Urban Meyer's Jacksonville Jaguars tenure was a debacle of historic proportions, but the now-fired coach wasn't the sole source of the team's issues.
With the dust settled on Meyer's time in Jacksonville, Jaguars fans are now calling on team owner Shad Khan to also push out general manager Trent Baalke and give the team a clean slate for the future. Their method of choice: clown emoji.
Specifically, clown emoji featuring Khan's trademark mustache, all shared via the hashtag #KhlownOut:
— Kevin Phillips Sr (@KevinPhillipsS1) January 5, 2022
The movement will soon reach the Jaguars' own stadium, as several Jaguars fans are now planning to wear clown costumes to their team's final game of the season against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Given his résumé, it's understandable why Baalke would be a natural target for the fanbase after one season as general manager. Baalke's previous tenure as a GM with the San Francisco 49ers saw a dramatic fall for the team, going from Super Bowl contention at the beginning of his tenure to a 2-14 record in his final season. The woes have only continued with the 2-14 Jaguars, with whom Baalke also worked as director of player personnel in 2020.
Whether or not Khan decides to fire Baalke, Jaguars all-time leading receiver Jimmy Smith said he supports the fans banding together in an interview with a Jacksonville radio station on Tuesday:
"With Trent Baalke, whether he feels the pressure from our passionate fans, I think that’s a blessing. I think that’s a good thing that our fans have pulled together. Our fans have suffered for a long time. I’ve shared that, too. I’ve suffered, too. I feel the same way. I look at it as a blessing that our passionate fans got this avatar. I don’t take it as an insult to Shad Khan. I think it’s a blessing that we have fans as passionate as we do, and we all want to win.
"I think no matter what coach or GM you bring in there, I think the first thing you have to do is restore our culture. And I think that culture has been lost over a period of years."
Among people still employed by Khan and the Jaguars, the sentiment is a little less encouraging, but by no means hostile. Interim head coach Darrell Bevell told reporters on Thursday he "understands" the frustration among the fanbase, while quarterback Trevor Lawrence chalked it up to passion:
''I wouldn't do that, but you know, fans feel how they feel. We wanted to win a lot more games, so I get the frustration. Obviously we haven't had much success this season,'' Lawrence said. ''So that's frustrating for us as well. But it's the Jags and they've been a fan since the Jags started, so you see that passion and we want to do everything we can to go win for the city and for these fans.''
If you want to check out the clown turn-out on Sunday, kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET at TIAA Bank Field.