I may as well get this part out of the way: I was born and raised a Seattle Seahawks fan. I suffered through the Rick Mirer era, the frustrating playoff losses to the Rams, and the Super Bowl XL fiasco I'd rather not rehash now.
Yet, to Jaguars fans, that smacks of #firstworldproblems. With the problems your franchise has faced, I totally understand and by no means do not want to talk down to you.
Because I'm also a Jaguars fan.
I was born in '87 and raised in the Pacific Northwest in the 90's. For baseball fans, that meant the era of Griffey and A-Rod and Randy and Edgar and other awesome dudes who helped build the golden age of Seattle baseball. For football? It was the era of Rick Mirer and Dennis Erickson and a stench of failure that only lifted whenever Cortez Kennedy made a sack. Needless to say, I gravitated towards the M's during my formative years. The Seahawks? They can wait till they're good.
But there was a football team I loved at the time, one that gave me joy, players to love, and a tradition I wanted to be proud of. This team was not from a Rust Belt city, nor was it from a mostly forgotten Wisconsin suburb. It was a team that was new and exciting and, most importantly, good.
It was the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Yes, for most of my formative years, I claimed the Jaguars as my favorite team. Mark Brunell, Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell and Tony Boselli formed one of the greatest offenses of their generation. They were the most exciting team to watch on TV, the most exciting team to follow in the newspaper boxscores (in an age before social media was a thing), and they were the most exciting team to play on NFL 2K (a moment of silence for the greatest football game. Madden killed it in its infancy).
Over time, my local Seahawks would get their shit together, and I would claim them as my team forever, but the Jags always held a special place in my heart. As my childhood icons retired and the team sunk into a pit of mediocrity, I noticed the media sharks smelling blood. The city hosted the Super Bowl in 2005. Some sportswriters didn't like the experience. Ever since then, they've been on a meticulous effort to not only shit on the Jags, but to discredit and marginalize the fans who've supported them throughout the lean years.
You're reading BCC, so I won't go through the gory details, but this past week has been the logical extension of that marginalization. Nobody wants Tim Tebow, so he should go to Jacksonville, because we haven't talked about Jacksonville in years, and the last time we did we were stuck there covering a Super Bowl so fuck Jacksonville, why can't they move already, hey here's an easy narrative to spin...
You get the point.
It shouldn't be this way. Why are you guys forced to go on the defensive, when your fellow state fans in Tampa and Miami face much bigger issues? It's easy, of course--the media made up their mind 4 years ago, and apparently facts, reason and journalistic integrity are too much to ask for in the year 2013.
Jags fans deserve better. Football fans deserve better.
I will be a Seahawk fan until the day I die, but my early experiences with the Jags truly shaped me as a football fan. I refuse to stand by and let a false narrative slander the fanbase of a team I had so much love for.
You are not alone, Jags fans. We may love different teams, but we love football first and foremost. We will always stand up for what's right.
We will always Stand United.