The Homer's Guide To The 2014 Jacksonville Jaguars
I'm in day two of commenting on Drew Magary's brilliant "Why Your Team Sucks" columns and I've already realized that my decision to take this on was a horrible, horrible idea that I regret immensely.
Speaking of things that are horrible ideas, let me use the opener here to declare war on bae. So this is a thing people do now, apparently. Look, I'm both old and old at heart and I have been since I was a teenager but I let lots of social stuff slide. I didn't care when certain bands were a big deal or certain hairstyles became fashionable or when people started wearing fedoras again for some reason.
But for god's sake, stop calling the person you're dating bae. It's the stupidest thing in a world of stupid that I can actually deal with. Bae stands for "before anyone else" or is short for baby, which is a a perfectly easily typable word that doesn't require too much effort and certainly doesn't require anyone to have to go to urban dictionary to understand what the hell your tweet was about.
Every generation modifies the language to put its stamp on it. Your parents did it with "groovy" and "far out" and a bunch of other really stupid things that justify when you roll your eyes at them, Generation X did it with "phat" and can I just say that as dumb as "bae" is, it is infinitely less dumb than "phat" ever was. Look, Gen X, I get that you, as a demographic, are totally screwed and as someone who had classmates and frat bros who were in your deal, I sympathize. But just know that "phat" was the dumbest thing you've ever conjured. It was never cool to say and is even dumber in retrospect than groovy could ever possibly be. Enjoy watching "Reality Bites" or some other angsty movie on a loop with your screaming two-year old.
I apologize for the digression.
The Jacksonville/London Jaguars. London is amazing. It's like New York, D.C. and Los Angeles rolled into one hub of awesome. For all sorts of reasons, I don't think the Jaguars are moving there on a full-time basis, as I wrote about here. That's mostly about currency and logistical issues, not because the city of Jacksonville is filling the stadium every week. But those of you that come out, I applaud. It hasn't been easy for a while.
The most amazing part of the Jacksonville Jags season is the fact that they won any games at all. To go 4-12, particularly with those wins coming later in the year when everyone on the team could have mailed it in and started thinking about golf and plans to go to the club, is nice and heart warming in that quaint sort of "Rudy" way. The team always seemed injury plagued and given the level of talent it was starting at anyway, it really couldn't have felt good to send out the actual NFL equivalent of Rudy at multiple positions on a given Sunday.
A dude who pulled himself up by the bootstraps and seems like someone you'd actually want to root for. His enthusiasm has a sort of NCAA feel while seemingly not being a Greg Schiano-style asshat. Which is nice. He also seems like someone who can make the best of bad situations, which means he's at least got the right temprement for this job. He also loved living in North Dakota, which must make Jacksonville feel like heaven.
Blake Bortles, who gets to date this lovely young lady. Having a new quarterback for your team is always exciting, because it means there's a chance he's an upgrade over the last one who made you swear and drink too much and scare the family pets with torrents of obscenities after every repulsive offensive possession. Not everyone gets to be San Francisco or Green Bay or Indianapolis and transition from one golden-armed pigskin slinger to another. The rest of us have to work at it and get obsurdly fortunate, thanks very much, so whenever the new guy comes around everything seems a bit shinier and more hopeful. Also, it is mind boggling that, given his popularity and the need to draw fans, Jacksonville was able to withstand the pressure to pick up Tim Tebow. It may be the best organizational move they've made this decade.
Note: Again, I'm not going to rate your fantasy players. If I were good enough to do that, I'd be making money off of fantasy and not writing columns. In lieu of that:
Why Your Homerism Might Be Legit:
This whole season is turning the page on the recent past. Both Maurice Jones-Drew and Blaine Gabbert are in the rearview mirror and while fans have a reason to be sad about MJD and morbidly happy about Gabbert, when a franchise hits the refresh button the suckers in all of us feel a renewed sense of optimism that is neither rational or appropriate. Such is the case here. If by November, Blake Bortles looks like the real deal, it will be worth the cautious optimism of a progression from 4-12 that is totally not going to happen. But in the meantime, dream on Jaguars fans. Hope springs eternal.
Again, feel free to post comments supporting — or trolling — below. The Bataan Death March of Homerism continues tomorrow with the Houston Texans.