If you follow me on Twitter (AlfieBCC) you've seen me rant and rave this week about national media being lazy and essentially just refusing to fact-check stories about Jacksonville in their post-Week 1 stories concerning the Jaguars. From people like Jerome Bettis claiming that this was the first non-black out since 2007 to people claiming the Jaguars fudged the 63,000 figure and the stadium was really only 2/3rd's full and a large majority were wearing a certain home town kid's jersey.
Alas, a national media outlet finally gets it right. The person actually attended the game and gave an honest and accurate assesment of the situation. It's not all rosey, but it's accurate and that's the most important thing in this situation where national media members just simply print hearsay that's far from the truth.
Simon Evans, a native Brit living in Miami and writer for Reuters, drove up to Jacksonville to attend the game.
Click the above link for the whole story, but here is the meat of it:
It wasn't hard to spot Gators fans on Sunday - their former quarterback Tim Tebow, one of the most talked about players in college football in recent years, who grew up near Jacksonville, was making his debut for the Broncos and such is the level of admiration for the player that hundreds of Florida fans turned out in Denver jerseys bearing Tebow's name.
The Jaguars, ignoring the marketing potential of drafting Tebow and rather admirably, if somewhat surprisingly, putting their on-field priorities first, nonetheless cashed in with a 63,000 crowd, not far off their capacity.
Hold on. This team that is supposedly unloved by it's own city drew 63,000 fans for the opening game of the season? The community, feeling the pressure of a potential departure, has produced 15,000 new season tickets. That's impressive but even last season's supposedly poor crowds actually averaged 49,000, which while at the bottom end of the NFL's scale isn't that bad a turnout for a small market.
I'm not going to claim to be a loyal reader of Reuters, but they get this spot on. For those unfamiliar with Reuter's, it's essentially the European version of the Associate Press (AP).
It's refreshing to see a major media outlet to get the story correct without making me think I was crazy for expecting news sources to use fact checkers and editors.
I haven't looked through the FanShots and FanPosts to see if this was posted or not yet, but even so it warranted being posted again
So with that said, thank you Simon Evans for actually getting the story right and giving an accurate assessment of what happened on Sunday.