Entries by Sam Kouvaris

A Galaxy of Difference

About every third time Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer meets with the media, he references how he’s learning the pro game. He admits he is surprised by some things and has hired a staff full of coaches with NFL experience to shepherd him through the process. While I admire the transparency, never Meyer’s strong suit, […]

Bowden Stories

This week, reminiscing with friends about things that happened in the thirty years I knew Bobby Bowden, there was story after story, one funnier than the next. The one common thread in all of them? Everybody talked about the man, not the coach. And everybody has a Bobby Bowden story. Rather than tell you mine, […]

Watch The Olympics!

Flipping through the channels the other night I came across some diving. Any other time in the last four years I’d have kept searching. But not this year. This year is the Olympic Year. And I unapologetically think the Olympics are great. I’ve been to a couple of Olympics. I took my kids to Atlanta […]

To Rate A Quarterback

When the Jaguars took Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft last April, he became the twenty-first quarterback taken with the top pick in the last three decades. Two of those twenty-one, Peyton Manning and Troy Aikman, are in the Hall of Fame. Only one other, Eli Manning has won a […]

Where Do The Wins Come From?

By the middle of this week, all thirty-two NFL teams will be in training camp. Hope springs eternal in the league this time of year. Fans are pouring over the schedule, looking at the starting lineups, the injuries, the rookies added, and the veterans traded to come up with idea about what their team could […]

Wood Bat Baseball in Town

There’s a familiarity when you walk onto a baseball field. You don’t even need to open your eyes to know where you are. The smell of cut grass, the feel of dirt under your cleats and the energy of a dugout the comes from baseballs and gloves in their own random, organized spaces. The familiar […]

Sports and The Star-Spangled Banner

As we celebrate the 244th anniversary of our Nation’s independence today, we’ll hear a lot of patriotic songs. It might be the only day we hear John Phillip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.” We’ll sing along with Katherine Lee Bates’ and Samuel Ward’s “America the Beautiful.” And many of the celebrations will begin with our […]

NFL Tough Guys

With all the emphasis on speed, technique, culture and whatever else the Jaguars have been working on so far, it won’t be until sometime in late August when the coaching staff and the players start to find out what kind of football team they’re going to be. Everybody talks about playing fast and giving great […]

Happy Father’s Day

There’s a special bond between dads and their kids that only comes through sports. It’s different than almost anything else. Whether it’s being at a sporting event as spectators or as competitors, that bond is created by watching and learning. At a sporting event from the stands, dads show their kids how they act in […]

Charity Golf In Town

If you’ve played any golf in North Florida you’ve probably played in a charity golf tournament. Big or small, golf tournaments raising money for charity are among the biggest fundraising sources for charities in our part of the country. “Before Covid, we held as many as twenty fund-raising events every year,” Chet Stokes, General Manager […]

Sports Performance

We’ve heard Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer talk a lot about how important he thinks “sports performance” is to the success of his new team. What exactly is “sports performance?” “There has been a lot of research about different tools to improve sports performance,” Dr. Kaitlyn Buss a doctor of physical therapy here in Jacksonville […]

Sports Idols

It was easy having sports figures as childhood heroes growing up in Baltimore. At various times as a kid, depending on the season, I was Frank Robinson at the plate, Brooks Robinson at third, and Paul Blair in the outfield. I was Johnny Unitas in my front yard throwing at bushes. Playing catch, I was […]

The Week

Usually this column writes itself as the week goes along. When I’m out people want to talk sports and generally everybody wants to talk about the same thing. That’s one of the things I’ve always liked about living here. People like sports and they like to talk about it. And they have an opinion. I’ve […]

Trevor and Tebow A Jaguars Solution

In a conversation this week, I had a couple of Jaguars fans tell me they thought that Head Coach Urban Meyer was “calculating.” “That’s a good word,” I told them. It really does seem to be part of Meyer’s personality, and one of things that, to me, is unappealing. But that calculating trait can’t be […]

Sports TV Viewing Ups and Downs

Standing in line at the hardware store the other day, the guy standing next to me started up a conversation with, “You know, I don’t watch the news anymore, especially the sports.” He said he recognized me from my nearly four decades on television here in Jacksonville and stopped watching when my career was ended. […]

Jaguars Draft Questions

There was that moment when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “With the first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select Trevor Lawrence, quarterback, Clemson,” when it felt surreal. Like, “Wait, the Jaguars are relevant again.” After the disappointment and drudgery of last year, and for most of the last decade, the whole […]

NFL Draft Secrets

There’s a room down at the stadium that’s highly guarded. It doesn’t contain cash or tickets or merchandise. No, it holds something much more important: Information. It’s the room that holds the Jaguars draft board. A compilation of the past four years or more of scouting, evaluating, interviewing, discussing, arguing and just plain wondering about […]

Michelle and Paul Tesori Making a Difference

When you have this job as a reporter, you get to meet a lot of interesting people. My career has been no different. I’ve met a lot of different people, many with tremendous athletic talent, others with superior intellect. If you’ve read this column over the past three years you know my favorite thing is […]

Masters Memories Last

Most of golf’s memories seem to come from The Masters. The other majors have had their drama. The Open Championship has the famous “Duel in the Sun” between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson and Van de Velde’s meltdown at Carnoustie. The U.S. Open has Ben Hogan’s one-iron at Merion, Arnold Palmer driving the green at […]

Past and Present on Display at The Masters

It was always former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman’s idea that The Players Championship would be the first “significant” golf tournament of the year. Playing the tournament in March in Florida would kick off the golf season and eventually The Players would be the “first major” on the calendar. Although it is showcased as the […]

Women Kickers In Football

It never took long in any conversation with Tom Coughlin about the kicking game for the Jaguars Head Coach to explain something about Mike Hollis. “He’s not just a kicker,” Coughlin would say, “He’s a football player.” That says a lot about kickers as outliers on any football team, but also says plenty about the […]

The Roll Continues With Gate River Run

We’ve been on quite a run in Florida and especially North Florida in the first quarter of 2021. It started with the Jaguars hiring Urban Meyer on January 14th. While sports fans in general and Jaguars fans specifically are split on Meyer and his potential for success in professional football, Meyer’s hiring put the focus […]

Do’s and Don’ts of The Players

There was a lot of talk this week about what you can and can’t do at The Players Championship. First of all, you can get a ticket. Even with just about eight-thousand tickets sold there were enough floating around that if you wanted to see some golf, you could get out there. If you really […]

From GJO to TPC and Beyond

It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what The Players Championship is because it’s actually so many things at once. It’s a premier golf tournament that the best players in the world want to win. Adam Scott said so when he won in 2004. Rory McIlroy reiterated that saying, “I don’t think my career […]

What Happened to Racquetball

It was my second trip to Jacksonville, and my first in a non-work capacity. I had been here for the 1978 Clemson/Ohio State Gator Bowl game, famous for Woody Hayes punching Charlie Bauman after an interception that led to the Tigers’ 17-15 victory. But save for the ‘drive-thru’ during my high school senior trip on […]

Butch Buchholz Makes Ponte Vedra Home

When I first met Butch Buccholz I wasn’t surprised at what a dynamic personality he has. I’d heard his name in sports circles for years and I’d been told many stories about him by our mutual friend, tennis legend Tony Trabert. Trabert had regaled me with tales of “Butchy’s” determination as a businessman, his ability […]

Lonnie Marts Leveling the Playing Field

Sometimes it’s funny how life takes you in the direction you’re supposed to go. Former Jaguars Linebacker Lonnie Marts is a good example of that. In the twenty plus year’s Lonnie and I have been friends we’ve had a running joke about his role as a football player. “When that hole at the line of […]

Jaguars Should Avoid The Past

A couple of years ago I was sitting in the press box during a Jaguars game next to my good friend and colleague Dan Hicken. After a particularly goofy play, you know kind where the Jaguars get a turnover and immediately throw an interception that goes the other way for six? Dan turned to me […]

Hall of Fame 2021 Boselli

This week the Pro Football Hall of Fame will reveal the Class of 2021. They’re hoping to keep it a secret until the NFL Honors show on Saturday night before the Super Bowl but with Hall President David Baker knocking on doors this week giving those selected the good news and making phone calls to […]

A Baalke Change Up

There’s a learning curve in every new situation, even owning an NFL team. Shad Khan admits he’s learned a few things, sometimes jarring and big things, since taking control of the Jaguars in 2012. Those things he’s learned have given him enough experience to have his own perspective on what works in the NFL. He’s […]

Urban Redux

Dear Shad, Hope you and the family had a great holiday season and are looking forward to a happy and healthy 2021! Just wanted to send along my congratulations on your new head coach hire. It’s the kind of big splash that put the Jaguars back on the map instantly. With Urban on board and […]

A Fans Fix

It would be no surprise that all of my friends are sports fans. Oh, they have plenty of varied interests, from tango to traveling, investing to industry. But sports binds all of us together, it’s our common denominator. All of my friends are also old enough to have been around to see the Jaguars become […]

Forget Them

Over the past week social media has been ablaze with comments about the Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence. Jaguars fans are giddy at the prospect of holding the number one choice in the April NFL Draft and the Clemson quarterback being chosen to wear black and teal. Everybody else it seems, isn’t so happy with the […]

NFL Draft Number One vs. Number Two

It makes perfect sense for Jaguars fans to want the number one pick in the 2021 NFL draft. In need of a franchise quarterback, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is poised to be the top pick next April and create a building block for some NFL franchise in the future. Fans will want the Jaguars to lose […]

AAA Upgrade

For nearly a hundred years, Major League Baseball had an agreement with numerous minor leagues to operate as a farm system to evaluate and develop talent. The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues represented the minor leagues and franchises but when their agreement with MLB ran out on September 1st, the whole system changed. “Jacksonville […]

Rivalries

Rivalries come in all shapes and sizes. Two of my children graduated from Florida eight years apart. My oldest says Tennessee was the Gators biggest rival while she was in Gainesville, while my son names Georgia as the team he wanted to beat the most. Neither have very good things to say about Florida State. […]

Everybody Wins

Having been in the media for most of my life, and almost all of my professional life (I was a bartender before my first TV job), I’ve lost a lot of confidence in this profession. Between the election, the reporting on the pandemic, lockdowns and everything else, it’s hard to figure out who to believe. […]

Are We The Browns

Over the past decade or so, my favorite Jaguars fan, at least once during each season will say, “We’re the Browns, aren’t we? We’re the Browns, the Browns of the South.” I usually scoffed at the comment. “Of course we’re not,” I’d say. “The Browns are always bad.” But as of late, I’m not sure […]

Jaguars Path to Glory

We’ve called the Steelers the Jaguars big rival for a long time. When the Jaguars began in the AFC Central, Head Coach Tom Coughlin molded the Jaguars in the Steelers’ image, knowing the only way to the division title was through Pittsburgh. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen those television commercials showing Fred […]

A Walk at the Masters

I took a few walks this week. That’s not unusual, and this particular walk is one I’ve made perhaps two hundred times before. But this was a special version of that walk. Whenever I get to Augusta National for The Masters, I take part of each day I’m there to walk the back nine. And […]