There’s a pretty strong chance that the Jacksonville Jaguars will win no more than three or four games this season. After a 2-14 season last year, another dismal season in north Florida is a real possibility. So why not be bad and popular at the same time?
That’s the question many football fans, especially Jaguars fans, are asking themselves right now, with the Jaguars off to a 0-2 start. Why not Tim Tebow? Why not now?
Tebow, for whatever reason, is not an NFL quarterback. He couldn’t beat Mark Sanchez in New York, and he couldn’t make the roster in New England. As a Bronco, he led the team to a surprising first-round playoff victory, not to mention a season of fun and excitement. But that was a long time ago. Tebow just doesn’t have what it takes to be an effective quarterback in the National Football League.
That doesn’t mean Jacksonville shouldn’t sign him up for a two-year contract and start him immediately.
This isn’t the first time I’ve made such a statement, and maybe I am beating a dead horse here, but doesn’t it feel like any sort of success in Jacksonville must go through Tim Tebow? Aren’t all points of energy in Jacksonville pointed directly at Tebow, who is now a free agent, sitting on his couch waiting for the phone to ring? At some point, Jacksonville has to pick up Tebow. Right? The writing is on the wall, so why not just do it already?
Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell thinks he’s making the right football decision by staying away from the Jacksonville native quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy and two national championships while attending the University of Florida. And Caldwell is probably right. Quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert (out with an injury) and Chad Henne (Gabbert’s backup) better mechanically than Tebow is. They are better quarterbacks.
It makes sense why Caldwell is so set in his ways regarding Tebow: He wants to win games. I can understand that.
Unfortunately, what Caldwell refuses to see is that his team is so bad, they simply aren’t going to win games, anyway. And neither Gabbert or Henne will have any success in leading the team to victory. This is a harsh reality that Caldwell refuses to face, and one that Jacksonville fans seem to understand. If they can’t have wins, Jacksonville fans at least want something worth watching, and that something worth watching is Tim Tebow.
On Monday at exactly 3:16 p.m., (John 3:16) fans gathered in Jacksonville at EverBank Field to encourage the Jaguars organization to sign Tim Tebow. According to ESPN.com Jacksonville native James Stewart, one of the event’s organizers, said about 20 people showed up at the rally, while 30 members of the media showed up to cover it. It was a small number, but Stewart said it's a good start to a season of rallies that will be held every Monday until Tebow is signed.
“The Jaguars' season is really in the tank,” Stewart told ESPN.com. “They don't have a lot of promise. There's not a lot to watch. We're consumers, and the Jaguars are a product, and there's a lot of room for improvement. Tebow, we think, would be value-added if he were to be signed and given an opportunity at quarterback. It's the perfect time in our view to do a Tebow experiment. Whether you like him or not, I think everyone would watch. It would be compelling.”
Anything is better than the two games the Jaguars won last season and the two games they’ve already lost this season. So far, in the first two weeks, the Jaguars’ offense has scored only 11 points, which is dead last in the N.F.L. right now. Jacksonville ranks 28th in passing yards and 30th in rushing yards. It simply goes without saying that Jacksonville sucks on offense.
Can Tebow make the offense any better? I’m guessing not. But I’ll reiterate Stewart’s sentiment: With Tebow, it will be an offense worth watching. With Tebow behind center, not only would you have the northern half of Florida watching his every move, you would have the rest of the country watching his every move. He’s an exciting player to watch. Win or lose, Tim Tebow will put butts in seats at EverBank Field – something the Jaguars have had trouble doing for a long while.
Right now, my folks live about an hour south of Jacksonville. While my dad remains a Broncos fan, he works day in and day out with some diehard Jaguars fans who are desperate for a reason to watch their team. According to Pete, Jaguars fans are “disgruntled” and afraid that if attendance at games don’t improve, Jacksonville could eventually lose the franchise to another city sharking around looking for a team.
Los Angeles Jaguars anyone?
Mostly it's a lot of watercooler talk when bringing Tebow into the conversation, but really, this is serious. Jacksonville loses the Jaguars, it will hurt that city and a hell of a lot of fans who truly love that team. Signing Tim Tebow may not make football sense but he will sell a hell of a lot of jerseys and a hell of a lot of tickets. I think the ownership of the Jaguars is underestimating what that man can do to an organization’s popularity. There are still people living in Denver who are mad as hell that the Broncos let him go.
And then there’s the magic of Tim Tebow. On paper, and in practice, he may not be a good N.F.L. quarterback. But, as we all learned in Denver, don’t underestimate his ability to win games. Tebow’s most important characteristics are that he’s a leader, and he’s confident. The Jets failed to make him a starter and never got to see his leadership capabilities. In the leading role, Tim Tebow brings the magic.
Sometimes you have to read the writing on the wall: Tim Tebow needs to be in a Jacksonville Jaguars jersey. The world is waiting.