September 16, 2009
It's not at all uncommon for NFL draft teams to lust after college prospects. It usually doesn't happen in September, though.
Of course, not every team is as badly in need of an attendance boost as the Jacksonville Jaguars, either. Their home game this weekend against Arizona will, in all likelihood, be blacked out on local television because they didn't sell enough tickets.
This might be understandable if the Jaguars were a really, really bad team. They aren't, though. Granted, last year wasn't a banner year, but it's not like the Jags are some perennial bottom-feeder. They're not the Lions. I don't think it would shock anyone if they won nine or 10 games this year.
The solution for the attendance woes? Perhaps he's already playing football in Florida, in the NFL's semi-pro developmental league that some of you call the "NCAA." I speak, of course, of Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. Quoth Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver:
"Star power is incredible, and Tebow is an iconic figure. That's very compelling. He clearly is an outstanding football player and would be an asset to any football organization."
There's also this, later in the AP article:
It was one of the first questions asked when he spoke at a business luncheon Monday. There are “Draft Tebow” stickers circulating the city. And that rumor about the Jaguars commissioning a survey to see what affect Tebow would have on ticket sales?
“I don’t know that it’s actually a survey,” Weaver said.
But there's no denial that they're doing something.
Right now, I'd estimate that the risk of purchasing a Jacksonville Jaguars "Tebow" jersey is very, very low. It's going to happen. It might not be a football decision, but it's happening.
If there's a chance it could mean the difference between the Jaguars staying in Jacksonville, or the Jaguars going somewhere else, they'll move heaven and earth to get him. Even if Tebow is projected as a top-five pick (Ouch! Dan Shanoff just poked me in the back of the head with a sharp stick and screamed, "MORE LIKE TOP ONE, JERKFACE!"), and the Jaguars don't pick until 16th or so, they'll move up to get him. They'll gladly give up the 2011 first-rounder to make it happen.
If they're already doing "surveys" or whatever about how he can help fill the stadium, then it's a wrap. The only question is whether or not Urban Meyer comes with him.
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