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Richard Miller: Today in the World of Sports…

miller-postTo close out Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard’s media session on Sunday, he was asked if he has a chip on his shoulder. Garrard replied, “A little, small one. It’s simply because of me. I want to prove to myself and be a defining quarterback in this league for myself, for my son so when he grows up he can say, ‘my dad was pretty awesome.’ Not necessarily to prove writers or radio guys wrong, that is not really what my mission and my motivation is about. My motivation for the guys in this locker room is taking them to the promise land and also my legacy for my kids and family to be able to see what their dad did.” It’s just a gut feeling, but I am expecting a much-improved Garrard in the pocket in 2010.

The Jaguars are still in negotiations with free agent safety Darren Sharper. Jacksonville has no play-making safeties [Gerald Alexander, Sean Considine, Reggie Nelson and Anthony Smith] on its roster. For whatever reason, certain people are enamored with big-time free-agent classes. Remember the lovefest with the 2008 signees? But, a class including Aaron Kampman, Kassim Osgood and Sharper would certainly sell some general-bowl tickets.

I attended the Jacksonville Sharks-Tulsa Talons game at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Saturday evening. As a member of the media, I stood behind the boards in the east corner of the south end zone. After three plays, I realized I needed to keep my head on a swivel. It was fairly common to see players flying into the stands. In arena football, since there are no traditional sidelines, the boards are the only out-of-bounds markers. On a pass into the south end zone, Sharks wide receiver Dallas Baker – and former University of Florida Gator tight end – bobbled a pass and was knocked out of the playing field to within five feet of me. It was a tad nerve-racking having football players in full pads running full speed merely feet from me.

In a stunning finish, the Sharks defeated the Talons, 62-60, on an untimed final down in regulation. Dallas Baker caught the game-winning nine-yard touchdown in come-from-behind fashion. I must say that it was one of the most thrilling finishes in sports I have witnessed live. It seemed like the 9,253 fans in attendance enjoyed themselves. Player interaction with the fans – i.e.: high-fives, handshakes and playful taunting – helped keep the fans glued to the action. Overall, I recommend seeing the Sharks this season. It is an affordable and fun, family-friendly product. You can’t get much better than that.

In the 13 years I have been attending The Players Championship, my favorite spot to watch tournament play is from the hill between Holes No. 10 and 11. It allows me to see the golfers chip and putt on 10 and drive on 11. During practice rounds, the golfers sign a lot of autographs on the walk from No. 10 to 11. The only problem with the viewing location is that the beer tent is farther than a stone’s throw. I can make do.

On Saturday, I was at the Orange Park Kennel Club with a few friends for the Kentucky Derby. Now, when it comes to gambling, I am an amateur – at best. Without any luck or gambling skill in my bloodline, I went for the lucky number strategy. Considering my “lucky” number is 12, Conveyance was my horse. The major incentives to place money on a horse were so I could hoot and holler at the television sets – or so I was jokingly told. Conveyance led what felt like half the Derby, and as I enjoyed hootin’ and hollerin’ I was told, “You don’t want to be leading this soon.” I didn’t mind losing only six dollars as Conveyance finished 10th in a 20-horse lineup. Super Saver, ridden by jockey Calvin Borel who has been victorious in three of his last four Derbies, won the 136th-running of the Kentucky Derby and took all the glory. And, No. 12 still sits as my “lucky” number.

For 2010, does Darren Sharper get paid more or less than $2.5 million by an NFL team?

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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 and 103.7 FM at the Jacksonville Beaches at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesdays with The Jacksonville Observer Radio Show. Richard also hosts Inside the Game every Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on WBOB.

Currently, Richard is writing David Lamm’s biography entitled Lamm at Large: The David Lamm Story, which will be available in 2010.

Follow Richard’s daily blog on The Jacksonville Observer.

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