Every year the NFL Fan has to suffer through the necessary evil that is the preseason. From full price tickets for half a product to over analysis of an under utilized playbook, our sacrifice for the sport we love seeks but one thing: September. It is August, with its Pavlovian bell ringing tease, which shows only glimpses of the promised land. For 31 days our weakness is exploited, but it is a small price to pay for five months of milk and honey.
But let us refrain, at least for a moment, from our narcissism. There is another reality. When Thursday's game against Atlanta ends you may hear two funeral dirges playing in the distance. One is for the 2010 preseason. The other is for death of the NFL dream.
It is easy to forget, amidst the the monsoon of criticism we shower upon Jaguar and other NFL players, that these are people working to obtain their dream job. Years of summer workouts and off season conditioning will prove fruitless when The Turk walks them down that NFL green mile: It is the same for the rookie or the seasoned veteran. The truth hovers over the locker room like the Grim Reaper. Every player is falling towards the inevitable finality of his career and there is nothing he can do to stop it.
I think we are just insects, we live a bit and then die and that’s the lot.
My apologies. Sometimes the existential angst just overwhelms me and I am suffocated by the absurdity.
So with this in mind I will take my seat in EverBank stadium and applaud names I will not remember as they execute plays which may simply fill time and game tape. Not one foul word will fall from my lips. At the very least they deserve my respect for their commitment and courage to face failure on such a grand scale.
I think somehow you need to get to a certain point in your life where the notion of failure is absurd.
- Jeff Tweedy (Wilco)
Thank you all for entertaining us and good luck as you move away from football. More thoughts after the jump.
- That we could all be Ben Garland. His story goes beyond effort, bordering on dumb luck. A teaser to the story, he loves to fly and he loves football. He is from Colorado and attended the Air Force Academy. If you can't figure out the rest I won't spoil it. As difficult as the decision must be, and the regret that may follow regardless of the choice, to be standing in his shoes must be nothing short of pure joy. I know what direction I'd go. On second thought, I don't.
- If Vic Ketchman is correct about John Matthews being one dimensional I feel sorry for him. Actually, my heart goes out to all those whose body can't match their heart. If we've learned anything this preseason it is that this kid wants to play football. I know roster spots are scarce and the Jaguars have a line at wide receiver but I think Jack must find a place for him.
- From the day he arrived I have loved Ernest Wilford. He is a hard worker and a fan friendly player. But looking at what is best for the team, if it comes down to Wilford and Zach Potter I want Zach. If Marcedes Lewis is having the preseason of his life, then let's free him from being a blocking first tight end and get him up the field.
- I thought Alfie's point\counter point articles on Greg Jones were entertaining but also disclosed a potential strategic shift in the Jaguar offense. Should the team decide Brock Bolen has produced enough to warrant a spot, it may be the case that his playmaking ability is more important than his blocking. That could signal a move from a run first team to a more open offense.
- Loved, loved, loved, loved the one step drop slant pass from David Garrard to Mike Thomas in the Tampa game.
- I think both Tyson Alualu and Gerald McCoy showed they both have the potential for long and successful careers in the NFL. I found myself rewinding the DVR just to see them attack.
- We can have spirited debates about whether David or Luke McCown should start, but we should all be grateful there is a level of confidence in Luke should Garrard go down. With Matt Leinart potentially being a marketable commodity, the ensuing carnage of the "Get Matt" crowd would be nauseating. And I'm absolutely convinced we would have seen it.
- So Nike has released their Pro Combat uniform line. If you haven't seen them check out the link. I like the changes in design for the sake of performance (the Jaguars had similar improvements) but can you save me the fashion aspect and the dumb back story?
- Pro Combat Losers: 1) Miami - Basically took FAMU ugly and reversed the colors. 2) Va Tech - Ugly colors to start the horrid purple helmet stripe and the ridiculous tech looking numbers didn't help. 3) Florida - Scales on the helmet: are you kidding?
- Pro Combat Winners: 1) Ohio St - I cannot stand the Buckeyes but this simply design is fantastic. 2) WVU - Love the focus on black with yellow trim. Looks like a knights uniform. 3) TCU - Call me a hypocrite but the scales work here. Love the red stripe on the helmet and as much as I loathe the back story, the correlation to the toad's eyes getting blood shot before it attacks is cool.
- I hope the reports of Eben Britton's calf impacting his play are accurate. From just a layman's observation it appears that he hasn't been able to establish a firm base and is getting pushed back more often than he is pushing forward.
- Am I alone in thinking that Tony Gilbert should be cut? I understand that he has value on special teams but my confidence level drops a bit when he is at linebacker. For those who like him, tell me what I am missing?
- Wouldn't it have been nice to have seen the first team offense put up at least two touchdowns in one game? I'm sorry David, I do not believe the offense is clicking and I am concerned about putting points on the board. The first four games demand that.
- I'm really starting to like this Joe Fisher guy. Nailed another one with respect to the horrible SI article.
The problem with articles like this is when we (people from Jacksonville) respond, whether it’s to some crap
FlorioLord Voldemort posts, or this guy, is we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t. We respond, we’re thin-skinned fans who believe the press. If we don’t reply, we’re like they said we were- an apathetic fan base who only cares about the college game.
- And don't think it is just Jacksonville. NBC Sports had a "journalist" give a prediction for this weekend's UCLA\Kansas St game. The guy's resume consists of nothing but experience while at Southern Cal. Guess who he picked?
With the limited items of interest from this short week, and due to a hectic schedule, I sadly don't have much more to offer up for consideration. I'll just end with this classic.
Crowded House (Dont Dream Its Over)(1986) (via juanpabloforevery)