Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Forget Web Sites, This Is the Titans

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Forget Web Sites, This Is the Titans

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods, Times-Union sports columnist

We've heard on the street that the new keeptomcoughlin.com Web site is actually run by the Jaguars front office, and registered to a disgruntled Bears fan in Illinois! Can't they find anybody in Jacksonville who wants to keep him??? -- on firetomcoughlin.com.

The backlash was expected. Go three seasons without winning and there is going to be unrest, much of it swirling around the head coach.

So first came the boos. Then the Web sites. Then the sale of "Fire Tom" clothing -- T-shirts, aprons, hats, thongs -- with a message exhorting fans to buy them for Dec. 22 at Alltel Stadium.

Dec. 22 is here. This could be the end of an era, the Jacksonville finale for Coughlin and, if there is a coaching change, perhaps even Mark Brunell. Or it could be just the final home game of the eighth season in franchise history. We don't know yet.

We do know it will be another interesting Jaguars-Titans matchup, one that will bring years of emotions to the surface, producing trash-talking and finger-pointing.

And that's just in the stands.

With nearly 7,000 unsold tickets, this game is pay-per-view. (You pay for a ticket or you don't view.) But those who will be there -- and I'll kick off the "guess the attendance" game with 45,654 -- might make this worth the price of admission.

This isn't just another Sunday at Alltel. It has turned into an election, with a low, but fervent, voter turnout expected. Coughlin will be booed loudly. And he will be cheered loudly, because the recent backlash has led to a secondary phenomenon. Backlash to the backlash.

Yes, there are people in Jacksonville who want to keep Coughlin. Robert Kauffman, a 34-year-old meat-cutter, is one of them. On Dec. 11, he launched a web site supporting Coughlin (angelfire.com/f15/keeptomcoughlin). …

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