Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Maybe We Can't Be Good at Everything

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Maybe We Can't Be Good at Everything

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods, Times-Union columnist

It's here. The home debut of a new football coach. The first regular season game since renovations to Alltel Stadium. The local unveiling of a new era.

Are you ready for some football? Some Miami Dolphins football? How about some paid programming for vitamins, laser vision surgery, Bowflex or who knows what else?

If you're not at Alltel Stadium today, I don't know what you'll be watching on TV. I do know it won't be Jaguars football.

For the first time in the franchise's nine-year history, the Jaguars didn't sell out their home opener within 72 hours of kickoff. You know what that means for our fair city. Ridicule, shame and the civic equivalent of a scarlet letter.

B for blackout.

B for Bad Sports Town.

If this column were a TV show filmed before a live studio audience (which, by the way, basically is what NFL games are) then this is the place where the crowd would gasp. Did he say what I think he said?

You can call cities a lot of things. You can say they have bad drivers, bad schools, bad breath. But all across America, you don't say someplace is a "Bad Sports Town." Them are fighting words.

So today we raise two questions: A) Is this a Bad Sports Town? B) Should we care if it is?

Let's start with the second half of that question.

When you get right down to it, it really is a pretty silly way to measure civic self-worth. Who has the biggest, fanciest, loudest stadium? Who has the highest percentage of citizens likely to paint their faces? Who has the civic leaders most willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that their city remains -- drum roll, please -- a Good Sports Town?

Do we really care about any of this? Shouldn't we strive to be a Good Schools Town, a Good Museum Town, a Good Parks Town? Do we really care whether we're a Good Sports Town? …

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