Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard didn’t make his usual appearance Friday afternoon on WJXL-AM, with coach Jack Del Rio putting an end to the radio work within 48-hours of Sunday game time. WJXL host Mike Dempsey denounces the coach’s move as “extremely short-sighted.”
Garrard’s on-air appearances on “The Football Show with Mike Dempsey” were apparently popular with listeners – except for one. Coach Del Rio happened to be tuning across the dial and found his quarterback on the air. Garrard got called on the carpet for doing a broadcast show without authorization from the team and at a time when Del Rio though all members of the team ought to be either reviewing game films to get ready for play on Sunday or relaxing with their families – not working an outside gig. Garrard said he understood the coach’s position and agreed to end the radio show.
Dempsey, however, has taken the coach to task:
“The decision by Jack Del Rio to pressure David Garrard to end the radio show he was doing with me on 1010XL was extremely short sighted. I have known David since he came into the league and he expressed an interest in doing a program as a way to connect with Jaguar fans and help promote the work of The David Garrard Foundation. Every sponsor dollar associated with the program was to go to David to use for his foundation. One look at the Jaguars’ low attendance figures and the likelihood of season long local television blackouts and Del Rio should realize that the franchise needs as many positive connections with the community as possible. Apparently, he doesn’t see it that way.
Garrard personally selected Friday afternoon as the time to do his show because he has multiple charity commitments on Tuesday (the players’ day off) and he wanted to insure a time that would not interfere with his duties to the team. Del Rio said at his midweek press conference that players should be doing one of two things on Friday…studying film or relaxing with their families. Putting aside how ridiculously narrow those options are, perhaps Del Rio was unaware that members of Garrard’s family actually attended the show with him each of the first two weeks that it ran.
It is my belief that Jack Del Rio pressured Garrard to end the show because he did not want his quarterback to have to face tough questions about a team that had started 0-2. To Garrard’s credit, he publicly stated that he knew going into it that he would have to take the bad with the good and that he understood that losing was frustrating to the fans. He had already handled questions about what is was like to have his coach call him out for his play after only one game and how it felt to hear his owner publicly discussing the prospect of drafting local hero and Florida QB Tim Tebow in next year’s draft. Garrard handled them with his typical mix of intelligence and class.
David Garrard’s radio show was a bright spot for a team whose fan base often complains that the team doesn’t do enough to reach out to them. Jack Del Rio won a power play but he did it at the expense of the Jaguar fans and the David Garrard Foundation,” Dempsey said in a statement sent to RBR-TVBR.