Yup, this is the big week.
Tom Coughlin, the man who built the Jaguars (and destroyed their cap) returns for the first time. Sadly, we get him on Monday Night Football, so we get crappy celeb appearances and awful commentary.
What's Tom mean to me? My first encounter with the name was in 1994, my folks had bought season tickets (actually, three years of season tickets) in the excitement of getting a football team in Jacksonville.
Tom led the team through it's expansion season to some unlikely playoff victories in Denver and Buffalo. I was too naive in those days to recognize salary cap problems, poor drafting, and hostile micro-management.
When Tom left it was just as my passion for following football was moving beyond a casual obsession and into a more academic approach. I watched the team free fall and admired what Jack and Shack Harris did to bring it back.
Now I'm in a quandary. I have the old coach who helped build the team and ultimately hurt it returning to town and the current coach who's disillusioned myself from his accomplishments in what's becoming a possible lost season.
It's a dichotomy of emotions.
There's no need for Tom to receive anything other than respect from the fans this week. I don't want any of that New England crap where you boo players/coaches after they leave. Tom's place in Jaguar history needs to be respected, we are the most successful expansion team in NFL history. Look at what the Browns and Texans have done since their establishment. We could be in our 11th year without being in the playoffs, instead we've gone 5 times.
Am I struggling to understand this team? Absolutely. Do I still bleed Teal and Black? Absolutely.
Worst of all, I was supposed to be at that game, but do to some academic pressures, I'll be unable to attend.