Florida football fans are facing a dismal start to the season. Two out of the state’s three NFL teams are winless. At least one local TV station has found itself apologizing for having to air a game because it was painful to watch. George Diaz from the Orlando Sentinel joins Bill to discuss whats going on down in Florida.
Highlights From Bill’s Conversation with George Diaz.
BL: On Sunday during the Jaguars’ somewhat-less-than-epic tilt against mighty Oakland, Orlando CBS affiliate WKMG ran a crawler message apologizing for airing the game, and the Jaguars, of course, are not the only Florida NFL team to be giving fans fits these days. George, what did the WKMG crawler say?
GD: Basically it’s like, ‘Hey, we’re really sorry we have to air this really bad football game, but under contract with the NFL, Orlando’s considered a secondary market. And guess what? You’re stuck with the Jaguars and you don’t get to see the Manning Bowl.’
BL: I hear that there is some hope for the Jaguars. Retired Orlando Magic forward Tracy McGrady wants to play quarterback for the team. Now, Tracy McGrady is a basketball player, so this might not be the easiest transition right?
GD: I would think not. I’m just waiting, you know. Is Pete Rose available? I don’t know what’s next. Pete’s a — he’ll roll the dice if you will. And this is unfortunately the state of the Jaguars. They’ve become a punchline. They’ve become a joke. Anyone can just step up and say, ‘Hey, I want to step up and start at quarterback this week, please!’
BL: Not to be overshadowed, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also winless and they have provided some comic relief in the early going. What have the Bucs been up to?
GD: It’s been kind of a dark comedy. The Bucs have basically blown two football games at the very end, in the closing seconds — one on a late hit that set up a field goal for the Jets to win. And then last week in their home opener against New Orleans, they had the game basically wrapped up. They got conservative. On third down, they ran the ball, missed a field goal, and guess what? They gave Drew Brees a little over a minute to go win the game, and that’s exactly what he did. And this was a team that, although not a Super Bowl contender, certainly was expected to be highly competitive and its just gone south in a hurry.
BL: I wonder if watching all these goings on roughly in the neighborhood makes Orlando fans feel like they’d really like having an NFL team right there in Orlando.
GD: Yeah, it’s like, ‘Hey, this could be happening to us everybody!’ We’ve made a few runs, there’s been some, a little bit of flirtation thing at one point with Tampa Bay that didn’t pan out. Not going to happen. There are three franchises in Florida. There’s not room for four.
BL: Well, I’m glad you mentioned that there are three NFL franchises in Florida because all hope is not lost thanks to the one we’ve not mentioned yet, right?
GD: That’s right, the Miami Dolphins. Cue that really bad fight song that I can’t get out of my memory. I grew up in Miami, and I’m still in therapy over that Miami Dolphins #1 song, but hey…that’s where they are now. They’re 2-0 heading into their home opener against Atlanta and all is good. They beat Andrew Luck and the Colts last week. Impressive victory. Is it time for the ’72 undefeated team to be worried about that 17-0 record? We’ll see.