Remember Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith, one of the team's best players in history? Well, Smith's story got a little sadder recently. The 44-year old former All-Pro receiver was sentenced to six years in prison last week. Two years are for "possession of a firearm by a convicted felon" while the other four stem from cocaine possession.
Smith, a member of the Jaguars since the 1995 inaugural season, abruptly retired in 2005 and has seemingly (to say the least) struggled deeply to keep his life together post-football.
Ever wonder what sort of stories some of those older buildings in Downtown Jacksonville have? What's presently The Carling sure has one. It's the former site of Hotel Roosevelt, a luxury hotel that caught on fire in 1963, killing 22 people - a larger death toll than the well-known Great Fire of 1901.
Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The suspension will hamper the Jaguars chances of getting off to a fast start in 2013 as Blackmon figured to be an important part of the team's offense.
The second-year player issued the following statement:
I've made a mistake and I have no excuse. I am truly sorry and disappointed in myself for putting the Jaguars in this situation, and I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person. I will have a productive training camp and pre-season with my team, and during the suspension I will work hard to stay in top football shape and be ready to help the Jaguars when I return. I have chosen to be accountable for my poor decision, and I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, the front office and Jaguars fans for the impact of my mistake on the team.
The NFL Draft has come and gone, and the Jaguars, for all practical purposes, have upgraded their roster (their defense in particular) and made moves toward a more physical defense. Most of you probably know about Luke Joeckel, the Jaguars first-round pick, but what about the other players?
Let's take a look at the Jaguars 2013 draft class.
The Jaguars opted for safe rather than sexy with their first round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, selecting Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel with the second overall selection.
Joeckel was one of five offensive lineman selected in the top 10 picks, signalling either a robust crop of lineman or a weak crop of skill-position players in this year's draft.
Rounds two and three of the draft are Friday night, and the Jaguars are rumored to have a quarterback in mind for their second-round pick. Three "big names" are still available at the position: Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib. Full coverage of the Jaguars draft picks will be up once the remaining selections are made.
The much-anticipated One Spark festival in Downtown Jacksonville has come and gone (for now anyway). The crowdfunding festival brought an estimated 130,000 attendees (roughly double the anticipated estimate), and as promised, the organized disbersed $250,000 of the crowdfund pie between hundreds of projects.
Let's take a look at a few of the big winners.
Rethreaded took home the largest percentage (2.7%) of the vote and thus the most money ($6,768.42). Beyond the Facade was the runner-up, taking home $4,202.71.
Even projects with minimal votes received some funds. MOJOCustomTees, for example, received one vote, and earned $4.69.
Check out this link for the full list of results with more information about each project.
Given the turnout, it would be difficult to claim that One Spark wasn't a success. The only question is, will we see it again? Perhaps annually? I can't answer that question, but I hope the answer is yes.
Have you been hearing the buzz around OneSpark? Ron Littlepage with the Florida Times-Union wrote that it could be a "game changer" for Jacksonville. Even Jaguars owner Shad Khan is involved -- the 'stache pledged up to $1 million in funding for OneSpark projects. But just what is OneSpark?
Let's take a look at the basics.
A new event calendar for April 2013 has been published. April looks to be pretty solid -- there are several concerts and, of course, the long-awaited OneSpark crowdfunding festival in Downtown Jacksonville. Next month, which features the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, should be just as exciting.
Check out a condensed history of Jacksonville for a basic timeline of our city from its earliest known beginnings leading right up to the county consolidation in the late-1960s and the birth of the Jaguars.
Want to get out of Jax for a weekend? Check out Ponte Vedra & St. Augustine, two places nearby with plenty of attractions.