If you tuned into last week’s Jacksonville Jaguars game you might have been a bit confused. We hosted the Chicago Bears in a Week 16 matchup that meant a lot to both teams — if the Jaguars lost they’d be one step closer to the No. 1 overall pick and if the Bears won they’d take one step closer to the playoffs.
There weren’t very many people at TIAA Bank Field who wanted to see the Jaguars come away with a victory, so whenever the Jaguars did anything positive you heard a lot of boos and whenever the Bears did anything positive you heard a lot of cheers.
And it seemed to be confusing CBS announcer Greg Gumbel who called us “idiots” for rooting at what seemed to him to be the wrong times. His booth partner, Rich Gannon, sounded like he got it but just didn’t want to get into it on live television.
As the Bears were driving at the end of the first quarter, Gumbel got frustrated after a big Bears gain on offense and a slew of cheers from the stands:
Greg: “And you know these people are kind of getting out of control, Rich, as you take a look at this again... because in New York they were all over the New York Jets for winning a football game.”
Rich: “I know. It’s crazy though... listen, if you don’t have a quarterback it’s a tough business to be in. You’re better off selling life insurance. People lose their jobs whether you’re a general manager... the Jacksonville Jaguars already fired Dave Caldwell in November, this coaching staff is probably gonna get fired. If you don’t have a quarterback and you don’t win you’re gonna get fired and that’s why there’s an emphasis on trying to get one.”
Greg: “Oh, and I get that. But to get all over a player for going out and doing his best, it’s like, those are idiots who have never played a competitive sport at any level because they don’t understand.”
Rich: “Yeah, if you’re Doug Marrone you owe it to the players, you owe it to these coaches to put together a game plan and try to win this football game. I think that’s certainly the emphasis. You look at the win percentage since the 2018 season, all three of those teams [New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Cleveland Browns have lowest winning percentage in the league] have had issues at the quarterback position. It’s just too hard to win if you don’t have one.”
After Gumbel’s tirade, the Jaguars went on to allow 34 more points and dropped their 14th straight game of the season. But the fans were mean. Okay, Greg.