The moment he took the job, Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said he would not pursue Tim Tebow. “Even if he is released.”
Pressure has been growing, particularly from prominent Tebow die-hards like Orlando Sentinel sports columnist Mike Bianchi and ESPN analyst Skip Bayless, for the Jaguars to sign him anyway.
The reasons are myriad. They range from the judgment that he’s better than Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne (and yet nobody else is interested), to the myth that they need him to sell tickets (even though they have been far ahead of both the Dolphins and the Bucs in attendance for years).
With Orlando attorney John Morgan adding to the pressure with a YouTube video, real Jaguars fans have had enough.
Yes, the Jacksonville Jaguars have fans. (That they don’t is yet another myth.)
If you follow my blog, you already know about the Bold City Brigade, their new supporters’ group. Last night they launched a new website, evenifhesreleased.com. It’s simply a click counter to count people who do not want Tim Tebow on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
As of this posting, it has counted over 75,000 clicks.
This is not a judgment on Tim Tebow the person. We do not hate Tim Tebow. He is a good man who does good things.
He’s just not that good a quarterback. If he were really that good, then why hasn’t anybody else snapped him up? As for us, David Caldwell was involved in the Falcons’ drafting and development of Matt Ryan. I trust his judgment in the matter more than that of the local ambulance chaser and a hack writer.
Tim Tebow himself is not the primary problem. The problem is the media circus that surrounds him. Personally, I’m convinced they are attracted to him because he is a good, God-fearing Christian young man who wears his faith on his sleeve. And they are waiting for him to do something bad or hypocritical, so they can jump on him and pound him into the ground.
That media circus may be disrupting Tebow’s development for all we know. Joining the Jaguars would not change that; it might even make matters worse.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to build themselves back into the great teams of the 1990s and early 2000s. We do not need that distraction. And nobody outside is going to change our minds.
Now to answer the biggest misconception: We do not have an attendance problem.
The big part of this misconception is caused by EverBank Field, which is enormous at 76,867. But looking back at NFL attendance numbers, as far back as ESPN has those stats, the Jaguars have had attendance in the 60,000s all but one year. 2009 was an aberration, resulting from the economic downturn combined with a terrible 2008 campaign.
The team’s attendance quickly recovered, and is now far from the bottom. They consistently outdraw the Bucs, and in recent years even the Dolphins. They were 20th out of 32 teams in 2012, with an average attendance higher than the Chicago Bears has capacity for at Soldier Field.
Wayne Weaver was always committed to Jacksonville, and when it was time for him to sell the team, he specifically looked for an owner who would resist the media and outside-fan pressure to move the team to Los Angeles. That is why he sold to Shahid Khan; his car part import business practically owns the Port of Jacksonville, so he has a commitment to the city. The Jaguars are not going anywhere. (As for the Dolphins, however…)
The Jacksonville Jaguars simply do not want Tim Tebow. Neither do their true fans. And we’re not going to allow the media to get their way. The Jaguars will be fine without Tim Tebow. And so will Tim Tebow.