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Jaguars honor the courage of children and families battling childhood cancer

Sep 23, 2014 -- 10:06am

The Jaguars organization honored children fighting cancer and their families at Sunday’s game, as part of the team’s efforts to raise awareness during the month of September which is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.  Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of America’s children, according to the National Academy of Sciences.


More than 140 participants from former Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Jay Fund attended the game after being treated to a tailgate at WJCT Public Television and Radio studios and then having the opportunity to “parade” on the sidelines of the field at EverBank Field before the game, while the PA announcer recognized their courage.  The Jay Fund was created in 1996 in honor of Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while a member of Coach Coughlin’s team at Boston College and died only eight months after diagnosis.


Keli Coughlin, Executive Director of the Jay Fund, exclaimed, “The children along with their parents and brothers and sisters were thrilled to be recognized on the field.  Cancer affects the whole family and we thank the Jaguars for helping to raise awareness of the hundreds of local families dealing with childhood cancer every day.” Ms. Coughlin added, “Our mission is to help families tackle childhood cancer by providing comprehensive financial, emotional and practical support.  From diagnosis to recovery and beyond, we are part of the team, allowing parents to solely focus on their child’s well-being.  Our goal is to BE THERE for parents facing the unthinkable so they can be there for their families.”


Jaguars Team owner Shad Khan also paid special tribute to Rob & Tina Goble from Waycross, Georgia, who lost their 6 ½ year old daughter Mattie just 10 months ago to an inoperable and incurable form of brain cancer.  In memory and honor of Mattie, the Goble’s founded Mattie’s Mission, a 501c3 non-profit organization in Waycross to support families enduring journeys through childhood cancer, and to fund research and create awareness for childhood cancer. 


Mr. Khan also recognized Mattie’s Mission board member, Jason Rogers, who just completed a 3,100-mile Triathlon, as he ran, swam and biked from Seattle, Washington to Jacksonville over the last 26 days in support of Mattie’s Mission and Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Tina Goble said, “Jason’s efforts have been incredible and through generous donations and support such as his, Mattie's Mission has been blessed to be able to help multiple local families in their fight with childhood cancer.”

The NFL is A League Of Entitlement

Sep 22, 2014 -- 12:49pm

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

This past week, I learned a valuable lesson about athletes, professional (some college sports) and interest of politics. The NFL is a league of entitlement.

For the players, coaches, owners, support staff and yes, the commissioner of the greatest league in sports, it’s all about what people think they deserve, rather than what they truly should have.

On Friday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stood at a podium, said he wasn’t pleased with his performance in light of the Ray Rice situation or with the state of the NFL with regard to domestic abuse and child abuse. I commend him for making such a “strong” stand on that and seeing to it to make sure the world knew – he got it wrong.

What makes me mad is that although Goodell said he wanted to change things, there was a transparency that must take place and the NFL and its entity of players, owners, teams and support staff must all be on the same page, he really offered no true way to solve this issue.

While he sounded contrite, he also sounded pompous in that he did not think his yellow flags in handling the Ray Rice situation or dealing with the other number of incidents in the NFL warranted him to be punished for the same violations he committed with regard to accuracy and integrity.

Shame on the man who made $44 million last year.

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, and Ray McDonald have become the poster children for abuse cases across our country and what is worse, they are still making thousands of dollars to sit at home and avoid any contact with the teams that are paying them (with the exception of McDonald). Add to the facts you have an owner who was suspended for six month from activities involving his own team (Jim Irsay) and the most infamous owner in the NFL (Jerry Jones) who allegedly cannot keep his hands off strippers and this is better than any reality television show or soap opera on television.

And all of it – unfortunately – is larger than life because money, greed and the cowardice of being a “bad ass” because you have all these things and power, to boot.

In Gregg Rosenthal’s story on NFL.com, Goodell said he wanted to get the “house” meaning the NFL, in order. And he also stated the NFL will bring in professionals and experts to help the league do that, but he did not outline what needs to be done in the “house” that has knocked the NFL down a peg or two.

"We will re-examine, enhance and improve all of our current programs, and then we'll do more," Goodell said.

Goodell said that he has already been in touch with NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith about the potential changes. The two men plan to meet with outside experts, who can help set guidelines and procedures. That process will start next week.

The possible revisions follow the league's changes to the policy changes announced in late August, which included tougher penalties for domestic violence issues. First-time offenders currently face a potential six-game suspension.

I cannot see any of this making a difference this season. The damage has already been done.

Last season, it took an independent review and investigation to determine the bullying situation in Miami. Unfortunately, this is far and away much larger than the Dolphins incidents.

This is something that will take longer to investigate and devise a plan to fix or help defuse. It will be 2015 before anything can truly happen to make things right and in the interim the players mentioned on television for taking a leave of absence from their franchises will still bank green we can only imagine.

For once, I am ashamed of the NFL, the sports world and the handling of such an important and delicate subject. If it were player contracts and deals for more global television exposure, you can bet the league and the Czar that leads it would have no issues making it right the first time. Instead it is hurt the NFL’s credibility, allowed for more media exposure in a negative way, shown remorse for alienating women and most of all proved once again how this is becoming a No Fun League.


Jacksonville Jaguars announce new Clevelander Deck at EverBank Field

Sep 19, 2014 -- 2:13pm

JACKSONVILLE, FL, Sept. 19, 2014 – Taking the best game day experience in football to the next level, the Jacksonville Jaguars and iconic entertainment brand the Clevelander announced today the opening of the Clevelander Deck at EverBank Field. The newest location will officially open when the Jaguars take on the Indianapolis Colts at home on Sunday, September 21.


The legendary Clevelander brand brings a truly unique experience to football with poolside bars, live entertainment and a high energy party atmosphere.


“We continue to work toward our vision of making EverBank Field a destination like no other for our fans, and partnering with the Clevelander is an outstanding next step in those efforts,” Jaguars President Mark Lamping said. “No one knows the entertainment scene in Florida like the Clevelander, and this partnership elevates what is already a stellar game day experience even further.”


The Clevelander Deck at EverBank Field will feature:


·         Two spa pools overlooking the field from the north end zone

·         Clevelander’s Famous Frozen all natural drinks featuring the Mickey’s Rum Runner (est 1987), the Cleve Colada and blend of them both in the Miami Vice

·         Live entertainment including the Clevelander Dance team, DJ’s and live music

·         20 Full service cabanas, which reflect the essence of Jacksonville

·         Post-Game party carries on 2 hours after every game at Clevelander Deck

·         Unique food and beverage offerings

·         The most unique game day experience in all of sports


“We are excited to bring the people of Jacksonville the best party in football,” Mike Palma, Executive Vice President of Hospitality – Clevelander, said. “Our combination of fun, friendly service, quality products and live entertainment make Clevelander a unique game day experience that fans cannot get anywhere else.”


The new location is the latest in a series of upgrades to EverBank Field. In July the team unveiled approximately $63 million in enhancements, including new video displays, a new two-level plaza area and most notably two video boards spanning 60 feet high and 362 feet long – the largest of their kind in the world.


For the Clevelander, this partnership is a further extension of their presence in the sports community.


As of September 8th, the daily ESPN2 sports discussion program Highly Questionable

and ESPN Radio’s The Dan Le Batard Show have new studio homes in Miami Beach’s Clevelander Hotel.


In April 2011, the Clevelander expanded to Marlins Park, home of the Miami Marlins, opening a unique venue featuring luxury stadium seating, a pool, and the same signature restaurant, bar and live entertainment that has made the original location a South Beach landmark. The Clevelander Marlins Park is located in the left-field just 12 inches from the turf, offering guests a player’s eye view and in-seat service for over 100 seats.


A Jaguars game ticket must be purchased to enter EverBank Field and the Clevelander Deck. General admission to the space is free during all Jaguars games.

No Answers at Wide Receiver for Jaguars

Sep 19, 2014 -- 1:48pm

What are the Jaguars going to do with all these injuries to its receiving corps? It looks like the issues that plagued this unit over the offseason and into the preseason continue to cast a spell on a team still looking for an identity.

On Thursday it was announced that in addition to injuries to both Allen Hurns and Cecil Shorts that Marquis Lee will not play in the game against the Colts on Sunday. Isn’t enough just enough?

All off season the Jaguars dealt with injuries – hamstrings and calves – to its receiving unit, so much so that at one point seven roster players stood on the sidelines during training camp with one injury or another. Now, it seems the torch has been passed on from preseason to the regular season.

“My main focus is getting it right,” Lee said on Jaguars.com. “A hamstring can linger. If you continue to try to come back, come back, come back at 85 and 90 (percent) you still can have issues.”

Lee, who has eight receptions for 73 yards in two games, said he was fine during the game on Sunday, then pulled the area a little Wednesday.

Now, the Jaguars will rely on its second second-rounder, Allen Robinson and Mike Brown to help the depleted unit reach the end zone and possibly help these Jaguars to a victory on Sunday against the Colts.

Add to the complicated situation that the team has also lost its top red zone threat in Marcedes Lewis (who has been placed on injured reserve but can return to the team) and this is a disaster of hurricane proportions.

These Jaguars appeared to have solved its pass catching issues in the NFL Draft by selecting Lee and Robinson, having a healthy Shorts and a more than solid Mike Brown. Add to the equation (prior to his issues in the offseason) Ace Sanders, and this looked like the most improved unit on the roster.

We all know what has happened since.

If the Jaguars are going to take a run at the Colts on Sunday, they must make the most of what they have. Hopefully, Shorts plays and Robinson shows why he was drafted so high. This team needs something to get excited about. The prospect of possibly seeing Blake Bortles make an appearance at some point is good, but it might not be enough.

A solid performance from anyone of the Jaguars’ pass catchers could be the one thing that makes us stop and think change for good is on the horizon.


Sep 19, 2014 -- 1:47pm

The Jacksonville Jaguars have selected Wilfredo J. Gonzalez as the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.


The NFL and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) have partnered for the fourth annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards during the 2014 celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The awards recognize the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market.


The Jaguars will honor Gonzalez on September 21 at their Hispanic Heritage game when they face the Indianapolis Colts. Gonzalez was appointed director of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) North Florida District Office in December 1996. As district director, Gonzalez is responsible for directing the activities of a federal government staff in support of small businesses in a forty-three county area of northern Florida. Before accepting his position at the North Florida District Office, Gonzalez was district director of the SBA’s Washington, D.C. district. He is currently a member of the Regional Community Institute (RCI) of Northeast Florida, Inc., the Board of Directors for the Police Athletic League (PAL),

the Board of the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, the North Florida Hispanic Leadership Alliance, the SBDC Advisory Council, and the UNF Student Affairs Community Council. Gonzalez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puerto Rico and studies at both the University of Puerto Rico Law School and Baruch Graduate School of Public Administration. He also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, VA. Gonzalez is a Veteran of the United States Navy.


Each award recipient will select an organization of their choice that serves the local Hispanic community to receive a $2,000 donation.


Gonzalez has chosen Guardian Catholic Schools to receive this donation. The NFL will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month during weeks 3 and 4 of the season. A national spotlight will be shined on the NFL’s celebration during Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football.

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