The Jaguars Need Tebow More Than Tebow Needs Them
In September of last year, Forbes magazine assessed the Jacksonville Jaguars as the least valuable NFL franchise in the entire league. The franchise’s current value is $770 million, which is what the team owner Shad Khan purchased the team for. The other two teams at the bottom of this list are the St. Louis Rams ($780 million) and the Oakland Raiders ($785 million).
Attendance has also suffered tremendously. In 2012, the Jaguars ranked in the bottom third in game attendance with an average of 64,984 fans per game. In fact, the team is doing so poorly that the organization has been in talks of relocating to Los Angeles. This would devastate the city’s economy, fan base, and certainly its history.
It is obvious that this team needs help with selling tickets and getting fans to come to games. There is however, an obvious answer: Tim Tebow.
Tim Tebow is arguably the most discussed professional athlete of this time, chiefly due to his unconventional quarterback skills, the Denver Broncos’ (his former team) success upon his installment at starter, and his frequent display of his faith beliefs. Tebow has attracted unparalleled admiration, certain criticism, and media attention unlike no other.
After a brief and unsuccessful stint with the New York Jets, Tebow was recently released from the team. He now remains a free agent. He would be the perfect fit for Jaguars if they, in any way, aspire to put butts in the seats and make their organization more profitable.
Jacksonville is Tebows hometown. He first attended Trinity Christian Academy, a local high school, where he played tight end. He then joined a struggling football program at Allen D. Nease High School where he was able to play quarterback. Tebow came to national prominence as a junior at Nease, known for his running and throwing abilities, as well as an intense competitiveness. During his senior season, he led the Nease Panthers to a state title, earned All-State honors, was named Florida’s Mr. Football and a Parade magazine high school All-American, and repeated as Florida’s Player of the Year. He then attended the University of Florida in Gainesville (about an hour away) where he was a part of two national titles.
There is no question that Tebow was a local legend. U of F actually erected a statue of Tebow which idolized his image on campus and indicated the great impact he had on that university and the community. The Jaguars need this stamp on their program.
If Tim Tebow was signed as a player for the Jags, the buzz alone would inspire fans to go to home games even if there just a CHANCE he’d play. That’s how local hype works. He has so many fans in this area that, even if the team stunk, at least the stadium would be full, fans would have hope, Jag jerseys would fly off store racks, and the organizations financial bottom line would easily be met.
For some reason, however, the Jags may pass on Tebow. Perhaps pride would play a factor. The LA Lakers passed on 11-time world champion coach Phil Jackson for this very reason. Perhaps they aren’t convinced of the positive impact that Tebow would have on the organization. Or maybe they feel that preserving the game of football (and the style of offense and type of program they want to run) is not worth sacrificing in order to sell tickets. One fact remains: Tim Tebow can without a doubt resurrect this dire franchise financially, and who knows, the team could even perhaps compete for a super bowl one day with such a great leader in Tebow at the helm.