Despite a national media frenzy sparked by a rumored fan revolt in Jacksonville, very few fans actually turned up for Monday's rally in support of making Tim Tebow a Jacksonville Jaguar. In fact, several reports have indicated that more members of the media were present than protesting Jaguar fans.
Why did this effort fizzle? Has Tebow fandom finally started to fade, even here on the First Coast?
1. The campaign was poorly organized
Just take a quick look at the website that started all the buzz: Jags-Tebow.com.
It is a sloppy mess, clearly thrown together under a time crunch. The underlying domain name, for example, was registered only six days before the rally was held. Instead of allowing time to gather media exposure and gain followers, the organizers of this effort slapped together a website and hastily announced they were holding a rally.
2. They asked the wrong question
Jacksonville is one of the only places in the country where Tebow's Christian faith and his on-the-field football accomplishments hold at least equal weight in the minds of fans. There are hundreds of thousands of Tim Tebow fans in Jacksonville metro area. He played high school football here. He lead the Florida Gators to the promised land of college football.
The campaign to bring Tebow home has selected the rallying cry "Jaguars-Tebow Why Not?" for their signage. Asking "why not?" is exactly the wrong way to stoke a groundswell. Organizers could have highlighted the fact that Tebow has won more NFL playoff games than the Jaguars have in the past half-decade. They could have focused on the fact that quarterback Blaine Gabbert showed himself to be totally inept prior to sustaining an injury in the team's home opener against Kansas City.
3. And let's talk about bad timing!
Scheduling the event on Monday afternoon at 3:16pm was the final nail in the coffin.
It was a case of organizers being too clever for their own good. The start time was meant to evoke the Bible's John 3:16, a favorite verse of the former Heisman Trophy winner. However, staging the impromptu rally during work hours made it impossible for any of the few fans who actually learned about the event in advance to show up in person.
Tebow fans are passionate about their guy, but most can't afford to quit their jobs because of it.