Shahid Khan of Jacksonville: My AFC South Crush of the Week

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistMarch 30, 2012

It's a love-fest in Jacksonville.
It's a love-fest in Jacksonville.A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Welcome to the "Crush of the Week," where each week I fall in love with someone from the AFC South.

This week, it's Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I have to admit that I was skeptical of Khan at first, but the more I read about him and hear him talk, the more impressive he becomes.

Khan has everything I love about America. I come from an Irish family and spent nine years living overseas, so I pretty much love immigrant stories. Whenever I hear about a man who pulled himself up by his boot straps to become a major success, I realize why I love this country. Khan is a brilliant business man, and worked relentlessly to make himself great.

What I didn't realize about him was how charismatic he is. Putting the owner on a commercial for season tickets is a huge risk, but Khan completely pulls it off. The Jaguars need an identity, a driving force pushing them forward, and Khan clearly fits the bill.

I love that he was smart enough to pursue Tebow, but also smart enough not to overpay for him. His efforts managed to absolve the team of all criticism, and by not panicking and offering the Broncos even more than they already had, he preserved the health of his team going forward.

The Jaguars still face major challenges. The stadium is too big. The fan base is too diverse and spread out too far. They still have serious roster challenges, and selling tickets is going to be an issue again this season. Despite these issues, they finally have the right guy at the helm. Wayne Weaver was a nice man, a wonderful shoe salesman and a Jacksonville legend, but Khan has a vision and the chutzpah to pull it off.

So, hugs and kisses, Shahid. You are my "Crush of the Week."