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Mumblings of the Village Idiot - It starts with Gotham

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

- Brutus, Act 4 Scene 3 from Shakespear’s “Julius Caesar”

How long have the bold supporters of the Jacksonville Jaguars waded through shallow waters in support of their glorious team?

How long have the players who donned the black and teal been locked at low tide, unable to venture towards the greatest of treasures?

How long have the leaders of this glorious franchise failed to populate their war vessels with able bodied men?

No more! Last season the tides rose, and with a talent rich crew, guided by battle tested leadership, we, the fans, experienced a joy hidden from sight and from spirit. A punch line has become a punch back, and from that a national respect has grown. We can watch and listen to sports media outlets with the expectation that our beloved Jaguars will spoken of amongst the likes of the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and other storied or powerful teams.

Brutus reminds us that opportunities for fortune are fleeting, as the rise and fall of the oceans cycle. Some are fortunate to ride a great and persistent flood. Others must make due of the rare monsoon that brings rising waters. We cannot know how long our vessel will have depth for movement. Why dwell on it?

Last year nature directed a current through Jacksonville, and the team almost grabbed fortune by the neck. I can neither touch, nor see, the ocean’s floor. We must still be in flood conditions. Soon we shall know whether we have lost our moment.


Mumble 1

This past Thursday, I happened across ESPN’s First Take. Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith debated whether Jalen Ramsey would be able to match up with Odell Beckham Jr. one-on-one. Each argued the compliment of talent around them would make the other successful, or at least open up teammates for success.

We can all agree the matchup will be entertaining, and we can surely expect each to have success and failure. However, Kellerman’s argument consisted of some odd expectations.

First, to lock down Beckham you need to double team him, and therefore Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram will have opportunities to exploit the Jaguars defense.


At worst the Ramsey\Beckham matchup is a draw. How dare you insult the King, Kellerman!

Even being sympathetic to that part of the argument, the backup plan consists of the unproven rookie, who had limited preseason opportunities to show consistent explosiveness, and the second year tight end who missed two weeks of the preseason due to a concussion filling the gap? I am not discounting their talent, noting that Engram’s rookie season was the most productivity from a New York Giants tight end since Jeremy Shockey. The problem is that for any of this to manifest requires Eli Manning to have time, and to be accurate, to exploit arguably the best defense in the league.

Give me Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, and Malik Jackson over the entire Giants offensive line. Oh, and give me Myles Jack (who, by the way, was not down) and Telvin Smith against whatever is coming across the middle or in the flats.

Second, the Giants have won one an opening game since 2011.

Lastly, Kellerman argued Beckham is too seasoned to let King Ramsey get in his head. My counter argument is this.

Mumble 2

In case you are keeping score, since 2011 the Jaguars have won two opening season games. Advantage jungle cats.

Mumble 3

I have already expressed my love for NFL Network’s Kay Adams, but I am equally a fan of ex-NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson. On Good Morning Football (GMFB), Kay asked the question of what present NFL running back you would want if 4th and goal from the 1-yard line, and trailing.

Nate: I’m going with Leonard Fournette. He looks for contact. He says, “I’M DRIVING THROUGH THAT FIRE!”

Peter Schrager went with Ezekiel Elliot,

Kyle Brandt chose LaGarrette Blount.

Kay Adams opted for David Johnson.

Your thoughts? I cannot argue with any of these selections, and if I am being honest, Johnson may be at the top of my list as well.

But maybe that is just love talking.

Mumble 4

The game of the week has to be the Houston Texans going to Foxboro to play the Patriots. Pick a storyline.

  • Can DeShaun Watson recover from ACL injury and build upon the success of his limited rookie campaign?
  • Is the Texans offense line capable of both protecting and opening running lanes?
  • Will game one show age has finally caught up with Tom Brady?
  • Or wear and tear on Rob Gronkowski?
  • Is J.J. Watt and the Texans defense primed for ascension back to a premier group?
  • Can Brady continue to make an average receiving corps look like Super Bowl contenders?

Many list the Patriots as, once again, the stalwart of the AFC. If Houston shows up, the AFC, and the AFC South, are a Red Wedding.

Mumble 5

A Dan Graziano “food for thought” opinion on who will win the Super Bowl.


Eagles, Patriots, Saints, Steelers


Chargers, Jaguars, Rams, Vikings

I know what you’re thinking -- or at least what the Jaguars are thinking. How can we put Jacksonville in this group, behind Pittsburgh, after the Jags waxed the Steelers twice last season in Pittsburgh, including in the playoffs? I hear you. If Jalen Ramsey wants to @ me, he can. I get where he’s coming from.

The Jags absolutely have the talent to be in the first group. They sit here instead because their division looks much tougher than those of the two AFC teams in the top group and because, unlike the four teams up there, they’ve never won the thing. But there’s no reason to think last year was a fluke. They got better in the run game by signing elite guard Andrew Norwell and the run game is their jam. If QB Blake Bortles can find consistency, they’re as good as anyone.

Dan’s on the boat with us. Dan cannot see, nor touch, the ocean floor either.

The reasoning is not flawed. The Texans should be very good. And maybe I am wrong about Marcus Mariota (I predict the Jaguars to sweep the Tennessee), meaning the Titans are also contending. We have discussed in detail the benefit of a healthy defense in 2017, and the wild card that is Bortles.

Consistent success makes the Jaguars heavy favorites. Not one year.

Mumble 6

I am taking a philosophy of language class this semester, and thanks to Nike’s new campaign featuring Collin Kaepernick we have had much to talk about. Specifically, the subjective sign presented through the medium of sound (where sound is understood as spoken words that are understood to mean something).

I want to briefly focus on two elements of Nike’s decision to use the word “sacrifice” that I find interesting.

First, coupled with the word “everything”, we are forced to understand the very context of the phrase “sacrifice everything”. Some will reasonably qualify it as losing one’s life. If you have seen the full commercial, it is not clear that is the intent. I understand CK was quoted as saying he received death threats, but what makes more sense is the idea of “everything” being understood at lesser level. For example, within the context of a career. For Steve Jobs, “everything” might be understood as family.

This leads me to my second observation. Considering how the lines are divided, justice vs. patriotism, why use the word sacrifice? For those who are offended by kneeling during the national anthem, the word “sacrifice” is necessarily understood within the context of losing one’s life. The same is true for first responders (police officers).

I understand what Nike’s goal was, both inspirational and controversial, but I would have preferred an attempt to bridge the gap between the two sides as opposed to further fanning the flames of division.

Regardless, watching the video, seeing those individuals overcome physical, and surely mental adversity, motivates me to work harder. From brain cancer and obesity to Iron Man? Kudos to you sir.

Additionally, nice to see no one kneeling during the National Anthem last night. The culture of the sport needs to advance beyond representing concern on the field to progress off the field.

Mumble 7

I am very proud of this tweet.

Mumble 8

Twitter used for good. Wait. Maybe this is Twitter used for bad. I guess that depends if this sign was put up by giant termites.

Either way, do not call that number.

Mumble 9

Twitter used for good part 2.

Mumble 10

As we embark upon this 2018 NFL season, let us not forgot how the Jaguars ended the 2017 campaign. Nor should we forget the leader who has since retired. May this team reflect his character, professionalism, and intensity.