My initial reactions were par for the course up here in Duval County: shock, sadness, confusion, fear and anger. Why would Wayne sell the team now? Why would he can Jack and extend Gene?
Who is our new owner, and what are his intentions for the big cats?
The new owner is Mr. Shahid Kahn. He's a self-made billionaire, a University of Illinois graduate who has a degree in engineering and a proven track record in philanthropic giving. He's a passionate sports fan, a huge Illini backer and a businessman that has eagerly pursued an NFL team for years.
I'm thrilled about the change. I say that now, better knowing his intentions for the team, his background in the world of business, and his impressive financial resources.
I'm thrilled to hear that he is purchasing a home in town, and that his statements to the press have been, to the letter, pro-Jacksonville. He sounds like a Northern Floridian already, and I'm excited to see what he has in store for the team.
It's on us now to fill the seats. We haven't had any games blacked out in years (in comparison, it's been years since Tampa Bay had one on television locally), but we need to really stuff that joint.
The Jags need to do their part also. They suck. They're terrible, and they need to get better quickly. Stop dropping passes. Stop allowing sacks. Stop throwing for eighty yards in a game.
The Jags need to play some football.
The staff needs to improve. I'm interested in seeing Coach Tucker's approach to game planning. He's already shuffled his staff and let a bunch of unproductive players go.
Change, in this case, was sorely needed. I'm invigorated by the possibilities of what could happen next (and yes, I'm an optimist).
I thank Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver for their immeasurable contributions to our community. Their vision in bringing the NFL to Jacksonville, to staging a Super Bowl in our town, and to making the Jags into one of the great success stories in professional sports will always mark them as true pioneers.
But I'm now thrilled to have Shahid Kahn running the team. I'm thrilled to have him and his wife, Ann Carlson Kahn, in our city--making a difference in a place that seems to improve on a monthly basis but also still has a long way to go in some areas.
Welcome to Jacksonville, Mr. and Mrs. Kahn. It's good to have you here!
Go Jags, baby!