Regrettably, I drank the kool-aid…

Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE

I did not always have the time to do my own research, but last year proved to me that I need to make the time...

I grew up in Jacksonville. I remember the first logo. While I wasn’t fully taught the intricacies of football by my extremely hard working single-mother, I was always a teal-glasses-wearing Jaguars fan. I remember 1996. I was sitting with my older brother behind the goal post when the Atlanta Falcons kicker Morton Anderson shanked the short field goal and the Jags won for the first playoff berth. I remember rooting for the Jags to beat the Pats and hoping that The Packers would fall to the Panthers so our first Super Bowl could be called "The Expansion in the Mansion." While in the military, I was kicked out of a bar in Upstate New York when the Giants fell to my beloved Jags (26-10) because I was proudly sporting my Fred Taylor jersey. Stationed in San Diego, I was at the game where it seemed there were at least as many Jags fans as Chargers fans.

Last season was my first full season back in Jacksonville after the military. It was the first time that I was allotted with the time to follow the free agency, the draft, training camp, and preseason. I have to admit it; I believed what I was told about our roster. I also must solemnly admit that I may have even defended our highly-mocked third round selection last year. I went as far as to wager a shamefully significant amount that the Jags would end up with a better regular season record than the then Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. It didn't take me long before I was heavily spiking my teal cool-aid. I don’t even recall the end of the Texans game at Everbank (I had a lot of Jell-O that afternoon).

With all of this being said, I feel that after hitting rock bottom with the opinion of my team, I have now matured enough as a football fan that I no longer immediately believe what I’m being told by a front office. I take the time to do some research on draft picks and free-agent pick-ups, and I truly believe in the moves we have made this off-season. I think this year we will open a few eyes. We are going to continue to (finally) build through the draft. We have some real leaders on this team, and I cannot wait to see what the next few years have in store for our amazing fan-base.

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