Jags No Longer the Sexy Story
Although Jacksonville, Florida may be the largest city in the continental United States in terms of area, it has anything but a big city feel. The Modis building and Hooters in the Landing pale in comparison to Grauman's Chinese Theatre and Spago in L.A.
The overwhelming odds are that when walking around downtown Jacksonville, you're probably not going to see a celebrity. However, if you flare up your nostrils you are likely to be indulged by the smell of coffee, thanks to our friends at Maxwell House.
Anything that involves Los Angeles is a national story. L.A. is America's guilty pleasure. It's like walking into your spouse or girlfriend's room and she's watching the reality show "The Hills," and you spend the rest of the time it's on making fun of her and the show, but you find yourself watching nonetheless.
The city of Jacksonville took a major step toward keeping their Jaguars out of Los Angeles as Wayne Weaver and Everbank Chairman and CEO Rob Clements came to an agreement on a naming rights sponsor. Everbank Field will be the new home of the Jaguars for the next five seasons.
"It's our belief that this partnership will continue," Everbank CEO Rob Clements said during Tuesday's press conference. "It reflects our strong conviction in this team and in this city."
Instead of questioning why Tuesday's enormous announcement wasn't a bigger story nationally, Jaguars fans should be fired up by Everbank's belief in the Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville.
To answer the question of why it wasn't a bigger story, the prospect of the small-market Jaguars staying in Jacksonville is a disappointment to all the television networks and possibly to the NFL as a whole. A football team in Los Angeles earns more revenue than two franchises in a market the size of Jacksonville does. So when a team is rumored to be heading west, it's a story. There's too much money for it not to be.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been the ultimate underdog story since the city was awarded the franchise on November 30, 1993. The underdeveloped city of Jacksonville "upset" bigger markets such as St. Louis and Baltimore. In their second season of existence, the Jaguars pulled off one of the greatest upsets in postseason history by defeating the mighty Denver Broncos, 30-27, a game that few gave them a chance to win.
The economic downturn, the cycle of losing and no legitimate franchise quarterback put the Jaguars in the underdog role again, this time in the revenue department that's necessary to keep the team.
Everyone loves the underdog story, unless the underdog story doesn't make money. Baltimore Colts fans, Cleveland Browns fans, and Houston Oilers fans however, are pulling for the city of Jacksonville to beat the odds yet again and hold on to their franchise.
The big corporations have stepped up, led by Everbank and all of the other businesses who have discounted their products as a benefit to the Jaguars to sell tickets.
"This naming rights deal helps solidify a place for the Jaguars forever in Jacksonville," a very confident Jacksonville City Council President Jack Webb said.
It's now time for the people of Jacksonville to do their part and sell the stadium out. For each game that's sold out, you keep the name Jaguars out of the mouths of the national media that speculates on a new franchise in Los Angeles.
It's up to you to keep this as a non-story.
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