How the Jacksonville Jaguars Won My Heart

Patsy RiveraCorrespondent IMay 10, 2009

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JANUARY 31:  :  1: Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew and Kloe Kardashian argue during DIRECTV's 3rd Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl at Progress Energy Park, Home of Al Lang Field on January 31, 2009 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images for DirectTV)

What turned me on to the Jacksonville Jaguars was the sense of pride in your home. My home is Jacksonville, Florida. In 1995, the NFL welcomed a new team to the family, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Residents of Jacksonville swelled with pride when they had a team to call their own. As members of the AFC South, the Jaguars put Jacksonville on the map.

When the NFL discussed adding two new teams to its line-up, we as residents of Jacksonville thought that our chances were grim of getting a team in our area. After all, there were other cities that would appear to be a better choice, plus Florida already had two strong teams. However, Jacksonville prevailed and with that came the Jacksonville Jaguars. News broadcasts highlighted thousands of people buying the first round of season tickets. Jaguar fever had taken over and was spreading like wildfire.

In 1995, the world watched along with proud Jacksonville residents as Tom Coughlin took control and players like Mark Brunell and Tony Boselli commanded the field. With an initial start off of defeats, the Jaguars made us all proud when on October 1, 1995 they beat the Houston Oilers. They followed that up with a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Win or lose, the love for our home team was there and we stood tall and proud. Vehicles flowed through the streets of Jacksonville displaying Jaguar emblems and flags.

Still getting their feet wet and trying to find their way in the NFL, the Jaguars completed the 1996 season with a record of 9-7 and a spot in the playoffs. Since then Jacksonville has seen some ups and downs.

  • 1997: 11-5
  • 1998: 11-5
  • 1999: 14-2
  • 2000: 7-9
  • 2001: 6-10

Sadly in 2002, we watched as Tom Coughlin coached his last game. What Jacksonville residents and the world knew was that it took a lot of money to play the game of football and the money to have talented players on the team just wasn’t there. That’s not to say the team didn’t have talent because they did, but they also needed a line-up that would insure victory.

The Jaguars had their ups and downs and fought to make their presence known. In 2006, the Jaguars seemed to be bouncing back with a 12-4 season. Many thought finally they’d blast through the playoffs, but with numerous players injured, it just didn’t come to pass.

I love the Jaguars because no matter what they keep pushing forward. They have the desire and will to keep going when the world looks on them and says “give up.” I am proud to say my home team is the Jaguars even though they still are trying to find their way in the football world.

Win or lose, you take pride in your team. Fans are die hards to the end. After all, it’s football and there’s nothing better than that. So when you see the teal and gold command the field, look out because Jacksonville is coming through!