As the Jacksonville Jaguars enter the 2010 season, the team's future is in question. After two sub-par seasons, head coach Jack Del Rio is definitely under the microscope, and his job may be on the line.
General Manager Gene Smith has had two drafts in his short tenure with the team, and most of the players selected in the first draft have already contributed quality time on the field. Only time will tell if the players selected in the second draft do the same.
Unfortunately, time is not on Smith's or Del Rio's side. The last two seasons have been less than stellar for the Jaguars, and with attendance a huge concern, another lackluster season could be disastrous.
Let's take a look at how this could play out.
First, three seasons of continuous television blackouts could drive NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to make decisions that do not favor the city of Jacksonville. Goodell has made comments supporting the Jacksonville Jaguars, but a half-empty stadium at every home game will compel Goodell to make some tough choices.
Second, the 2011 season has a potential lockout looming over it. If there is a lock-out, that may be the final nail in the Jaguars' coffin. We have seen the damaging affects of strikes and lockouts in the past, and a 2011 lockout may push what remaining fans that attend Jaguars home games away for good.
If the Jaguars are going to remain in Jacksonville, a successful 2010 season is paramount.
The first regular season game has the Denver Broncos playing the Jaguars in Jacksonville, and chances are good that it will be a sellout. Sadly, it's not because of support for the Jaguars, but because hometown and college football phenom Tim Tebow will be standing on the Broncos sideline.
Don't be surprised if the colors of orange and blue, the colors of the Broncos and Florida Gators, dominate the stands of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
That being said, the first four games have the Jaguars facing the aforementioned Broncos, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Indianopolis Colts. Three of the four are home games and hopefully, they will all be sellouts. Unfortunately, the Jaguars could be 0-4 when it's all said and done. Personally, I think the Jaguars best hope is a 2-2 outcome.
The Jaguar organization is doing their absolute best to get the fans back in the stands. Reduced ticket prices, coupons, and advertising using the catch phrases "Revive the Pride" and "You Are The Fuel" are tools to fill the seats. But at the end of the day, winning is what will bring fans back to the home games.
Television blackouts sure haven't brought fans back, that's for sure.