In the last year, Shad Khan has made incredible strides toward building a football team that the fans deserve and one of which Jacksonville can truly be proud. Personnel changes, new coaching staff and bold signings (and cuts) have all set the stage for change, but it wasn’t until the unveiling of the updated logo and uniforms that the city truly began to feel the “new attitude” Khan wants to create. I applaud him on everything he’s done so far, but I believe there’s one crucial element still missing if we are to take the team, in the words of Mayor Alvin Brown, “to the next level”: an official Jaguars anthem.
Fortunately, multi-platinum recording artist/producer — and Jacksonville native — Thrill Da Playa (aka Van Bryant) of the 69 Boyz has “Show Up Show Out” all cued up and ready to go. All he needs is someone in Jaguars HQ to declare it the official anthem. And here's how you can help.
Listen to "Show Up Show Out" and/or sign the petition.
While I await the phone call from Mr. Khan thanking me for bringing this amazing song to his attention and inviting me and Van to join him for lunch on his yacht, I encourage you to check out the other contenders—starting with my personal favorite.
The Lanier Five Duval Jaguars Song
Let's Go Jags
I Rep My City
Rock and Roar
We Are Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars Song
Black and Teal
National Hug Week is over, and my personal quest to hug it out was a success. I didn't keep an official tally, but I'd say I averaged 10 embraces a day, which, according to the Hug for Health Foundation's daily hug prescription, puts me well on my way toward personal "growth."
In all honesty, it wasn't that difficult for me as I consider myself a "hugger" anyway. That's not to say, however, the holiday was without challenges, like having to hug folks with garlic hummus breath or funky-smelling dreadlocks (which I did). And then there were the people who stayed in the embrace so long it became awkward. Or the guy who said, "That wasn't a real hug!" then came at me full-frontal for a more satisfying one. (Looking on the bright side: If it weren't for these experiences, I might never have realized that "hug" is an anagram for "ugh.")
The fact that National Hug Week coincided with The Players Championship was a major bonus for a stalker such as myself since it gave me a legitimate reason to hug Adam Scott, Luke Donald and Jonas Blixt. Unfortunately, they were out of arms reach — literally — all week, so I had to fill my celebrity creeper quota by hugging other athletes, a country music star and local media personalities (check the photo gallery above).
More than anything, National Hug Week made me more aware of hugging the people I should be hugging every time I see them: my friends. Up until this week, the friends I see the most are the ones I hug the least, probably because I see them all the time. Because of this experience, I'll hug the people who mean the most to me the most.
And I promise my cats, Fonzie Ann Mildred and Puddy Frederick Renaire, that I will do my best to hug them less. As you can see in the photo gallery, they're not big fans.
In case you missed my ramblings on First Coast Connect this morning, here’s what’s coming up this …here’s what’s coming up this week — and beyond — Around Town:
San Augustin Sol Festival
YMCA After Partee With Jo Dee Messina
The Lot at TPC Sawgrass, 6 p.m.
THROUGH JUNE 9
Loretta Swit Stars in Alhambra Theatre & Dining
Golf & Garden Party
Winn-Dixie, Ponte Vedra Beach
THE CUT Party Benefiting the Boselli Foundation
The Lot at TPC, 6 p.m.
Jax Cash Mob
Reddi-Arts, 11 a.m.
Fancy Pants Party Benefiting Blessings in a Backpack
The Lot at TPC, 6 p.m.
Bark After Dark
Club Continental, 6 p.m.
Yours truly rocks the mic on WJCT's First Coast Connect every Thursday around 9:45 a.m. Tune in. Look out.
The Players Championship officially begins May 9, but with nearly 150 players in the field, it’s tough to choose who to follow. While I have every intention of following my boyfriend Adam Scott, it is possible that he might not play (or, more likely, I'm not allowed within 300 yards of him).
That said, I consulted a true expert on the subject, Marc Fagan, founder and president of Edwin Watts Golf Academy, for his advice on who to follow — which he claims should have nothing to do with their looks.
If you want to follow the most likely to win …
Fagan says the Pete Dye-designed course really benefits players with good short games, especially putting. That said, he expects Ian Poulter, Billy Horschel, Luke Donald and Tiger Woods to fare well. (Note: Fagan may think looks are irrelevant, but I would like to point out both Horschel and Donald are on my cutest players list too.)
If you want to be amazed …
Seeing Bubba Watson crush the ball in person is even more incredible than on TV, Fagan says. And, of course, practically everything Woods does is amazing.
If you want personal interaction …
Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler and Angel Cabrera are friendly with the gallery, and Phil Mickelson is especially chatty with fans.
If you want to learn something …
According to Fagan, Woods, Scott and Justin Rose have the best swings on the tour. That said, avert your eyes whenever Jim Furyk tees off.
If you want to support the dark horse …
Fagan says, “Watch out for Boo Weekley.”
If you’re not afraid of being trampled …
Woods or Watson.
I assume you're "supposed" to go to The Players Championship to witness the best golfers in the world do what they do best (which, as far as I can tell, is knock a small ball into a hole using metal stick). While I'm not going to dispute the athletic ability required to accomplish such a task (especially considering I was +13 the last time I played miniature golf), I am going to suggest that there are other less obvious motives for making the drive to TPC Sawgrass.
1) Tasty grub. Not that burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches wrapped in foil and served out of a backyard shed don't have their place in the culinary world, but this year's tournament is stepping it up with offerings from some of the area's most popular restaurants. The Taste of Jax pavilion includes Thai and Southeast Asian-inspired dishes from Indochine, good old fashioned comfort food from Metro Diner and award-winning Neapolitan pizza from Pele's Wood Fire.
2) Party atmosphere. It may not be the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," but The Players Championship comes pretty darned close. Besides the golf course itself serving as a grass-covered pub crawl, the post-play shindigs are way above par, which—in this case—is a good thing. My recommendations? The Cut Party (Friday, May 10, 6-11 p.m.), benefiting the Boselli Foundation with barbecue, libations and a live performance by country star Darryl Worley; and the Fancy Pants Party (Saturday, May 11, 6-11 p.m.), benefiting Blessings in a Backpack, featuring wings, full bar, raffles and a live performance from the awesome '80s band, Yacht Rock Review.
3) Cute guys. Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder, but I think we can all agree the grass should burst into flames beneath Adam Scott’s feet. You may not agree with my other picks in the photo gallery above, nor can I guarantee that all of them will actually play in the tournament. But I can assure you that …
By now, you probably know (whether you want to or not) Tim Tebow is unemployed. As the sports pundits continue to speculate if he'll get picked up, move to the AFL or work the register at PDQ, a fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in chicken sandwiches that he plans to invest in, I, for one, am not worried about Tebow following in the footsteps of his idol and Heisman Trophy winner turned NFL flop Danny Wuerffel.
If nothing else, he has a promising career in YouTube video cameos to wit "Basketball Diva," the adorable Jason Yee's tribute to Washington Wizards center Jason Collins for revealing he is gay. Tebow's shirtless photo appears around 49 seconds during the lyric: "Be proud of who you are, even if you're a famous sports star, live ur luv out loud, cuz we only have now."
Interpret away, pundits...
In case you missed my ramblings on First Coast Connect this morning (or you're still trying to grasp that Tim Tebow is unemployed), here’s what’s coming up this …here’s what’s coming up this week — and beyond — Around Town:
Times-Union Center, 7:30 p.m.
Jacksonville Magazine Model Fashion Show
Casa Marina, Jacksonville Beach, 6:30 p.m.
Jacksonville's Dancing With the Stars
Times-Union Center, 8 p.m.
Folio Weekly's Margarita Fest
Morocco Shrine Auditorium, 7-10 p..m.
Tee Off Downtown
Kentucky Derby Party
St. Johns Town Center, 5-9 p.m.
Chris Botti with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra
Times-Union, 8 p.m.
Movies in the Park: "Brave"
Wyndham Jacksonville Riverfront Lawn, 8 p.m.
5 Points Springfest
5 Points, 2-10 p.m.
Through May 4
"Tea and Sympathy"
Yours truly rocks the mic on WJCT's First Coast Connect every Thursday around 9:45 a.m. Tune in. Look out.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could reduce anxiety and stress, lower your blood pressure and risk of heart disease, and help build your immune system without medication, exercise or even visiting the doctor?
According to researchers, you can, and it’s easy as opening your arms and giving someone a hug.
Sponsored by the Hugs for Health Foundation (HHF), National Hug Week, May 6-12, was created to “increase hug abundance on the planet.”
In celebration of this heartwarming holiday, I aim to fill my “daily hug prescription,” as suggested by HHF (four for survival, eight for maintenance and 12 for growth), every day next week.
And I encourage you to do the same, keeping in mind, of course, HHF's Proper Hug Etiquette (aka The Rules to Safe Hugging):
Always respect another's space.
Ask permission before hugging.
A hug is a compassionate gesture, hug accordingly.
A hug is a gentle embrace, not the Heimlich Maneuver.
Be "in" the hug; don't simply go through the motion.
Even if you can't embrace in person, you can hug others virtually via email, text or social media using one of these seven hug emoticons.
I'll be sharing my Hug Week experiences right here—pictures and all—so stay tuned. In the mean time, let's take a moment, shall we, to review HHF's Hugger's Creed:
We believe HUGS nurture the human spirit, promote a more positive outlook and enhance the quality of one's life.
In case you missed my ramblings on First Coast Connect this morning (or you’re still busy counting your pennies to buy the new Jags jersey), here’s what’s coming up this week — and beyond — Around Town:
Jaguars Draft Day Party
EverBank Field, 6 p.m.
Guts & Glory: An Evening With Anthony Bourdain
Times-Union Center, 7:30 PM
Citywide Pet Adoption Event
Jacksonville Humane Society and Animal Care & Protective Services
Tea and Sympathy
Jacksonville Backyard BBQ Championship
EverBank Field, noon-5 p.m.
River City Challenge
Friendship Fountain, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
RAP Spring Tour of Homes
Riverside/Avondale Historic District
Welcome to Rockville
Metropolitan Park, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Limp Bizkit formed in Jacksonville—albeit decades apart—and became extremely successful in their own genres including appearances on RIAA's top 100 albums. On April 27 and 28, the iconic bands will return to their hometown to perform as part of Welcome to Rockville at Metropolitan Park. But that, dear readers, is not where the comparisons between the long-haired, good ol’ boys who introduced the world to Southern rock and the angry young men with tattoos who pioneered nü metal end.
In addition to the run-ins with the law, reports of drug and alcohol abuse, and breakup/reunion/breakups that go hand in hand with the business rock and roll, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Limp Bizkit have more than a few not so obvious similarities.
1. Both have been referenced in "Weird Al" Yankovic songs: Limp Bizkit in "Angry White Boy Polka" and Lynyrd Skynyrd in "Trapped in the Drive-Thru."
2. Each had a member involved in a public sex scandal. I'll let you Google those stories for yourselves. I don't need that kind of stuff showing up on my search history.
3. They've recorded songs that are long enough for a DJ to make a bathroom run and squeeze in a catnap—assuming, of course, radio stations still employed actual DJs who actually selected and played actual songs anymore. The original recording of "Freebird" clocked in at 9 minutes, 22 seconds, though, with live versions nearing 15 minutes; Limp Bizkit's "Everything" is even longer: 16 minutes, 26 seconds.
4. Both were part of tragic accidents during their heyday. A teenager was crushed to death at a Limp Bizkit concert in Australia in 2002. In 1977, a plane crash in a wooded area in Mississippi killed Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines and assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick. Other band members and crew suffered serious injuries.
5. If name meanings are to be believed, Fred Durst and the late Ronnie Van Zant were destined to be lead …