Miserable Jaguars season rattles Power Players in Jacksonville.
Power Poll: Jacksonville movers and shakers split on their support of Jaguars NFL franchise.
As the Jacksonville Jaguars seek to recover from a disastrous 2021 NFL campaign that saw only three wins, a fired coach and lots of controversy, Jacksonville’s movers and shakers are split on how they view the franchise and owner Shad Khan, according to January’s Power Poll.
Power players have some diverse views of the Jaguars and how they look at the team heading into the 2022 draft and the season later this year. But it’s clear many of the civic and business leaders in Jacksonville are unsettled by arguably the most tumultuous season in the history of the Jaguars franchise.
Star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the first overall draft pick of the 2021 draft, struggled to find success under center. High-profile coach Urban Meyer was fired mid-season after Khan staked his personal reputation on the hire, luring Meyer out of retirement in the college ranks.
Meyer made several missteps before the season, got caught on camera groping a woman in the bar he owns in Ohio after not returning to Jacksonville following a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and had multiple questionable personnel decisions and actions.
When asked what their overall opinion of the Jaguars franchise was in the wake of a horrible season, 57% of the respondents said Jacksonville still has an NFL franchise and there are still only 32 of those. So, even if we’re not winning, it’s still a good thing for the city.
Another 29% of those who took the survey said they knew the Jags were bad, but they had no idea the Jags were this bad. They don’t see the franchise turning around for years.
Another 11% of respondents said they’re afraid to even support the team again. But it’s the NFL and there have been dramatic turnarounds before. Another 4% said “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
When asked what their opinion is now of Jags owner Shad Khan, the biggest segment of respondents said they still like him as 29% feel Khan still does a lot for Jacksonville with many civic plans. Close behind that, 25% of those who took the survey say Khan does not know what he’s doing in the NFL, but they’re willing to wait it out because they like him.
Another 18% said Khan is the worst and want to find a way to get rid of him. Some 11% said bring back previous own Wayne Weaver and 18% said they had no opinion or don’t know.
In terms of support for the Jaguas in the way of tickets and financial investment in the team, Power Poll participants were evenly divided on what they’ll do in the next year. Some 32% said the losing team has gotten enough of their money and don’t see buying any game tickets in the foreseeable future. The same percentage said they are hometown fans, not fair-weather fans and they’re with the team all the way.
Another 25% of those who took the poll said they’ve never seen an NFL franchise this bad this up close. They’ll decide on ticket purchases on a week-to-week basis when the time comes. Another 11% said they had no opinion or didn’t know.
Finally, in the last game of the season on Jan. 9, many fans showed up to the Jaguars game at TIAA Bank Field wearing clown outfits and makeup to signal what they thought of the team and Khan as owner, even though the Jags did win that season finale and knocked the Indianapolis Colts out of the playoffs. Still, the clown getups by some fans put off a lot of power players in Jacksonville.
Out of those who took the survey, 54% said the clown getups by fans were immature and just made Jacksonville look worse than the already painful football situation. Another 29% said it’s pretty obvious and at least someone is being honest around Jacksonville and the move was appropriate and deserving.
Still, another 4% said it’s not clear if Jacksonville should push Khan too far because he could relocate the franchise. Finally, 14% said they had no opinion or don’t know.
Thanks for taking part in January’s Power Poll and we’ll be back in February.
About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.