Some people are fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This 2015 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
Your team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Your 2014 record: 3-13. Good enough for third place! You’re moving up in the world, Duval. Combined record over the past four years: 14-50.
Your coach: Gus Bradley. As I’ve said before, you’re not getting anywhere with a dude named Gus. How many presidents have been named Gus? I rest my case. Gus is your bookie. You don’t let him run a professional sports team. When will this organization finally embrace destiny and hire the goddamn Wolfman?
This man belongs in charge of every North Florida business concern.
Your quarterback: Blake Bortles, who is clearly NOT 23 years old. Look at this photo. Jesus. He looks like Mark Brunell RIGHT NOW. The Jaguars drafted the Second Coming of Brandon Weeden and they haven’t even realized it yet. Five years from now, Blake Bortles will be on TV selling term life insurance to seniors. He’s old as balls.
By the way, if you’ve like to ascribe Bortles’ abysmal 2014 stats (worst QBR and QB rating in football) to woeful pass protection (sacked 55 times), please note that Bortles is also terrible playing in a vacuum:
Consequently, Bortles had a (-6.8) grade under pressure, 5th worst among quarterbacks, and he had a (-30.4) grade with no pressure, the worst grade by a comfortable margin.
Oh, goody. LOOK OUT, BLAKE! THAT STIFF WIND IS COMING FOR YOU. The Jaguars should probably avoid all “Bla-“ quarterbacks from now on. “With the first pick overall, the Jacksonville Jaguars select BLAHBLAH BLAHBLAHBLAH, from BLAHSTON COLLEGE.” Cover your eyes in 2017 when they draft Blaze Blangerman.
What’s new that sucks: Well, they got Dante Fowler, who IMMEDIATELY tore up his knee after getting drafted. It’s almost like his knee sensed that it was now part of the Jacksonville organization and blew itself up accordingly. The Jaguars, by the way, gave Fowler a fully guaranteed contract after the injury, which is both generous and kinda stupid. Belichick would have thrown him in a dumpster.
We also found out this summer that Tony Khan (pictured here demanding bottle service) [UPDATE: Wrong photo. God damn it.], the team’s Senior Vice President, Football Technology and Analytics, is a fluoride truther. Here is the damning proof:
No wonder half the fanbase is missing all their teeth. That’s your head of analytics, gang. I wonder how the son of the owner got THAT job! Join us a month from now when the entire Jaguars team dies of measles. I can picture Khan running into the team war room with a scribbled chart and screaming, “I JUST FOUND OUT THAT FORWARD PASSES CAUSE TUMORS!” Real team of the future shit. I assume the pool at Everbank has been treated with non-fluoridated water, to preserve all the precious bodily fluids contained therein.
Speaking of the future, the Jaguars will have the dubious honor of playing the first live streaming game this season. Yes, the NFL has deemed their game against Buffalo (in London) so to be so utterly disposable as to be given away for free on the internet, outside the purview of TV broadcast rights. On Yahoo, no less. They aren’t even putting that shit on a GOOD website. I hear that Lycos is making a strong play for all local Jaguars preseason broadcasts.
That is the current state of the Jaguars right now. Bereft of a talented roster or sentient fans, they exist mainly to serve as the NFL’s lab rat. We’ll put them in London! We’ll put them on the Internet! We’ll make them the first helmet-less team! We’ll inject them with liquid uranium! We’ll replace all their players with cyborg apes! If there is a shitty idea to be had, rest assured that Roger Goodell will run it through the Jacksonville test kitchen first to keep all the other, useful franchises safe from harm. The Jaguars are NOT FDA-approved.
On the field, the team added tight end Julius Thomas. Hey, I wonder if his production might slip without Peyton Manning throwing him the ball? ONE CAN ONLY GUESS. They may as well give him Marcedes Lewis’ jersey and keep the “Lewis” name stitched on it, because you won’t know the damn difference. The team also claimed RB Bernard Pierce off of waivers, because this is Jacksonville, and Jacksonville mandates that all skill position players have a DUI arrest on their record. You’re not a true Jag without one.
What has always sucked: Do we really have to go through this again? This franchise needs to DIE. I am perpetually waiting for the day when the NFL says to the general public, “Okay, we know this whole Jacksonville thing was good for a laugh. For real though, we’re putting them in Tokyo now.” The Jaguars cannot be saved until they’ve been destroyed. They couldn’t even find a proper skyline to put on the fucking team’s draft hats this year. That’s the Miami skyline. That is just the saddest thing. I give up.
This is what happens when you put an expansion team in a stadium built to host ONE college football game per year, in a town located in the armpit of our worst state … a town most notable for terrible bands, racist sandwiches, aggressive political gerrymandering, and naming a school after the founder of KKK. Jacksonville is where you go when you have given up on life and feel like wading into a public pool wearing your sweatshirt. So get in that brawl over a free t-shirt. Savor the municipal stench of paper mills and Maxwell House coffee. What difference does it make, man? You’re in Jacksonville and you’re gonna die. No wonder the Jaguars made this their rallying cry:
Let’s get out there and NOT get fisted, guys.
What might not suck: Well, the mascot isn’t afraid to go there with the Ebola jokes. Also, Pierce and rookie TJ Yeldon can’t be any worse than Toby Gerhart was last season. I say that knowing full well that Alabama running backs are the Oregon quarterbacks of running backs.
Hear it from Jags fans!
Our quarterback is JUST NOW learning how to throw, which is good ‘cause I’ve seen hibachi chefs more accurate than he was last season.
Jags fans are the absolute worst. Some of them honestly believe that they are the best fans in the NFL because they formed a local support group (I’m taking about you, Bold City Brigade!), where you can sign up and get a free hat, t-shirt, or bumper sticker AND have the chance to tailgate in a shitty dirt lot with some fat locals and chug fireball while cussing out the fans of opposing teams. Sign me up!!! And guess what else? These tailgates include the right to talk to other fat pathetic fans who will tell you that it’s still a rebuilding year so don’t expect too much winning, you just gotta “trust the process” of the new(ish) head coach and GM. And fuck YOU and your patience if you’re not willing to sit through every home game and cheer for a team that can’t score more than 2 touchdowns per game. You’re just not a true fan like these guys. I’m not sure whether this is unique to this market, I couldn’t give a shit about breaking down the previous week’s defensive scheme while I’m trying to get loose before the game. These clowns live for that stuff. Fuck that.
The inferiority complex of Jags fans is mind-boggling. I can understand frustration over the constant rumors from a couple years ago about the team moving to LA or London, but the new owner had pretty much shut all that noise down with his renovations to the stadium last year and plans for a new practice facility (this team still has training camp in a goddamn parking lot next to the stadium). But holy shit, let any 12 year old with a Twitter account make a relocation joke about the Jags (or any joke about the team for that matter) and Jags fans spring into action in defense of their precious franchise. Within minutes, they’ll have anyone talking shit about the Jags reported to Twitter because god forbid anyone makes fun of a team that’s won a combined 14 games over the past 4 years. I’m talking about dudes in their 20’s and 30’s acting like fucking babies because of anonymous twitter trolls. It’s so fucking pathetic. The local bloggers are the absolute worst when it comes to this. One of them, I shit you not, actually admitted to searching Twitter to find people clowning the Jags. He would then proceed to retweet the joke and let his super cool followers berate the person who originally tweeted it. Classy! What’s worse than a Jags relocation joke you might ask? Definitely a Tebow joke, but oh man, don’t even try to sling an attendance joke at these dudes! You’ll be promptly reminded that the Jaguars are currently 27th in attendance, in front of 5 whole teams, so THERE! Gotcha bitch! These people are the worst.
I was part of an event last year where local Duval County students were given the opportunity to see the Jaguars host the Miami Dolphins last year. Half of the students picked at our school to attend had other obligations, and the other half taunted stunned Dolphins fans after the Jags lost by two touchdowns. You can not pay me to attend a pro football game now.
The best thing about the Jaguars the last 15 years has been the mascot, Jaxson de Ville... and he just retired. Yes, our biggest offseason loss was our mascot.
This is the team that took Blaine Gabbert one pick ahead of JJ Watt. Oh and the most-talented receiver we’ve had in a decade (Justin Blackmon) has zero desire to seek his reinstatement to the league.
We traded up two straight years to acquire both those picks.
Bortles is on his 2nd offense in as many years. They did that to Gabbert, too.
When I tell people I’m a Jags fan, they kind of cringe their face in an apologetic way, as if I told them I have stage 2 lung cancer. Understand I currently live in Michigan, so that means Lions fans feel sorry for me for rooting for the Jags.
I’m from (and still live in) southern California; a place where every single person who hears I’m a Jags-fan responds with a resounding: “Why?”
I start out telling them about how when I was in high school, I saw MJD and Marcedes Lewis play against each other at the Los Angeles California Angels of Anaheim of Disneyland Stadium for the CIF championship. I pour over rushing and receiving stats of two greats of the game, talking up the archetypal battle of discipline vs. talent, nurture vs. nature. I make sure to frame the dynamic between how a small, all-male academy of military-grade work ethic (De La Salle) perfectly juxtaposed an inner-city melting pot that annually churns out NFL-caliber superstars (Long Beach Poly). I talk about their family lives and personal struggles growing up in rough neighborhoods which lead them to find something special in football, and eventually, themselves. I talk about how that game instilled hope in me and helped me realize that football is truly the greatest athletic sport on earth.
This goes on until I see a familiar look in my audience’s face when I realize that I’ve been talking about high school football for fifteen minutes and Snoop Dogg for another five and I have no fucking idea why I still follow this team.
PS - When I read about Fowler’s injury, I calmly and subtly nodded in agreement with the universe and whispered, “That’s right.” What is dead may never die.
I went to Gillette Stadium for the Jags-Pats playoff game back in ‘07 (ah, the glory days...) and the guy next to me sees me walking into the row at the start of the game, gets that “you just told me your dad died” look in his eyes and says, “Wow. I’m real sorry”. Before a fucking playoff game! Seriously, just dump a beer on my head like a normal fucking person.
Also, the most passionate our fanbase got about anything this entire offseason was when the guy who plays the fucking mascot decided to retire.
Being a fan of the Jaguars means always having to explain yourself, even when they are your geographical home team. It doesn’t matter that the team had an awesome run in their first few years, including one of the greatest upsets of all time against the Broncos, or that we ended Dan Marino’s career the same way the Lannisters ended Ned Stark’s- we are a joke going on eight years. There is a lot to be excited about right now, but nobody else believes it because LOL OUR OLD GM TOOK A PUNTER ONCE.
Fuck the ‘99 Titans, JJ Watt, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, and Blaine Gabbert. DUUUUUVAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL
Don’t worry, they won’t be moving across the pond anytime soon, but that’s more likely due to London wanting nothing to do with this pathetic franchise that makes putting points on the board look more difficult than open heart surgery.
I’d be worried about other fans seeing this post and using their vast internet power to whine and complain, but I’m sure they’ve already reported the why the Jaguars suck post as spam due to the fanbases wild case of small man’s disease. Their blogs are notorious for searching the team name on game day, insulting any bit of negative info about them, and then blocking that person immediately. Seriously, this fanbase claims they embrace being small, but in reality they embrace pretending nobody knows anything about them.
There is more camo gear at a Jaguars game than there is in Iraq. Everbank Stadium is a redneck military base.
No one signs with the Jags to actually win football games. And if you look up at the mostly-empty stadium to see the few fans chilling in the pool watching the RedZone channel, why would you feel differently?
The fans love their college teams, but hate people who graduated from college.
How is it that the Jags are always the first team eliminated from playoff contention, but they never have the first overall draft pick?
The Jaguars own possibly the worst draft ever in 2008. Because we were “one pass rusher away from a Super Bowl”, we traded away the 26th pick, two third rounders and a 4th to move up and take Derrick Harvey from Florida 8th overall. He had no more than 4 sacks in the two seasons he played before he was benched. We have been in rebuild mode ever since this draft. Just for a little extra kick in the teeth, the Ravens were able to use the picks we gave them to acquire their franchise QB, who has actually won a Super Bowl.
Fast forward to the 2015 draft and we are still searching for a pass rusher so logically, we go after another Florida Gator and take Dante Fowler. He goes down in the first rookie mini camp and is lost for the season.
Being a Jaguars fan is like living with herpes; you don’t want anyone to know about it and you hate yourself everyday for contracting it.
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It’s simple. Just email me and give me ample evidence of why your team sucks: personal anecdotes, encounters with fans, etc. I’ll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit. Submissions will be cut off at some point. Next team up: Oakland Raiders. Photos via Getty.