SPORTS w/The Jock – Aug 5

by Tom Weppel
The first week of Jaguars Training Camp has been completed. Actually, it seems that most of the news has been generated OFF the field, as opposed to things happening during practices.
Most of you are aware of the new name for the stadium, now called Everbank Field. This deal has made Wayne Weaver and his staff much happier, and who wouldn’t be! If someone put a couple of million dollars in MY pocket, I’d be pretty happy, too!
It will be interesting to see if Everbank is satisfied with the whole deal in the end, since I’m sure they were highly aware of the Jaguars home games being blacked out last year. That right there is the new A-#1 priority of the Jaguars…to get more ‘asses in the seats’ to ensure games being sold out to the point where there ARE no blackouts!
Everbank certainly, above all else, wants to see these games on local TV. They want to make sure people are aware the games are being played in THEIR stadium! I’m sure there had to be some sort of contingency written into the contract they did with Wayne.
And so that is easily what the Jaguars are focusing on right now. They made a push during the off-season to sell regular season ticket packages, and they did a pretty good job in doing so. Now, they are making an even more aggressive push in these next few weeks to get the number sold to feel good about attendance figures for the regular season.
Their first game of their season is here, at home against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. I can GUARANTEE you that game will be sold out…easily! What happens after that remains to be seen.
The other main story was the slight holdout of first round pick Tyson Alualu. After a few days, a deal was done for the Defensive Tackle. What I found quirky was that Alualu was hanging out back home where he grew up in Hawaii, as opposed to being HERE, waiting and ready to go. To me, that should’ve been a different situation. Whatever the case, the guy is here in Camp, and we’ll see how he fares. My feeling is he will be in the starting lineup from Day One against the Broncos.
Interesting how no one has really stood out on the field in practices during Training Camp so far. We haven’t heard Jack Del Rio call anyone out for what they are…or are not, doing. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things are when the Jags open their preseason schedule, on Thursday, at Philadelphia…

While Training Camps are being held, its quite apparent a lot of the noise again has been generated OFF the field, as opposed to on it.
We’ll start off with this completely ridiculous saga being generated with the Vikings and QB Brett Favre.
As we all know, this is not the first time we’ve been down this road with Favre. That within itself is what is making this whole scenario a complete joke, to be honest! Seems apparent the media is biting on these potential leaks of Favre thinking about retirement. When that happens, it gets blow so far out of proportion, it takes over the headlines.
But it shouldn’t! Look…for all we know, maybe Favre hasn’t done or said ANYTHING connected to his playing this season! On Wednesday, he was seen helping high school kids with their football practices near his home in Kiln, Mississippi.
Meanwhile, everybody in the world has come up with some sort of opinion as to whether he will or will not play…whether he will or will not retire. People are wondering whether Favre is a good or bad guy!
What is absolutely amazing about this whole deal is that Favre hasn’t done a damn thing WRONG! He is probably hanging out at his home in Mississippi, taking this all in, and laughing the whole time!
Look…we will know if Brett Favre will play this season on September 9th at 8:30 p.m., when the Vikes play their opener at New Orleans. Until then, this is nothing but a total guessing game and a pure crap shoot! So please…completely disregard everything you hear and see about Brett Favre…
The other major player we’ve heard so much about this past week has been Redskins DL Albert Haynesworth and his inability to pass the fitness test needed to get him on the field and participate in the Washington Training Camp practices.
After not doing very well his first couple of attempts to perform and play, turns out we hear he has a swollen knee sprain, or something of that sort. And now he’s been out over a week! This, after Haynesworth made it known he wasn’t very happy with the Defensive scheme new Head Coach Mike Shanahan is bringing in to the Redskins fold.
My guess is this is going to be a continuing reality show of a play between the team and the player. I don’t see them ever being happy with each other! I’ll be curious to see if Haynesworth or Shanahan ever come to terms and get along. If they don’t, it will be an issue throughout the season, and that won’t be a good thing…

This week, the Big Ten held media conferences in Chicago for the upcoming college football season. The headliner, as you might imagine, was Penn St. Head Coach Joe Paterno, who is still ALIVE, by the way!
Paterno is 84 years old. He will be in his 45th season at Penn State. Listening to him speak, though, makes you sincerely wonder exactly how the guy is able to operate in this day and age as a Head Coac!. You can’t possibly tell me that Paterno even knows half the guys that are on the Penn State roster this year! Anyone who is 84 shouldn’t even be ALLOWED on the football field, much less on the sidelines trying to run the show there.
But Paterno still feels as if he has enough gas in the tank to be the Head Coach. He thinks he is keeping everything in check, as the Nittany Lions prepare for the season. Honestly, though, it’s a joke. Problem is, the boys in charge there at Penn State can’t kick the old man out! He has meant so much to the University over all these years, especially in helping to bring in financial supporters to donate big checks for all sorts of gratuitous items…there would be a vociferous backlash if even the THOUGHT of firing Paterno was brought up!
If I was a Penn State football fan, I’d want Paterno out of there asap! He simply is not doing anything in coaching the players at PSU. I’m sure he doesn’t call plays. I’m sure he doesn’t recruit. He’s nothing but a figurehead.
Time to go, Joe!