Pete Prisco: Taking us to the Gun Show
I was told this morning that Big Cat Country was turning into a scouting site rather than a Jaguars site. This is a fair criticism and indictative of my absolute disappointment in last season. I overreacted in my depression and then counter-overreacted in my focus on the draft. But there's a method to my madness, at least looking at potential future Jaguars is a way to think about 2009 in a way that's within the parameters of reality. Others out there who comment on the Jaguars have a much less reality based way of looking at things.
Take Pete Prisco, for example. He's proud to not like the Jaguars. It's one of the things that makes his show interesting. (930 The Fox, 3-6pm weekdays). Unfortunately, he's also in the Michael Silver club of inane statements about the Jaguars that have zero basis in reality.
You see, he recently told his listening audience that he spoke to some sort of "high-ranking" official withing the NFL who told him that if the Jaguars have blackout trouble, that whomever Wayne Weaver sells the team to would consider moving the team to London. Vic Ketchman was there as well adding fuel to the fire with talks of blackouts and all sorts of doom and gloom. Typically, we can usually count on these stories popping up during the "dead zone" of June and July, but Prisco opened up the can before the Pro Bowl could even kickoff.
You see my problem here? If my choices are responding to Pete Prisco suggesting that the NFL is ready at this current moment to sustain a team in London and that the Jaguars are the team to move based off of blackouts or looking in the crystal ball at interesting draft prospects, then yes, I'm gonna overload on prospect previews.
I simply loathe the yearly banging of the "Jaguars are for sale, Jaguars are moving" drum. It's happened every offseason for the last five seasons and I'm sick of it. Every time Wayne Weaver says "the team will stay in Jacksonville" in response to yet another overblown story I feel worse and worse for Wayne for having to answer the same question each and every year.
When there's a stadium in L.A. or there's a concentrated effort to play in London AND the Jaguars are clearly demonstrating an inability to stay in Jacksonville, then we can entertain these stupid ideas. But as long as the Stadium is up to par, I don't foresee the team leaving anytime soon. If you want to find a team that's in serious trouble of moving, it's the Minnesota Vikings. But no, Jacksonville gets the stigma of being in all sorts of financial trouble because of "bad fans".
It's crap and people like Prisco and Ketchman know it. The balance sheet of the Jaguars is not in the red because of the regular bowl seats, it's the club seats and deluxe boxes that struggle to fill. The City lacks the big corporations to buy up huge blocks of seats and all the boxes, so it's a bit of a street fight to fill the seats that make the big money. Don't blame bad fans for not having the purchasing power to buy the expensive seats, take the time and make a legitimate argument about the state of the city of Jacksonville instead.
But don't throw around "inside sources" and vague rumors. Don't start the offseason with that nonsense. It's one thing to drum up news, another thing entirely to basically make things up. If you're going to drop a line like that, you either name the source or explain why they deserve their anonymity, otherwise there's no way to trust it.