O-Zone: Just folks

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Steve from Jacksonville:
So, if we had actually made it to the Super Bowl, do you think the schedule would be much different? There but for one quarter of football and a long fourth-down conversion goes prime time?
John: Sure, the Jaguars' 2018 schedule might have been different had they won the AFC Championship Game in January. They might be playing one more Monday Night game. Or they might be playing one more Sunday Night game. And yeah – there's a difference in perception with a team that makes the Super Bowl compared to one that doesn't. It's the biggest event in American sports. A team's profile raises when it plays in it. People pay attention. But you know what? The Jaguars have a chance to play five high-profile games next season – New England, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, at Tennessee and at Dallas; all are in prime television slots. They're playing the Steelers at home on Sunday Night Football, which will mark the Jaguars' first appearance on what is now the NFL's biggest regular-season stage. That's a major step forward in terms of profile. They also have a chance to play their way into a high-profile Saturday game in late December. If they make the Super Bowl, they will have played eight or nine high-profile games – including playoffs. That's a pretty cool season. And it's a lot of exposure too.
Dennis from Palm Coast, FL:
Uniforms are okay. Teal is more blue than teal. Need some green tint to the teal uniforms.
John: Lukewarm fer … followed by incorrect fer (uniforms are teal).
Mark from College Park, MD:
Being a small-market team, the State of the Franchise allows the Jaguars to garner a little bit of a national attention. Couple this with a slight rebranding of their image through new uniforms, the Jags have an opportunity to become national news. My question to you, O-Man, is why choose the release date that coincides with the release of the NFL schedule? Thus, a small-market team now becomes a small footnote in the national markets as the schedule release becomes major headlines.
John: The Jaguars' annual State of the Franchise is scheduled weeks – even months – in advance. The league doesn't tell teams when the schedule is being released until days in advance. Still, the timing didn't cost the Jaguars much national attention. The State of the Franchise event realistically doesn't give the Jaguars a mammoth amount of national coverage and is in fact far more about informing the hard-core fans and followers about the goings on of this team. Anyway, any attention the Jaguars might have received from State of the Franchise on a national scale pales compared to what they actually received by what they did on the field in January. That's the stuff that resonates nationally.
Steve from Denver, CO:
JO, will JP be told that his office is being relocated to the dog park?
John: Told? Probably not.
Jeff from Clinton, MO:
I enjoyed the SOTF. I think it is very creative the ways the management is trying to raise income with non-football activities as well as adding features within the stadium to drive ticket prices to where they are closer to the national average. I understand they are still a little ways from being close to the level of income desired, but it seems like Jaguars President Mark Lamping and Owner Shad Khan understand the market of Jacksonville. Because of the unique market that is Jacksonville, do you think the NFL should remove the ban on publicly traded teams and the Jaguars becoming one?
John: I can't imagine the NFL doing such a thing for Jacksonville, and I can't imagine Khan wanting such a thing. Khan bought the Jaguars without minority partners, and I can't imagine a scenario under which Khan wouldn't want full ownership.
Charlie from Jacksonville:
Who would have thought fans of the Jaguars included so many Mr. Blackwells and Project Runway wannabes? It's just more of the idiotic fanning that will never go away like it should. I suppose it's just another example that you can't please everyone.
John: Fans aren't idiots because they don't like something, so that I'm not nuts about that word. As for your other 42 words …
David from Broward County, FL:
O-Man: correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Jags play well enough this past season to EARN three exclusively nationally-televised games in January? These are the only nationally-televised games that really concern me. FWIW, the Sunday night game against the Steelers is NOT guaranteed, as that is the beginning of flex scheduling. Thoughts.
John: No, the Steelers-Jaguars game is not guaranteed to be on national television. Many things aren't guaranteed in life. Happiness. Loyalty. Time off for good behavior. Throw this one in there, too.
Alan from Mandarin:
There is some good news in the schedule: the weather probabilities. Three home games in September when the heat is our friend, and our last quarter games will be in warm cities. No brutal winter games in Buffalo, Green Bay, etc. I see 10-6 and the last game of the year is for the division title. #DTWD
John: Good eye.
Jim from Jacksonville:
I'm amazed at how it's just assumed by so many that the Jags will be a Super Bowl contender this year. Their style of play means most games will be close in the fourth quarter, and close games can go either way. In addition, they aren't likely to go another season with such good luck on no injuries to the defense. Finally, the other teams in AFC no longer will have key players on injured reserve that they did last year and should be better. It seems to me the Jags could just as easily be 8-8 as they could be 13-3, and miss the playoffs. I would not be surprised either way. What I'm surprised at is the blind assumption that their record will be as good or better.
John: In reading your email I find myself awestruck at the stunning good fortune of every other team in the AFC next season. It indeed appears to be a banner year for NFL health – and a welcomingly dull one for physicians and trainers. I also am struck by your description of the Jaguars as a team that will play close games in the fourth quarter with injuries and a few key late plays likely being the difference between success and failure. That indeed aptly describes the Jaguars – and pretty much every contending NFL team.
Frank from the Mean Streets of Ponte Vedra:
When are the Jags scheduled to break ground on Lot J?
John: There is no groundbreaking scheduled. The renderings on Lot J at EverBank Field and adjacent areas are exciting, but until a lot of things get approved by a lot of government entities, they are just that – renderings. The Jaguars are at the ready, though – and the guess here is that things will get approved and get moving relatively quickly. That tends to happen when Khan is involved.
Ray from Monroe, CT:
O, I was just curious on your thoughts on Brandon Marshall and how he maybe would fit into the Jaguars. He is a big receiver, a veteran who has done some good things, wants to win a championship and may come inexpensive off an injury last season. I don't know much about him as a locker room guy but since he was younger I have not heard much antics in the locker room from him. Would this be a guy the Jags would think about going after?
John: Probably not.
Art from Drexel Hill:
Black should be the alternate, not the primary, jersey for home games.
John: It's not, but OK.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
Folks like to complain that "the schedule makers didn't do us any favors." I think that they did. Patriots and Steelers games are at home. Our first games against Titans and Texans are home games. Eagles game is in London. Homefield advantage is a thing. Your thoughts?
John: My first thought is folks absolutely do like to complain – as do fans. Early scholars in fact often categorized fanning and complaining as the same, though later researchers with the development of DNA testing separated the two – with the late Hargrove professor Aubrey Rothsteinbergson determining that complaining was something normal people (or "folks," as Rothsteinbergson termed them) did on occasion while fanning was more encompassing, disturbing and consuming. As far as the schedule makers … they don't have quite the influence over things many believe. Teams and locations are determined by a preset, rotational formula with the schedule makers only determining the whens – and teams actually know 14 of the teams they will be playing as well as the sites years in advance. It's a pretty well-publicized system and is about as close to fair as is possible for a league with 32 teams. It in theory should give folks less to complain about, though fans – and "folks," for that matter – invariably find something.

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