Through what was supposed to be a season of promise for Jacksonville Jaguars fans amid the arrival of quarterback Trevor Lawrence has transformed into another season of hopelessness and concern both on and off the gridiron. The Jaguars currently sit at 2-11, tied for last in the AFC South with the Houston Texans, and have been eliminated from playoff contention with four weeks of football to go. It is the 10th time in 11 years that the team has lost at least 10 games in a single season.
First-year head coach Urban Meyer, who inked a five-year contract with the team in January 2021, was at the center of the team’s disarray. He was fired this week after a tenure filled with more turmoil than one would expect could fit into a span of about ten months.
“After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in an ostensibly pejorative statement. “As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.”
With a surfeit of off-field drama, combined with struggles on the field, Meyer’s firing has been a frequent topic of conversation across sports talk radio stations this week, including on AM 560 Sports WQAM in Miami, Fla. Jonathan Zaslow, host of the eponymous midday program The Zaslow Show, has been giving his guests throughout the week the opportunity to comment on the situation, something they have seemed to be quite eager to do including today’s guest, Ruthie Polinsky, a sports anchor for NBC 6.
“Everyone wants to be asked about Urban Meyer,” said Zaslow. “Everybody wants to be able to [take a shot]. Did you hear how excited Ruthie Polinsky was when I gave her the opportunity? Everybody wants the opportunity to bust on Urban Meyer.”
Zaslow then invited listeners to use WQAM’s text line to send their thoughts and opinions on what turned out to be one of the quickest time spans between a hiring and their subsequent firing in NFL history, although that record is still held by Bill Belichick, who famously resigned as head coach of the New York Jets after just one day on the job to take the same job with the New England Patriots – and, well, the rest is history.
“Take your shot,” Zaslow implored. “You want to give it to Urban Meyer? We’ll read it. It’s your turn out there. Tell everyone what a dirtbag Urban Meyer is. Go ahead – get in on the action.”
Show contributor Dan Day then played a clip of quarterback Trevor Lawrence responding to a question about Meyer’s firing, in which he said that the move brought clarity and direction to the locker room. Be that as it may, Lawrence stopped short of saying that the move has engendered a sense of relief for the team, a comment Zaslow deemed transparent and saw right through as a member of the media.
“Oh, I think you would say relief,” responded Zaslow. “You said relief by saying you wouldn’t say relief. You totally said relief, and I think next time you play that… I think you just got to play the sound of someone cackling; you just got to play a laugh track. That’s the play there.”
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“I think he knew the wrestling role, but I don’t think the other guys did,” Choppy said.