JACKSONVILLE – Grrr.
Let's get to it … Steve from Nashville, TN:
How do the non-division-winning Titans get two Monday Night games? Name the only 2017 division winner not to appear on Monday Night Football in 2018?
John: I'll answer your two questions first to get them out of the way: I don't know and … the Jaguars. As for the implied question of whether the NFL's 2018 schedule "disrespects" the Jaguars, loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know well I'm not much into the "national-recognition" or "national disrespect" storylines. They just don't interest me all that much. But I do understand some fans love the idea of having their team on Monday Night Football and attach appearances on MNF to "respect," so I do get the anger with the Jaguars not being on MNF next season. Let me throw this theory out there, though … that perhaps the Jaguars' games against the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys being on CBS' 4:25 slot could prove just as high-profile as some Monday Night games? And that perhaps CBS fought for those games and therefore that is a measure of respect? And that perhaps all of that that should mollify feelings of anger and annoyance? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Renee from Duval:
John! The Baby schedule is awesome! I can't quit smiling! You know the schedule is the schedule. Line 'em up and beat 'em, get home field! GO JAGS!!
John: Baby Schedule indeed was cool. And funny. I liked it. I think 20 did, too.
Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL:
My biggest take away from the SOTF: The city of Jacksonville hit the lottery when Shad Khan bought our team.
John: The inbox was full of many opinions and "takes" in the wake of Thursday's 2018 State of the Franchise. Ninety percent of said emails focused on love or hate of the Jaguars' new uniforms, proving again that not everyone likes all things – and also proving that many people who live in the first world feel a curious need to be outrageously vocal when expressing displeasure over problems bearing the same name. But for all of the "discussion" about uniforms, you're right that the overwhelming, big-picture, long-term story about Thursday's SOTF was a pretty similar one to the past six SOTFs – that the organization has made strides during Khan's time as owner that couldn't possibly have been predicted beforehand. It's a remarkable story, and one that shouldn't overlooked whatever your opinion on teal versus white versus black and so on and so on and so on …
Edward from Los Angeles, CA:
The new uniforms are great. Simple and elegant. Very Coughlin. Love them.
John: And so we begin. One fer …
Sid from Jacksonville:
Nice helmets but ugly uniforms.
John: … one not fer …
Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124:
Well, there's finally no more reason to apologize for the two-tone helmets. They were not cool. I didn't like them.
John: I honestly sorta did.
Michael from Middleburg, FL:
Jags fans: "We want more teal!" Jags org: "Yes! We'll give you more teal!" *Uniforms unveiled … primary uniform black …Very little teal in home or away jersey. Jags org: "See? More teal! Up to three times a year!" In the words of Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means." Profoundly disappointed with the uniforms. This is neither "back to tradition" or "sleek and modern." It looks like a $20 Walmart special.
John: I admit I'm a little vague on this one. It seems like it could go either way. I'll say not fer …
Scott from Jacksonville:
Dog park? That's weird.
John: The Jaguars on Thursday during the State of the Franchise announced many things. One indeed was they will be the first NFL team with a dog park in the stadium at home games. It will be presented in conjunction with Jacksonville-based Pet Paradise. I imagine there are people who will think this is cool. And they will like it. Me? I love dogs. I particularly love my dog for many reasons, not the least of which is I almost without fail hold the advantage when she and I match wits. I like feeling superior and I almost always do when we square off. I also count many "dog people" as friends. And as long I don't have to sit next to someone carrying a dog in their purse on a plane, I'm fine. I have limits. That's one.
Nate from Fort Duval in York, PA:
The uniforms are cool. I like them.
John: Hey! Another fer …
Janielle from Dorchester, MA:
Wow. I didn't think it was possible to make the uniforms worse, but they did. Super vanilla. Pop Warner level. Not even college quality. Why are the Jags so good at screwing even simple things up?
John: And another not fer … and apparently one not fer traditional-style uniforms.
Shane from Jacksonville:
Love the new uniform! If you are going to show up with the mindset that you are going to impose your will on your opponent you shouldn't look like an Arena League team. I'm just about business, boss.
John: Hey! One more fer …
Sam from Jville:
Hey O. Saw the unis at the airport. Lame. Why is this so hard? This franchise never ceases to underwhelm.
John: Were the videoboards, swimming pools in the stadium and renovated US Assure Clubs overwhelming, underwhelming or just whelming? Was the AFC South title last season overwhelming, underwhelming or just whelming? The victory over Pittsburgh? The AFC Championship Game appearance? Asking for a friend … Wait … I have no friends. Just asking.
Bob from the conference room:
Happy with the new uniforms. I could nitpick a few small things if asked but overall very pleased. There is a reason why the top-rated uniforms in the NFL and college are usually the classic, plain design. Interesting color design combos may be fashionable, but fashions go out of style. Classic designs don't.
John: Fer …
Thomas from Jacksonville:
Your wrong about the unis. If you look like clowns, you will play like clowns. History is on my side. It took Tom C screaming "your not clowns" for a season to change that.
John: I don't know if this is fer or not fer. I do know when passionately admonishing someone for being incorrect, it's perhaps best to do so using proper grammar. It makes your point – or as you might say, "you're" – point much easier to comprehend.
Andrew from Jacksonville:
Hey, O: This is the first year I am disappointed with the team sending a home game to London. I have always been on board with the team playing in London, but this year it seems like the season-ticket holders are missing out by not getting to see our team take on the defending Super Bowl champs in our stadium. The Eagles home game was the game I was most looking forward to this year.
John: I understand the disappointment and in no way would I dismiss that feeling. A home game against the Super Bowl champions is a tough one to miss. But here's the reality: a home game in London has been key to the Jaguars' local-revenue equation since they began playing there. If you listened to Jaguars President Mark Lamping during Thursday's State of the Franchise presentation you heard him say that remains the case. There's obviously no way to predict what home game will be played in London each season, so there's just as obviously no way to know if it will be one that "hurts" to lose. But a game over there each year is going to happen for the foreseeable future. The financial health of the organization, its viability in Jacksonville and its ability to be a competitive NFL team depends on it.
Dylan from Aurora, OH:
Any insight as to why the Jaguars decided to make the black jersey primary and why there is no teal at all on the away uniforms? Team management missed the boat on this if they care what the fans are looking for. It was very obvious, especially last year, that we want more teal! The "Forever Teal" games were a huge success. These white jerseys with black numbers don't look like Jaguars jerseys. They look like practice jerseys with a random Jaguars patch sewn on.
John: The Forever Teal games last season indeed were a huge success, and I would be shocked – nay, stunned – if the Jaguars didn't have more games featuring the teal uniforms moving forward. Part of the reason the teal games were so successful last season was they were unique … the lack of supply created a passionate demand, if you will. The Jaguars are allowed to use them three times a year and because they won't be used every week, I expect the demand will be high when used. And remember: the Jaguars went a long time without using the teal and are no in position to use it much more. So yes: the teal is back. Perhaps not to the degree that many fans wanted, but it is back.
Brian from Round Rock, TX:
I like the uniforms with one big exception. The classic look that we've been missing is teal jersey, white pants combo. It is The Classic Jags uniform. I am amazed at how they continue to overthink and miss...
John: That combination is available with the new uniforms. It won't be the primary, but the teal jersey and white pants can be used as an alternate jersey.
JT from Rosamond, CA:
While I'm a little salty that the Jags didn't get one damn Monday night game. I am also reminded that it's better for the players to not play on Monday. ESPN has some serious hate for the Jags, though.