Sam’s Commentary

Training Camp

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 […]

Gate River Run Jacksonville

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 […]

Covid-19 Science Versus Social

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 […]

Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament

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

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 […]

Gardner Minshew

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 […]

Fenway Park

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 […]