So I was reading the Jaguars feed on my Facebook page, now that they've cleared out the only spammers I've ever seen make it through on Facebook, and what do I see?
"What do you think of Vic's four-point plan for securing the future of professional football in Jacksonville?" http://jaguars.com/news/article.aspx?id=9261
Well, I'll tell you what I think: it stinks like a post-game laundry bag full of jock straps.
To be fair, 75% of Vic's 4-point plan is just fine, if not exactly groundbreaking: sell tickets, avoid work stoppages or a bad CBA for small markets, and play well. Number four, however, is the rub: "involve" Orlando. Sorry, Vic, but the Jaguars need Orlando like Poland needed Germany.
"Jacksonville" Jaguars. Not "Florida" Jaguars. Not "Everything but Tampa Bay and South Florida" Jaguars. This is a team that is the third NFL franchise in the state. Tampa is just down I-4 from Orlando, and the Dolphins have the residual glow of two Super Bowls and the Marino era, not to mention the serious advantage of being the only pro team in the state for a decade. The Jaguars can not compete with that... IN ORLANDO.
Frankly, this piece is a shill, trying to pave the way for a ridiculous time-share with Orlando. Somebody in Buffalo has let a diseased version of the regionalism idea spread from northern New York to northern Florida. Fans in Orlando are Buccaneers or Dolphins fans, and any overtures from the powers-that-be in central Florida are not made with an idea towards one pre-season game or a few days of training camp.
If Orlando is interested, it's for the big play, just how Toronto is interested in the Bills. If the Jaguars are listening, it means one of two things: they're willing to open that door, or they think they can pull one over on Orlando. If it's the former, Jacksonville fans should want nothing to do with reaching out to Orlando, and if it's the latter, then this is a short-term money grab that will end up alienating fans in Jacksonville while doing nothing to move Orlandoans from their Bucs/Phins rooting interests.
The Jaguars can increase their appeal in Orlando two ways: move there, or maintain a first class organization for a generation or more. In the meantime, any above-and-beyond efforts to appeal to the central Florida market are doomed to erode support in Jacksonville without making significant inroads in Orlando.