NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visited Jacksonville earlier today and met with various business leaders and team officials. Just seven months ago, Goodell delivered an ultimatum to the city in his state of the league address by saying that a franchise can't survive with 40,000 fans in the stadium. Fast forward to August and many Jaguar fans seemingly expected the Commissioner's trip to include some sort of promise that the NFL would never pack up and move from the city. Instead, Goodell spent the better part of his two hour speech on what still has to be done.
Even after the Jaguars managed to get a sponsor on the stadium, sold sponsorship on their practice jerseys, and announced that they've sold over 9,000 premium season tickets, the fact remains that they're still 5,000 tickets short of having their home game broadcast on local TV.
Wayne Weaver summed it up by stating the team was 19 days and 5,000 tickets away from never needing to use the term blackout again.
What has gotten most fans feather's ruffled however was the Goodell seemingly refused to state that without a doubt the team would stay in Jacksonville no matter what. I honestly can't understand the reaction there. Even if the stadium is sold out in 2010, that doesn't mean a thing in 2011 or beyond. Rescuing a franchise from the brink isn't what most fan bases should be doing. Most NFL fans are worried about which new jersey to buy, or if that PSL is really worth it.
Goodell spoke about how he was part of the committee that helped award the Jaguars to Jacksonville. He said,"I think it was 10,000 in 10 days. We need to continue to demonstrate that passion to the rest of the country. And I'm confident we're gonna get there."
Jaguar fans, don't take it so personally. Roger Goodell isn't Mike Florio. He isn't trying to troll for hits. He is trying to show the realty of the situation to the people in the region. We've had a few days to celebrate. Now it's time to wake up and continue to make sure the Jaguars remain in Jacksonville.