NFL: Time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to go away

NFL: Time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to go away

Earlier this week in my Week 7 Mock Draft, I opened with what I considered a fairly vanilla statement.

First, Jacksonville sucks. If the NFL contracted, and the Jaguars no longer existed, I'm not sure anyone would care.

Apparently, one of the two living Jacksonville Jaguars fans didn't appreciate my tone, and took to the dutiful task of pointing out all of the ways that the Jags are relevant in the NFL.

He mentioned that they haven't had a blacked out game in years (since 2009), and....

That's where his argument ended.

So let's take a moment and examine the realities of the Jacksonville Jaguars... or should I say should-be-in-Los Angeles Jaguars.

What I said isn't a suddely-shocking statement. I would love to say I was being original, but that would be far from the truth. A few examples:

In 2005, the Super Bowl was in Jacksonville. As ESPN's Bill Simmons noted the week before the game, the positives were "the locals have been extremely nice," and the negatives were "everything else.

Fast forward to 2009, when Yahoo! columnist Dan Wetzel opined that "the NFL has no business being in Jacksonville."

And in 2012, The Post Game (part of Yahoo! Sports) included Jacksonville on their short list of teams that should relocate.

But there's more to it than just Jacksoville being widely regarded as a mediocre city to visit and/or attend a game.

According to Forbes in August, the value of the Jaguars franchise ranked 31st out of 32 teams. Forbes had them ahead of only the Oakland Raiders, but gave Jacksonville some credit by noting their attendance was at a four-year high last year in spite of the team's pathetic performance on the field.

Speaking of attendance, let's discuss that for a moment. Since 2005, when they hosted the Super Bowl, Jacksonville hasn't ranked higher than 17th in the NFL in home attendance (percentage of capacity).  In 2012, the attendance numbers cited by Forbes, the Jags ranked 17th in the NFL, filling just under 97 percent of the available seats in their stadium. This year, however, the Jags are down to 27th in the NFL, filling only 88.7 percent of those seats.

In fact, earlier this year, the team offered free beer to fans in attendance just to avoid a blackout. I'm not sure if they were doing the local market a favor by being on television; I'm sure there was better programming available in syndication than anything the Jags put on the field that weekend.

When was the last time a relevant sports franchise had to offer free alcohol to get people to show up?

What's worse, last month a CBS affiliate in Orlando apologized for airing a Jags game. A television network apologized for airing a local team!

Which is exactly my point: the Jacksonville Jaguars are irrelevant.

What is most striking about the argument here is that, after almost 500 words, I haven't brought up the the fact that the Jaguars suck.

And that is fact.

The Jags are terrible.

Jacksonville has been over .500 only three times since the year 2000. From 2008 through Week 7 of the 2013 season, the Jags have won 31 percent of their games (27-60).

But here is where the real irrelevance of the organization comes into painfully plain sight: even with the Jags being a doormat for years, other team's fans won't even pay to watch them play, even though the game for much of the NFL is undoubtedly perceived as an easy win.

This season, the Jags rank 29th in the NFL in road attendance (again, percentage of capacity). Last year they ranked 31st out of 32 teams in the league. Unfortunately for the rest of the league, when the Jags come to your town, 10 percent of your stadium is empty on average over the last two years.

My final reality-based argument comes from earlier this month. Sports Business Daily published the results of a Harris poll indicating the Jaguars are the least-popular team in the NFL. They also ranked 32 out of 32 in 2011 and 2010, according to the post.

I'm not the first, and I certainly won't be the last, but I'll say it here as plain as day: the Jacksonville Jaguars are a lauging stock. And they haven't been relevant in the NFL for years. Maybe a move to Los Angeles would bring some life - and a few fans - to the franchise?

What a "packed house" looks like in Jacksonville.

What a "packed house" looks like in Jacksonville.


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  • Your article is a bunch of garbage! Yes, our team sucks but we still love our team in Jacksonville. Teams have their ups and downs. Free beer wasn't given to avoid a blackout- it was a promotion for a certain section once. Good Grief get your facts straight and worry about your own damn team!

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    The only true loser is the one who wrote this article. Get a life

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    I decided to create an account and comment on your "article". I live in Jacksonville and have been a fan of the Jaguars since they came to our city.

    First, lets address the 2 fans comment. Yeah I'm sure that's just sarcasm, however there really is a pretty strong solid fan base here in our city. The lack of black outs is a very valid defense on how much this city supports our team.

    Next, the LA connection. LA has had no success in keeping an NFL team. It has had more than one chance to do so. Why would anyone want to waste time once again giving them another team? There is a reason they can't keep a team. And you and others want to suggest we move a team to a place that has a history of losing teams? I think not.

    Yeah the Jaguars suck right now. It's not the first NFL team to have a crappy season, or even several seasons, and it won't be the last. Yet sports writers seem to obsess about moving teams when they suck. Like somehow changing fields or geographical locations is going to in any way affect the talent level of coaches, staff and players. Or that somehow a new magical fan base is going to instill more talent in a lackluster team?! Well thought out there big guy.

    The Jaguars are losing, no one wants to follow a losing team, That is a reality. That is why Orlando 'apologized', that is why the Jaguars are the least popular in polls.

    Its not time for the Jaguars to 'Go away" it's time for them to step up and return to the quality of play they once had as a new expansion team. There is a lot of work to be done and it does feel as if they are going in the wrong direction. That direction is a losing season, not toward an imaginary market called LA.

    And as for your career as a sports writer? Wait who are you again? Only reason I even know you exist is because one of those 'Two Jaguar Fans' happen to link this Jag Trashing article on Facebook.

    Have a great day in the Windy city.

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    As a city and a lifestyle, I'll take Jax over Chicago any day! Enjoy your winter.

  • In reply to Donnie:

    Yeah! I Agree I've seen Jackson! and boy! it looks Beatuiful!!

  • This is really a funny but sad piece of journalism. (Is it journalism?)
    I do not live in Jacksonville but near there. Yes, the team is in disarray and has been. What team has not been? However the bottom line is fan support. I agree the team might do better relocating but not leave Florida. There has been some discussion of it moving to Orlando but this talk is not too serious. It will get better. What you do not get is Jacksonville is a very small market and not a huge city like your Chicago. To throw dirt at another team you know nothing about or even have the courtesy to live in that state amazes me. As for moving to LA? LA's track record for a NFL team is worse than Jacksonville so that point is mute. (LA is 10 times larger than Jacksonville as well) So I suggest you close your pie hole and get a life. You want to gripe about a team, suggest you come down to the team's city, be a man and talk trash face to face to the locals and defend yourself instead of hiding behind a computer. But then again that is the common way people like to act big when in fact, they are so very small.

  • In reply to Florida Guy:

    Florida Guy - you're adorable. You really are.

    First, just to get the "I know you are but what am I" part of my response out of the way... "be a man and talk trash face to face to the locals and defend yourself instead of hiding behind a computer" says the guy talking smack thru a comment on a blog... go find yourself a mirror.

    Now, on to your claims that Jacksonville doesn't suck...

    "What you do not get is Jacksonville is a very small market."

    Apparently you don't get that Jacksonville, FL, has a larger population than Indianapolis, San Francisco, Ft. Worth, Detroit, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Washington DC... in fact, according to the 2010 census, Jacksonville was the 7th-biggest NFL market. So... *crickets*

    "So I suggest you close your pie hole and get a life." Have a great day, sir!

  • Do you even have any fans of your 'writing'? Seems like you are a professional troll. The only commenters here really think you are a complete moron. Jags are in Jax to stay. Our stadium is going to totally rock in 2014 from the new design architectually to the awesome team that Dave and Gus are putting together. POOF! Be gone! ANY fool can create their own website. Yours sucks. Go Jags!!

  • In reply to Jaguargirl:

    You do realize you're about 6 months late in commenting here, right Jaguargirl? LOL

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    Truly a sad attempt at journalism here. Funny how you want to attempt to bash Jaguar fan support yet clearly fail to realize that the Jags have out attended your home town Bears in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Congrats though to the Bears in 2013 for out attending the 4-12 Jags by about 2,000 fans a game. As for your idiotic attempt to compare markets to state that Jacksonville was a "large market". Truly you are not this dumb right? A city such as Boston has 48 sq miles. Technically yes, those 48 miles of just being down town has about 200,000 less people than in the 727 sq miles of Jax. But that doesn't add in the surrounding areas of Quincy, to Cambridge to Chelsea ect. All places that are considered Boston but officially don't fall into actual Boston boarders that are where 80% of patriot fans live which counts the population up into 2 to 3 million range. Clearly though based off your journalistic ability, this info is probably a little bit above your understanding .

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    It must be slow news week. You easily admitted this is not a new topic. So, obviously there is nothing interesting about the Bears to write about. Oh, by the way, doesn't your computer come with spell check?

  • In reply to Scott Jennings:

    "It must be a slow news week" says the guy who comments on a story NINE MONTHS OLD. Nice work, jackass

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    Tell us why you REALLY hate Jacksonville? Somebody from Jax boned your wife didn't they?

  • In reply to Donny Waters:

    You got it Donny. Speaking of which, who was your mom's favorite New Kid?

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    Just came across this article. Never heard of you before Tab, but you're a fellow Cubs fan so I won't be as aggressive as others.

    Obviously the Jays aren't leaving. They currently lead the NFL in season ticket sales, despite having a crap team the last few years. Your attendance stats used don't account that we also have one of the largest stadiums in the NFL.

    The team is on the up and up... I'm excited to see what happens in the future. We have a promising young QB, stellar defense, and coach who gets everyone to play hard.

    Also your fave new Cub Javier Baez is from Jax. Place is pretty awesome. I have been to many places across the US this year and can say that Jax is as good as any. Chicago is a cool town, but places like Cleveland are absolutel garbage. At least we have a beach, attractive women, and a ton of great golf. Night life is kinda limited to the beach area, but the town is still growing... That will come.

    I suggest you make a trip to northeast FL before you make any new assumptions about this place.

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