Joseph Chiarello is not trying to change the world, just his little corner of the football world.
And, to a fan, that's just as important.
Like many in the area, Chiarello was set to watch the Manning Bowl Sunday, a showdown between the Denver Broncos, New York Giants and the team's quarterbacks, brothers Peyton and Eli Maning. Instead, they got sacked by the Clowney Bowl, a dreadful Jaguars-Raiders game that will have more impact on draft position than playoff position.
None of them were too happy about it.
"That was just brutal,'' said Chiarelllo. "I think us and Oakland fans were the only ones who had to watch that game.''
The switch up was not a choice. Nor was it a mistake.
It was rather the standard mandate by the NFL that all CBS affiliates within a certain distance of Jacksonville carry Jaguars road games, regardless what other games might be available.
"As long as I can remember,'' said Chiarello, a Savannah native, "the one thing that infuriated my father more than anything was on Sunday, he had to watch the Jaguars.''
So Chiarello has formed "Black Out the Jags,'' a grassroots movement to change local coverage requirements that he says isn't so much an attack on the Jaguars as it is a fight for higher quality viewing options.
"I don't dislike the Jaguars,'' he says. "I certainly don't want them to move or anything of that nature. But there's a lot of people around here that are fans of other teams and even if you can't watch your team, it's be nice to have a game of the week scenario so you can watch a Brady-Manning style game.''
Chiarello has contacted CBS, the NFL, the Jaguars, even the Falcons, and has been told he'll need to work through the local jaguars fan club for a compromise.
"I've contacted the Chamber of Commerce, City Hall and I just can't find anything,'' said Chiarello. "I don't even know if they exist anymore.''
Yet he'll continue his cause, taking to the internet with a Black Out the Jags Facebook page and invoking Eighth-Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment in the form of inferior football. He says he's willing to pursue all reasonable means in one-man's search for better games.
"Next year,'' he said, "if we could start with a Game of the Week, or just different options, that would be a dream for me on Sundays.''
And it would end the long local nightmare that is Jaguars football on TV every week.
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