Both Orlando-based personal injury attorney John Morgan and the creators of the evenifhesreleased.com web page Friday claimed victory in their digital dispute over whether currently unemployed quarterback Tim Tebow should play for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Morgan, whose radio ad making a pitch for the Jaguars to sign Tebow hit the airwaves earlier this week, said he has accomplished his initial goal and has no plans for any additional pro-Tebow ads. Both Tebow and Morgan attended the University of Florida.
"This one has only been up three days and has become a national sensation. Another ad would be about me and not Tim," Morgan told Playbook through email. "I won’t run ads past Monday. I have made my point, which is obvious."
Tim McGugan, vice president of the Jaguars supporters club Bold City Brigade, which created the evenifhesreleased.com page, told Playbook on Friday that the site's goal was not to influence personnel decisions but to let the Jaguars know that there "is a large segment of fans that believe they're doing the right thing."
The two sides both share faith in team owner Shad Khan. "He is a terrific person and a great owner who is balancing meddling with winning and making money and making the fans happy," Morgan said.
McGugan said the fans who clicked on his site also "trust the football side of the organization to make decisions based on a player's performance on the field and their fit into team philosophy, not what a clamoring public thinks is right [or wrong]."
While Morgan's ad was undoubtedly "pro-Tebow," McGugan said his site's main goal was to "set the record straight on the perception of Jaguars fans" and to "generate awareness of a large majority of fans whose sentiment was being ignored." He cited attendance figures that show the Jaguars ranked first among the three NFL teams in Florida and 20th in the league in average attendance in 2012, ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers. "The perception that Tebow is needed to fill the stadium and spark the fan base is greatly askew," McGugan said.
Morgan and McGugan disagree on whether Tebow the football player would help the Jaguars on the field.
"I don't see a huge difference in level of QB play he could provide versus the players we already have," McGugan said. "At that point, is the trade-off for a player, who, let's be honest, is a pretty large distraction for his teammates, worth the investment? I'd say no."
Morgan plans to be patient. "When we get to the end of October, I will resurface. Only to say, 'I told you so,' 'Go Jaguars' and thank Khan for being a great owner," he said. "I still say go with your gut. Tim has 'It.' Very few do ... He has never lost. Ever."
• Talk show host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, working with the Active Family Project (www.activefamilyproject.com), is promoting National Family Play Date on Saturday. That’s a day to set aside time for family fun at home.
That’s not really a problem for Hasselbeck, who is married to ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck. They have three children, all under the age of 8.
“After this call, I’m going home to have relays with my kids in the backyard. We make it a habit of exercising,” Elisabeth Hasselbeck said. “It’s natural for us because Tim and I are former athletes. We want other people to get into the habit.”
Hasselbeck said there is plenty of blame to go around as to why today’s youth aren't as active as their parents once were.
“I think it starts with the parents, really. If they are active, they can get their kids active,” Hasselbeck said. “I love when I see my kids say, ‘Why is Daddy crying?’ and I say, ‘It’s because I just dunked on him.’ ”
Hasselbeck, who captained the Boston College softball team to two Big East championships and shared her first kiss with her future husband on the 50-yard line of BC's Alumni Stadium, has had to fight off tabloid rumors about her future on the TV show “The View,” but that doesn’t really matter to her.
“I define myself as a mom first. That’s ultimately where I’m meant to be,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s all rumors. You need to talk about what’s important to you. Working moms out there know.”
• A "Boston 617 Strong" jersey autographed by several members of the Boston Bruins is being auctioned off to raise money for the Richard Donohue Fund. Donohue, a transit police officer, was shot during the pursuit for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects and is recovering from his wounds. The Bruins, in conjunction with the Boston Police Department, are promoting the auction through the team's social media channels.
Among the players who signed the jersey are Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask, David Krejci and Shawn Thornton. The jersey was originally purchased for $1,500 and then donated to the police department, which in turn decided to auction it off to benefit Donohue. The highest bid as of Thursday was $7,200. The auction ends Saturday. For more information, visit www.biddingforgood.com.