AFC South Title: The White Whale of the Jacksonville Jaguars
By Luke Sims
I don’t know how many of you were made to read Moby Dick when you were in high school, but that book is long. Odds are you probably didn’t and instead turned to every teenager’s bestfriend, Sparknotes. Well, in case you really missed out on every aspect of the entire book, there’s some really great arm wrestling, a lot of dull notes about seafaring, and one really elusive white whale. No matter how hard Captain Ahab tried to catch the white whale, it always slipped from his grasp.
He could come as close as he wanted, but he just couldn’t conquer the beast.
There were too many obstacles. Too many trials. The white whale slowly embodies the hatred, anger, and frustration that Captain Ahab projects onto him.
Let that not happen to the Jags with the AFC South Title!
Despite the continued dominance of the Indianapolis Colts since Peyton Manning arrived and the sudden appearance of Houston as a viable playoff team, the AFC South champion is all but settled for the coming years. Tennessee has a strong roster coming on, the Colts are rebuilding much faster than it appears, and the Jags have developed a championship level defense that makes them competitive most every week.
Almost every year during the Jack Del Rio era, the AFC South title was the goal. Del Rio said we would win it numerous times. It was the standard to hold the team to. Did the Jags win the title? No? Then it wasn’t a successful season.
The Jags are the only team from the AFC South to not win the title. The only team, despite numerous superb seasons to not claim the championship. It isn’t because the team hasn’t had chances (remember the horrendous end to the 2010 season?), it has been due to a constant frustration that builds up. The city of Jacksonville is due a title. The anger is mounting.
The AFC South rivalries are becoming more frantic each year. No longer can the Texans be bullied, the Colts are vulnerable but there’s that Manning dynasty that lingers in the air, and the Titans refuse to fade quietly into the night.
But this year could change it all. If the Texans win, analysts will start claiming they are the king of the hill. If the Titans return to form and take it, it’ll be because of brilliant coaching and skilled personnel management with potential to hold on. If the Colts win, it’ll be the rapid return to dynasty status and the front office will be applauded for their rapid turn around.
But what if the Jags finally capture the AFC South crown? Hopefully, this is where the similarities to Moby Dick end. Captain Ahab, his ship, and his crew (save for Ishmael) were all cast into the watery depths of the ocean to die. And Moby Dick, mortally wounded swam off. The Jags need to not cast the frustration of continually falling to the AFC South opponents on themselves this season.
It’s a new era in Jacksonville. An era of success. It’s time to show it.
– Luke N. Sims