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Minshew Likes to Play

Gardner Minshew likes to play football. And he wants to win. I know those statements sound like a call from “Captain Obvious” but have you always thought that about the Jaguars quarterback? It’s easy to pick on Blane Gabbert and his time here but consider this: Did you think Gabbert acted as if he liked […]

At Least A Year Away

A few years ago I was sitting in the Jaguars locker room during training camp next to a veteran player just after a very tough practice. He took his shoulder pads off and let out a long breath. “We could be in trouble,” he said quietly. “Why’s that? I said. As he looked around the […]

Virtually A “Fan”

This week’s column had been on the books for months. I had penciled “Kentucky Derby” into the calendar for this Sunday since yesterday I was supposed to be in Louisville. Excited about writing about the Derby, it would have also been the first live sporting event I’ve attended since Thursday of this year’s Players. “Everything […]

The Athlete’s Voice

It was 1968 when I first was made aware of racial inequities in America. I was twelve years old. Growing up in Baltimore in an integrated environment, I had Black friends and Black teammates. I didn’t know they were different. I didn’t know anything about anything. I was twelve. In my short lifetime I was […]

No Fans Changes The Game

As we inch closer to the proposed opening of the NFL season, teams are also getting closer to a decision whether to allow fans to attend games. No fewer than a dozen franchises have already announced they’ll play with without fans in attendance for the first few weeks. Some have said no fans for the […]

Would You Play?

Sitting down at lunch this week, a friend of mine posed a hypothetical situation. “The Jaguars need a quarterback and despite the fact that you’re on the wrong side of fifty, they think you’re the answer,” he said. “They’re offering you a $2M contract. The caveat is you might catch the virus. Will you sign?” […]

New Hip, No Problem!

You might remember I talked with Joe Namath recently about his book, “All The Way.” During some small talk in our conversation, I mentioned I had my hip replaced at the end of last year. “I’ve had both knees and a hip,” Joe responded. “They’re great. Do the rehab. Those cats know what they’re talking […]

Camp Changes For 2020

When he first popped up on the video conference this week, Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone looked like he either had a mask under his chin or a weird shadow on his face. Turns out he’s grown a beard since the last time we saw him. I don’t know if Marrone has ever had a […]

Would You Run or Ride

We’ve always been an events town. You could set your schedule around what was happening during the year. Just about everybody knew when the Daytona 500 was happening, the Gate River Run, The Players, The Kingfish Tournament, opening weekend for the Jaguars and Florida/Georgia. Add in the Jazz Festival, the various shrimp festivals, opening of […]

Science Versus Social

In the next couple of weeks Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL are set to start or resume their 2020 seasons. The NFL plans to open training camps within the next ten days. And while the PGA Tour has been back on the schedule for just over a month, they said this week […]

Fish Tales

After the early news broadcast one night in 1981 the phone at my desk rang and it was Don Brewer. Don was well known and active in the community so when he asked me to come meet him at some trailers on Beach Blvd, I didn’t think twice. “We’re going to have a fishing tournament,” […]

What Are You Watching?

While we’re waiting for a vaccine and to see if some professional sports will start, or others will continue, what are you watching? We’ve gone into unknown territory when it comes to a lack of professional sports on TV. On of the great trivia questions I was asked during the “Stump Sam” days was, ‘What […]

Will They Play?

This week there were a lot of signs that we’ll see sports restart soon in July. Major League Baseball came to an agreement to start in a couple of weeks. The NBA says they’re going to have games and a version of the “playoffs” in a campus setting at Disney in Orlando. The NCAA has […]

Can Fun Save Golf?

Driving down Ponte Vedra Boulevard you can see the Ocean Course at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club is starting to come back after being torn up for renovation. Same thing in town when you drive down San Jose. San Jose Country Club is re-doing their fairways and greens and changing one of their par […]

Do Sports Need Fans

As sports begin to dip their toe into what their post-pandemic product will look like, fans haven’t been a part of the equation. NASCAR, UFC, some European soccer leagues and now the PGA Tour have held competitions, but no “in-person” fans have been allowed. Without fans, races have been won, fighters have had their hands […]

Can Sports Help?

It’s a slippery slope when any columnist writes about race relations. But I think this is a critical juncture and that having these conversations, discussions and debates are important. With thirteen per cent of America, sixteen per cent of the State of Florida and thirty per cent of the residents of the City of Jacksonville […]

Can the 2020 Jaguars Be Virtually Good?

It appears we’ll have some sort of NFL season in 2020. Several owners this week thought out loud that fans would be allowed, but the decision on that is a while off. With only fifteen percent of each team’s revenue coming from ticket sales, they could play a season without fans in the stands. It […]

Wait! It’s Almost June? I Miss Baseball

As a kid growing up in Baltimore I was a big baseball fan. Still am. Often if I’m just scanning through the channels I default to the MLB Network. When my TV career was ended, I was home nights for the first time in my professional life. That was different for my wife, who after […]

For The Last Two Months . . .

You might have to tilt your head a little, and maybe even squint a bit, but it appears there is a light at the end of this pandemic tunnel we’ve been living in. It feels like forever, but it’s been about two months since the first calls from politicians to try and “flatten the curve” […]

Where’s Shad?

In these “social distancing” times, it’s pretty normal to not see some people you’re used to seeing. But where’s Shad? In a literal sense, I’m sure he’s working on one of the myriad of forty-plus companies he owns. The last time we saw him was in a picture during the NFL Draft, sitting at a […]

Draft Shows What Jaguars Think of 2020

“Read your article on the draft today,” my friend ‘Wooly’ texted me last Sunday. “Really liked it but thought you were holding something back,” he added. It’s not that I was holding anything back, I told him. But the Jaguars clearly have their own ideas about how this team should be built and what it […]

Jaguars Get What and Who They Wanted

There’s always been a two-way discussion for NFL teams about the college draft: Do you pick for need or just draft the best player available? For the Jaguars this year they were picking for something different: No drama. Head Coach Doug Marrone stressed that point several times leading up to the draft and the Jaguars […]

A Complicated Draft, In More Ways Than One

There are a lot of moving parts for any NFL team when it comes to the yearly college draft. This year there will be even more moving parts as the NFL will conduct the draft virtually with everybody, from GM’s, scouts, coaches, medial staff and anybody else with input to a team’s pick meeting via […]

Sports During A National Crisis WWII

It’s not hard to find the last example of all of America in crisis. Nearly eighty years ago, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II. Young men enlisted and were sent off to fight. Every other American was asked to do the same as now: Stay home and do […]

Boselli Battles COVID-19

When his best friend Mark Brunell talks about Tony Boselli, he says he didn’t like him much at first. “He thought he was the best player on the team,” Mark says. “Which he was.” “And he thought he was the toughest guy on the team,” Brunell usually continues. “Which he was.” I can attest to […]

Things We CAN Do

We’ve been told a lot over the past week what we can’t do. “Don’t do this” and “Don’t do that” have been among the myriad levels of “stay at home” mandates. So what can we do? Turns out, “stay at home” doesn’t mean sit in your living room eating Cheetos or cowering to the coronavirus. […]

No Sports, No Problem

I have an eclectic group of friends. My wife says that’s because they make me feel like I’m normal. That’ might be true. They’re a diverse group for sure. One thing that binds most of them is that they’re sports fans. They’ve all laughed at this meme going around on social media: Day Six Without […]

What Are They Up To

Like most everybody else, I’ve been staying home, following the guidelines, working on some projects, talking on the phone with friends and tracking the progress against the coronavirus. And just like most everybody else, I’ve had a chance to let my mind wander about a lot of subjects. Looking back over the last month or […]

We’ll Get Through This

We’ve been at this a while, you and me. About forty years actually. Mostly we’ve talked about sports, but you even embraced me when they asked me to anchor the news on television for a few years. Some of you laughed, and even said you were inspired when I used to do those silly pep […]

On The World Stage, THE PLAYERS Is Still Ours

This would seem to be a week all about golf here in North Florida. With The Players being contested at PGA Tour’s Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra, the best players in the world will be playing for the largest prize money total in golf, $15 million, with $2.7 million going to the winner. This week […]

Billy Donovan, Still Winning

It was about two-thirty in the morning of April 3, 2007 when Billy Donovan finally emerged from the Gators’ locker room in the bowels of the Georgia Dome. Just a few hours earlier Donovan’s Gators had beaten Ohio State for their second consecutive NCAA Basketball Championship. I had been in that locker room earlier, doing […]

Jake, Jax and Sports: A Perfect Match

All of Jake Godbold’s time in office happened before the Internet and cell phones. Despite that, he was more connected than most people, certainly politicians, are today. Connected to everybody. Not just people in his party. Not just to those who voted for him. Not just to his donors or his staff. Connected to everybody. […]

NASCAR and Fitness? Jimmie Johnson Changed That

A few years ago my friend, racecar driver Scott Lagasse, Jr. from St. Augustine invited me to come along on his Champions Ride for Bicycle Safety, I like riding my bike, and although I was coming off knee surgery, I joined in with some of Scott’s high-profile friends from the racing community to try and […]

Two London Games Hurts

Everything about the Jaguars moving a second home game to London stinks. For now. When the Jaguars made that announcement earlier this week all anybody heard was “They’re playing a second game in London, they’re taking a home game away from us”. When I talked to Jaguars President Mark Lamping later in the week he […]

Boselli Denied Again

If there’s a need to prove that the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the most difficult Hall to get into, look no further than the Modern-Era Class of 2020. While Jaguars fans are disappointed and frustrated that Tony Boselli hasn’t gained induction to Canton yet, Steeler fans and Bucs fans feel the same. Boselli […]

Boselli’s Chance

This coming Saturday in Miami, former Jaguars Tackle Tony Boselli and Packers safety LeRoy Butler are among the 15 finalists for the remaining five spots in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s “Centennial Class.” Recognizing the NFL’s 100th anniversary and the year 2020, the Hall expanded this year’s class to include 10 seniors, two coaches, […]

Pro Football Hall of Fame 2020

In my 25 years as the Jacksonville representative on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee the biggest frustration has been the candidates I’ve had to leave out. Each year, especially when the voting gets down to the final ten, me and the rest of the Selection Committee Members cross off five candidates who […]

Tiger Vs. Tiger Isn’t The Only Similarity

If you’ve never been to Clemson, you’re not alone. It’s a destination. You’re not going to accidentally end up in Clemson. In the northwest corner of South Carolina, Clemson is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and on the shores of Lake Hartwell. While the university has always been known as “Clemson.” The […]

Marrone, Caldwell Last Chance

There’s a lot we don’t know about Shad Khan. His ownership of the Jaguars is different than Wayne Weaver’s. It’s different than a lot of other NFL owners as well. He doesn’t live in town so he’s not part of the day-to-day operations. As one of the businesses in his portfolio the Jaguars have their […]

It’s Khan’s Call, So How

I don’t know if Shad Khan will make a change in the Jaguars management this week. I suspect he will, having given us a hint in his statement after firing Tom Coughlin as Executive Vice President. “I determined earlier this fall that making this move at the conclusion of the 2019 season would be in […]