With the Jaguars resting this week, I began to peruse the games. I couldn't decide what to choose. Should I watch Miss State Alumni RB Vick Ballard get his first start for Indy against the Jets? He transferred from JuCo and really helped my favorite college program develop. Should I watch an Oakland game and see how terrible they really are? Nah, it's Oakland. Should I watch the Rams and Dolphins in a battle of young QB's? While tempting, I decided I will watch the Lions and Eagles- two teams with playoff possibility that may fight over a Wild Card Berth at the end of the year. I also like Mikel LeShoure.
Happy after deciding what game to watch during the dreadful Bye Week, I realized something: there is nothing about the Jacksonville Jaguars that warrants another team's fan to tune in during their own team's bye week.
I suppose I was already aware of this and that most of you are aware, I guess I just never spent much time thinking about that fact. In the same way that I passed over watching the Raiders without a single thought, other fans would pass over the Jaguars' games and later realize they didn't miss anything anyway.
I know-the Jaguars have never been "that sexy team" with a possible leauge MVP at QB and a DE that might win post-season awards. I was always okay with that, because I knew the Jaguars played my kind of football: low-key and under the radar, they played with nothing fancy but they were generally a competitive team, except on the West Coast in recent years.
My friends, the Jaguars are no longer competitive. Right now, the Jaguars are the team that might allow another team to break a personal record....or two. The team is on a low point right now, to say the least.
Even in defeat, the Jaguars managed to break their own personal record, losing 3 straight home games to open the season.....yeah, true story. It's a bad time to be a Jaguars fan, but I relish these times. I will personally brag about these times later when the team is better.
Imagine it: some guy starts liking the team in 3 years or so because they have promise, but mainly because a pundit in a suit mentioned they might be good this season. After hearing him say a few names he overheard Skip Bayless mention amidst Tebow observations, I will turn to him and say, "Hey, do you remember Brian Witherspoon?" eliciting an inner joy as I remember that I stuck it out. "Who's that? Is he like famous or something?" might be the reply.
I'll laugh. He's famous to us--the guys that stuck it out. We remember the useless speed and inability to cover anyone. The year he broke the return record, but only because a lot of points were scored by the opposing teams giving him plenty of opportunities.
I know it's pitiful, but life is about the small victories. Life as a Jaguars fan forces me to search for these small victories and I will take them when I can.
I'm not able to attend any games, but from everything I've read, the home fans have been nothing short of amazing this season, showing up in strong numbers and creating plenty of noise. Congratulations to you, home fans! You make me wish I could attend even more.
I do want to tell you that us displace fans do our part, for example, my sources tell me that BCC Editor Adam Stites watches Jaguars games in public! Yeah, let that sink in for a minute.
I've personally been the only Jaguars fan in a bar, it's not the most joyful way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but I'm not going to do anything else. Adam won't either. Fans love their team, right?
Here's to learning the names of more 'Brian Witherspoons'! It's been a pleasure and will only get more ridiculous for the immediate future.
And now, a retro Vic-ism from June 10th, 2009:
Drew from Jacksonville:
Rob is sort of right. Why should we buy season tickets if we are to be patient?
Vic: This is the ticket-issue mentality that bothers me the most. When I read this kind of question, I really, really worry because you clearly lack the passion that's necessary for the Jaguars to sell you a ticket in good times and in bad, and I think there are a lot of fans like you. Why buy a ticket? Because you want to buy a ticket. Because you can't imagine not buying a ticket. Because going to the football game will be the highlight of your week. Because the eight games you attend every year are the eight best weeks of your life. That's why you buy a ticket. You buy a ticket for all of those emotional reasons because that's what buying a football ticket is, a purchase of the heart. It is an otherwise illogical buy. You leave the stadium with nothing tangible. You leave with nothing in your hands, only a memory you'll run back and forth through your mental scrapbook for a long time and, in some cases, for the rest of your life. If it's not like that for you, and it doesn't sound as though it is, this isn't for you. If the day ever comes that you understand what I've just said, then you'll never have to ask your question again. It's not about the expectation of winning, it's about the eternal hope of winning and the fear that you might miss it if you're not there.
Yeah, that's right and there's plenty of us. Now we just wait for the team to catch up.