It's a watershed day. The Jaguars' announcement today that the team's non-premium seats for the 2006 season are sold out, and that the team is now accepting applications for a ticket waiting list, is a glorious moment in Jaguars history.
Where does it rank in Jaguars history? Right at the top, but only if today is the start of something lasting. If this is the start of a waiting list that will forever make the Jaguars a "hot" ticket, then this is the day the future of professional football in Jacksonville became secure.
The NFL's most respected franchises have waiting lists; they are renowned for their waiting lists. The Packers have one. The Steelers have one. The Redskins have one. About 20 franchises have waiting lists, but not all of those are considered to be true waiting lists.
What qualifies as a legitimate waiting list? One that gets longer as the years go by.
Put your name on the Packers' waiting list. Better yet, put your son's or daughter's name on the Packers' waiting list because there's not much chance they'll be calling you to buy tickets in your lifetime.
Tell the Steelers you wanna spot on their waiting list. The ticket guy might tell you in his best Pittsburghese, "Hey, pal, why bother?"
The Redskins? You have a better chance of getting a dinner invitation from Daniel Snyder than you do getting tickets to the NFL's largest stadium.
That's what you call legitimate waiting lists. They make you wait.
The Jaguars started taking waiting list requests today and those who submit their names will immediately go to the top of the list and almost certainly will get a chance to buy tickets in the near future. Nonetheless, it's a list for people who want tickets and can't get them and that puts the Jaguars in elite company.
They're trying not to thump their chests. Oh, they wanna do it, but they're resisting the temptation because they know waiting lists are only waiting lists if you have to, well, you know, wait to buy tickets. A waiting list, therefore, has to be at least a year old before it's a real waiting list.
That's the burning issue in all of this. Will there be a waiting list next year? Will it grow each year? Will a ticket to Jaguars games become "hot?"
Here's another burning question. What if a ticket to Jaguars games does become "hot?" Are you prepared to spend your life on the waiting list?
We can't predict what the answers to those questions will be. We can't predict whether the Jaguars' waiting list will grow or whether a ticket to Jaguars games will get "cold" again.
What we do know is that, right now, on June 20, a non-premium seat ticket to see the Jaguars play in 2006 is not available. Did you predict that?