Saturday, August 20, 2011
NFL ACLB PREVIEWS - #25: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
PERTINENT DATA: 8-8 last year; 75 to 1 odds to win Super Bowl XLVI.
BEST CASE SCENARIO (Neil): The Jaguars are a weird team. They might be the most existentially pointless franchise in the league, they have no fans, they seem to only exist in little sparkler sized bursts in the corners of people’s peripheral vision when someone like Maurice Jones-Drew rolls up some huge fantasy numbers, and they could pretty much dissolve into nothingness, be sucked into the hell ground of Jacksonville by a bunch of angry rednecks, fed back to the soil in the vain and insane hopes that their blood will reanimate the corpses of Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines and no one would notice or care. But it seems like they win more than a team like that should. They just drift along, a soulless wreck of a ship, and everyone agrees that they look like shit and the goddamn thing is going to sink but then a bunch of ghost pirates jump out and lynch Peyton Manning and at the end of the year, the Jaguars are 8-8. That’s what happened last year and I don’t see why that couldn’t happen again. I mean, the Jaguars are the Jaguars, perhaps the most quintessentially mediocre team in the league. In any given year they can win 5 games or they can win 11. It really doesn’t matter because in the end no one will remember what happened anyway. Because no one gives a fuck about the Jaguars. So, yeah, the best case scenario is a surprise 10 or 11 win season, a first round exit in the playoffs and the knowledge that none of it means a damn thing because in five years these dudes will all be playing in L.A. and doing blow with studio heads and fucking various Kardashian scented whores and selling Lindsay Lohan’s freckled ass for extra weed money.
WORST CASE SCENARIO (Raven): Yeah, the Jaguars are the most anonymous team in the NFL. Like if you saw them on TV, you'd wait a second if it was a full-field shot to see the other team before you were sure they were an NFL team. That being said, Jack Del Rio was supposed to be the great defensive savior of this team's anonymous philosophy, but that kind of went to the wayside. They were briefly what the Houston Texans are now, meaning a team in the AFC South that could say, "Hey, we might be better than the Titans, and might could challenge the Colts for supremacy in a year." But they didn't. Del Rio had that chopping block in the locker room for the punter to axe himself with, but that type of gimmickry only lasts so long. Surprisingly though, Del Rio has outlasted similar coaching schticks, like Mike Singletary in San Francisco, either because the NFL is actually racist, or because Jacksonville is actually as anonymous as I think, and nobody remembers Del Rio is a coach, unless they see a Jaguars game, and even then they just think he's the dude from Happy Gilmore who eats pieces of shit for breakfast. The Jaguars are a broken team with secondhand parts. Even a guy like Maurice Jones-Drew, who is a chill ass dude and great player, doesn't even realize how shitty a team he's on because it's so anonymous. Plus they are in Florida, with no state taxes on income, and lots of whores. I know usually the southern end of Florida gets the reputation for lawlessness and hookery and nonesuch, but the entire state has a certain whorish lack of concern for laws about it. Parts of the state are more weed-influenced or alcohol-influenced (the panhandle... holy shit man, the redneck types you find there are amazing) rather than the coke-fueled insanity of Miami. So basically what you have is a barely noticed team where people leisurely get high (hence the abundance of criminal issues with Jaguars over the last couple of years, as well as the number of dudes on the team with dreadlocks), and nobody really gives a fuck. It's really perfectly engineered to go to L.A., just slap some purple and gold uniforms on them, and add a QB that people have heard of, and there you have it.
PLAYER TO PULL FOR (Neil): Look, David Garrard was never supposed to be anything other than just some random backup quarterback who would probably end up winning 6 CFL MVP’s playing in Saskatchewan but somehow he found himself starting for the Jaguars and once he did he never gave that shit up. It’s been, what, six years since he stole the job? I think everyone assumed that was some short term shit but here he is, still the big swinging dick in Jacksonville and I think we should applaud that kind of audacious class-jacking. What makes me want to root for him even more is the horrid lackwits of Jacksonville are constantly trying to replace him. Last year, they all cried and mewled for the Tebow child which automatically marks them as shamefully craven soulless wretches. Look, I can imagine Ronnie Van Zandt rooting for David Garrard. I can’t picture him rooting for Tim Tebow. The people of Jacksonville have lost their way. But then they didn’t get their Tebow child and they were stuck with Garrard who just said fuck you, hicks and went out and had maybe the best statistical season of his career. So then what did those fuckers do? They went out and drafted Blaine Gabbert, a dude who sounds like the bad guy in a Karate Kid movie. Blaine. For fuck’s sake. They went out and drafted James Spader to be the face and future of their franchise. No wonder they are a lost cause. But for now, David Garrard is still the quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars and I wouldn’t bet against him. He was supposed to shrivel up and die years ago, but here he is, and I could quote some Skynyrd song here to make this especially poignant, but fuck that, the people of Jacksonville don’t deserve it. They have turned their backs on their warrior spirit roots and they can follow Blaine Gabbert straight to hell. They probably think “Simple Man” is just that one song from that beer commercial & they probably all ironically request Freebird when they’re drunk. Ken Stabler would gnaw on their wicked bones and shit on their chests and then buy the team and move it to a floating barge in the Gulf of Mexico where they would compete under the rules of International Waters which is to say no rules and they would win the Super Bowl as a gang of vagrant outlaws, with David Garrard as their quarterback and they’d fund the team by running drugs from Cuba on cigar boats and they’d pay their fines to Sheriff Goodell in the scalps of their enemies and Sheriff Goodell would get all angry and quiver and then beat Pereira or a Thai ( or Aryan or Mexican or Inuit . . . I mean, fuck, I don’t know the man’s tastes.) slave he keeps chained in his basement in order to take out his impotent rage because he would know that he couldn’t touch Kenny Stabler’s boys in their floating palaces of debauchery, where they spend every day kicking the shit out of the rest of the league and every night partying and shooting guns at the moon. Wait, I’ve gotten carried away. A bunch of this was supposed to go in the In a Perfect World Section. Oh well, fuck it, let’s just do it here. Anyway, all that would happen. I don’t know how exactly you’d reconcile that with Kenny Stabler also being the new coach of the Denver Broncos after punching out John Fox and bailing Kyle Orton out of a West Lafayette jail, which was discussed in the Broncos section, but I’m sure Kenny could figure that shit out. I believe in him. And so should all of you.
PLAYER TO HATE MOST (Raven): Yeah, even though he's a rookie, Blaine Gabbert is a terrible terrible person, and he does sound like the dickhead from Karate Kid IV or something. Blaine has always been a name I refuse to trust on a human being, because linguistically it sounds like a tough but sketchy/whiny type. We were divvying up players for soccer this morning, and I'm coaching 6 and 7 years old, and there was a kid named Blaine that I dumped on another coach because I refuse to believe that kid will be anything but trouble.
BEST NAME ON TEAM: Leger Douzable, which I used to say when terribly drunk and was about to try to like jump off a two-story building into a dumpster, just wasted, and my friends would grab me and try to stop me and I'd try to break free as they dragged me back down off the roof, "legger... do a zable," which I think was me suggesting I could actually accomplish my desired goal, drunk or not, but it's hard to say as the memories are hazy at best and blacked out at worst.
IN A PERFECT WORLD (Neil): Read the Player to Root For section. It’s all in there and shame on you for skipping that shit the first time through.
PROGNOSIS (Raven): The Jaguars are now the worst team in the AFC South, and whatever talent they have you have to feel sorry for. David Garrard is a competent enough dude to throw 4 TDs when the other team throws 5, which means he's a fantasy keeper, but that doesn't translate into Ws. 5-11, last place in the AFC South.