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O-Zone: Brunch bunch

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Sweet T's Suga Bear from Duval

Hey, great KOAF. Here's an idea: In recognition of the upcoming 30th year anniversary of Jacksonville being awarded the Jaguars on November 30 of this year, you should do a column comprised of people's response to this question: "Where were you when Jacksonville was awarded the Jaguars on November 30, 1993?" Should make for an interesting read, don't you think?

This is a good thought. I'll try to remember to devote that day's O-Zone to the idea, though I guarantee nothing when it comes to memory at my age. Here's a twist on that idea: Well before the team was awarded, Touchdown Jax! pulled out of the expansion race only to later resurface. I wonder how many O-Zone readers remember that and if they truly believed that day there would ever be an NFL team in Jacksonville. What I remember is walking somewhere with Mrs. O-Zone and seeing the headlines in one of the old Florida Times-Union "boxes" and saying something to the effect of, "Well, there goes that." I also recall uttering an expletive of some sort – drat, or something like that. I figured at the time I probably would have to leave Jacksonville to cover professional sports. Not long after that, the remarkable ticket drive began that led to that memorable day in November 1993. I figured at the time it would change my life. I had no idea how much.

The Man from Snowy River

O, If Cam Robinson is now officially suspended, does that mean his roster spot is open to add another player? If not now, when?

The NFL officially announced on Thursday afternoon that Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson will be suspended for the first four games of the 2023 regular season for performance-enhancing drugs. He will not be with the team for those four games, so that frees his salary-cap space for those games. Robinson will not be on the 53-player roster for those four games, so the Jaguars in that sense will have an extra roster spot for that period. The Jaguars can use Robinson's projected unused cap space to put toward signing another player anytime they choose.

DJ from Grass Valley, CA

Oh mighty O, I just have to say that all of us Jags fans are truly blessed to have you in our camp. Your tireless dedication is remarkable. I'm trying to be nice, but Gary is full of dung ...

I am the king of all dung.


O-Zone, you keep saying the NFL wants small markets to foot part of the bill for a new stadium, but several larger market owners built their own stadiums without major local financial support. Why is it different for small market teams?

Owners in larger markets can make the money spent to build megastadiums back over the life of the stadium. The financial realities of smaller markets make that much less likely.

Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA

I, Sorry to hear you had Covid. Hope you have recovered. Maybe that explains some of your responses lately — oh wait, never mind.

I am no longer testing positive for Covid.

Nathan from Utah, US

Dead Zone: Please tell Cam "I am" Robinson, no apology needed. We will see him man the left when he returns. Until then, "performing-enhancing substances?" Sounds too vague and petty to justify four games. But then I'm from California.

"Performance-enhancing substances" covers a long list of substances banned by the NFL, a list with a lot of complicated names. The specific substance Robinson used has not been reported. While that may be "vague," that doesn't necessarily make it "petty."

Boomgrounder from Moundsville, WV

Get well, John.


Joe from Jacksonville

John, Sudafed? Really? I know how it can be abused, but it's wild to me players have to watch for medication like that when they are genuinely ill.

Pseudoephedrine is a stimulant believed to enhance performance. It long has been banned by multiple sports governing organizations.

Bradley from Pacific Grove, CA

I hear you have Covid and was wondering if there are still strict testing and protocols in the NFL?

No. There were severe testing and distancing protocols in 2021 and – to a lesser extent – 2022. Those are no longer in place. I no longer have Covid and worked from home last week when I had it. I would take the same approach if I had it during the season.

Fred from Naples, FL

Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!


_Daniel from Jersey City, NJ       _

O-man, will there be a drop in Robinson's performance given he has presumably stopped taking performance enhancing drugs?

We don't know enough specifics about Robinson's situation to come close to knowing this answer. It's not at all safe to assume there will be a drop in performance for Robinson. I would be surprised if there's a noticeable difference.

John from The land of Indian river

Now we know it's four games for Cam, how much money did it cost him?

The suspension reportedly will cost Robinson $3.55 million of his $16 million base salary.

Ryan from Apopka, FL

With Wimbledon starting Monday and Novak Djokovic poised to add another title and the "golden era" of men's tennis ending soon, have you ever thought of the fact that men's players born in the 90s have almost been shut out of major championships? At this moment they have won two. The prolonged success of the Big 3 meant almost an entire generation of players were left watching on the sideline. Has there ever been that sort of gap in any other sport? Even with Tiger, other players won here and there.

It's tough to compare statistics like this across sports, and individual sports are difficult to compare to team sports in this vein. But you're right that Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal dominated the sport in unprecedented fashion – to the point that they changed the perception of what is possible. Before that trio, it was generally accepted that a men's tennis players was all but finished shortly after 30. Pete Sampras won the last of his then-record 14th grand slam titles at 31. Djokovic, Federer and Nadal all won major titles at 36. That "extra" five years indeed allowed those players to essentially prevent a generation of younger players from having "their era." But it doesn't mean those players were left watching on the sideline. They were playing. They just couldn't beat the three all-time greats.

Mark from Englewood in Jacksonville

"Just wanted to point out again that nobody gets to choose how to invest their tax dollars. The government takes it and chooses for you. That is all." Nah, that ain't right! "The Better Jacksonville Plan, approved by voters in 2000, is a $2.25 billion comprehensive growth management program that provides road and infrastructure improvements, environmental preservation, targeted economic development and new and improved public facilities. It is funded in part by a half-cent sales tax approved by Duval County voters, which will sunset no later than 2030." A couple of items worth noting regarding taxpayer money: Taxpayer money paid for the Baseball Grounds, the Arena, the Equestrian Center, our bridges, our roads, our schools, etc. We "see" the results of our tax dollars! We also contribute heavily to a failing public school system for which we have no choice! I'm willing to contribute to the new shiny new toy for the next 30 years and hope this gets done! Also, missing is that states like New York that are nearly broke are contributing heavily to the new stadium in their state whereas in Florida (which is notably solvent and with a huge surplus) the state doesn't contribute to stadiums. Maybe we should vote on the Stadium of the Future and the tax dollars needed?


Sean from Saint Johns City

I was surprised to hear you refer to Nashville as a small market. I thought it was a pretty big city, so then what exactly is a "small" market?

A small market is one in the bottom quarter of the league: Green Bay, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Buffalo, Nashville, Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Kansas City.

Shawn from The mean streets of Palatka

Did Shad hire youe you?than why wouldn't he he hire anyone else? I'd like to work for the Jaguars.

You go, girl.

John from Jacksonville

Do you think Cam Robinson will receive more playing time in the preseason than he otherwise would have? Would they consider having him play every game?

I don't expect Robinson's pending suspension to significantly change his preseason playing time. He's returning from a knee injury that kept him out of the final three regular-season games and both postseason games. Whatever doctors and trainers believe is best for his physical return from that situation likely will dictate his preseason and training-camp participation.

Don from Marshall, NC

Do the offensive linemen do brunch on their get togethers?

Don is "all in" on mimosas.