The Mirage


[Editor Note: Arthur Hardie was a favorite writer of our at Big Cat County. We invited him to write for B&T and he came through wonderfully. Rarely does a post reach the hights of artistry, but Arthur achieves that here. In his premise, the days leading up to the draft are hopes and dreams. Later, on the field of battle we will determine if our dreams come true. Give a listen]

Quoting Arabic comes with baggage these days in the United States. But, when poignant, let’s shrug off such international squabbles.

A mirage has offered its solace to my heart,

Leading me on with a promise to end my drought.”

– excerpt from Dark Mirage, by Badawi al-Jabal (1907-81)

Determined desert travelers press onwards, united in pursuit of a new horizon. And with the shifting sands of a stormy desert, the horizon changes, and so does the pursuit. Leaving one to wonder, when will we actually reach water?

But no! Water is not what we want. This is football. We are fans; Jaguar fans. On our horizon we seek playoffs, playoff wins and a bowl not made for liquid, but for champions…the Super Bowl. Yet, measurable truths of man-on-man confrontation gasp for air beneath the quicksand of offseason adjustments, blockbuster trades, free agent gambles and the gypsy-like mystique of the draft. For each and every team in this chimeric league seeks a new horizon. Defense may lead to safety now, but so many caravans before pointed towards wide receiver.

Why did it come so close to me, this mirage,

Bringing its tantalizing presence near.”

Thirst kills a man within 72 hours. But fans are thirsty now. Will the Jaguars draft Tebow? Has Kampman relaxed the need to draft a defensive end in the first round? Might Eric Berry float down to our pick? Oh, the thirst. The desire for action. Aha! There it is. We’ve found our horizon. And that is, action.

You have made my heart oblivious to the world.

Only the phantoms of our love are true.”

Desire for quench leads many a seasoned fan astray during the offseason. You seek action. But you get, a mirage. Because when the day is done, football is played on the field. Whether you select Joe Montana with the 82nd pick or R Jay Soward with the 29th, the only option that remains is to press on and see what lies ahead. Together we search for the horizon, for the playoffs, for the Super Bowl. Yet all we do is wander aimlessly on the sand, because the game is played on grass. And what happens there is no mirage.

Arthur Hardie

[Terry’s take: We have been burned before in our hopes but sometimes our quench for action is satisfied as in Maurice Jones Drew. Who will come? When will our next hero emerge? Is he waiting for his name to be called? Gene has shown a keen eye for talent. It is right to be excited when Gene goes into action, but we must wait for the proof. We must wait for the season to begin. Right now, let hope spring eternal. The draft is almost upon us and soon the season. Soon our new heros will emerge. Stay tuned! Thank you Arthur!]