The year was 1997. I was on my way to being 5 years old yet I can remember it clear as any memory I have. I'm outside throwing passes with my favorite cousin (who is and always has been a 49er fan) as the sun is setting on this South Texas sky. Just before his last pass to me, he asks "Who is your favorite football team?". The question came as a surprise. See, living in Texas (Home of Friday Night Lights) you are raised to love 3 things: God, Family, and Football in that order. Was too young to understand the God thing and family was a given. But football just came naturally like the love for chocolate. I couldn't get enough of it, even at a young age (the football and chocolate both ha) but I had not once realized that I not only needed to eat, breathe, sleep, dream, and crap football, but I also had to be a die hard fan for a certain team. I had no clue who I was supposed to like or what I was supposed to pick. My whole family except my cousin are die hard Dallas Cowboy fans for obvious reasons. They grew up in the glory days of America's Team and I, even at a young age, wanted a team that I could experience that with. I chose the Jacksonville Jaguars. Why? I have no idea. To this day, I have only met 1 Jaguar fan from the state of Texas. Just one. But how quickly I fell in love with them. Brunell, Boselli, Taylor, Smith, Stewart, Brackens, Darius, McCardell, ha I still remember rooting for these guys. I remember how happy I was when we signed Hugh Douglas or Jerry Porter thinking finally someone that could play was going to play on my team. The years of Leftwich were hard on me. The Cowboys seemed on the rise of sorts and it was overwhelming to be a Jags fan in the middle of Cowboy and now Texan nation. So many memories rushing through my head right now. The Garrard sneak in Pitt to win the only playoff game I can fully remember by not being too young, the MJD/Taylor duo just dominating the Colts, and every year thinking to myself "This is the year we are going to turn it around". But every year, I had to watch players I grew up watching who I knew were going to have success in this league get passed up by the Jags for players I never had a good feeling about. I know it's entirley Gene Smith's fault and Caldwell and Co. have nothing but a bright future ahead but I can't anymore. I feel like the one love I have stayed faithful and true to, the one thing I have never given up on no matter how many years of top 10 draft picks i've had to endure, cheated on me. I felt like I was cheated on tonight. I have only had one girlfriend in my life (neither bothered to put a girl before football till college) and have not been cheated on but I think this is how it feels. I wrote articles explaining how Bortles is all size and smiles. I endlessly addressed how good Manziel can be. I've seen him live, I have followed him from high school till now and finally it seemed the team I loved so damn much was going to finally draft the player I have coveted most in my history of wanting a prospect. I wanted Crabtree and Watt really bad. Still hurts alot. I even wanted Tebow because of how desperate I have been to see this team to succeed some how some way in this damn decade. Now I just don't see it. The plan may seem bullet proof but Im too hurt to keep fighting for this team. I loved this team from Florida, a place I have never been to for 17 years but it's over today. Im not letting this team hurt me anymore. If Bortles succeeds and the Jags win a super bowl i'll give a little smile and a nod of my head saying "you may have hurt me but you sure made alot of others happy" but this will never be my team anymore. Ive never had to try and move on from a love or a significant other, but if others can do it then I can fall in love with the Cleveland Browns eventually. The years were so good JAX. They were awesome. I wouldn't give these memories up for nothing except one thing: Johnny
Jaguar....Words can't express the hurt. Goodluck to yall in Duvaaaall. I wish you the damn best and hope Bortles takes yall to the top and beyond. I want nothing but happiness and success for a franchise and city that freakin deserve it. But I can't anymore. Maybe one day i'll stop by for a little "hows everything going", but for now Goodnight JAX. Stay classy. Real tears from a real fan no matter how you look at it. Football is the most important thing in my life, just like my Jags were. But no more. God Bless..