The NFL is the league that never sleeps. Once the Super Bowl is history the new season begins. And that explains why Jaguars owner Shad Khan and his generals wasted no time in unveiling their new look, their new slogan, their emotional partnership with their fans and a “proud, bold and committed” vision for the future.
And, of course, putting the last four seasons in the rearview mirror. Indeed, Tuesday’s gathering in the West Club of Everbank Field was Khan’s way of introducing a new beginning for the 18-year-old franchise. In Khan’s world as team owner there is no yesterday, only tomorrow.
The new slogan -- “Stand United” -- is Khan’s way of trying to convince the fans we’re all in this together. The slightly altered logo is a more realistic and meaner looking cat. No doubt new uniforms will be coming soon.
Grandiose plans also were talked about – mainly scoreboards that could cost $50 million and set a new standard for the NFL. Yeah, even bigger and better than the ones in Cowboys Stadium. Team president Mark Lamping, the brains behind the team’s marketing and re-branding, talked about finding “creative ways” to finance the scoreboards. That means getting taxpayers involved.
It shouldn’t be lost that during all of the hoopla came a discreet warning. I wouldn’t call it a shot across the bow, but the Jaguars insist if more local revenue – i.e. ticket sales – isn’t found the franchise will face financial problems in the near future.
Exactly what does that mean?
Unfortunately, the comment will fuel the ongoing discussion about how long the Jaguars will remain in Jacksonville. I can hear the naysayers, both locally and nationally, making snide comments about the London Jaguars or the Los Angeles Jaguars or the San Antonio Jaguars. Count me among those who are convinced the Jaguars aren’t going anywhere, but I thought it was a mistake to even broach the subject without a better explanation (more money for long-term contracts for free agents, for example).
In general, I like what Khan is doing. If a franchise ever needed to clean the slate and start anew, it’s the Jaguars. But no matter how clever you market the franchise and how much redecorating is done, none of it will matter unless new general manager Dave Caldwell can find better talent and new coach Gus Bradley excel s at his job.
And it all starts, of course, with the Jaguars finding a competent quarterback.
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