Sam’s Commentary

Hitch Our Wagon to Shad Khan and Let’s Go!

I’m not sure what the downside is to hitching our wagon to Shad Khan and going along for the ride. If a rising tide floats all boats, Khan IS the rising tide. Not many cities have a patron who is among the wealthiest people in the world. He has the vision and the wherewithal as […]

Culture, Not X’s and O’s Jaguars Focus

It’s called the “Offseason Conditioning Program” officially by the NFL but as we know, there is no “off-season” in the league. They’ve stretched it out to 12 months, hoping you’ll keep teams in mind when shopping, discussing and whetting your sports appetite. For the Jaguars, they’re hoping it’s a new beginning, or more specifically a […]

The Masters is Emotional

They played early at Augusta National in yesterday’s final round of The Masters because of weather.  But it didn’t make a difference. Early or late, it’s the same. Because this is The Masters. It was a leaderboard fitting of The Masters with Major Champions trying to add to their collection and others trying to make […]

Masters Memories

Receiving an invitation to cover the Masters when I was at Channel 2 in Charleston in late 1978 was an unexpected and welcome surprise. I took my Dad as my cameraman since I was a one-man sports department at the time. We rented a room through the Augusta Housing Bureau and were both amazed the […]

Mayor Curry on Board With Sports

It was over forty years ago when Mayor Jake Godbold decided that Jacksonville’s image needed burnishing and the local citizenry needed their spirits lifted. He chose sports as a vehicle to promote city pride and invited Baltimore Colts’ owner Robert Irsay to town for the now-famous “Colt Fever.” Godbold was unfairly dubbed “Mayor Jock” because […]

Are Jaguars acting with confidence or hubris? That answer is important.

There’s a certain level of confidence that’s needed to lead. Whether it’s a business, a political movement or a sports team, the leader has to believe in what he or she is doing. The problem is, sometimes those leaders are so cloistered, so single-minded that their confidence turns to hubris and things don’t go so […]

McIlroy Wins Players, Furyk Contends

On a tough weather day on a difficult golf course, Rory McIlroy used his new found “poise and patience” to win the 38th edition of The Players Championship contested at the TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course. A missed birdie putt on two and an unheard of double-bogey six on number four could have derailed McIlroy’s […]

THE PLAYERS a Blend of Then and Now

I’ve always said that most of the locals who attend THE PLAYERS think every PGA TOUR event is like this week in Ponte Vedra. The Players is like nothing else out there, taking the best from every PGA Tour stop all year and incorporating it into the TPC at Sawgrass for one week. It’s not […]

The Players: Big Time, Hometown Fun

When to contest The Players has been a topic since the tournament was started in the ’70’s. Beginning in Atlanta on Labor Day in 1974 it moved to Ft. Worth the next year in August and then to Ft. Lauderdale the following February. When it moved to Ponte Vedra and Sawgrass Country Club it was […]

Gate River Run Prep

If you’ve been training for this week’s Gate River Run and you’re worried about the last week of training, don’t be. If it’s your first Gate, you’ll be fine. Unless you’re trying to qualify for a national team or prepping for some of the top ten-prize money or the equalizer bonus, you’ll be fine no […]

Doug Alred “Runs” the Gate River Run

Starting in 1978, with running for fitness in its infancy, The Jacksonville River Run, as it was called, was more of a competitive race than a fun “run.” Race organizer Buck Fannin recruited the Times Union and Jacksonville Journal as the sponsors, drumming up publicity and support for the run. Using the Peachtree Road Race […]

Sports Art from a Local Artist

It wasn’t until Heather Blanton had what she jokingly calls a “midlife crisis” that she became a painter. She was about to turn 40. The recession had hit. And her medium for more than 10 years — Polaroid manipulation photography — was on its way out. “I needed to find something,” she said, standing in […]

Lagasse Continues Speed Tradition

There’s always been a connection between North Florida and NASCAR. LeeRoy Yarbrough called Jacksonville home and won 14 times on the top -rated NASCAR Grand National Circuit. Speedway Park, also know as Jacksonville Speedway, was a half-mile dirt track at Lenox Avenue and Plymouth Street in what was then called “Southwest” Jacksonville. The track hosted […]

Second Jacksonville Super Bowl? Not Soon

It was nineteen years between Super Bowls for Atlanta. They hosted Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994, Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999 six years later and then not again until 2019 For Super Bowl LIII. For a major metropolitan city with a diverse population, a solid corporate base and a vibrant social scene, that’s a long […]

Boselli Misses HOF Selection

No gold jacket for Tony Boselli again this year. It’s the third year Tony has been among the final fifteen players up for selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For the second straight year, Boselli made the cut to the 10 finalists but not to the final five and was passed over for […]

The HOF Case for Tony Boselli

As noted in this column two weeks ago, 2019 is the third consecutive year former Jaguars Tackle Tony Boselli has been named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And for the 24th year, I’ll be the Jacksonville representative on the Selection Committee and again I’m charged with presenting the case for Boselli’s […]

How The Patriots Do It

In the past eighteen years, the New England Patriots have won sixteen AFC East titles. They haven’t had a losing season. They’ve played in twelve AFC Championship Games including eight in a row from 2011 to 2018—and won eight of them. How is it that New England has that kind of sustained success that most […]

Pro Football Hall the Toughest

This is my 24th year on the Selection Committee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  It’ll be the third straight year I’ve presented Tony Boselli’s case as a candidate for induction into Canton. This year, 102 former players were nominated for the Class of 2019. That list was sent to the 48 members of […]

Jaguars “Can’t Miss” Offseason

Last week’s column about the Jaguars future elicited the full gamut of responses. From “I agree” to “stop drinking and writing,” fans are clearly passionate about what the team should do going forward. A friend of mine once said, “When the reader agrees with you, they’re brilliant. When they disagree, you’re an idiot.” My favorite […]

Bortles, Marrone Should Stay

There will be changes to the Jaguars for 2019; the question is, how many?  There’s a lot of strange stuff that happens early in the offseason, so despite what you might have read or heard, I don’t think any decisions have been made about the Jaguars near future. Every NFL roster turns over about 20 […]