First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 10:04 PM on 4/24, issued at 10:04 PM Blackshear, GA | Bristol, GA | Mershon, GA | Millwood, GA
Best of 2010 - Choices
BOWDEN’S LAST GAME: What a way to go out for the legendary Bobby Bowden. The long time Florida State head man coached his final collegiate game in the Gator Bowl on January 1st. The Seminoles entered the game as underdogs but won an emotional game with a backup quarterback over West Virginia to send Bowden out in style 33-21.

In front of a record 84,000 fans including former players Chris Weinke, Warrick Dunn and Deion Sanders, Bowden started the game by putting the spear into the ground at midfield. The game ended with Bowden being carried off on his players shoulders. The day ended with his wife Ann interrupting the end of a long press conference saying “time to go home, baby.”

On January 1st, Jacksonville was home to a legend and witness to win that will be remembered for some time.

HISTORY AT DAYTONA: A historic year at the World Center of Racing. It was the longest Daytona 500 in history because of weather and construction delays. A pothole in turn two almost canceled the race. Instead, it delayed the Super Bowl of NASCAR for hours. It was worth the wait for Jamie McMurray, who won the event for the first time.

Prior to the Daytona 500, Danica Mania hit Daytona. Danica Patrick made her NASCAR debut in the Nationwide Race on the same weekend. Patrick crashed on the 69th lap of the race and was never a factor in her first race on the circuit.

The Midsummer Classic was a classic. Kevin Harvick won the Coke Zero 400 by less than a second over Kasey Kahne. There was a race record 18 drivers exchanging the lead 47 times.

A Day after the July race, the speedway underwent a makeover. For the first time in more than 30 years, the surface was repaved. The pothole malfunction in February was the last straw and culminated in a $20 million project that ends on January 1st. It won’t be a bumpy wild ride in 2011 - just a smooth cruise in circles at 200 miles an hour.

JACK DEL RIO UNDER FIRE: After four straight losses to end the 2009 season, the Jags head coach’s approval rating was plummeting. In one frantic January week, Jack Del Rio was rumored to have accepted the head coaching job at USC and rumored to be heading into a meeting with owner Wayne Weaver to receive his pink slip. Neither happened.

Del Rio’s face to face with the owner revealed support and higher expectations. Weaver made it clear that the playoffs were an expectation in 2010. The fall didn’t start with those promising aspirations when the Jags had three blowout losses in the first seven weeks.

A little over a month later, Del Rio’s team has rekindled the successes of 2007 and sit atop the AFC South. It’s the second time in two years JDR’s club has reached 7-5 at this point of the season. Last year they collapsed and this season is yet to be determined. If the coach can get the rebuilt Jags in the post-season, you may hear Jack Del Rio’s name talked about as coach of the year.

JAGS WILD WINS: It’s already been a monumental year for the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise in so many ways, but this season may be most remembered by two plays.

“The Kick” - Against nemesis Peyton Manning and the Colts, the Jags found themselves in position for a week four win at Everbank Field. Instead of running out the clock and going to overtime, David Garrard completed a big 22 yard pass to get the Jags within “Josh Scobee Range.” After an incomplete pass, Scobee attempted and nailed a 59 yard field goal to beat the Colts and temporarily save the Jags season. The kick will live forever in Jags lore and immediately boosted Scobee to fan favorite status.

“The Catch” - After blowing a 14 point halftime lead against the Texans, the Jaguars were once again destined for overtime -- then fate prevailed. After Sean Considine forced a Houston fumble in Jags territory with eight seconds to play, David Garrard completed a quick out pass to Marcedes Lewis at the Jags 45 yard line. A Houston penalty pushed the ball to midfield. Time for one more play. Instead of a Scobee 67 yard attempt, Garrard launched the football 60 yards into the endzone. The ball was knocked away by the Texans’ Glover Quinn and it landed right in the arms of a trailing Mike Thomas -- Touchdown Jaguars! The Hail Mary ending put the Jags over .500 and sent Everbank Field into celebratory mode for the second time in 2010.

MEYER RESIGNS, MUSCHAMP HIRED: This is certainly the hot story of December. We initially labeled it “Meyer and Gators Struggle.” After the news on Decmeber 8th, we figure this story will climb the ladder a few rungs.

Urban Meyer unexpectedly called it quits six years and one day after he was hired in Gainesville. He leaves as a two time national champ and numbers wise the greatest coach in Florida history and one of the greatest coaches in college football history.

Meyer’s said his decision for leaving is to spend more time with his wife, two daughters and son. It was an unusual year in Gainesville dating back to Meyer’s resignation on December 26, 2009. He returned 24 hours later and led the team to a Sugar Bowl win in Tim Tebow’s final game.

Meyer said he took some time off in the spring, but it never was a leave of absence. This fall was not a pleasant one for Meyer and the Gators. They struggled through their cupcake schedule with a shaky offense and spent the entire season trying to overcome their inefficiencies on that side of the ball.

The end result was a 7-5 record, three straight losses at home, a blowout loss to Alabama and a loss to Florida State. Worse than that, their legendary head coach is no longer the King of the Swamp.

Three days after Meyer resigned, Athletic Director Jeremy Foley wasted little time hiring Will Muschamp. The one time Gainesville native and most recently the coach in waiting at Texas was introduced on December 14th.

Muschamp is a bit of risk because this is his first head coaching job, but his SEC background and national championship success gives Gator Nation hope in what has been a tumultuous 2010.

SHARKS INAUGURAL SEASON: It’s never easy being a minor league franchise, especially in a pro football town. The Jacksonville Sharks first year defied that logic. The Arena Football League team won 12 games and made the playoffs, while consistently attracting crowds of over 10,000 fans at the Arena downtown.

Les Moss led the Sharks to a South Division title and Arena star Jeff Garcia guided the juggernaut to win every home game but one.

The only downfall for the Sharks was they lost their first playoff game 73-67 to Orlando. If the Sharks could have kept winning, they would have owned home field advantage throughout the post season.

STANTON A STAR: Jacksonville may have witnessed one of the all-time great power hitting displays to pass through the minor leagues. Young outfielder, Mike Stanton, launched 21 homeruns in just 52 games for the 2010 Jacksonville Suns.

Stanton didn’t make it through the summer with the Double-A team. He was called up to the Florida Marlins on June 6th and his made his Major League debut on June 8th. Stanton had three hits in first Marlins game and his first career big league homerun was a grand slam against Tampa Bay.

Stanton would finish the year in the big leagues with a .258 average and 22 homeruns. Folks in Jacksonville will remember the 21 homeruns this year for the Suns, the 16 he hit last year and the countless batting practice shows he put on during sunny afternoons at the Baseball Grounds.

TEAM TEAL AND EVERBANK DEAL: 2010 may go down as the year the franchise was saved. A huge civic push in the offseason was headlined by Jags great Tony Boselli, Mayor John Peyton, the Jaguars and the community. A grassroots effort turned into a group called Team Teal. The end result was a season ticket sale push trumping any other in the NFL. A year after every game but one was blacked out, the Jags have sold out every home game in 2010.

The immediate success was backed by a long term commitment from Everbank. For the first time in years, the Jags stadium had a name - Everbank Field. The local company invested more than $15 million dollars over the next five years in a marriage that temporarily quiets the critics and the “Jags to L-A” talk.

THE TEBOW TOUR: It’s good to be Tim Tebow. He started the year on January 1st by blitzing the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl. Tebow threw for a career best 482 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 51 yards and another score. It was a fitting ending to one of the most brilliant college careers in NCAA history. Then the real fun started.

Tebow hired an agent, changed his throwing motion, participated in the Senior Bowl and got hammered by critics all over the place. The lovers outweigh the haters. That was proven during Tebow’s first local autograph session as a pro when more than 2,000 people lined up and waited for hours at the Avenues mall.

In April, Tebow was drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos. Tebow’s number 15 jersey quickly became the top selling jersey in the NFL and he signed several endorsement deals.

Tebow’s first NFL game was right here in Jacksonville against his hometown Jags. Tim carried the ball twice in an uneventful debut that ended in a Jags win. He has scored ?? touchdowns in his rookie season in limited playing time.

Tebow’s success and popularity has allowed him to successfully launch his own foundation and he has plans to release a book in early 2011.

TIGER’S TROUBLES: The center of the universe was in Ponte Vedra for one day in February. Tiger Woods ended three months of silence when he shared a statement about his infidelity at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse. lt was a statement, not a press conference, because questions were not permitted. Forget about what Tiger said, it was the circus like scene that this gathering created that will be remembered.

Only a small group of people were allowed in the clubhouse to see the statement in person, but hundreds of reporters from around the country and the globe gathered at the Sawgrass Marriot to watch the Tiger Woods apology on television.

In May, Tiger Woods returned to Ponte Vedra for THE PLAYERS Championship. He didn’t stay the entire week. On Sunday, during the tournament’s final round, Woods withdrew from the event on the 7th hole citing a neck injury. Woods was not in contention when he suffered the injury.

Woods forgettable 2010 ended without a victory, in divorce and with a little less cash in his bank account.

Make Your Choice!
Our Picks
Brent Martineau:
1. Team Teal and Everbank Deal
2. The Tebow Tour
3.. Meyer Resigns, Muschamp Hired
4. Jags Wild Wins
5. Tiger's Turmoil
6. Bowden's Last Game
7. Jack Del Rio Under Fire
8. Sharks Inaugural Season
9. History At Daytona
10. Stanton The Star

Steve Wrigley:
1. The Tebow Tour
2. Tiger's Turmoil
3. Team Teal and Everbank Deal
4. Jags Wild Wins
5. Meyer Resigns, Muschamp Hired
6. Bowden's Last Game
7. History At Daytona
8. Jack Del Rio Under Fire
9. Stanton The Star
10. Sharks Inaugural Season

Patrick Kavanagh, Producer:
1. Jags Wild Wins
2. The Tebow Tour
3. Meyer Resigns, Muschamp Hired
4. Team Teal and Everbank Deal
5. Bowden's Last Game
6. Jack Del Rio Under Fire
7. Tiger's Turmoil
8. Sharks Inaugural Season
9. History At Daytona
10. Stanton The Star

David DeCandis, Producer:
1. Jags Wild Wins
2. Meyer Resigns, Muschamp Hired
3. Team Teal and Everbank Deal
4. The Tebow Tour
5. Tiger's Turmoil
6. Jack Del Rio Under Fire
7. History At Daytona
8. Bowden's Last Game
9. Stanton The Star
10. Sharks Inaugural Season
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.