Big city, bright lights; Living in Seattle is a completely different experience compared to where I previously lived, Jacksonville, Florida. The temperature is unpredictable and at the same time expected depending on the season. The landscape is very rugged and the elevation changes from one place to another. Lots of tourist attractions, nightlife, events, and Seattle is a melting pot of different cultures and people. It is a city Jacksonville would love to be in the future. I honestly would not move back after living in Seattle. Other than family, there is only one other thing that I love in Jacksonville, and that is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I was born in Manila, Philippines and I lived there for 6 years. Before moving to the US, I was only exposed to the game of basketball and idolized Michael Jordan. But little did I know that I would learn of a sport even better than basketball. I moved to Jacksonville in 1995 after a 6 month stay in San Francisco, CA and my life changed forever. I was introduced to football. Jacksonville was awarded a franchise in 1995, and I instantly became a fan. I'll be honest and say that I did not really understand the game of football back then and hardly watched it on TV but it is embedded in my childhood memories forever
In 1999, I moved to Seattle and I brought my love for the team with me. I walked into my 4th grade class wearing my teal Mark Brunell #8 jersey, and my classmate Eric Ray recognized the jersey. He was the one that told me that Mark Brunell used to play for the UW Huskies and that he also liked the Jacksonville Jaguars (1996-2000 was filled with EARLY Jaguar success). He asked me why I was a Jaguar fan, and I said "because I used to live there!" He replied with "Lucky!"
It's crazy how things have changed. Now when people ask me why I'm a Jaguars fan, and I reply with the same answer, they would reply "Why?! You live in Seattle!! You should be a Seahawks fan!" Many people have tried to change me to become a Seattle Seahawk fan, by openly bashing my team.
They have said things like, "When's the last time the Jaguars have went to the Super Bowl?" I reply with, "They've never been, but when's the last time the Seahawks won the Super Bowl?" They obviously did not have an answer for that since the only Super Bowl appearance the Seahawks have made they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. They also say things like "Where's Jacksonville anyways? Who plays for them? When's the last time they won anything?" Which is pretty funny because the last time the Jaguars played the Seahawks was in 2005 (their Super Bowl year), the Jaguars had an impressive win with a final score of 26-14.
I was at a sports store recently and was looking at a Jacksonville Jaguars T-shirt, when the employee wearing Seahawks gear came up to me and gave me the weirdest look and said "are you kidding me?" The look on his face and the way he said it made it seem like he was expecting a "Yeah, the Jags are horrible. Go Seahawks!" come out of me. It almost made me not want to buy the shirt, however I decided to and asked him how his Seahawks were doing and his tone of voice changed from happy to sad.
Maybe it's because I live in Seattle and they automatically assume that I should be a Seahawks fan since I am a fan of the Mariners, and was a fan of the Sonics before they moved. But I am not one of those people whose loyalty is easily changed. If I believe in something, I will stand by it through thick and thin.
It's possible that their opinion on the Jaguars is because of distance between Florida and Washington. They hardly ever see the Jaguars play, only in highlights on ESPN and articles in the newspaper or magazine. The media also doesn't help with the how people perceive the Jaguars. In the past year stories coming from Jacksonville have been pretty negative. Because of the economy ticket sales have slowed down, rumors of the team being moved and sold to a different owner/city have been going around. The first few weeks of the season were also a disappointment, and looked as if the fans of the Jaguars would be in for another year of disappointment.
However the future is bright and the media has been writing good things about the Jaguars. The "bad image" players have been cut, a new general manager has been appointed. In the past few weeks, the rookies have showed improvement and things are pointing up.
I am now 21 years old, and have been a fan ever since the franchise started. On October 11th 2009, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be heading to Qwest Field for the first time to go against the Seattle Seahawks in the 5th week of the 2009-2010 NFL Season. This will be my first ever NFL football game, and will be the first time I have seen my Jacksonville Jaguars live. I will be attending the game along with a group of friends who are all Seahawk fans. The same people who have tried to convert me into becoming a fan of the lime green and blue. I expect to be ridiculed and be booed. My friends will probably walk away from me that day and pretend to not know me as I proudly wear my teal Jacksonville Jaguars jersey proudly, as they strut their blue Seattle Seahawks jerseys. I probably won't be able to hear myself cheer for my team since the "12th Man" will be in full effect. Win or lose, I'll wear my teal proudly and hopefully everyone will realize what the deal is with the Jaguars and why I represent for them so proudly.
Mr. Wayne Weaver, just wait for the youth to grow. If I lived in Jacksonville I would find a way to be a Season ticket holder. But I'm not so the only way for me to support the team is by subscribing to DirectTV Sunday ticket and watch the game EVERY sunday wishing I was there and whenever they play in Seattle, I WILL BE THERE.
This was an essay I wrote for my class. I have already posted this on the jaguars.com message board, however I felt like posting it on this website my story will be available to more people.