Jaguars vs. Bills: Why Jacksonville Fans Should Still Be Rooting for Wins

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistNovember 30, 2012

Henne is fighting for a job.
Henne is fighting for a job.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Remember "Suck for Luck!"?

Yeah, there have been no calls to "Barf for Barkley!" in Jacksonville.

As the 2-9 Jacksonville Jaguars prepare to take on the 4-7 Buffalo Bills, fans in both cities are faced with the question that always confronts losing teams late in the year.

Should we keep rooting for the home team or hope it loses to get a better draft pick?

From a strictly utilitarian perspective, rooting for losses makes sense.

There's just one big problem.

We don't watch sports to be utilitarian.

Sports are supposed to be about fun, competition, joy, camaraderie and civic identity. Utilitarian isn't in the vocabulary of the sports fan.

Obviously, the fact that there doesn't appear to be any franchise savior in this draft helps fans stay focused on the task at hand, but even if there were, rooting for failure makes your soul sick.

Jaguars fans have a chance to watch what their team could have been had they not been saddled with the ridiculously bad play of Blaine Gabbert all year. Now they can rightly evaluate Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts and even head coach Mike Mularkey.

It's understandable that some fans are so sickened by the tenure of general manager Gene Smith that they want the team to lose to ensure he doesn't stay in charge. I'm sure Lions felt the same way about Matt Millen all those years ago.

Football is about happy Sundays, fun Mondays at work talking about the game in the break room and a brighter week to follow. Football is about pride and having a great time.

Nothing makes that happen quite as much as winning.

There's no telling what the future will hold for any draft pick, and with no Elway, Manning or a Luck waiting in the wings, Jags fans (and Bills fans for that matter) should sit back and hope for a win.

Fans should feel no guilt in rooting for the best draft scenario possible in as much as it involves other teams, but when it comes to your team, don't tempt fate.

Jacksonville has a winnable road game against a similarly down-and-out opponent. The players and coaches are fighting for their jobs, their pride and their professional reputation. No matter how many times they may have let the fans down this year, there's nothing wrong with supporting them this or any week.

The draft will take care of itself.

Oh and what about "K'oed for Te'o"?


Yeah, it'll take care of itself.