I'm sure most of you saw the massive twitter uprising of Jacksonville Jaguars fans towards CBS's Mike Freeman when he mocked Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown's letter urging residents to purchase Jaguars tickets, calling it "amateurish".
Freeman was up in arms because I said his mocking was "bullshit" and used the word "damn". I guess that's too vulgar for Freeman, who ironically enough refers to himself as a "jackass" in his twitter profile. I guess when challenged, it's easy to whine about "vulgarity". Bullshit's bullshit, Mike. Classifying it as "boorish" is a pretty easy way to run from being challenged.
Well, the reaction from the Jagnuts was swift. A mob formed. Some of the Twitter responses were passionate but reasonable. Others were vitriolic and belligerent. A super duper Jaguars fan/cheerleader named Alfie, a guy I normally like, sent more than a few boorish tweets, three of which included profanity (he argued two contained profanity since he used the same curse twice--interesting math there). He also kept calling me "boss." I wondered if he was confusing me with Kevin Boss.
Mike goes on to contend he's not "anti-Jacksonville" because he used to work here and wrote some nice things about the city. He conveniently leaves out how last summer, he wrote the Jaguars would be gone in three years and they wouldn't reach their ticket sales goal for the 2010 season. I'm sure leaving all of that out was pure coincidence, though. Never mind the fact of what would actually need to happen for the Jaguars to break their lease, either. Somehow, that's always glossed over or completely ignored.
Mike also didn't seem to mind being and admitting to being a huge hypocrite on the completely misguided and disengenuous point he poorly made in mocking Mayor Alvin Brown.
Should a mayor spend even a second trying to boost ticket sales for an NFL team?
Foul-mouthed Alfie de Ville said I defended President Obama when he was ripped for filing out an NCAA bracket. Not an unfair counterpoint. Though I would argue Obama spending a half-hour once a year going on ESPN to talk about a stupid bracket is far less time consuming than a mayor commiting to selling tickets. I don't believe this is something the mayor will spend 10 minutes doing or pushing off to subordinates. He will spend more time on this than my Twitter critics want to admit.
Spending 30 minutes (actually an hour, because he does Women's, too) on ESPN with an NCAA bracket is far less time consuming than a mayor selling tickets? Is Alvin Brown going door to door selling tickets? Is Alvin Brown calling up residents in a telemarketing campaign to sell tickets?
So, he sent a damn e-mail that likely took less than 10 minutes to construct and likely was ghost-written by an aide. Woops, there's that "vulgarity" again. Sorry, you guys.
I guess in that 10 minutes, Alvin Brown could have dropped the crime rate by 30%, or unemployment by 8%. Maybe if Obama didn't spend those 30 minutes on ESPN, we wouldn't have this whole debt crisis issue. Same form of logic... right?
My biggest problem with mayoral intervention is that it takes away from the responsibility of the Jaguars. It's the team's job to sell tickets. Not the mayor's. The team and NFL should combine to invest massive resources into ticket drives. I mean, big bucks. Cash money.
Calling the team must be tough, for Mike. Instead of burning down the strawman that is "taking away from the Mayor's resources" he perhaps could have actually looked into the misguided point he's making here. You know that whole "Team Teal" thing going on Mike? Who do you think pays for that? The Jaguars.
Calling the mayor's effort to help his city keep their football team is far from amateurish. This blog post by Freeman on the other hand, is close to the definition of it.
He closes by saying Jaguars fans could shut everyone up by selling tickets. Well, that didn't work last year. It probably won't work this year. Jacksonville is the low hanging fruit on ticket issues, so it will always be plucked by lazy people. Freeman did an outstanding job staying on point during the NFL Lockout, but he's just completely wrong on this one. I genuinely like Freeman, but he's just flat out wrong and keeps digging the hole by trying to spin it.
Bringing up the fact that Tampa Bay had all of their games blacked out last year and have roughly 35,000 season tickets sold in 2011 isn't a deflection, Mike. It's the truth. Jacksonville's not alone. We know we need to sell tickets, yet we're constantly told we need to and treated like it's an isolated issue, when it's not. Ask Tampa. Ask San Diego. Ask Oakand. Ask Buffalo. The Jaguars, unlike the other teams, are transparent in their plight and make ticket sales public.
That's the problem, boss.