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The NFL Schedule is out and most of us have already circled at least one game we’re definitely going to. For those of us who don’t live in Jacksonville, the annual pilgrimage to Everbank Field is usually reserved for that hated division rival or primetime game.
But what about making the away game trip?
When the schedule was released a lot of fans pointed out the fact that the Jaguars are on the road a lot to kick off the season. Four of the first six will be away from Duval, and unless you want to wait until weeks three or five of the regular season to see the Jaguars, then I say join them! Depending on where you live, this could be a more cost-effective solution to seeing the Jaguars live. Plus, with all the garbage floating out there about our fan base, making an appearance in another team’s stadium is a way of sending a message to the rest of the NFL: that Jaguar fans are passionate.
Personally, I’m looking at making the trip home twice, and then attending at least one game at an opponent’s house.
There are two games on the schedule early on that I really like for a good old fashion road trip, Nashville and San Diego. Last november, the Jaguars fan base had a huge presence in the Music City for their first win of the 2013 season. The Titans may be lame, but the city of Nashville is not. Downtown is crammed with good places to eat and there’s live music somewhere every night of the week. It’s also a great road trip for anyone stuck in the middle of the country. Personally there’s no greater satisfaction than watching the Titans fall on their own home turf. Divisional games are always heated.
The same can be said about San Diego, except the whole beach thing. If you’ve never been to the west coast, and you can afford it, this would be the game to go to. The last time the Jaguars played in Southern California, a large crew of Jags fans make the cross-country trip, and I expect it to happen again this year. San Diego has everything you want, whether you’re bringing the family or a group of friends.
Honorable Mention: Chicago in the pre-season. Any excuse to enjoy Chicago during the summer or early fall is a good excuse. Plus it’s week three of the pre-season, which means the starters will play longer.
If you’re really looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, then plan to jump the pond to the UK for the NFL International Series. This one is going to hurt the bank, but it’s worth it. London really goes all out for these games. Most of the tourist hot spots are centrally located, and public transit is very easy to navigate. As much as I hate the relocation non-sense, London is a great opportunity for the city of Jacksonville, and when we travel there, it only solidifies that.
I know you’re reading the schedule and thinking, what about Philly? Have fun with that one. I don’t like projectiles being thrown my way.
As always, travel with a group of friends or bring the family and make a weekend out of it. Who want’s to work on monday anyway? If you’re trying to bring a large group, a good way to get organized is through twitter or Facebook Events. Remember, the larger the group, the better hotel rates you’ll get. In each stadium there’s always a section or two where they try to “group” visiting fans. Call the team’s ticketing center direct and see what’s available.
Finally, try not to be the drunk idiot who spends all that time and effort to go to a game, just to get kicked out or in a fight.
Which games on the schedule have you circled?
Which out-of-town games do you want to go to?