Effective last week, I’m a Jags fan for life. And I hate to brag but I feel I’ve done a pretty commendable job of not seeking too much attention about it. All I am is a guy on the internet trusting the process and letting this relationship blossom organically…
Anyway. Saturday night was the consummation of this new fan-hood, and let me tell you something: it did NOT disappoint. I feel I’d be doing a disservice to my two WordPress followers if I didn’t provide a follow-up to my last post, where I publicly declared my allegiance with the Jags. So here goes nothing.
First off, I did not go to the stadium on Saturday – couldn’t afford it. I BLEW ALL MY MONEY ON A SWEET MAURICE JONES-DREW JERSEY LAST WEEK!!!
Instead, we hosted about 72 children and 10 adults at our place. Kids tend to love our house for two reasons: (1) we have unlimited fruit snacks, and (2), there’s basically no rules. Our house is a place where the answer to “can I have a snack?” is either “yes” or “what would you like?” Ya see, my wife is actually nice. And as a result, Capri Sun, sodas and apple juice flow such that you’d think we live in a frat house for elementary schoolers.
But Saturday, even the adults were excited. We had everything an early Millennial would expect at an event like this: wings, chili, Jell-O shots, Michelob Ultra and copious amounts of Tylenol… all while 50 Cent blared in the kitchen. See, at this exclusive tailgate, we were some poor travel baseball parents ready to Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
I blinked and the Jags were down 7. Not how I drew this one up, but that’s ok…
I blinked again and they were down 10. We’re fine. We’re totally fine.
Then we’re down 17. Still (gulp) fine.
Then down 24. Then down 27. WHAT THE HECK!!!
Outwardly I was saying all the right things:
But deep down inside I have to admit I was concerned. I figured it best to not look at the scoreboard.
Remember my oldest son? The one who was gonna wait to see if he’d become a Jags fan until after he watched this game? Yea well, he’d seen enough – he retreated to the other room to play Fortnite. Then about half of our crowd went home. Then my wife went to bed cuz she was tired. Even some fans at the stadium were heading for the exits. Sheesh we’re dropping like flies around here!
It hurt that so many people just quit on the team. I mean, was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Was it over in The Notebook when Allie moved to New York and Noah wrote her 365 unreturned letters? No chance.
Also, the refs. They weren’t being fair. Note: for those new to football, when your team is losing you have to scream “THAT’S A FLAG!!!” after each play. It’s a rule, and indeed I followed it. But the refs didn’t care. Fortunately I could read their minds and this is exactly what I saw:
Oh, and right about here is where some of you decided to reach out via text.
Some were checking in on me…
Some genuinely felt bad for me:
But the majority were basking in my misery. Like this:
Heck, even my own mom called me out:
So by halftime, here’s where we’re at: score is 27-7, my son’s playing Fortnite, my wife’s in bed, and my mom’s trolling me on the internet. And my so-called friends are loving every second of it.
Well guess what? I never faltered. I kept the faith, like I’d been doing for seven whole DUUUVAL-loving days now. And boy did it pay off…
Second half begins and it’s an entirely different story. I blink and suddenly it’s 30-20. Joey Bosa is throwing a legit temper tantrum on the field. “THAT’S A FLAG!!!” Only now the refs are being less unfair. Meanwhile, my son has creeped back into the living room to watch. Could it be?
As a comeback mounts the Jags are making bold play calls. Going for two? Running to the outside on fourth down and inches? Going for two again? It feels kinda reckless. Look, I’m not gonna say my fan-hood doesn’t come without some skepticism: Coach Doug Peterson is a mad man. But he seems to be getting it right.
Next thing you know we’re at 28-30 with three seconds left and a chance to win the game with a field goal. This was the big moment. Whatever our kicker’s name is, we need him now more than ever. With tension building, it’s time to pray. Please kick this good. Please, God, kick this good…
The kick is up. Oh wait, sike! Timeout.
Ok we’re back. Now the kick is actually up. The kick is veering right. It’s all happening in slow-mo. The kick is….
That’s right, folks. It was good. It was… always good.
After lighting some fireworks in the backyard, we waste no time informing my sleeping wife about this big win. We told her the only way we knew how:
The after-party was hot. We played the same “Duuuvvvaaaal” song on an endless loop like it was Disney’s “It’s A Small World.” Only, the song got better and better as the night went on.
Icing on the cake? My son – formerly a skeptic – is jumping for joy. He’s committed. For him,
it was always it is now the Jaguars. See, this isn’t just a story about professional football, it’s a story about a father and son, and the resilience of the human spirit.
Was Saturday the best night of my life? Hard to say, but possibly. I’ve been a fan of the Jaguars for a whole week now and I feel like this was destiny. Life is so good.
Nobody can deny that the game was an instant classic. It was the kind of game that makes you wonder: is this Heaven? The answer, of course, is “not exactly.” It’s Duval County, Florida. Or as they say down here…