On-field success key to Jags' long-term viability

It appeared in the local newspaper about two weeks ago, seemingly as an afterthought. A Jacksonville Jaguars spokesman acknowledged that the team had dismissed a pair of mid-level executives, one in marketing and the other in ticket sales, because of the poor economic climate affecting many businesses in the area.

In the case of most businesses, particularly in a slumping economy with a roller coaster stock market buffeted by a retreating housing market and credit concerns, the move probably would have been ignored. But to those who question the long-term viability of the Jacksonville franchise in one of the NFL's smallest markets, it was a bit of a red flag, a seemingly innocuous event that some felt actually might be bigger than the agate type that announced it.