Entries by Sam Kouvaris

Coaches and QB’s Make the Difference

When it comes to where the University of Florida and the University of Georgia football programs have gone in the last ten years, it’s apparent where the success or failure in Gainesville or Athens comes from. To win in either of those places you need a coach with an offensive philosophy and you need a […]

Preseason Injuries Are The Worst

Doug Marrone is probably scared to death right now. It’s got nothing to do with wins and losses, not scoring against the Ravens, what his team might do this year or his job security. He’s too good of a coach, too good of a guy, too well respected in the league and has been around […]

Colt Fever 40 Years Ago Was the Start

There’s a bit of irony this week as the NFL football team from Jacksonville is visiting in the city of Baltimore. That’s because it’s happening nearly 40 years to the day since the NFL owner from Baltimore started threatening to leave town take his team to Jacksonville. That’s the start of the story that ended […]

Jaguars Ease Into Camp

In the first week of training camp all 32 NFL teams believe. They’re healthy, their free agents are signed and generally everybody’s ready to go. Yannick Ngakoue and the Jaguars negotiations notwithstanding. They’ll come to a deal. There are different approaches to training camp. Since there used to be six preseason games, NFL camps were […]

USFL Was Real Football

This week marks the 34th anniversary of the United States Football League’s final game. The Baltimore (previously) Philadelphia Stars defeated the Oakland Invaders at Giants Stadium to win the USFL Championship behind MVP Kelvin Bryant and Head Coach Jim Mora. The Jacksonville Bulls were part of the USFL in its final two years, 1984 and […]

Season of ’73 Saved Baseball in Jax

There’s s rich list of names and dates that are a part of Jacksonville’s baseball history: Henry Aaron 1953, Tom Seaver 1966, The Bragan’s 1984, Alex Rodriguez 1994 and even 2019 as current All-Stars Brad Hand, J.T. Realmuto, Christian Yelich and Clayton Kershaw all spent time In town during their ascent to the Majors. But […]

George Hincapie Still Riding High

As they start the 106th edition of the Tour de France this weekend in Belgium, 17-time Tour finisher George Hincapie knows what the riders are feeling. “All of the Grand Tours are hard,” Hincapie said, looking fit and relaxed as we talked sitting in the study of his bike-centric Hotel Domestique in Travelers Rest, South […]

Racin’ and Fishin’ at Daytona

I’ve been pretty fortunate in my journalism career to do some exciting things and meet some interesting people. I’ve often said that I had the second best job in the world, Pat Summerall and now Jim Nantz topping that list. And you might have heard me say more than once, “I’ve flown with the Blue […]

This Team Wins Titles

To find National Champions, and lots of them, look no further than the Sporting Clay, Skeet and Trap team at JU. A shooting team? At JU you say? Exactly. They’ve won nineteen National Event Titles, at least two outright National Championships and have had thirteen team members invited to the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Each […]

Jaguars Locker Room Leadership

Don’t spend any time worrying about Yannick Ngakoue not coming to the mini-camp. I can tell you this: the players don’t care. They all know this is the business part of the season and running around in his “pajamas,” as Head Coach Doug Marrone likes to say, isn’t going to make a bit of difference […]

World Golf Hall of Fame

This week the World Golf Hall of Fame will welcome five new members of the Class of 2019. In now what has become a bi-annual event, Peggy Kirk Bell, Jan Stephenson, Billy Payne, Retief Goosen and Dennis Walters will be inducted at Pebble Beach, site of this year’s U.S. Open. While they’ll be inducted in […]

Holzhauer Streak on Jeopardy! Impressive!

Lots of smart people come through the Jeopardy! pipeline but haven’t come close to what James Holzhauer is doing. Holzhauer is plenty smart and being a professional sports gambler, he knows how to play the odds but has the confidence and competitiveness of a top-level athlete. It’s a rare combination. It is impressive during Holzhauer’s […]

Tiger Misses Cut, Still Wins

Yes I said Tiger wouldn’t win again and reiterated that he certainly wouldn’t win a Major for the rest of his career. In the crow-eating category, several of my friends charitable endeavors were bolstered out of my bank account thanks to Tiger winning last year in Atlanta and again at Augusta. I joked with them, […]

Odds Against Rookies in the NFL

Pictures courtesy of the Jacksonville Jaguars/Rick Wilson There’s a prevailing thought that “all jobs are open” during the offseason in the NFL. There are 90 players on every roster once OTA’s start. Eventually that number gets pared down to the 53 on the team when the season starts. That means when the 32 teams get […]

Can’t Measure Heart

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the measureables of athletes: height weight, 40-time, shuttle run, bench press. And some talk about production and “getting to the next level.” As anyone who’s played anything knows one of the best cliché’s in sports is “you can’t measure heart.” Because you can’t. That’s why Donnie Horner […]

Jaguars Take Allen, Easy Pick

When you pick a player in the first round of the NFL Draft, you expect him to step in a be a starter for ten years. That’s what first round talent is supposed to be: solid, reliable and sometimes spectacular. But despite the millions of dollars spent and the millions of man-hours dedicated to the […]

Hitch Our Wagon to Shad Khan and Let’s Go!

I’m not sure what the downside is to hitching our wagon to Shad Khan and going along for the ride. If a rising tide floats all boats, Khan IS the rising tide. Not many cities have a patron who is among the wealthiest people in the world. He has the vision and the wherewithal as […]

Culture, Not X’s and O’s Jaguars Focus

It’s called the “Offseason Conditioning Program” officially by the NFL but as we know, there is no “off-season” in the league. They’ve stretched it out to 12 months, hoping you’ll keep teams in mind when shopping, discussing and whetting your sports appetite. For the Jaguars, they’re hoping it’s a new beginning, or more specifically a […]

The Masters is Emotional

They played early at Augusta National in yesterday’s final round of The Masters because of weather.  But it didn’t make a difference. Early or late, it’s the same. Because this is The Masters. It was a leaderboard fitting of The Masters with Major Champions trying to add to their collection and others trying to make […]

Masters Memories

Receiving an invitation to cover the Masters when I was at Channel 2 in Charleston in late 1978 was an unexpected and welcome surprise. I took my Dad as my cameraman since I was a one-man sports department at the time. We rented a room through the Augusta Housing Bureau and were both amazed the […]

Mayor Curry on Board With Sports

It was over forty years ago when Mayor Jake Godbold decided that Jacksonville’s image needed burnishing and the local citizenry needed their spirits lifted. He chose sports as a vehicle to promote city pride and invited Baltimore Colts’ owner Robert Irsay to town for the now-famous “Colt Fever.” Godbold was unfairly dubbed “Mayor Jock” because […]

McIlroy Wins Players, Furyk Contends

On a tough weather day on a difficult golf course, Rory McIlroy used his new found “poise and patience” to win the 38th edition of The Players Championship contested at the TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course. A missed birdie putt on two and an unheard of double-bogey six on number four could have derailed McIlroy’s […]

THE PLAYERS a Blend of Then and Now

I’ve always said that most of the locals who attend THE PLAYERS think every PGA TOUR event is like this week in Ponte Vedra. The Players is like nothing else out there, taking the best from every PGA Tour stop all year and incorporating it into the TPC at Sawgrass for one week. It’s not […]

The Players: Big Time, Hometown Fun

When to contest The Players has been a topic since the tournament was started in the ’70’s. Beginning in Atlanta on Labor Day in 1974 it moved to Ft. Worth the next year in August and then to Ft. Lauderdale the following February. When it moved to Ponte Vedra and Sawgrass Country Club it was […]

Gate River Run Prep

If you’ve been training for this week’s Gate River Run and you’re worried about the last week of training, don’t be. If it’s your first Gate, you’ll be fine. Unless you’re trying to qualify for a national team or prepping for some of the top ten-prize money or the equalizer bonus, you’ll be fine no […]

Doug Alred “Runs” the Gate River Run

Starting in 1978, with running for fitness in its infancy, The Jacksonville River Run, as it was called, was more of a competitive race than a fun “run.” Race organizer Buck Fannin recruited the Times Union and Jacksonville Journal as the sponsors, drumming up publicity and support for the run. Using the Peachtree Road Race […]

Sports Art from a Local Artist

It wasn’t until Heather Blanton had what she jokingly calls a “midlife crisis” that she became a painter. She was about to turn 40. The recession had hit. And her medium for more than 10 years — Polaroid manipulation photography — was on its way out. “I needed to find something,” she said, standing in […]

Lagasse Continues Speed Tradition

There’s always been a connection between North Florida and NASCAR. LeeRoy Yarbrough called Jacksonville home and won 14 times on the top -rated NASCAR Grand National Circuit. Speedway Park, also know as Jacksonville Speedway, was a half-mile dirt track at Lenox Avenue and Plymouth Street in what was then called “Southwest” Jacksonville. The track hosted […]

Second Jacksonville Super Bowl? Not Soon

It was nineteen years between Super Bowls for Atlanta. They hosted Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994, Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999 six years later and then not again until 2019 For Super Bowl LIII. For a major metropolitan city with a diverse population, a solid corporate base and a vibrant social scene, that’s a long […]

Boselli Misses HOF Selection

No gold jacket for Tony Boselli again this year. It’s the third year Tony has been among the final fifteen players up for selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For the second straight year, Boselli made the cut to the 10 finalists but not to the final five and was passed over for […]

The HOF Case for Tony Boselli

As noted in this column two weeks ago, 2019 is the third consecutive year former Jaguars Tackle Tony Boselli has been named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And for the 24th year, I’ll be the Jacksonville representative on the Selection Committee and again I’m charged with presenting the case for Boselli’s […]