JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars fans are angry, exasperated and hurting at the current state of the franchise and owner Shad Khan -- so much so that some are planning on wearing clown attire to Sunday’s season finale against the Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
A number of fans have also changed their Twitter avatar to a clown with a mustache in another dig at Khan, who has a black handlebar mustache, and his apparent decision to retain general manager Trent Baalke. The group even came up with the hashtag #FireBaalk, and it trended on Twitter for a while last week.
Interim head coach Darrell Bevell and quarterback Trevor Lawrence may not be completely familiar with the movement, but they do understand and sympathize with the fans’ frustrations because they’re frustrated at the 2-14 record, too.
“I guess I’ll start by saying I understand how the fans that have been Jacksonville fans for a long time [feel],” Lawrence said. “I’m sure that hasn’t been easy. [There’s] a lot of diehard fans that this is, I wouldn’t say everything for them, but this is something that’s very important to them, and they’ve been a fan since the Jags started. You see that passion, and you definitely respect that.
“As players, I know the feeling. We want to do everything we can to win for this city, for these fans and obviously we haven’t had much success this year. That’s frustrating for us as well, so I understand from a fan’s perspective. Would I [wear clown attire] personally? No, I wouldn’t do that. But fans feel how they feel, and it’s hard. Like I said, this year’s been disappointing for all of us. We wanted to win a lot more games, so I get the frustration. But for us, we’re just focusing on going and finishing with a win this season.”
The fans’ frustration and anger is not just about Khan’s decision (per an NFL Network report) to retain Baalke, who helped build the roster that went 3-29 the past two season. It’s also about nine seasons of 10 or more losses in the decade that Khan has owned the franchise.
It’s also about the Urban Meyer fiasco, hiring four head coaches since he purchased the team in November 2011, failing to completely clean house when hiring Doug Marrone in 2017 and Meyer in 2021 and playing one home game annually in London.
It’s also about this season's team being on pace to have the lowest per-game scoring output in franchise history, a 20-game losing streak (the second longest in NFL history) that ran from Week 2 in 2020 to Week 6 in 2021 and being a laughingstock.
That’s why some fans will be sporting some combination of a red nose, clown mask, over-sized shoes and wig Sunday. They’re calling it a #KhlownOut.
“I mean I don’t know what they’re talking about very much, but I do understand the frustration that they have,” Bevell said. “There’s a level of frustration here within the building. The players are frustrated, we’re frustrated with what’s going on and we want it to be better as well.”