On Sports: The Way It Is
The concept of adding a “gas gauge” to the Jacksonville Jaguars website is brilliant. Keeping the fans and media in touch with what is going on with ticket sales is a step in the right direction. The gauge, which began on Friday, will follow the pace of regular-season ticket sales. To sell out the general bowl at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium next season, 50,957 tickets need to be sold. The gauge can be viewed in the upper right hand corner of the Jaguars’ homepage. As of Sunday, the gauge is about one-fourth of the way full. I applaud the effort of the Jaguars organization.
It was smart of the Jaguars to release veterans Rob Meier and Tra Thomas. It must have been unpleasant to say goodbye to Meier, a nine-year presence on the field for the Jaguars. His time was up in Jacksonville after a shoulder injury kept him on injured reserve for all of 2009. It is most likely a career for the 32-year-old Meier.
In my opinion, the Thursday release of wide receiver Torry Holt was necessary. Holt, who went scoreless for the first time in his career last season, was set to make a base salary of $4 million in 2010. His three-year deal, which he signed last April, was worth $13 million in guaranteed money and around $20 million with incentives. While in Jacksonville, the 33-year-old Holt will be remembered for his transitional and off-the-field influence.
It is no surprise that former Jaguars receiver Matt Jones has signed with an NFL team – the Cincinnati Bengals. After four years in Jacksonville, Jones’ most productive season was his last. During 2008, he caught 68 balls for 761 receiving yards and two end zone trips. Although the NFL suspended Jones for the last three games of 2008, he was the Jaguars go-to receiver on slants and third downs. He must’ve kept himself in top shape while missing all of 2009. Jones is definitely worth the measly one-year contract worth around $700,000.
Even if Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards is tendered a one-year deal to play 2010 in purple, the Jaguars should have at least one eye on the 25-year-old pass rusher. For the third consecutive off-season, Jacksonville has a need at defensive end. And, in 44 regular-season starts, Edwards, a fourth-year pro, has 21.5 sacks. When and if the Vikings do tender Edwards, he will earn $3.168 million for next season. In my opinion, the Jaguars can cough up $4 million for a potential NFL sack leader. However, Edwards’ four-game suspension in 2007 for steroids will keep him away from the Jaguars’ roster.
University of Florida commitment Ronald Powell, a defensive end out of Rancho Verde High School (Moreno Valley, California), reminds the writers of Sporting News Magazine of Derrick Harvey. I hope SN means Harvey when he was at Florida – not the Jaguars version. In three years at UF, Harvey recorded 20.5 sacks in 36 games. After two seasons in Jacksonville, Harvey has 5.5 sacks. Whether the comparison was made on purpose, I laughed nevertheless.
In the last 33 NBA All-Star games, the lowest scoring total by a squad is 110 – by the West in 2001. And, we somehow complain about the lack of defense during the NFL’s Pro Bowl.
Whoever says women cannot punch hard has never taken a shot from 2012 Olympic hopeful Ishika “Isis” Lay. The Jacksonville Beach resident has only been boxing competitively since 2007. In that short period, she has won multiple belts and medals in amateur matches. During a break of Inside the Game, I happily volunteered to wear the body protector and take some punches from Lay. Standing 5-foot-8 and weighing 132 lbs, Lay sent about 15 body blows my way. One of the shots, which she said wasn’t even her hardest, knocked me back two feet. I will never question the power of a female boxer’s punch.
Can boxing ever become what it once was and not play second fiddle to mixed martial arts?
Richard Miller is a national broadcaster for Jacksonville Jaguars’ home games on Sporting News Radio. Additionally, he can be heard on ABC 1320 WBOB in Jacksonville at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesdays with The Jacksonville Observer Radio Show. He also contributes to Inside the Game with Robin Valetutto every Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Currently, Richard is writing David Lamm’s biography entitled Lamm at Large: The David Lamm Story, which will be available in 2010.