Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Jackson Who?

The Jacksonville Jaguars went 12-4 last season. They have a rugged defense and a prominent coach. Apart from Byron Leftwich and Fred Taylor, few around here could name any Jaguar player. I've been noodling over why. It can't just be market size. Minneapolis-St. Paul is about the same size, I think, but we more familiar with the Vikings. Geography doesn't quite explain it. San Diego is much farther away, yet we are very familiar with the Chargers.

There are two reasons for Jacksonville's anonymity. First, with Baltimore's proximity to Washington, Ravens games are broadcast in the DC TV market. So, we naturally hear more about the AFC North than the South; which brings up the second reason. The Indianapolis Colts, with nine post-season appearances in the last seven years, sucks the oxygen out of media coverage in the AFC South.

The game was the best possible compromise with regard to Byron Leftwich. The local boy done good (21 of 35 for 289 yards, 3 TDs, 1 Interception) and the local team won. ESPN The Magazine quotes Leftwich addressing stereotypes that he and receiver Matt Jones faces, "What is the world coming to when you have a slow black quarterback throwing to a fast white receiver." (October 9, 2006, NFL Insider, page 104)

For a quick read on how the Redskins-Jacksonville game played in Florida, look here.

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