Last week the Jacksonville Jaguars announced that the team would be taking an additional home game from TIAA Bank Field and putting it in London, which means the team would have now back-to-back home games in England. This, in the last year of the Jaguars agreement with the NFL to play one home game per season in London, was of course met with a ton of push back from fans and fan groups, causing some to organize.
I was on vacation and out of town when the news was coming down, but I was aware it was coming and definitely did not strategically schedule my vacation to be out of town and mostly out of pocket that week... but I’ve had a few days to sift back through everything now that the dust has somewhat settled, though the Jaguars seem content to keep kicking it back up, which I’ll touch on momentarily.
I’ll go ahead and say point blank, I do not believe the Jaguars have sights set on moving to London, nor do I think the NFL actually wants a franchise based in London. Simply put, if Shad Khan wanted to move the Jaguars, he’d have already done it. There would be no point in wasting all this time and money doing what he’s doing if that’s the intent.
Major League is a fictional movie.
The move is about money, bottom line. You can call it greed or “viability” or whatever you want, but at the end of the day it’s about the bottom line. That’s fine. I get and understand that, however I think the big issue is the Jaguars messaging has been comically bad. There’s no real good way to communicate that news that will receive a positive reaction, but there are definitely some real bad ways to do it and I think the franchise find a way to hit all of those.
And I think I’m being generous when I’m saying it’s been comically bad, because it’s been uh... woof.
I don’t even know.
I’m not going to jump into why it’s bullshit, why it’s good, why it’s bad or try to explain their point of view on why they’re doing what they’re doing and what “viability” actually means. I think we’re all smart enough fans to understand that things like the development of Lot J or downtown Jacksonville as a whole is ultimately a good thing for both the franchise and the city of Jacksonville itself.
But for some reason, the Jaguars keep beating that into our heads. The keep beating that we’re a small market and that we won’t live up to the things that cities like things like Los Angeles etc. have. They keep beating that we’re in the lower quarter or whatever in terms of revenue in the league.
I think the people who don’t want something down with Lot J, the shipyards and development of downtown are dwarfed by the people who do, so why do we have to keep bringing that up as if it has some kind of huge push back, or that we’re too dumb to understand how doing all that is mutually beneficial?
We’ve had Mark Lamping come out and talk about viability and how they need to find creative ways for increasing local revenue because the market constraints etc., which again we all understand. I mean, we know what Jacksonville is and what is isn’t and I think people like Shad Khan and Mark Lamping should know that too, and should have known that when they decided to purchase the NFL Franchise, so they’re not really telling us anything new.
To be perfectly honest, fans absolutely do not and should not give a damn about profit margins.
This is part of where this weird, baffling disconnect the Jaguars talking heads have with the Jaguars fan base. Sure, some of it is fans being overly sensitive, but right now you cannot blame them for reacting like they are based on the past decade of results.
Poor mouthing how many millions of dollars you make only exacerbates the issues, it doesn’t make fans feel sympathetic to you. It has the opposite effect. You can’t talk about how just winning isn’t enough when during the tenure in which you’ve been in charge... you’ve been perennial losers. After the singular winning season during your leadership, the following year the fans came out in droves and sold more or less every ticket possible and the team peed down their leg and went right back to the basement.
Then you have Shad Khan come out and make the comments again that Jacksonville is a small market and he didn’t want to put too much pressure on the community with a full slate of games. Well, doesn’t that really run counter to what Mark Lamping has been saying the past two weeks? I thought it was even if they won and sold out all the games it still wouldn’t be enough?
Which one is it?
Is it both?
Now I’m really confused as to what the actual issue that necessitates another London game, straight raw profit aside.
Was the the point?
You could present as something like it’s a short-term solution to a grand long-term plan or something... Just something vastly different than what you’ve been doing.
Maybe Shad Khan is just galaxy-brain and we’re all idiots and not getting it.
I apologize if this got ramble-y or sounded like just a thought-dump, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while and it’s amazing the disconnect that exists and the Jaguars brass can’t stop seemingly shooting themselves in the foot. I don’t really know where or when this disconnect happened, but it’s going to end up being a much bigger issue than the actual product on the field sooner than later.
Just shut up for a while. You’re making it worse each time you try to add context or clarify what you said previously.