May 4, 2022
In 1978, Shad Khan took $16,000 of his own money and took out a small business loan for $50,000 and started a company called Bumper Works. Bumper Works specialized in making bumpers for customized pickup trucks. Two years later he Flex-N-Gate which makes many parts that are welded into your car and the many plastic objects used as well. Today, Flex-N-Gate over $4B. No one can question how good Shad Khan has been as a business man and he used some of the money he has earned to buy the Jacksonville Jaguars. But Khan actually tried to buy the then St. Louis Rams but the deal went to minority owner Stan Kroenke, who exercised an option to buy the team himself. A year later, Khan bought the Jags for $770M from Wayne Weaver.
Today, Khan could sell the team for at least $2B and walk away with a nice profit. But owners rarely sell an NFL team, they make them too much money. Khan also owns the Fulham soccer club and is the money behind the successful wrestling company AEW.
But when it comes to running the Jaguars, Khan has not been very good. If Khan has chosen to take the approach of letting his football people make the football decisions that is his right. But the Jags have failed on the field.
In the last twenty seasons the Jags have four winning seasons. FOUR! In 13 of those 20 seasons the team has won six games or less.
Khan has been a committed partner and resident in Jacksonville and has put in money towards upgrading the stadium. But like any owner after a number of years, they want more and they eventually want a new stadium.
Despite the never ending rumors of a move to London, Khan says he remains committed to a huge development project on the river and believes the team will have the premier facility and practice fields and he says he is committed to Jacksonville for years to come.
But Khan told the USA Today he fired Urban Meyer because he lied not because he didn't win:
“When you lose the respect, the trust and an issue of truthfulness, how can you work with someone like that?” Khan told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s not possible.”
The Jags were 2-11 when the team fired Meyer and maybe it was the right decision because Meyer seemed to be overwhelmed and seemed to think his college style would work in the NFL. But it was not working. His incidents with players and his own actions got exposed and Meyer got fired because he became bad for business.
Which leads us back to why Meyer was hired in the first place. Why would Khan choose or be convinced Meyer was the best option.
I did say that Meyer could work but I questioned his ability to learn patience and that he'd have to lose games at a rate he has never gone through in college. He turns out the losing was too much and it made Meyer crumble because he could not control players in the NFL like he did in Gainesville or Columbus and he wasn't winning.
But who did Khan think he was hiring when it came to character? Urban was who he was and the stories of who he was/is is not hidden in a vault anywhere.
In the USA Today story, Khan talks about how he remains friends with Doug Marrone and Gus Bradley. Great. No doubt they are both nice guys but they didn't win either. Marrone had one winning season in his tenure and Gus Bradley never won more than five games. And there was the one season of Mike Mularkey, who went 2-14.
Khan has failed to hire the right coach and many in the NFL question who has run his front office from Tom Coughlin to Trent Baalke.
My guess is if Urban Meyer did everything he did on the field, off the field and in whatever bar he was hanging out and went 9-8 he would still be the Jags coach. But Meyer didn't win and there became no defense for him and in the end it's always about business. Urban Meyer was bad for business and he got bumped...
Final note: On this May 4th and May the Fourth Be With You....Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens remains the highest grossing Star Wars film making just under $1B in theatrical showings.