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Just for a minute, don’t think about the fact that the Jaguars got sledge-hammered 34-3 by the 49ers in their own house yesterday. The more concerning fact is before that puke-inducing game even kicked off, Everbank Stadium didn’t seem like it was the Jaguars’ house at all.
The paid attendance was 69,271 but it looked and felt like at least 40% of the people in the building were 49ers fans. It was kind of like a college bowl game where they sell equal amounts of tickets to each school. It was a sea of red on the east side of the stadium.
So, where were the Jacksonville fans yesterday? Good question. It seems like a LOT of them must have sold their tickets on the secondary market to San Francisco fans, and made a nice profit. Nothing wrong with capitalism. But why are such a HUGE number of Jaguars’ fans completely bailing on this team? The exact same thing happened in Week 2, for the Chiefs game. Same color and everything.
Back when the Jaguars were terrible for all those years, it was easy to explain away the lack of support from the local fan base. If the team sucks, why should we even bother going to the games? OK. Fair enough.
But the Jaguars entered that game yesterday at 6-2, having won five consecutive games. If this city won’t support the team when it’s on a five-game heater, then when the hell will they support the team? Another good question.
It’s hard to win in the NFL. Home field advantage is supposed to mean that your fans create a lot of noise for the opposing offense, thus making it more difficult for them to operate and execute their game plan effectively. It can also fire-up the home team and let them know their city is behind them, and they in-turn hopefully play better. Duh… right? Well, the Jaguars’ fans never got this memo, it seems. Or, they just don’t give a shit. Hard to tell which one it is.
And this isn’t meant to sound "apologist" for the players and the coaching staff, who apparently followed the lead of their fan base and didn’t even bother to show up on Sunday. But, at some point you have to collectively decide – are you an NFL city, or are you not? Right now, it seems like not. And it seems like Jacksonville is just a college football town, and that’s all it may ever be. Go Gators.
Why is it that a mediocre college team 80 miles southwest of here enjoys MUCH more loyal and passionate fan support at their home games than a pretty good NFL team does right here in our own actual city? A city of nearly one million people.
And why did that city schedule its agricultural fair to take place at the same time and locale as a home game for their NFL team, turning the entire downtown area into a giant, snarled mess of hopelessly gridlocked traffic, the likes of which few have ever seen, outside of one of those apocalypse movies where the earth gets hit with a humongous asteroid or attacked by aliens?
And why does Tank Bigsby refuse to catch any pass thrown to him ever, and instead just let the ball bounce off his hooves, and into the waiting arms of a defender?
And why do the Jaguars’ players and coaches continually talk about the importance of better ball security, but still continue to fumble the damn thing as though it has the texture of a watermelon seed?
And why do our two best defensive backs (Campbell and Cisco) allow Brock Purdy to throw incredibly late, across his body, into the middle of the end zone, with nothing on it, and still not see the ball coming or manage to knock it away, on the 49ers opening drive?
Why? Why? Why?
No answers here. Just more questions. Painful, aggravating questions…