OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Jaguars Mid-Season Review

Jaguars Mid-Season Review

The teal and the black. The mighty roar. Jacksonville’s only significant sports team, the Jaguars. Growing up in Duval county I have seen Mark Brunnell, Fred Taylor, and Jimmy Smith jerseys my entire life being paraded across the streets of Jacksonville, especially before each new season. Some would call it a remembrance of the “good ole days” when the Jaguars were at least somewhat relevant. Unfortunately for the last decade I have witnessed firsthand what I like the to call the “Jaguars’ Preseason H’s “. Haters, hype and hope. Now this phenomenon of events takes place every year right around late July and into the early part of August as the NFL training camp and preseason starts to roll around. This may not solely be the reason for alcoholism in Jacksonville but this certainly MUST account for a good percentage. Let me explain, come walk with me.

First up, Haters. This group would probably most define me over the last decade. We are the ever so growing group of United States citizens that were born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and make it a priority to in NO way shape or form claim these cats at all. Loyal fans would call us “haters”. I like to call us realists. We don't fall for the two other H’s. We know better than that and theres nothing funnier than seeing a Blake Bortles frisbee toss into quadruple coverage on 3rd a 1 on a Sunday evening.

Second up, Hype. This group reminds me of the guys you see at the club having the time of their lives dancing by themselves. Not knowing or caring that their Southpole ensemble should be a misdemeanor, but just having a great time because they are out with everybody else and their HYPE about it. This group usually starts to poke its head up around draft time. They are widely known for truly believing that if the Jaguars drafted a star college player he must certainly become a star NFL player starting in week 1. This is the group that looked me in my own eyes on twitter and told me this August to watch out for the Jaguars because they will easily be a top five offense with Bortles, Hurns, and Robinson. *whispers* This is based off performances from that trio the previous year that resulted in a 5-11 season. *rolls eyes*

Lastly, and most sadly, hope. How do you tell your side chick that “yes ma'am indeed you are the side chick and you knew this, why are you crying now?” How can she justify her elongated salty tears? Because she had HOPE. This is the group of rational Jaguar fans who have been loyal just as the hype ones have but understand reality. They don’t make claims of preparing to have a top 5 offense but they do expect some sort of respectability and perhaps a slight sign of a wildcard team. They believe to have shown promise and been heading in the right direction during 2015-2016 and they have hope that it has to at least get a little better the following year, hopefully.

So here we are now. Mid season is upon us. Another year, which group was right? The Haters, The Hype or the Hope? In the words of white women everywhere, “WELP!” The Jacksonville kittens are currently 2-6, yes as in SIX losses. The head coach good ole Gus is now 14-42. The franchise quarterback is leading the league in multiple interception games. The $46 million tight end is ranked 28th among his position and at one point this team was down 35 to ZERO to Phillip Rivers and his trio of random receivers on national television. Yet Jaguars fans wonder why the only primetime game they can get is on a Thursday night against the Titans?, who they also just lost to. What can I say, maybe next year. Maybe with a new coach who can maximize all the defensive playmakers that I see on the roster. Maybe with a somewhat steady offensive line. And maybe with a quarterback who may or may not be doing what landed Adam Sandler in jail in the Longest Yard movie, the Jaguars can become relevant. Maybe they turn it around during the second half of the season. Or maybe not. Shalom.

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