By: Eric Serna (@MrEricAlmighty)
I joined into a conversation with fellow Jaguar fans about which would come first: The US hosting a World Cup or London hosting a Super Bowl? It was a great question, one that can only be answered by pure opinion because of how long it inevitably will take to be answered. We may not find the answer to either of these questions in the next decade. So I wanted to put my own twist on the question, directly aimed towards the city of Jacksonville: Which comes first, the Jaguars playing in a Super Bowl or the city hosting its second Super Bowl?
This is a fair question for a team seemingly on the rise in the NFL. With much to prove, the Jaguars have still created buzz around the league for teams to take notice. Within the next three years, it is almost a consensus among fans that the Jaguars will reach the playoffs. As far as winning a Super Bowl? Blake Bortles and his development into an elite quarterback may very well be the deciding factor. But it will not be the only one. We must trust in Gus Bradley and David Caldwell on the promise of bringing Jacksonville to the Super Bowl.
It is hard to predict anyone to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Out of 32 teams, only one can achieve championship status over the rest of the league. The Jaguars closest chance to play in the big game was 1999. The last time we have made the playoffs was 2007. These are not comforting stats, but it is also in the past. Going forward, the veterans need to execute and play with everything they have left. The rookies and younger players will need to gain experience and improve each game to give this team a shot. It is a hard task, but not impossible.
Then we have the idea of hosting another Super Bowl. In this part of the question, the past does have much more affect on the outcome. When we hosted the Super Bowl in 2005, some thought we hosted well considering the circumstances. In the up and down weather known all too well by the local residents, Mother Nature couldn't wait one more week to drop the temperatures down and add rain as the cherry on top. Lack of hotel space (but not cruise ships), awful traffic at every turn and the simple fact that there was nothing to do in this city caused very many negative reviews of our hosting ability.
Fast forward to the present: 2014. The weather is still unpredictable. Traffic is always terrible, especially on game-day. Have we improved on hotel space? Probably not. And what do we do on our free time? I might go to the movies…maybe Latitude 30 with some friends……and that is it. Now it could be that I just don’t know enough interesting things to do in Jacksonville. But it seems to be many people who feel the same as everyone else. Jacksonville is a great place to live but when you strip it down for what it is, then it is just perceived as boring.
So my answer to this question is obviously pointing toward the Jaguars winning a Super Bowl before we ever host another. I don’t write this as an intentional bashing on what has become home to me. I was born in New York and have lived in Jacksonville over the last decade. I love this city. But there is so much to improve, and hopefully one day Jacksonville can live up to its potential. Renovations to the stadium and the possibility of the Jaguars creating a new atmosphere by using the vacant shipyards are a GREAT start. If we continue as a community to push for more improvement and support the new opportunities that come, we could make Jacksonville special. Shad Kahn and the Jaguars can’t do this without us.
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