Entries by Sam Kouvaris

Tiger Woods, Heavyweight Champ

It’s a pretty complex relationship, the one between sports fans and Tiger Woods. For a while, it was pretty easy to not like Tiger. A young phenom, who hit it long, Woods was kind of surly, kind of brash, and easy to dislike as he made the transition from amateur to professional. His father said […]


I was having a conversation last night with my long time friend Andy. Andy used to work in Jacksonville 17 years ago and has traveled around since then. He’s one of my friends who I can go several months or even years without talking to, and pick up a conversation as if we spoke yesterday. […]

Summer Dog Days

These are the true dog days of summer. Football teams are in training camps, sweating the sweat they hope separates them from the other teams who are sweating equally in another city. Baseball teams have come to the conclusion that they’re contenders or they’re not. The haves are getting players from the have-nots. Being from […]

Part of The Game

There’s a big difference between being hurt and being injured. Hurt players deal with the pain, injured players go to the sidelines. The hurt factor in professional sports is 100%. Every player in every sport gets hurt. Some play through it, some don’t. Injured players don’t have any choice. The team doctors and the coaches […]

Coughlin The Crusader

It’s all part of the plan. The sunglasses, the calling off the fitness run, the ending practice a few minutes early. It wouldn’t surprise me if Tom Coughlin had all of these changes written down somewhere in a master plan he put together in 1994 when he took the Jaguars head coaching job: if not […]

Brush Back

There’s a space right below the tip of a person’s nose and right above their chin that’s just about exactly the size of a baseball. That’s where Roger Clemens was throwing at Mike Piazza. Not exactly at Piazza, but rather where that part of Piazza’s face was when Clemens let go of the pitch. He […]

Where’s McEnroe?

There are a lot of things wrong with tennis. In fact, it seems it has all of the bad things about sports rolled into one. Bratty competitors, overbearing parents, haughty administrators, boring events and too few really good players. When was the last time you sat and watched a tennis match with more than just […]

When Tiger Is On, Everybody Else Is In The Woods (Part II)

“It was just one of those weeks,” is how Tiger Woods explained his dominating victory in the United States Open at Pebble Beach. Sure. Winning by 15 shots is just one of those weeks. And Secretariat’s win in the Belmont Stakes was just one of those races. Woods’ display was awesome. The length of John […]

Plenty of Options

Apathy is the problem. Not overzealous fans, not an overdose winning at all cost, just apathy. People really don’t care. Too many other options, too many things on television, too many things competing for our attention. Ray Lewis weasels his way out of a murder charge by lying enough to the police and prosecution to […]

Shaq attack!

For two years now, the NBA has been looking for a star. Somebody they can hang their hat on, somebody, anybody who will fill some of the void left by Michael Jordan’s departure. Look no further. Shaq has arrived. It has been hard for Shaquille O’Neal to find his footing in the league. From heralded […]

Go To A Game!

Isn’t it funny how sports fans can conjure up images in their minds of just about everything they’ve ever seen? From the mob scene at the plate after Bobby Thompson’s home run, to Joe Montana’s arms thrust into the air after the game winning TD pass against Cincinnati, to Michael Jordan’s final shot against Utah, […]

The Golden Age

Maybe it’s over. Or maybe it’s just starting. Either way, you can feel the shift in sports. One age is ending and perhaps it will be considered a golden age of sport. The retirements of Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Dan Marino, John Elway in the last two years mark a clear end to a dominant […]

Cal Being Cal

It was a confusing scene I had just witnessed on television. There’s Cal Ripken, one of the most revered baseball players ever coming back to first base in Minnesota after a single for his 3,000 hit. He hugged Eddie Murray, his long-time teammate and friend, a fellow 3,000 hit club member, acknowledged the crowd, and […]

… and all was right with the world (Arnold Palmer)

I received an e-mail the other day from somebody asking how I could possibly still be covering sports with the number of “bad characters” involved in the games these days. I thought about it for a while, and started to catalogue what I’d been covering for the past several months. Shootings, stabbings, court proceedings, lies, […]

Final Four Fantastic

Nothing is quite like the Final Four, and Indianapolis is almost the perfect setting for it. They love their basketball in Indiana. I mean really love it. Did you know that 16 of the 17 largest high school basketball gyms in the country are in the state of Indiana? You can feel how they love […]

TPC Success

Ponte Vedra – Despite the weather delay, the final round of the Players championship provided just what everybody wanted: a dramatic finish, good television ratings, large crowds and a popular champion. The fact that it was Hal Sutton and Tiger Woods didn’t seem to make that much difference. The fact that Tiger Woods was in […]

I miss Payne Stewart!

Orlando – It was warm, balmy even as I was standing on the practice tee at Bay Hill this week. It’s a trip I make every year, a chance to catch up with friends on the PGA tour and do some advance work prior to the Players Championship. Bay Hill is loose, a comfortable stop […]

A Little Tired of Rocking The Boat

Florida – You’ve heard the sayings, spring is a time for rebirth, a time when all baseball teams seem to have a shot, and they’re all in contention. So why are we still talking about John Rocker? His comments, suspension, and subsequent return to the Braves has blotted out all of the good things this […]

Who Wants to Suspend a Millionaire?

Jacksonville – Grab a lifeline. Call a friend. Go for 50-50, then give us your final answer: Who wants to suspend a millionaire? Maybe Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman have seen the popular TV show and answered the question with a firm, I do. Both men were faced with […]

Cult of Personality?

Daytona ­ I was scared this past week. I’m not usually somebody who’s afraid but I had plenty of fear last week when I heard two words: Geoffrey Bodine. Covering Speedweeks at Daytona I spent time with Geoffrey Bodine on both Tuesday and Thursday. He was gracious with his time, thoughtful with his answers and […]

When Tiger is on, most players are in the Woods

Good for Tiger Good for Phil .. and good for the game of golf. Tiger Woods’ streak of winning consecutive golf tournaments is over. (Did you notice it went from winning 2 in a row, according to Tiger, to 6 in a row when the media decided that last year’s 4 straight also counted?) The […]

A Real Fantasy

Orlando: — My arm hurts. My back aches. My shoulder is killing me. And I feel great. Atlanta Braves fantasy camp last weekend in Orlando was just that, a fantasy, and a good one at that. With my friends Lex and Terry, Dream Weeks coordinator Norm Amster invited us to the Braves camp at the […]

The “Much Better Than Average But Not The Best Ever” Bowl

Atlanta: In our instant gratification society, we’re caught up in the science of the new. If it’s new, it must be better. Wrong. Enough already about Super bowl XXXIV being the best ever. Compelling, exciting, going down to the last play? No question. Best ever? Not close. How can a game that had 2 missed […]

Not Tonight, I’ve Got The Blues

Jacksonville – Cry. Pout. Sulk. Cuss. Throw something. It’s all right, because that’s how just about everybody else feels. And it’s normal. I know you keep telling yourself, it was just a football game. And it’s silly to feel this way. But it’s not. Analyze it, go over it again, be mad with the players, […]