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The campaign banner, which stretches across four windows in a vacant storefront, seemed ironically placed on the corner of Park and King streets in the perennially progressive Riverside District near Downtown Jacksonville — kind of like the Brooklyn smartasses coopting the candidates “Make America Great Again” slogan to make hats that read “Make America Read Again.”

In any event, someone has defaced it and The Donald now resembles the Führer.

The sign now reads “Heil Donald Trump” and “Nazi Candidate for President” instead of “We Want Donald Trump” and “Republican Candidate for President.”

The space at 2655 Park St. was formerly Extreme Logo Rugs Inc.   More



“It’s evident to see how far we’ve come in many aspects of our game."

— Shad Khan

When you cover a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars, which has been in "wait till next year" mode since the Barack Obama "historic victory" post-inauguration collectible plates were a hot item, you see the same things over and over again.

Close losses. Mental errors. A lack of roster depth. Familiar signposts on the road to 5-11. To an eighth straight year out of the postseason, in the weakest division in the NFL, won this year by the most patchwork team the Houston Texans have ever amassed.

Jonas Gray and Denard Robinson couldn’t get anything done all game long at the tailback position.

And sacks and quarterback pressure against the Jags’ offense? They were there, like the Christmas leftovers gathering mold in the back of the fridge. Two sacks in the first quarter for the Texans set the tone for eight total Texans sacks of Blake Bortles. And Jags' OT Luke Joeckel? Preparing for his post-playing career as a turnstile.

The Jaguars, so amazingly well-coached that they announced retaining Gus Bradley so that the team could focus on this Houston game, were doing it all, all game long. Sergio Brown and Andre Branch out of position on defense. Joeckel and the rest of the line getting burned like forests during an August drought.

Fun Fact No. 1: 20-3 was the halftime score. Bortles with 80 yards passing and a pick.

Fun Fact No. 2: Until the 11:14 mark of the fourth quarter, the Jaguars had 108 total yards.

Down by 17 in the fourth quarter, Bortles wasn't done.

Staring down Allen Robinson like he was going to ask him to couples skate, Bortles threw his signature:

A Pick 6, putting an exclamation point on another meaningless Week 17.

A team that started four QBs. A team that lost Arian Foster. A team that was down 42-0 in Miami before halftime.

The AFC South champs took the Jags to the woodshed.

The 2015 season is …   More

Folio Digital

8 Pretty Great Cover Stories of 2015

#1 ELEVEN22 X 2

Straightened Out at Eleven22, by Claire Goforth

It was a big year for the 57th-fastest-growing church in America, as shortly after lead pastor of the reclaimed-woodin’, ’spro-pullin’, rock-band-havin’ The Church of Eleven22 Joby Martin was voted “Best Spiritual Leader” in our annual Best of Jax readers’ poll, Claire Goforth penned this piece about a controversial video made by and shown at the church, where a young homosexual woman recounts the time Martin told her she “can’t be gay.”





People often accuse me of lacking a sense of humor. I know a good joke when I hear one, though. Exhibit A:

“Gus Bradley has never talked about the playoffs in his time with the Jaguars” — Random CBS Z-List announcer so deadpanned. So typical of how the national media has treated Jacksonville football over the years. Even during the 14-2 regular season in the 1990s, there was always this kind of condescension toward the River City.

Now that there’s been a long stretch of mediocrity-or-worse, the rhetoric and results line up.

The Saints game was one of those when someone (who was lucky enough not to be watching the game) might look at the final score, see 38-27 and 368 passing yards, and think that it was another seamless performance by the fantasy football-friendly Jags’ offense. However, the signature play of Sunday’s game was not on the stat sheet: It was Blake Bortles being hit in the groin with a shotgun snap.

The final score and final box score (larded with garbage time production) might lead one to believe this was a competitive game.

Don’t buy it. The outcome was never in doubt.

The Saints came out and disrespected the Jags on offense, storming down the field with 4:27 elapsed and 70 yards from Brees on that first drive, as he cut through the Jags’ defense like it was preseason.

After a Jags’ punt, the Saints had the ball again at their own two.

This set up a 98-yard drive, culminating with a Brees-to-Cooks strike for 71 yards, putting the home team up 14-0 at the end of one quarter, with 169 passing yards from Brees.

Bortles was picked on the next drive; Allen Robinson couldn’t bring in the pass, but a Saints defensive end did.

From there, you could see some give in the Jags’ defense. Tim Hightower found space running up the middle and, after yet another Jags’ penalty in the secondary, Hightower took a screen pass for 27 yards to the Jacksonville 1, then, …   More

Jag City


Listening to the national media before the Atlanta game, it was hard not to feel a little bit giddy.

The Jaguars, many folks predicted, would beat Matt Ryan and his Falcons with ease. The Atlanta Falcons, unfortunately, didn’t get the memo. And the way they handled their business underscored why the Jaguars are a 5-9 team.

The first drive was an augury: Atlanta got the ball first, and drove 80 yards down the field in 8 plays and 4:12, pushed by 44 yards from Julio Jones and FSU product Devonta Freeman knocking over the pylon as he crashed into the end zone on a 5-yard run. Matt Ryan: six for six on the drive.

The second quarter featured a second efficient Ryan drive, culminating in an 11-yard strike to - Jones, putting Atlanta up 14 to 3. Those who were waiting for the Falcons to self-destruct like they did a week before in Charlotte began to realize that wasn’t going to happen.

After trading punts, Jacksonville had the ball inside its own 20 with 1:42 left in the half. Bortles, in 2-minute mode, had the offense on the move against a soft Falcons zone, until throwing one of those classic poorly timed interceptions in the end zone. The interception, returned to the Jacksonville 14, set up a Falcons field goal, putting Atlanta up 17 to 3.

The Jaguars, for a second week in a row, needed some magic in the final 30 minutes.

And, for a moment, they were getting it, chunk play by chunk play, on a 9-play, 4:20-drive that covered 80 yards and cut the Falcons’ lead in half, ending with a Bortles bootleg for the touchdown.

Then Ryan served up a pick to Paul Posluszny, giving Jacksonville the ball inside the 50 and all the momentum in the world, as Bortles moved the ball down the field in a drive that culminated with a strike to Allen Robinson, tying the game up at 17, which was where it stood at the end.

Jacksonville punted the ball back in short order, a three and out forced by an aggressive Falcons’ defense, as each team saw …   More


Art Basel in Miami Beach attracts artists and art lovers from around the world and the entire city of Miami is transformed as multiple art fairs and festivals pop up from the beach to the Wynwood arts district and beyond.

Tachyons + (former Jacksonville noise collective members Logan Owlbeemoth and Omebi Velouria from Telepathik Friend) created trippy visuals using custom electronics and video effects during the Look Alive Festival at Churchill's Pub featuring Wolf Eyes and Silver Apples.

Zac Freeman had a piece displayed in the Context Art Miami show where Folio Weekly caught up with Overstreet Ducasse and Princess Simpson Rashid.

Ducasse’s brilliant artwork was featured in two shows just north of Wynwood (including the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center). Florida painter Kevin Grass displayed seven new photo realistic / surreal paintings at Spectrum Miami.   More


Muscled Out of the Marijuana Biz

Gainesville nurseryman Alan Shapiro just wants to grow some pot. Low-THC marijuana meant for medical purposes, that is. But his nursery, San Felasco Nurseries Inc., may be shut out of the business despite receiving the highest score from the Florida Department of Health in Northeast Florida.

A three-person Department of Health panel was formed to grade nurseries around the state and award five nurseries — one in each region — licenses to grow the so-called Charlotte's Web. San Felasco, also known as Grandiflora, received the highest score out of any in the region, and Shapiro thought his nursery would be awarded one of the licenses. San Felasco, however, received a letter from the DOH, claiming it had been disqualified because an employee had failed his or her level-two background check.

Shapiro disputes that claim, saying there was a "discrepancy" in the background check in question, and the DOH did not give him an opportunity to correct the discrepancy. Further, in his petition, he claims the discrepancy does not constitute a disqualifying offense, and even if it did, the employee's record was expunged, eliminating it as a disqualifying offense.

The offense: A 2004 misdemeanor charge for possession of a depressant, stimulants, hallucinogenics or steroids, according to the petition, not a severe-enough offense, according to Florida statute.

According to DOH's rules, each nursery applicant was required to provide a level-2 background check, which checks a person's arrest and criminal record with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, for all its owners and managers. Until that and other requirements were met, no nursery was to be scored, according to the rules.

San Felasco, however, was scored, and received the highest score in the region, 3.975, beating second-place Chestnut Hill by nearly .2 points.

That implies, Shapiro argued in his petition, that the department "had concluded that all owners and managers for San Felasco …   More


The image is crudely rendered and Islamaphobic with an elbow to the ribs and ha, ha, ha. As an attempt at humor, whoever superimposed the head of Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department firefighter paramedic Jeffrey Abboud onto an image of a man dressed in a military jacket, with a full beard encircling his face and his head wrapped in a black scarf, certainly failed. In the image, it appears that Abboud is holding a human skull topped with a Santa Claus hat, with a cartoon thought bubble above it that reads, "Jingle BOMBS Jingle BOMBS!!!"

The reference is to comedian Jeff Dunham and his skeletal ventriloquist dummy, "Achmed the Dead Terrorist."

Jacksonville's Fire & Rescue Department turned over the main computer at its Myrtle Avenue fire station to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, after firefighters discovered someone had replaced the computer's screensaver with the image of Abboud — who is of Hispanic descent — doctored to look like a terrorist.

JFRD spokesperson Tom Francis said JSO IT investigators will determine who posted the image and when it was discovered and reported. He said that the department's compliance division, in charge of upholding department standards, will also open an investigation.

The slur is timely in its fear-mongering, coming after the Paris bombings and the massacre in San Bernardino put Americans on edge, and bombastic presidential candidate and evergreen blowhard Donald Trump played to the worst in us by saying he'll make Muslims in the country carry IDs and then ban any more from entering.

It's ugly. In Philadelphia, a pig's head was thrown at a mosque. A shop owner in Queens was beaten. Someone threw a large rock through the dining room window of the home of a Muslim family who'd recently moved to Plano, Texas.

Here in Jacksonville, Francis said it is a mistake to see anything systemic or endemic to the fire department in the screensaver. "We do not condone this kind of …   More


Northeast Florida POWER METER

POWER DOWN: City Leaders' Resistance to Anything the Jaguars Want

Not surprisingly to anyone paying attention, a little more than two years after agreeing to chip in more than $40 million on upgrades to the city-owned stadium based on proposals by the NFL franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars, the city council unanimously approved a plan to chip in $45 million for upgrades to the city-owned stadium based on proposals by the NFL franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars.  

NEXT: High School High Alert >>>   More



The Jaguars did it again, losing a winnable must-win game to a bottom-feeder team. They fall to a dismal 4-8, buttressing something I read before the game:

According to a chart put out by Nate Silver’s, Coach Bradley was (after “only” seven losses) the second most-likely coach in the NFL to get axed at the end of the year.

First most-likely? Chip Kelly, who has presided over the freefall of the Philadelphia Eagles.

After Sunday's shootout, a 42 to 39 loss to a last-place team that hadn't won at home in more than a year, Genial Gus might be in what Ludacris would call the Number One Spot.

On the list, at least.

Are the statistics folks right on this one? Hard to make an empirical argument for a team with a .333 winning percentage, especially since this season is the third one in the Three Year Plan.

If that plan were proceeding as one would have hoped, the Jags would be in the mix in the AFC South, which is set up as well as it’s been in a while for a flawed team like Jacksonville to make the leap.

Instead, mistakes and mismatches, as well as another brutal performance by Kicker Jason Myers, sealed loss No. 8, and gradually eroding the narrative The Jaguars Are Playing Meaningful Games After Halloween For a Change.

Mismatches came to the fore, predictably, in the first half. The Jaguars, vulnerable to the depredations of tight ends for years, got eaten up again like those poor bastards in the Donner Party who didn't make the final cut [pun intended]. Two TE TDs put Bradley's Bunch down by eight in the second quarter.

Same as it ever was. However, something magical happened.

The Jaguars twice handed the ball near the goal line to, of all people, TJ Yeldon. And danged if miracles, beyond those worked at The Church of Eleven22, didn’t come true. Yeldon made it into the end zone.

The two-point conversion failed, but the rare Yeldon score had Jags fans throughout the nation lurching to …   More