Times are tough for the Jaguars right now. The team has locked up another double-digit loss season, they've been eliminated from playoff contention, and their crowds at home are starting to dwindle. Fans have had enough, and even some long time loyalists who have spent many a Sunday afternoon at Everbank Field are opting to spend the rest of the season at home.
It’s hard to blame them. They haven't witnessed a winning season in a decade. The head coach being fired is pretty much inevitable at this point. Another top five, or possibly even top three draft pick looms. Jaguars fans are left to dream about the good ole’ days.
Those good ole’ days are exactly why I am encouraging everyone with tickets to attend this Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. For those of you who don't know, Jaguars all-time great Jimmy Smith will FINALLY be inducted in to the Pride of the Jaguars. This is a very well deserved honor, and one that Jimmy has had to wait for too damn long to receive. Anybody who watched ‘A Football Life’ on Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell knows about the personal struggles Jimmy went through, and how being away from the team hurt him. But even more important, they saw how his return to being around the franchise helped him to pull out of all of that, and continue getting his life back on track.
The Jacksonville Jaguars mean something to Jimmy Smith. I mean, his Twitter handle is literally @JimmySmithJags. Jimmy spends most of his time on Twitter discussing the Jags, and how he is constantly wanting them to succeed and do better. Lately, the majority of his tweets have centered around his Pride induction coming on Sunday.
I know it’s hard to head down to the ‘Bank these days. Hell, I would strongly consider giving up my tickets on Sunday and just staying home...if it wasn't for Jimmy. Jimmy Smith is one of the greatest Jaguars of all time, and quite frankly, one of the best NFL receivers of all time. He deserves a good crowd on Sunday, and to not let his enshrinement be spoiled by this current regime. Jimmy gave us some of our best Jaguars memories, and he should get plenty of support. So, if you're on the fence about going on Sunday, or have already decided against it, I don't blame you one bit. But I ask that you reconsider, just for this Sunday, so that we can all give a great player the honor that he has earned.
If you still can't bring yourself to go watch another Jaguars game this year, do what I’m considering doing: show up for halftime, and then leave. But please, if you can, show up somehow for Jimmy.
Lightning deserves some thunder.