Jaguars' Fans: Us Against the World

I am going to pledge my allegiance to the Jaguars; my team. The team I grew up with. The team I’ve grown fond of because it reminds me of my childhood. I don’t have any association with the city of Jacksonville, nor have I ever been there or have any relatives there. Yet, as an almost lifelong fan, I am very concerned with the situation that’s going on in Jacksonville.

Why did I become a fan of theirs? Call it stupid, call it anything, I don’t care, but I chose them when I was in second grade because I didn’t want to be like everyone else at school and become a Rams fan. But that’s not the only reason.

The Jaguars weren’t supposed to have an NFL franchise. They didn’t deserve one. That’s another reason why I chose them: they were not only an underdog team, but an underdog franchise. I kind of felt like an underdog myself. I was shy and thought of myself as an underdog too. Now you can see why this team means something to me.

For those of you who aren’t aware of it, the Jaguars have trouble selling tickets. It’s not a new problem. Since the early 2000’s the stadium has gradually become less and less filled. Tarps were put over 9,703 Jacksonville Municipal Stadium seats, according to Wikipedia, before the 2005 season. That still hasn’t been enough to help prevent blackouts.

Last year was their worst season yet selling tickets. Only one of the home games was not blacked out. It’s taken an organization led by former first ever pick by the Jaguars, former left tackle Tony Boselli, to try to get people in the Jacksonville area to buy tickets. That organization is Team Teal. They have rallied the communities nearby together in an effort to save the franchise. There are a variety of reasons that people down there haven’t bought tickets: the team isn’t great, the weather (it’s too hot), the cost of tickets/taking the family, the economy…every excuse in the book.

A simple solution to the problem you say? They should’ve drafted Tim Tebow? Well, I’m sorry, but Gator fans would not buy tickets in droves like many people in the media have suggested or “proved” with jersey sales of his in Denver. They would use excuses too. The Jags wouldn’t use him right, it’s Del Rio’s fault he’s not playing well, Jones-Drew is getting the ball more than Tim and that’s why he’s not doing like we thought he would. These are not proven to be what Gator fans might say, but it’s just as justifiable as saying he would’ve sold tickets if he was drafted by the Jags. Yea, sure the Broncos at Jaguars game on opening weekend will sell out, but that’s just one game. In no way does that mean fans of his would have dropped the money on season tickets just to see him. They’d say, “We want to see him play if we’re going to buy.” Just another excuse they could use.

Don’t get me wrong. Tim Tebow is a model citizen, has a tremendous work ethic, and athletic ability and I’ve said this in my draft coverage this past spring. I admire Tebow. If the Jags had drafted him, I would’ve supported it, but this “putting the player on a pedestal” has got to stop. He’s going to work his butt off? Yea, so do a lot of other NFL players! (Herm Edwards) “Hello?!”

I’m not rooting against him, but Tebow was not the solution in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have done everything in their power to sell the tickets: frozen the price of them, the 30/30 plan (which allows fans to lock in tickets at the 2010 rate for the next three years while spreading interest-free payments for 30 games over 30 consecutive months. The plan doesn’t require a deposit.), marketed the tickets, added a coupon book with over $2500 dollars in savings with purchase of season tickets (essentially all of the deals basically say buy one get one free). Hell, even WR Mike Sims-Walker BUYS food and movies for fans!

So I just wanted to comment about the writers, bloggers, and people who comment on the stories who are rooting against this team to succeed. There are even people in the Jacksonville area who leave comments on the stories and just make ridiculous reasons as to why they aren’t buying tickets. I’m sure there are others my age who actually live down there and are growing into adults. Perhaps they’ll provide the fan base since they grew up with the Jaguars too.

Maybe the city just doesn’t want an NFL team. Maybe people are choosing to only root for the Gators and not the Jaguars. Well, the potential effect of losing an NFL franchise from their city might be showing these people just how important the Jaguars are.

It truly is Jaguars fans against the world.

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