship like with McNabb?
He is a great teammate and a good friend.
-What is your fondest memory as an Eagle?
My memories are numerous but the Eagle fans are the best part of playing here, and they continue to be, even after I have moved on!
-Could you defeat Andy Reid in a hot dog eating contest?
Not sure. What are his stats?
Thanks again to big Jon Runyan! I wish him luck in his political pursuits.