Sportress of Blogitude

Roger Goodell Says If The Jaguars Leave Jacksonville, It’s The Fans’ Fault

Brilliant! Nice way to ingratiate yourself to a fanbase who is already frustrated with its local team’s performance, Herr Goodell. Threats are always an effective means of rallying a community. Bravo.

Goodell, in Jacksonville for his 2010 Fan Alienation Tour of NFL training camps, warned the team and local business leaders during a brief 2 hour stopover that the fans better step it up and buy a buttload of tickets if they want the team to remain in the Florida city.

Of course, Goodell didn’t out and out say that – he’s much to savvy to do something like that – but the tough love he showed for the team’s fans and pillars of the Jacksonville business community was not friendly by any stretch (via The Florida Times-Union):

“We want this team to be successful, and we want it to be here,” Goodell said. “We just want to make sure that we’re plying in front of large audiences and hopefully sold out audiences, because that’s what we do expect in the NFL.”

“If [last year was] a one-year blip because it’s a perfect storm, I think this is a great opportunity to demonstrate on a national platform that it was and people will understand that,” Goodell said that. “Everybody in this country went through a difficult time and many still are by the way. I know this community has great passion for football and great passion for the Jaguars and I think this is a great opportunity to demonstrate that.”

Goodell, when referring to last year as a “one year blip” is referring to the dreadful ticket sales the team experienced last season when nine of the ten home games were not sold out and were subsequently blacked out from local television markets.

Here’s a thought: instead of holding the fans accountable for poor attendance at home games, how about the Jaguars put a quality product on the field for their fans to get excited about and then see how ticket sales improve? One would think that expecting fans to buy up 70,000 seats to watch the team struggle for the third season in a row might be too much to ask, but not in the wacky world of the greed-obsessed NFL. As Goodell said, “Everybody in this country went through a difficult time and many still are by the way.” He’s right. But not the NFL as a whole and certainly not most of the owners.

At the same time, the Jaguars should have drafted local legend Timmy Tebow and made him the starting quarterback. He would have filled up that stadium without a doubt with his quarterbacking feats and led the Jaguars to a disappointing, yet inspirational – hey, we’re talking about St. Tebow here – 3-13 season. The franchise really missed the boat on that one.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell delivers stern message for Jacksonville to support the Jaguars [The Florida Times-Union]