In case you haven't read the story on Wayne Weaver's comments regarding Tim Tebow, please click here.
Ever since Tim Tebow committed to the University of Florida, there has been talk that the Jaguars would eventually draft the local superstar. Now, that talk seems like a near certainty given Mr.Weaver's comments concerning Tebow, among other interactions he has had with the Gator QB.
There is no question that Tebow is a media darling and may be the most well known college athlete in the last fifty years. When next April comes, Tebow could bring with him three national championship rings, two Heisman Trophies, and a laundry list of magazine covers.
However, that doesn't mean anything if he can't be a good cog in the Jaguar machine. There are major questions about his mechanics and ability to adapt to the NFL game. There will be plenty of linebackers who would love to welcome Tim to the NFL next year.
What concerns me the most is
"The game is such an important part of this community, and Tebow is such an iconic figure that people would legitimately think, 'Wouldn't it be great if he was a Jaguar,'" team owner Wayne Weaver said. "I'd be silly to sit here and think that's not going to be a huge thing.
If there is one thing the Jaguars can't afford to start doing is let ticket sales begin to influence personnel decisions and that is exactly what is sounds like they could do. I would prefer not to think I was at the Florida-Georgia game when I attend a Jaguar game and that is exactly what could happen if Tebow is drafted.
Imagine seeing the stadium full, but half of it is Orange and Blue from the Gator fans there just to see Tebow. Is that any better than seeing "The Jack" full of Terrible Towels? In addition, what happens if Tebow flops out of the league? We sell out the stadium (and the team) for a year and then we're right back to square one without a real building block for the future.
I spoke with UF's ticket office, and they informed me that currently they have "over 15,000" season ticket holders from the Jacksonville area. Assuming none of them are currently Jaguar season ticket holders, that would mean that every UF season ticket holder in the Jacksonville area would also need to buy Jaguar tickets for the team to sell out.
If I am Gene Smith, I would walk into Weaver's office and say that unless Tebow is the best player on the Jaguar's board when they draft, he won't be drafted. No ifs, ands, or buts. In addition, I would ban the marketing and PR people from the discussion. The worst thing the Jaguars can do right now is make it seem like the team is just buying time to wait for April and take a messiah.
Mr.Weaver, be careful what you wish for, because it might come true.