I am a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, win or lose, since 1995
By Kathy Clark
As a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, I have come to understand this has been a trying season on everyone, but my love of the team continues.
I became a Jaguars fan in 1995. I was very excited when the city of Jacksonville was awarded an NFL franchise. It was a great opportunity to get in on the beginning of a franchise and watch it grow.
I attended the University of Florida and fell in love with the pagentry and excitement of SEC football. I am a football fan for life. I am a Gator to this day through good times and bad. My next football team was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I lived in St. Petersburg and followed the woes and growing pains of a new team.
The Bucs had trouble getting off the ground but it was fun to be a small part of a new team. I decided from day one to follow the new Jacksonville team as my favorite AFC team. The Jaguars were never on TV during the early years and I listened to them on the radio each week while grooming my horses. As years have gone by the Jaguars have become my favorite. I live near Jacksonville and love the Black and Teal.
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The Jaguars started with Tom Coughlin as head coach and fans got a team that won four games the first season. Mark Brunell played an exciting brand of football and the first ever draft choice, Tony Boselli was an all pro from day one. The Jaguars made the playoffs from 1996-1999. Fred Taylor, a Florida Gator, joined the team in 1998 and that alone made me a fan for life. (Fred like Leonard Fournette had injuries during his first years as a Jaguar and earned the nickname “Fragile Fred”.
Things went south in 2000 and Coughlin was replaced by Jack Del Rio. I was excited to see him because I liked him as a player. The Jaguars had good years under Del Rio in 2005 and 2007. David Garrard was a solid quarterback and the defense had two stalwarts in Marcus Stroud and John Henderson.
The next head coach for more than one year came in 2013. I was really excited about Gus Bradley because he was highly thought of and I was convinced he would be our Tony Dungy. Sadly he was a disaster as a head coach and was replaced by Doug Marrone in 2017 with the added factor of Coughlin in a management role. After the horrible years of Bradley we were back in the game again.
The radio voices of the Jaguars, Brian Sexton and Frankie Frankie, are particular favorites of mine. They and their color commentators over the years have managed to report the game in a fair way. I have spent many hours listening to them because the Jaguars were rarely on TV for many years.
I love our mascot Jason de Ville and his amazing acrobatics and the incredible way he enters the stadium on game day.
I have seen good times and bad times. I have cheered Maurice Jones Drew and yelled at Blaine Gabbert. I loved Jimmy Smith and felt sorrow for Justin Blackmon. I hope for a Super Bowl appearance. I hope for a franchise quarterback. So maybe those two wishes will happen in 2019. Win or lose I will cheer on the Jaguars.