Forgive my lateness. The autosave feature failed and I lost the entire article.
So the big dance has started. This past Thursday evening the NFL christened the 2010 season in the great city of New Orleans. While the game was less than expected, the hype was grand. The Today Show reported from the Big Easy and once again the lead up to the game was highlighted with a pre-game concert, this time featuring The Dave Matthews Band and Taylor Swift.
For the Jacksonville Jaguars, year two of Gene Smith's house cleaning will commence this weekend amidst a high degree of media attention and intense fan focus. Some teams start their season in front of the home fans with the hope of a rookie quarterback leading them to victory, Jaguar fans will enter EverBank stadium with a majority of the focus on the visiting team's backup quarterback.
I thank the NFL and the national media for renting the dance hall,but their theme choice, decorations and DJ are a buzz kill. Same tired colors. Same boring music. Same cliched messages. Having the Super Bowl champion Saints host the opening game was obviously the appropriate venue. However, once again Jacksonville finds itself the focus of their failures (ticket troubles,blackouts, not drafting Tim Tebow), rather than their successes (ticket drive, decreased blackouts, promising preseason from Tyson Alualu). This marginalized and dismissed small market franchise will no longer be the unpopular boys and girls sitting alone by the wall while the others mingle and dance.
Those days I'd gladly walk so long for you,Although it seemed I crawled most of the wayAfter some time I felt like a crippleIt's just that simple
Wilco - It's Just That Simple
On Sunday the Jaguars and their fans are crashing the party. Consider this our rebellion against the establishment. We are storming the Bastille and removing the king and queen. No longer will we be subjects to the speculation of moving and the belittling of our city. We have grown tired of being told we prefer college football over the NFL. The tickets have been sold and the fans are in the seats.
Think not drafting Tebow was a failure? Get back to me after Alualu man handles Denver from the line to the backfield. From player to fan we are fed up and though we are grateful you let us in, we no longer see you as anything more than another business entity. Write and say what you want, on September 12th we will show you you are wrong.
Simply put, we don't give a damn what you think.
- It would be a failure on my part to not acknowledge the tragedy that happened nine years ago yesterday. It does sadden me to see the continued efforts to divide us both from outside and within. We were called to unify after the tragedy and it is still important today. We didn't let them win then so don't let them win now or in the future.
- To segue that back to football, a pox on all you have tried to tear down this team. Your attempts to label us as failures has proven to unite the team and the fans. And to those who left to follow Tebow, you were never fans to begin with. Would you leave your kids because of a few bad grades? It says a lot about your character.
- I am once again in a "pick the winner league". If you aren't familiar with these, you basically pick a team, every week, that you believe will one. Once selected they cannot be taken again. I initially wanted to take Miami versus a questionable Buffalo defense, but I instead put my money where my mouth is and took the Jaguars. With Denver's questions at running back and both lines, this presents itself as the perfect opener.
- Players I'm looking forward to following are Sean Considine, Brock Bolen and John Matthews. I think Sean is greatly motivated to step up his game after being named the starter: he had a solid preseason. Brock and John are those hard worker type players that can elevate a team because of their heart. Sometimes it is the underdog playmaker which gets you over the hump.
- Speaking of heart, if you've watched any of the Gator games I think you've seen the impact of a leader. Football is a mental game and sometimes it is the confidence being permeated from a grounded figure head that is more important than talent. Makes me believe the Kirk Morrison signing is just a tad more important than Aaron Kampman.
- I respect Kyle Orton but he doesn't have Knowshon Moreno or Brandon Marshall. I expect at least two interceptions by the Jaguars.
- Of everything I like from the preseason that gave me hope, it was the blitz packages. If Mel Tucker's schemes can generate that type of pressure for four quarters then there is a definite reason to believe last year's ghosts will be put to rest. When I watch highlights from last year it amazes me just how much faster we are.
- I know someone close the organization who has been a reliable source for years. He is also a Gator alum and follows the team closely. The problem with football intelligence has been something which plagued Reggie Nelson ever since college, it was just easier to mask it back then. I think the coaching staff had been shopping Nelson for quite some time and all the suggestions to beef up, along with all the playing time, was nothing more than polishing the clunker. He was never going to be on this roster.
- So autosave failing allows me to note that Tebow is the number two quarterback. Let the drama begin. If anything happens to Orton...
- One thing that has been left off from the Denver game has been the history. Something as small as 2004's Quentin Griffin fumbling deep in Jaguar territory with seconds left on the clock, and down 7-6, or as big as the 1996 Mark Brunell led Jaguars shocking the world by beating the John Elway led Broncos in Denver are not lost on me.
- Speaking of 1996, how about our old friend Woody Paige? If you've forgotten his penning of "Jagwads" here is that timeless piece.
- Fast forward to 2010 and what is Woody saying? How about that Jacksonville will win and that they are a wild-card contender. Am I taking crazy pills?
- Interesting quote from Maurice Jones-Drew regarding a bully named Denver LB D. J. Williams.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew says Denver LB D.J. Williams picked on him in high school. "It’s true. They tried to slam me in the locker, stuff like that. Every time we’ve played them I always remind him. This is another chance for him to hear it."
- We've had our debate over whether we think Tebow is important in Sunday's game. You know I believe he is and that losing this game will be a huge step backward for this franchise. Seems Rashean Mathis may be on my side.
"With the ticket situation, (Tim) Tebow and everything else, you can't be naive to that it's probably one of the most important games in Jaguars history.'
- I hope Dirk Koetter isn't giving us lip service when says this team has the most playmakers he has seen since being with the organization. I tend to think he is being very honest.
- I want my dance! I want my dance! Get in the endzone MJD and make us all smile.
- Brian Fullford