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Down with Brown

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Football returned to EverBank Field Thursday night, and it wasn't alone.

It had some prominent political company as well.

Alvin Brown, Jacksonville's recently-elected Mayor, attended the Jaguars' first practice of 2011 training camp on Thursday night, speaking to the crowd of 2,785 along with Jaguars Owner Wayne Weaver and Quarterback David Garrard.

Brown implored the crowd to buy tickets.

"We need your help," Brown said. "The Weavers and everybody, they did their part. Now, we have to do our part. We have to make sure we pack the stands."

Brown then led the crowd in a "No Blackouts" cheer.

The Jaguars, after having nine games blacked out in 2009, had every game televised locally in 2010. They currently are about 17,000 tickets per game shy of the NFL's blackout limit for the coming season, with the goal being to sell about 10,000 season tickets and make up the rest in group sales and single-game tickets.

 "We're really excited about getting back to football," Weaver said. "We're excited about the opportunity. Now, we need your help. We need to fill this building up every Sunday, every Monday night and every Thursday night for the games in 2011.

"We depend on your help and all your friends. We need your help."

Garrard also thanked Jaguars fans for attending the practice.

"It's going to be an awesome 2011 season," Garrard said, asking the crowd, "I just want to know, is anybody out here happy that football is back?''

That drew an ovation, after which Garrard introduced Brown, who pledged that as mayor, "I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we pack the stands."

Brown then asked the crowd, "Are you going to be down with Brown?"

"We're going to pack the stands for the Jaguars," Brown said. "We're going to have a winning season. Let's make it happen."

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