By Calvin Palmer
A defeat in football is one thing. A humiliating rout is quite another.
Defeat, when a team has given all it has to give but has been bested by the opponents, is part and parcel of sport. There are always winners and losers.
A humiliating rout, when a team fails to perform in any department and is an embarrassment to its fans, is symptomatic of a greater malaise and a remedy needs to be sought and quickly.
The Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday suffered a rout, losing 28-3 to the Philadelphia Eagles in what must have been one of the most inept performances since last October’s 41-0 defeat by the Seattle Seahawks.
But yesterday’s performance followed on from another West Coast debacle last week when the Jaguars went down 38-13 to the San Diego Chargers.
These two defeats, particularly their nature, do not sit well with Jaguars fans. Blog sites are awash with comments calling for the head of coach Jack Del Rio on a platter.
When things go as badly as they have done for the Jaguars in the past two games, it is clear the problems extend far beyond the playing field. Sure, quarterback David Garrard has been singled out for his torrid and pathetic performance yesterday. But Garrard cannot be blamed for the non-existent secondary defense.
Given yesterday’s failure in all departments, the finger of blame has to point at coach Del Rio. He could argue that the fault lies with the defensive coordinator or the offensive coordinator. Del Rio may even blame President Barack Obama, given that Jack is a big supporter of Sarah Palin.
The simple truth is, the buck stops with Del Rio. He is neither a manager of men nor motivator. If he were either, the second half performances these past two weeks would have seen some improvement on the first half. There was no such improvement, which suggests that he has lost the support of the locker room. If that is indeed the case then his days are clearly numbered.
This season the City of Jacksonville has pulled out all the stops to back the Jaguars to the hilt. The fans, not renowned for passion and blind loyalty, have responded and what have they gotten in return? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!
Will any fans turn up for the next game against Peyton Manning and the Indianopolis Colts? They might to just to see history in the making – an NFL side, the Colts, winning by a margin of 100-0!
Del Rio has six days in which to galvanize the Jaguars into becoming a competitive NFL side.
If he fails and the Jaguars lose again in another poor performance, I would hope that he would do the honorable thing and tender his resignation.
Such a move would bring wins all round.
Owner Wayne Weaver would not have to buy out the remainder of Del Rio’s contract and could use that money to securing his replacement. Del Rio’s standing with the fans, which is at an all time low, would rise considerably, as many fans would view him as being an honorable man, falling on his sword for the good of the franchise. And the fans on whom the club relies for its very existence, would have their enthusiasm rekindled and be able to view the remainder of the season with a degree of optimism.
So go on Jack, if you fail again next Sunday, be a man of honor. Tender your resignation and depart with the good wishes of the Jaguars fans.
The writing is clearly on the wall that you will be fired at the end of the season. Why drag the Jaguars further into the mire and in doing so become a despised and reviled man?
It would be better for all concerned if you were to go of your own volition.
Jacksonville is crying out for a team it can be proud of. The plain fact of the matter is that you are unable to deliver it. So stand aside and let someone take charge who can.