I was running a little behind on my DVR viewing. I had to wait until Monday to watch one of my favorite shows, “Pardon The Interruption”, that was telecast on Friday afternoon. This was the day after Jacksonville completed an improbable season sweep of our divisional rivals, the Houston Texans, before a national audience. This is a team that lost their first eight games of the season but now had won four of their last five games. Hell…as I’ve proven in a previous article, the Jags have a realistic chance of still making the playoffs. If they did, it would be unprecedented in NFL history. I was looking forward to hearing Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon give their takes and finally eat a little crow. I was searching for…actually I was DEMANDING some respect to be shown to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Damnit, They had earned it.
The show started and the first thing I noticed was that the Jags name was nowhere on the right hand side of the screen where they list the chosen subjects that will be discussed. I was shocked but decided to be patient and see how they were going to handle the topic. What I saw then truly disgusted me and has just solidified something that I have felt for over 15 years. I believe that the media, as a whole, just doesn’t like the Jaguars.
Now take a deep breath and let those words sink in. For you Jaguar fans old enough to remember when the Jags were at their peak, think about how often the Jags highlights were given maybe five minutes of airtime while entire segments were spent on mediocre Cowboys highlights. Think about how the “NFL Primetime” hosts seemingly couldn’t pronounce the name “Jaguar” properly for a few years. How Fred Taylor, no matter how many stats he put up, could never get national attention.
I’m not an idiot. I know Jacksonville is one of the NFL’s smallest markets. I understand the adage that “Money Talks”. All I know is this. When the 1996 Jags, a wildcard representative, beat a 13-3 Broncos team in Denver, you would have thought the world had ended. Three years later, when the wildcard representative Tennessee Titans beat the 14-2 Jaguars at home, it barely elicited more than a shrug. Like we didn’t belong there anyway. It just makes me sick.
I sat and watched how PTI decided to only discuss that Gary Kubiak had been fired. Tony stated if you lose to the Jags, “You should get fired”. Mike stated Kubiak would be fine. That there are 31 other head coaching jobs in the NFL that anyone would love. Then he threw in a “except maybe the Jaguars job.” Do these supposed sports “experts” realize that the Jags are on the verge of one of the greatest in-season turnarounds in NFL history. While we are dispelling misinformation…The Jags haven’t had a blackout in close to four years. The amount that the Buccaneers, Bills, Raiders, and Rams have had in that same span can’t be counted on both host’s fingers and toes. The Jags aren’t moving to L.A., London, or anywhere else anytime soon. If they do, it won’t be because of lack of support. Jags fans can get down, but they always get up for the next fight.
I wrote an e-mail to the producers of PTI, informing them of how shoddy I thought their Jags coverage was. I still haven’t received a response. If you find a little time in your day and feel even a little of what I’ve stated is valid, drop them an e-mail also. Let them know…“I’m a Jags fan. I’m as mad as Hell…And I’m not going to take it anymore!!!” Maybe then someone will realize this cat still has some teeth!
Commentary by Michael McDonald
You can tell me to shut-up on Twitter @gumbussy