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Pre-hindsight and the Joy of Disappointment


While there are many, many New Year’s Eve events throughout the world, This past year I discovered that running around the streets of New York City for a few days while gloriously experiencing Phish rock Madison Square Garden (thanks Alex) like a classic Willis Reed dunkface is pretty unbeatable.  It makes most other choices seem like an August afternoon spent cleaning your soggy gutters with nothing but your tongue and a set of tweezers.

Among the various goings-on before and after the shows, I managed to work in a few words with a young chap named Scooter, who is a huge N.Y. Giants fan (thank God this was before the Super Bowl or the only funk-bombs going off in MSG would be the ones strapped to my chest).  As often happens over a tall, cool Budweiser, the conversation quickly turned to football.  As I was relating the countless woes of the Jags’ 2011 season, Scooter interjected with, “Well at least you can get tickets.  I haven’t been to a Giants game in four years because I can’t get season tickets and spending $200 for one ticket isn’t easy to do.”  This profound bit of knowledge is something that I don’t think many Jaguars fans, including me, appreciate.  I suppose we were too preoccupied with self-loathing and closely monitoring our vegetables until they turn that perfect amount of rotten to lob at Gene Smith for supposedly ruining a team that, let’s be honest, is in better shape today than it was at the end of 2008.

Jaguars fans have an amazing opportunity in front of them.  We can go to every home game we want, in whatever section

we want, and not have to mortgage our house to afford it.  Sure the ultimate goal is to be a perennial powerhouse with a ten year waiting list for tickets and MoJo highlights replayed on ESPN as he dons his golden jacket in Canton, but let’s enjoy our current situation for what it is.  On the Wednesday before the 2011 home Jags/ Texans game, I bought two tickets in section 117, row 15 for me and Lauren for $35!  One more time: $35!!  Pathetic? Maybe.  But great none the less.

We have access to see the greatest running back in the NFL entering the prime of his career at any and all home games.  We can hurry to grab a frosty Bottoms Up beer (or four) and be back by the next snap (I know I’m not the only one out there that’s poked the magnet at the bottom “just to see”, only to be completely devastated when your lap holds more beer than your belly).  We can go to the games and know we will be surrounded by actual fans of our team, and not a

gaggle of chirping socialites.

Maybe the Jacksonville Jaguars are not the most popular team in the league yet.  That’s fine.  Instead of pouting about it, let’s revel in it!  No longer will we let the talking heads on TV get under our skin about the tarps or empty seats, because we know that our Jags outsell the Chargers, Dolphins, Bucs, Chiefs, Bengals, Bills, Rams, and Vikings, all of which had home blackouts during the 2011 season.

It’s time that Jags fans appreciate what we have, because once the team gets it together and becomes the toast of the town once more, we will all certainly miss carrying our coolers from the $10 parking lots up to a group of empty spaces in Lot J and setting up a Dirty Duval tailgate.

-Lionel Joel