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Jaguars relocation: Stop being paranoid

Get over it. Worrying yourself to sleep won't change anything.

Matt Stamey-USA TODAY

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan did a very forthcoming interview that was recently published in Forbes magazine. Khan was very open and honest about the mistakes of the past regime on the football side and what he learned in his first year as an owner. The interview ended with Khan being asked about the NFL in London and how the Jaguars fell into that, to which Khan gave a very non-answer.

This, of course, sent a lot of people into a worry-mode and began speculation that Khan still has plans to move the franchise to London or somewhere else.

"I think we have a little bit of paranoia here and I guess it's understandable, but the sooner we set that aside the better it's going to be for all of us. " -Mark Lamping


Stop it.



The non-answer by Khan doesn't automatically mean that he's thinking of moving the franchise. He's answered the question time and time again about moving the team. How many times does the man need to tell you he's not planning to move the franchise before you stop being scared?

There is such a paranoia engrained in the Jaguars fan base from the past ownership and being constantly battered by errant national perception. It also didn't help that previous owner Wayne Weaver seemed to operate scared, unwilling to even lend creedence to the national perception by doing things like playing a game out of market, such as London. Weaver didn't want to give off any perception he thought about relocating and in turn just inadvertently fueled the paranoia.

Back in 2010 the Jaguars threw kerosine on the paranoia fire by constantly talking about "Save the whale", which was essentially instilling the fear that if fans didn't buy tickets the team was going to move. The team didn't say it as bluntly, but former writer Vic Ketchman inferred that, repeatedly, which in turn has made fans ultra sensitive to any notion the team might move.

Then when Shad Khan bought the franchise, that paranoia ran rampant once again because Khan had "no connection" to Jacksonville. He was a business man, looking to make money, so he wouldn't hesitate to move the franchise. Then Khan volunteered to play a four-game home series in London, which threw more kerosine on the paranoia.

Khan now has some sinister plot to rip the franchise away from a fan base, because he's an evil business man in it for the money. Everything Khan has done since buying the franchise however, speaks to the opposite of that.

"If people think that there's anything going on behind the scenes, they've totally ignored what's happened since Shad (Khan) bought the team, Jaguars president Mark Lamping told 1010XL weeks ago. "Everything we're doing is to make us stronger here in Jacksonville. That's what our focus is, that's what our commitment is, but more importantly all of our actions have supported that."

Khan has invested millions of dollars, out of pocket, in renovating things in the stadium already. There is talk of an indoor practice facility potentially being built (which will be paid for, by Khan) and funding for a giant scoreboard that's currently working it's way through state legislature. Khan's also contributed lots of money into the Jacksonville community, including backing the new One Spark event that's aiming to become a SXSW of sorts for Jacksonville.

These aren't things someone does if they're planning to cut and run in a few years. There is no reason to waste millions of dollars or give the illusion you're staying if you want to move. If you want to move you sit idle and let it rot. You don't improve the facility, you let it get to the point to where you have that as an excuse to move, because when it boils down to it stadiums are why teams relocate in the NFL. Spare the false notion that Khan is a billionaire and spending millions means nothing to him. Billionaires don't become billionaires by frivolously spending millions of dollars. They spend it in things that will return the investment, like the Jacksonville community.

Khan is the near polar opposite of Weaver. He's not worried about perception, he's worried about getting things done. He's aggressive, he's bold. Embrace it. It's what this fan base has longed for and what they deserve.

Stop being scared.

If Khan winds up moving the team, he moves the team. The only thing you can do is show your support of the team. If that's there, there's no reason to go through the hoops of having to relocate a franchise.

Worrying about it helps nothing.