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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 […]

A Walk at The Masters

I took a walk today. 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, I take part of the first day I’m there to walk the back nine. And it’s the same walk […]

A Different Masters

This year’s Masters Tournament will be historic on many levels. It’ll be the first time the competition has been held in November and it’ll be contested with no patrons (fans) in attendance. The golf course will look different. The course won’t play the same. The Augusta ambience will be different. The Masters has always been […]

Sports Media Changing

In the forty-three years I’ve been working in this business, when asked what I do, or when I’ve had to fill out a form with an “occupation,” slot on it, I’ve always said, “Reporter” or “Journalist.” Sadly, I know a lot of journalism is now tainted with partisan opinion, or has disappeared completely. But in […]

Bragan Adds to the Legacy

Watching the World Series the other night I was impressed with the kind of baseball being played by both the Dodgers and the Rays. The long ball is still the biggest part of offensive tactics in this era of metrics, but baserunning, defense and pitching are on display in the 2020 version of the Fall […]

Mastery Takes Time

It’s not hard to understand why Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone likes this year’s team. He’s said more than once how close he feel to the 2020 Jaguars. And it’s easy to see why. They play hard, they’re fun and they’re an easy group to root for. But watching them can drive you crazy. They’ll […]

Tony Trabert – 70 Years Later…

As sports fans we’re all getting used to the different time lines that are happening in 2020. The NBA, NHL, college and pro football have all had jumbled schedules. In golf they played the U.S. Open in September and the Masters is in November. In tennis they cancelled Wimbledon but the French Open will conclude […]

It’s the Quarterback

There’s always been a discussion about the most important position in sports. It usually comes down to the pitcher in baseball and the quarterback in football. If baseball was only played every four days, pitcher would be the runaway winner in that discussion. A pitcher can control a baseball game from the mound nearly singlehandedly. […]

Can The 2020 Jaguars Repeat ’96

There are three teams that stand out in Jaguars history as the best in the team’s 26 seasons. All three went to the AFC Championship game, in 1996, in 1999 and in 2017. And all three lost. The ’99 team is one of the best I’ve seen assembled and clearly the best in Jaguars history. […]

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 […]