Big Game Air recently sat down with former Chicago Bears Pro Bowl selection Jerry Azumah to talk life, sports and leisure. If you are interested in traveling with Jerry and Big Game Air to the Chicago Bears/Green Bay Packers game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, Sept. 28, click here for more information.
- We’ve known you for about 16 years and have seen your life go through amazing changes. The newest chapter is family man and dad. Tell us about what this new experience means for you.
I’ve always wanted kids so finally having one feels like my life is complete. The excitement and joy that my son brings to my life daily is incredible. So incredible that I’m having another son this September.
- Your 40th birthday is right around the corner. Do you have any special plans?
My friends and family are planning a big ROAST for my birthday this year. This will be a very exciting and fun way to bring in my 40s. This will be a night full of laughs with family and friends.
- Your life after football has included a lot of great travel. Is there a place that you have visited that you would move to in a heartbeat? What’s the next trip you have planned?
I have been very fortunate to have traveled to several different places around the globe. I love traveling domestically but seeing different cultures, lifestyles and views internationally has my most interest. I recently went to Greece and Colombia which was absolutely incredible. But if I had to move somewhere it would easily be Barcelona. My next trip is TBD.
- The city of Chicago is an amazing culinary destination …What’s your absolute favorite restaurant in the city and why?
I’m lucky to be in such a progressive city that arguably has the best selection food in the world. I’m a foodie at heart and there are may restaurants that stand out due to their cuisine and beverage programs. One place that I call home would be RPM Steak because it’s a fine mix of solid food, cocktails and atmosphere. Not to mention that their staff looks incredibly sharp.
- You’ve been known to smoke some fine cigars…what’s your go-to cigar?
My buddies and I have been members at the Biggs Mansion Chicago for almost two years now. Its are get away spot to enjoy some fine cigars, libations and a ton of conversations.
- You played 7 years with the Bears, which included a Pro Bowl appearance. Looking back on your career, what are you most proud of?
There are so many moments throughout my career that i’m very proud of. Playing in the Pro Bowl amongst the best of the best of the NFL was an incredible experience. One that I got to spend with family and friends in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
- Do you have a favorite memory from your time with the organization?
I. get asked this question a lot and I have many great memories over the years. The one that sticks out the most is running out of the Soldier Field tunnel as a Chicago Bear for the first time. I will never forget the proud smiles on my family’s faces. Never.
- What did it mean to you to win the Brian Piccolo Award as a rookie with the Bears in 1999?
I watched the movie Brian’s Song before I got to Da Bears so I knew about his life. The award is given to a player that best exemplifies courage, loyalty, teamwork and dedication of Brian Piccolo. To know that this is a team award voted by teammates makes this award very humbling to receive.
- You were an incredible running back during your collegiate days. Who was your favorite running back growing up that you tried to emulate?
Growing up I was a Chicago Bears fan and the person that I loved and tried to emulate was Walter Payton. He was an incredible athlete and the best in the business ever. Being drafted by the Bears and playing in the house that Walter Payton was a part of was truly a dream come true.
- You got into broadcasting after your playing days and quickly began expanding into other business opportunities. Talk about your post-football ventures and why you pursued them?
Broadcasting was a very fun transition after my playing days. It gave me the opportunity to not only stay close to the game but educate and give my perspective. I always had a love for fashion and last year I created a company called Goldwyn Laboratories that provides fashion forward uniform solutions to ourhospitality clients.
- You are on the Board of Directors for Bears Care. What is the mission of the organization and why was it important to you to join the group?
The mission is committed to improving the quality of life for people in the Chicagoland community, especially disadvantaged children and their families, through targeted programs supporting education, youth athletics and medical research and health awareness programs focusing on breast and ovarian cancer. I am extremely proud to be a board member of Bears Care. I love to help others and give back whenever I can. So much help has been given to me that it’s only right that I return that favor.
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Winter is one of my favorite seasons because I get to snowboard which I’m a big fan of. I have a crew that loves snowboarding as much as me so any opportunity that we get we will be on the slopes.
- Why the University of New Hampshire? What appealed to you most about the school?
UNH was one of the many schools that offered me a full football scholarship. For me, I was looking for a school that had a good sense of community, strong education and a solid football tradition.