With Jaguars owner Shahid Khan promoting the team’s impending annual trips to London, Khan has suggested that more games could be played by the Jaguars in London based on how well the team is received from 2013 through 2016.
“In the course of the next four years we’ll see if the fans are ready for more than one game,” Khan said Thursday, via the Mirror. “Time will tell. We know the London fans are sophisticated and hardcore and they want the real sport.
“We want to try this, build some fans and then let’s see where we are. But there is no grand plan.”
There’s always a grand plan, even if the P.R. strategy is to pretend there’s no grand plan.
And while some may say that the readiness for “more than one game” relates to a grand plan involving other games involving teams other than the Jaguars, the NFL isn’t planning to wait four years to see whether a second game will be played in England or Ireland. The league wants to play a second game on another continent as soon as next year. Thus, Khan likely is talking about the Jaguars eventually playing more than one game per year overseas, a development that eventually could create a Green Bay-Milwaukee style split schedule between Jacksonville and the Baskervilles.
“If you think about it, London is no further from the East Coast teams that San Francisco is,” Khan said. “There is no geographic issue. Teams used to get on trains to in the Midwest to play West Coast teams and that was a longer journey than London would be.”
In other words, Khan already has conducted the mental gymnastics that would justify multiple annual trips across the ocean. Like the Bills playing some of their games in Toronto, if a shared “shedule” with England allows the Jags to thrive in their current location, losing some games is far better than losing all of them.