SBD/Issue 15/Sports Media

First Time, Long Time With WJXL-AM's Frank Frangie

Frangie Is Not A Fan Of
NFL's Blackout Policy
Sunday's game against the Titans will be the second regular-season home contest for the Jaguars, and it also will mark the second in a potentially season-long streak of local TV blackouts. Add to this Jaguars Owner Wayne Weaver's interest in possibly playing some future games in Orlando, and questions abound regarding the team's future in Jacksonville. Staff writer Preston Bounds posed some of these questions to WJXL-AM's Frank Frangie, who hosts "The Frank Frangie Show with Rick Ballou" weekdays from 4:00-7:00pm ET.

Q: Home games are likely to be blacked out on local TV for the entire regular season. Who do your listeners blame for that?

Frangie: Number one, the team isn't very good. When we got the franchise in the mid-90s and the team in two years went to an AFC Championship, there was never a thought of a blackout. They've no longer created the feeling that it's a big deal to go to these games. Then there's the economy. There has not been a lot of corporate growth in our city, and you get sellouts with corporate growth.

Q: Has there been a public outcry in Jacksonville for the NFL to change its blackout policy?

Frangie: I think it's horrible. It denies too many fans league-wide who badly want to follow their team and can't. But I don't sense that fans are complaining about the policy. They're complaining that the team isn't better.

Q: How did your listeners react to Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton pleading with fans to buy tickets?

Frangie: It was perceived with a bit of a yawn. I think from an approval rating standpoint, somebody told him, "You better position yourself so it looks like you're trying to help the Jaguars." But I don't think that will move the meter one bit.

Q: Do listeners view Wayne Weaver's recent comments about Orlando being a possible "second home" as an indication that the team will relocate there?

Frangie: I don't think people took it that way. Look, they're selling out zero of the 10 games now, so one day, there may be nine games. There's always going to be concern that the team would leave. Jacksonville's always a team that gets mentioned ... for L.A. If there's a template in place for this, it's Buffalo. That's the business model that Wayne Weaver probably cited. But nobody is jumping off bridges yet. To be honest with you, I thought that would concern people more than it did.

Q: How do listeners feel about reports that the team may draft Florida QB Tim Tebow? Would that be a marketing move or a football move?

Frangie: That's all the buzz here. There are "Draft Tebow" bumper stickers. There is now If the Jaguars draft him, they will sell out every game. Stores will not be able to keep No. 15 Jaguars Jerseys in stock. It will be a great marketing move, and at least for the short term, will end all their ticket-selling woes. If they are drafting him just for marketing reasons, and it turns out that he is not a great pro QB, then it's a horrible error. But if they do draft him, there will be a party in this city the likes of which you haven't seen since they announced the team was coming in November '93.

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