Jaguars Wind Sprints: All Apologies


What else should I be? All apologies

What else could I say? Everyone is gay

What else could I write? I don’t have the right

What else should I be? All apologies

– Kurt Cobain

You know that feeling just after a hurricane. The destruction is in full view but the air feels different. Every inhale is clean and pure. There is no weight on your skin as you stand amidst the crisp realm of being. This is what all Jacksonville Jaguars fans are presently consumed by. With today’s dismissal of GM Gene Smith, who by all accounts is a good person, means the long standing reign of terror is over.

 

While the devastation Gene left behind cannot be held to the standard of the Girondins and Jacobins, one could argue that his failure to field a competitive team has left a fan base mired in the agonizing debate over Tim Tebow. It would not be fair to call this a bullet item for which the Jaguars community is divided, rather it is something keeps that vocal minority alive by giving them a need for a savior. And when you are suffering you will grasp at anything which presents itself as means of alleviating suffering, even if said hope is more of a mirage.

So, with the metaphorical pull of a virtual trigger the fun begins. Who to draft? Should we find a replacement for Blaine Gabbert? Will Mike Mularkey remain and who will be the new GM? What do we do with Darryl Smith, Terrance Knighton and Derek Cox? Ready your arrogance and load up your dictionary of insults. There is so much offseason to contend with you do not want to tire yourself out. But check that emergency first-aid bag for your “I’m sorry” because at some point you will find the passion has gotten to you and upon reflection it will be all you have to salvage your dignity.

I wonder what everyone involved with the 2-14 Jaguars are thinking when it comes to explaining what happened. I like what Terrance Knighton tweeted:

Thanks to all the fans regardless of record for sticking through it.

While not a direct apology there is a hidden mea culpa which itself is an indirect “I’m sorry”. I know this team has apologized repeatedly all season and we, the fans, have deserved it. Make whatever argument you want: financial, entertainment, time…they all are sufficient and if we cannot get wins then at the very least let’s get an acknowledgement you have failed us. There is no one person who should own the collective sincere abbitte. Put a video on Jaguars.com with each player and coach looking directly into the recorder. Start with the new guys and end with the most tenured, because that would be Gene and since the buck stops with the GM so should the final admission of failure.

If you have been on Twitter during any Jaguars game this year you know how cathartic the community has been. From disappointment to anger to comedic acceptance, the thousands of us stood shoulder to shoulder, bitching and cheering at the same time. Though tasteless and unfilling, with no chances for redemption through victories, all that we are left with is apologies.

I even have some. Jump.

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Jaguars Wind Sprints: We Need a Rating System


Please don’t bring the Jaguars to London!!

 

At the start of the 4th quarter Rich Gannon and Marv Albert surveyed the Jacksonville sky, noting the ominous clouds enveloping the city. It was my clue to get outside and finish the yard. Yes it was such a horrible game that the lawn garnered my interest midway through the 1st quarter.

I did not stutter.

My fatal flaw was getting suckered by the game during a bathroom break. Sitting down with my son, watching a few minutes of the 3rd quarter was enough to push me to find my happy place. At least my wife and daughter had left because I surely did not want them subjected to this production. They are good, much better than I, and the Jaguars/Bengals game might have ripped at the fabric of their souls. My son, a freshman at UNF, is at a point in his life where I must trust him to make his own decisions.

He started watching a recorded episode of The Simpsons before the clock went to zeros.

With 12 games left maybe Shad and the boys could help out the fan base by putting a rating system on the remaining games. That way we can determine who we should take to which games or invite to our Jaguars game day parties. Let’s face it, what happened yesterday was down right pornographic. Now I get that porn is the business of pleasure but not everyone enjoys it and surely the only folks getting a thrill from Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati defense were their fans or those who take pleasure in the demise of the Big Cats.

While no authority of rating anything from an entertainment standpoint here are my suggestions:

G

Thu, Nov 8 vs Indianapolis

This might be a stretch but if any game is suited for children it will be this one, if only because MJD will be able to run all day long. Kids love MJD. If we’re being honest, he is somewhat like a Disney character.

PG

Sun, Dec 16 @ Miami

Miami doesn’t have much hope either. Take the family and/or friends down south for an early Christmas road trip. This is one of those games where you say, “and I thought we were bad”. No promises that the Dolphin fans will be “PG”.

PG-13

Sun, Nov 25 vs Tennessee

Sun, Dec 30 @ Tennessee

Sun, Dec 2 @ Buffalo

Don’t watch the Titans games with me because you may want to change the grade to an “R”. Maybe, just maybe, by the time Thanksgiving rolls around these three will give us something to be thankful for.

R

Sun, Oct 7 vs Chicago

Sun, Oct 28 @ Green Bay

Sun, Nov 4 vs Detroit

Sun, Dec 23 vs New England

Rated for violence. Packers, Lions and Patriots will carpet bomb this defense. Oh the casualties. What is the over/under on Chicago defensive and special teams touchdowns?

NC-17

Sun, Oct 21 @ Oakland

First off, it is a West Coast trip. That in and of itself means offensive. Play it in the Black Hole and you have an adult only experience.

X

Sun, Dec 9 vs New York Jets

Sun, Nov 18 @ Houston

You may feel that Tim Tebow coming to town might mean a more holy experience. You’d be wrong. It doesn’t matter if Tim gets into the game or not, the warring sides of that debate will make EverBank look like a scene from “Caligula”. The Texans game will be nothing short of a snuff film.

You’re welcome.

My shoes are on and I need to run!

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Jaguars Wind Sprints: Managing Expectations


This past weekend found me in South Bend, IN for the annual battle between the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame. Apart from my father being born and raised in Detroit I have no allegiance to either team but do have a cheering interest in the Wolverines. My friend Billy, however, is a passionate Fighting Irish fan and traveled with grave concerns that this trip would mirror the failure of last year’s which saw his team fall to Southern Cal.

Expectations can be hard to manage and unlike Billy I boarded the plane not caring who won but also not expecting anything from the campus. Students, alumni and aesthetics were a completely empty box that was left at home. This would be something pure and clean. No preconceived standard based on television coverage or the experiences of others. What would be gained? The prestige of this storied institution surely must preclude any limited idea of what I might believe it should be.

Thankfully it worked out for the best. By far the best collegiate experience of my life as everything that was observed was untainted by my assigned standards. I could go into further detail but that is for another time.

When I caught myself being embarrassingly negative during the Colts/Jaguars game my mind drifted back to South Bend. How had I lost my balance? Post game there was an internal apocalyptic struggle regarding what to write. Once again the Jaguars managed to drag fans across the emotional landscape in the last minute more than the previous fifty-nine.

Then it hit me: the problem stemmed solely from not getting what I wanted. I had set the wrong expectations. It was easy to enjoy Notre Dame winning because the goal was only to be there. In fact the best experience was observing others celebrate. But with “my” Jaguars there was almost a demand that they perform to a level “I” set for them. A level that, in hindsight, was irrational and distinctly emotive. There was no way I could possibly enjoy the game based on the standard erected. All this edifice of my own creation served to do was obscure my view of the thing itself.

Based on a variety of game reviews there is a unified sentiment of what is wrong with Jacksonville and that some of the problems are malignant. Yet we must remember the NFL is evaluated on a week to week basis and is predicated on the foundation of familiarity of name and potential of action. It is one thing to get frustrated because there is no cause to set high expectations and it is a completely different position to be in where the expectation itself can only produce frustration. Are you extrapolating the now into a far too unknown future rather than an event much closer in time?

Michigan owned Notre Dame in almost every statistical category, including number of turnovers. I do not recall any Irish fan leaving the stadium bemoaning how they won. We can point out what went wrong but we can not assume it will carry over into the remaining games. An ugly win is still a win.

Now let’s get going.

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Jaguars Wind Sprints: You Earn It


I read a review of Blaine Gabbert prior to the opening game against the Minnesota Vikings. In a nut shell the writer claimed Gabbert would be a bust, thereby closing the casket on the body of hope. My contention was that the writer was basing his evaluation solely on last season and on his direct experience of following the Missouri quarterback through college.

The scope of his analysis is not relevant. He took the position, made it public and thereby was open to criticism from those who might read it. After week one my Twitter feed was silent. However, last night I get a tweet stating “Hey, how was Gabbert today? I know, I know…. We don’t know what we’re talking about… Ha.”

Convenient.

This is a perfect example of what grinds my gears. It is a key element of what strips credibility from any writer or blogger. Do not hide behind internet anonymity when the evidence is against you and then prairie dog someone’s timeline/inbox/message board when the performance favors you. Be man enough to earn your accolades and your rebukes.

So here we sit, just 24 hours past a beating so bad all meat and poultry in my refrigerator was tenderized and my eggs were scrambled. Many of us, myself included, bemoaned the preseason power rankings which placed our beloved Jaguars at or near the number 32. Look, we can make the argument the team is injured but rankings do not care what your reason is for why you are. Take a long hard look at where the teams stand at this point in the season and be honest with yourself. What have the Jaguars earned and be man enough to accept it. The rankings are not personal.

But I have to ask, why are you still looking at power rankings!? To each his own. Let’s sprint!

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A Punter, a Pineapple and a Penguin


As I write this I am humming PIL’s Rise:

I could be wrong. I could be right. I could be wrong. I could be wrong, I could be right, I could be black, I could be white, I could be right, I could be wrong, I could be white, I could be black. Your time has come, your second skin. You climb so high and gain so low. Walk through the valley. The written word is a lie.

A catchy tune that seems to linger no matter how badly you might want to forget it. Mind you it is not as venomous as Rebecca Black’s Friday but it none-the-less has that similar staying power. What distorts both of those songs is the person behind them. John Lydon and the aforementioned Black can be seen as, respectfully, offensive and sympathetic. John for his overall persona and Rebecca for how the powers handled her. Neither are absolute claims, just a possible perspective.

Jacksonville finds itself with a character who too can be seen as those two adjectives. And you know full well the fans, media and opponents will remind all those who can hear or read of just where he falls. As soon as the pick was made you could hear millions of minds working to come up with the most entertaining or abusive comment. Others tried their best to frame the pick in the best of possible lights. That in turn further fueled the critics.

It was a wildfire. Or a plague. Or direct meteor hit.

I for one decided to “drink the kool-aid” as soon as I heard of the pick. It is far too easy to criticize. The challenge would be in trying to understand what Gene Smith was thinking. Thanks to the many who felt the need to insult those trying to paint the best possible picture it made me even more committed to this task. Because nothing recharges the batteries more than a pompous ass who holds onto absolute claims. As I was told years ago, if you are not sympathetic to the counter argument do not bother getting into the debate.

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Tebow 2012: A Jacksonville Jaguars Timeline


Welcome home, son!

I posted this over at BigCatCountry. If you are a Jaguars fan, or just a NFL fan in general, there are some very good writers over there. Additionally they are very timely in reporting information they get from sources as well as through social media.

My purpose was to address the animosity I was hearing on sports talk radio. The Tebow Divide is great and often the animosity is frightening. The warring parties should laugh more and this was my attempt at an armistice.

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Considering Peyton Manning’s Release


The guys over at Big Cat Country were nice enough to take my Fan Post about #18 and put it on their front page. You can read it here. In light of all the talk over the bounty system the New Orleans Saints employed and all the bad it highlighted within the sports and the fan base, taking stock of all the good that is Peyton Manning serves as a much needed topic. While I am a Jaguars fan I am a football fan first and Manning never failed to grab my attention. He managed the offense like a seasoned general at war. Not seeing him play live once a year is something I will dearly miss. Everyone seems to be in agreement that whomever he ends up playing for can utilize his abilities so that we are not left watching a horrific shadow of his old self.