The Jaguars' Schedule Release Video Reveals Just How Intricately Scripted The NFL Is
You can hear our very own PFT toward the beginning of this long, elaborate, behind-the-scenes documentary of the Jacksonville Jaguars' writers room. Presumably this was all hashed out prior to the WGA strike. You can't tell me the NFL isn't hiring the absolute best script doctors in the country to put forth the most entertaining on-field product possible.
If for some reason you're reading this blog and are out of the loop as to how all this "NFL is scripted" discourse came about, look no further than this viral clip from Macrodosing:
Macro's Arian Foster chimed in, which the Jags appreciated:
Major props to Asher Grodman, who served as the writer, co-director and star of this prolonged sketch. Grodman has been a fan of the Jags since their inception in 1995, or so Wikipedia tells me. He holds an MFA degree like yours truly, but unlike me (I'm working on it, OK?), has put his to more direct use — even creating a short film with legendary actor/founding Actors Studio member Eli Wallach as the star. Pretty dope.
I'm amazed and blown away by just how far the Jags ran with this premise. They facilitated the creation of a whole-ass eight-minute video to commit to that bit. All the players were in on it. Key Jacksonville leadership. The coaching staff. Even owner Shahid Khan revealed that his mustache is, in fact, fake (it's not). Anyway, what a gutsy move to make such a long video and not actually accomplish the objective of revealing your schedule until the very end. The risk paid off, and rivals the Titans and Chargers as the best schedule reveals from around the entire league.
All of these alleged scripted plot points make sense for Jacksonville when you really think about it. The Jags' 2021 season was designed to cater to a schadenfreude-loving audience when they decided to hire Urban Meyer as their head coach. Genius move. Urban didn't disappoint. According to Grodman, Urban actually may have gone off-script when he made the infamous decision to skip the team flight home and grind up on that much-younger lady at his restaurant. Happy accident, that.
…But everything else? Urban kicking the kicker, alienating the locker room, sabotaging Trevor Lawrence's rookie-year development? All part of the grand plan. You put that type of adversity in Lawrence's way, write off an entire season of football, and you set up one of the most can't-miss No. 1 overall picks of all-time to potentially be a bust.
Furthermore, Lawrence may have even had a stunt double for most of his first season as a pro anyway:
Then what did the Jags do? Brought in a Super Bowl-winning coach in Doug Pederson, who made sure to start last season 2-6 just to make people wonder whether or not Lawrence's career would, in essence, be sabotaged before he had the chance to succeed. That writers room in Duval County did an absolute number on the back half of Jacksonville's season, as the team suddenly rattled off wins every which way, climaxing in a rally from 27-0 down to stun the Chargers in the Wild Card Round.
That's how you nail a redemption arc. With almost three decades of suffering and losing under their belts, it appears the NFL's creative executives are finally accepting the Jags' submissions to be an annual AFC contender.
One key takeaway from this glorious piece of content: Doug Pederson is a fucking natural. He rattled off his acting background and how he got his break in the NFL as a player before cruising up the coaching ranks with such an effortless, authentic delivery.
I'm telling you, this man could run away from the coaching grind, rest on the laurels of his Lombardi Trophy, and easily hold his own as an actor. I'm not even joking about this. Dougie P blew me away with his acting chops. If he didn't inherit a franchise QB of Lawrence's caliber, you can't tell me he wouldn't at least consider going to THE THEEEEEEATRE or try his hand in TV or film.
Grodman made special mention of Jags kicking gawd Josh Scobee, who pitched an ambiguous ending a la The Sopranos:
Fun fact: My main acting teacher in my last year of grad school, Susan Aston, coached James Gandolfini throughout that entire, legendary Sopranos run. She's beyond amazing and always emphasized how important it was to carry the "need" through the scene. Look at these Jags players and tell me they aren't absolutely striving to maximize their potential:
At the very end of this masterwork, Trevor Lawrence barges into the writers room and explains that he's pitched his own version of the 2023 season script to Khan. The owner loves it. All the writers are relieved of their duties. The End.
Oh yeah! Sorry Jags fans, if you were looking for your 17-game schedule, here it is (think you can see most of it on the embed):
Please also check out Clem's write-up on the Titans' people-on-the-street approach to schedule revealing, along with KenJac's breakdown of all the Easter eggs from the Chargers' epic anime creation.