The Shad Kahn Inspirations

October 12, 2012

Football, Soccer, User Submissions

Being someone who loves coming across new discoveries whether it’s on the internet, television, or hidden somewhere in the IBooks store (I almost went with library, but then I realized no one under 16 would understand that reference), I tend to overreact when that discovery is really good.

Take, for instance, the Bane soundboard.  I may or may not have spent 8-10 hours in the confinements of my own home practicing that voice.  Or imagine my shock and unprecedented excitement when I stumbled on a vintage Wang ZhiZhi jersey.  Don’t look at me like that, it’s vintage!!  And don’t think for one second that I didn’t send a counter offer quicker than Paul Ryan consuming water (that was clearly a completely unbiased and fun political joke, yet I know tomorrow morning I’ll have atleast one dirty email in my inbox.)

Having said that, I might’ve been a couple weeks late to the party, but I still thoroughly enjoyed my latest discovery, the PSY Parody (compliments of 97.9 Jacksonville), as much as the next guy.  It’s not for the reasons you’re thinking of, though.

To be honest, I actually don’t appreciate another shitty parody clogging the web.  However, scroll to 2:50 and 3:30 of that video (even if it’s only a paragraph up, here’s the link again.  I know my readers too well.)  Notice anything, or anyone, for that matter?  That’s right.  Shad Kahn, the owner of the Jaguars and reigning champ of the NFL Owners Mustache Pyramid (barely edging out Zygi Wilf), doesn’t fail to make his presence known.  Whether it’s across the pond, or in a slightly above average attention-grabber, apparently Kahn is all-in.  And you know what?  I’m sold.

Fans tend to gravitate towards athletes that show love for the city they play in.  I mean, come on, who doesn’t enjoy seeing their favorite player cheer on another franchise within the area.  Those are usually the ones that get it.  Think Dirk tweeting positive notes to Romo while also attending FC Dallas and Rangers games, Durant taking part in community activities, and, to a lesser extent, Alex Smith wearing a Giants hat to all his pressers.  Basically, if a player can do it, an owner should be able to, too.  (And before you spout off, let me stop you right there.  There’s a tremendous difference between proper PR and this.  Plus, Khan actually hired a GM.  That’s the main point here, right?)

But, fortunately, Khan isn’t in the news because of his kick-ass dance moves.  The Jags just inked a deal to play one home game at Wembley for four consecutive seasons, beginning in 2013 with the 49ers.  And though most fans would immediately vomit at the thought of this matchup, think about it for a second.  In the end, does it really matter who the Jags play?  What Kahn is doing is giving fans in the UK a team of their own.  They don’t care that MJD attempted a holdout with two years remaining in his contract (another great move by Kahn to stand pat, by the way), or, even more frightening, Gabbert is the QB.  What matters is that they can finally claim an American football team as their own.  They even arrived in flocks wearing Jacksonville jerseys at the official announcement in London on Thursday.

Let’s put it this way.  Imagine if, for whatever reason, the EPL decided to allow one team from the States in to represent America as a whole (which would completely nix the whole meaning of “English Premiere League”, but roll with me for a second.)  We could even gather representatives from each state to vote on which city will represent our country (and as the creator of this idea, I have no choice but to appoint myself and a committee of my choosing to ultimately handpick the finalists, though your suggestions will definitely be taken into consideration.  Come on, like anyone would be against an idea that forces the public to vote on scenarios like “Who Represents Cleveland: Brandon Weeden or Lebron James?” and “Kansas City: Matt Cassel or Bruce Chen?”  Actually, can we make this happen just so I can see who wins the Philadelphia ticket between Vick, Boucher, and the entire Phillies offense?)  Delaying the inevitable, let’s go ahead and assume that New York or LA wins the bid.  Wouldn’t any and every American be totally on board with this team?  And, to take it a step further, Howard, Donovan, and Dempsey would automatically be placed on our roster, making the New York Empires (that’s right, I’ve already imaginarily named our imaginary team) an immediate impact.  Then again, I guess we’d also be forced to start Adu.  My excited half-boner has suddenly disappeared.

Getting back on track, this electricity is precisely what fans in and around London are currently experiencing.  They’re graciously being handed a team, and in return, being asked for loyalty.  It’s a genius plan that’s teetering as fail-proof.  In fact, Kahn is already trying to up the ante and nab two to three home games at Wembley per season, beginning in 2018.  Sure, it might be too early for that type of movement, but even so, I support his commitment.

Which leads me to my next idea.

Though I’ve been tinkering the blueprint for awhile, something has caught my eye.  Ever heard of the UFL?  It’s ok, no one has.  However, it exists, and it’s currently ongoing as we speak (just don’t tell the UFL homepage that.)

For what was, two years ago, looked at as possible competition for the NFL, the United Football League slowly sank back into the depths of reality, realizing it would probably never reach that peak.  Nevertheless, this loss of confidence didn’t kill the league.  If anything, it gave itself motivation to use this new form of football as another tool.  A development tool, if you will.

For instance, check out the Las Vegas Locos roster, and don’t you dare come back saying none of those names ring a bell.  Add that to the other notable players throughout the league, and suddenly you have an idea coming to fruition (as long as we move past the fact that the Virginia Destroyers don’t even have a homepage.  They literally use Facebook as their team site. I can’t make this shit up.)  I think it goes without saying that the UFL clearly wasn’t built to withstand competition from the CFL or XFL, let alone the NFL.  But why can’t we make it useful?

The UFL is currently made up of four teams that play each other twice a season.  If you’ve already lost track, that’s eight games a year for each team, resulting in a championship game during Week 9 (not that it’s hard to explain, but here’s how the actual schedule boils down.)  Clearly, it’s hard to develop someone when you’re only on the field for nine weeks.

UFL players currently take home $3,500 at the end of the week, resulting in an accumulation of $28,000 per season.  In case you didn’t know the difference, practice squad players in the NFL make $5,700 (minimum) every week over the course of a 17 week season, resulting in $96,900 per year.  NFL franchises, however, are only allowed to have eight eligible players on their practice squads, resulting in only 32 lucky individuals that get to continue their professional careers after the preseason.  So, to keep it simplistic, what if we combined them?

The figures will have to be worked out later.  As for right now, give me one reason why we can’t throw those 32 individuals in with the four current UFL squads, extend their season ten weeks (creating a 18 week schedule with two byes), and give them a lengthened rest period between Week 18 and the championship game (which I’m dubbing the United Bowl) that would result in consecutive off weeks occurring during the Divisional and Conference rounds, which, in turn, sets up the final game to be played during Pro Bowl weekend (instantly boosting ratings.)

Not only that, but we give each respective division sharing rights to a particular squad (ex: the AFC and NFC South share Las Vegas, the AFC and NFC East share Sacramento, etc.)  With some type of amnesty rule in place, we could guarantee any player we “relegated” (we’re sticking with the EPL theme) from the NFL to the UFL the remainder of his season’s salary, yet forego the final years.  Afterwards, a team could call-up any player of their choosing from the UFL roster they share with the other conference, immediately bumping his salary up from UFL wage to the NFL minimum (for instance, I just spent way too much time watching Gerald Cadogan highlights, and now I’m fired up for Dallas to relegate Doug Free.)

Sure, it might just be an idea right now, but with a little effort and support from the right people (remember, T. Boone Pickens and Cuban were originally going to back the UFL), we could pull this thing off.

We could even be like Shad Kahn.
John Daigle maintains his own blog. An Unbiased Column by The Biased Fan, where this blog was originally posted. Check him out.

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