JACKSONVILLE – What are your memories of November 30, 1993?
What did it mean to you? And why?
That’s what we at jaguars.com wanted to know. We wanted to learn from fans where they were that day 20 years ago, the day then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced Jacksonville and the Jaguars as the league’s 30th franchise.
We posted the first of many, many responses Thursday, and will keep posting Friday and Saturday. They’re stories of family, friends, but not only that, they’re the story of a connection between people, a city and a franchise.
Here is the second day of their stories:
Name: Melissa Waters
I was studying for a nursing test when the announcement was made. I was so excited I woke my hubby up to tell him and he thought I was fibbing! I was so happy for Jacksonville! Happy Anniversary Jags!
Name: Andrew Day
On October 26th, 1993, at the age of six, I sat anxiously with my parents awaiting the announcement for the 29th NFL franchise. When the truth was revealed that the Carolina Panthers were the NFL's newest team, I thought my life was ruined. I screamed, cried, yelled, threw pillows off my bunk beds, defied any of my parents commands to calm down, and refused to go to sleep that night all because we didn't get a football team. The Jacksonville Jaguars did not even exist for this six-year-old boy, but let me tell you, I was the already the biggest Jaguars fan in the world. A little over a month later on that fateful November day, my dreams came true. When those words came out of Commissioner Tagliabue's mouth that we were awarded the NFL's newest franchise, I felt my life was complete. How could a little boy already live his life around and be a diehard fan of a team who didn't have a logo, didn't have a roster, and wouldn't play a game for almost two more years? Destiny? Fate? A calling? I like to think it's a little bit of each, but mostly pride. Something to call my own, something for a city and community to rally around, and something that I could put my heart into every week each fall. Over the past twenty years, I have had so many exciting memories as well as moments that have sent my blood pressure through the roof. I couldn't ever imagine calling any other team my own, and honestly couldn't imagine my life without the Jacksonville Jaguars. My friends and family wouldn't recognize me without the Jaguars. They know what a huge part of my life this team is and what it means to me. I can't wait for the next twenty years and beyond supporting the Jacksonville Jaguars, and look forward every Sunday each fall to feeling that fire reignited inside me. That same fire that was burning in that six-year old boy and the fire that will burn as long as I or the Jacksonville Jaguars exist!
Name: Jason Rademan
I'll never forget where I was, or how I found out, that Jacksonville got the Jaguars!! I was on the Stanton Blue Devils basketball team, and we had a game that night at Mandarin High School. Rather than taking our pregame naps after school ended, the whole basketball team was glued to the television in one of Stanton's science classrooms all afternoon, waiting for updates about the NFL decision. Finally, we had to get on the bus over to Mandarin High for the game. This was, of course, before cell phones, Twitter, etc., so we were going to be completely out of the loop for at least an hour or two. And our coaches were intent on keeping our focus on our game at hand, so they were happy to turn the TVs off and hop on the bus. When we finally ran out onto the basketball court for pregame warm-ups, still not knowing if we got the Jaguars or not, I immediately looked for my parents in the crowd, as I always did before games. I'll never forget it, they had these huge beaming smiles on their faces, and my Dad gave me a big thumbs-up and yelled "WE GOT THE TEAM!!" I honestly don't remember if we won the basketball game that night, but I absolutely remember the look of sheer excitement on my Dad's face that we were going to be an NFL city! I'll also never forget us joining the city-wide scramble in the days that followed for Jaguars hats, shirts, pennants... basically, anything with the NFL symbol and the word 'Jacksonville' on it. I still have a shoe-box full of Florida Times-Union and USA Today newspapers from that week, as well as every ticket stub and game program from our first season. Congrats to the Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville on 20 great years, and thanks for the special memories you've brought to me and my family! Go Jags!
Name: Colton Marsh
On November 30, 1993 I was just a 5-year-old living in New England. I assume it was cold and I was inside watching TV. At the time I was a Dolphins fan. Soon after the announcement, my father was watching a Patriots game and they were talking about the Jaguars joining the NFL and ever since then I have been following them through the good times and the bad.
Name: Joe Oliff
Glory Days (Baymeadows at the time). Just happened to be there. The better story is I was at Glory Days again (imagine that) when they announced that Tom Coughlin would be head coach and I was interviewed on the news. Jaguars ROCK (win or lose)!
Name: Ginny Kavanagh
We were at home watching TV when we heard the news. We were very excited because we are transplanted Baltimoreans and former Baltimore Colt fans and Baltimore was also in the running for a team. We were amazed when we were chosen over Baltimore. Though it was not a popular outcome for our families "back home," we were thrilled to have an NFL team in our new city. The next day the kids posed holding the Times-Union, standing next to the TV where Mr. Weaver was shown speaking from the then-Gator Bowl. One of those kids now works full time for the Jaguars!
Name: Rodrick Webb
I had just graduated from William M. Raines High School and enlisted in the US Army. I had just graduated Basic Training as well and was in Advanced Individual Training. It was bittersweet for me in many aspects. I had just left Jacksonville, and my grandfather had just passed away around the same time. I wasn't able to attend games once they started in 1995 because I was stationed in Fort Hood, TX. I was elated that we had finally gotten our own team, though. I felt like it finally put Jacksonville on the map for all of the world to see. Thanks to everyone that fought so hard to make it happen. Proud Jaguars Fan since 1993.
Name: Brooke Gray
It still gives me chills 20 years later to remember the day that we were awarded the Jaguars. I was 11 years old and I was at home with my parents and my sister. We were all screaming and celebrating we could not believe what just happened. The next day I wrote a letter to Wayne Weaver to let him know how bad we needed a cheerleading squad to go along with our new team. I was very excited a few weeks later when my mom received a phone call from the Jaguars and how Mr. Weaver was excited about this and they were definitely pursing the idea. Mr. Weaver sent me a letter also, which I though was amazing! I was invited to an event where he was that the Jaguars Booster Club was hosting and I got to get up on stage and cheer for my Jaguars, which I continue to still do every single weekend! The Jaguars have been the greatest thing for this city and it is the one thing that I have loved the longest! Happy 20th Anniversary Jaguars, I wish you many more! #jaguars #standunited
Name: E. J. Blanchard
I was working on the loading dock of Pic-N-Save at 7th and Main downtown and heard the news just as I was unloading a truck. There was a shout everywhere. That was the day I became a fan and remain so today. I am not a fair weather fan. You are either a fan or you are not. You can be disappointed about the season, but as a fan you still fly the colors and stand up for them.
Name: Dorothy Lawton
Was on my couch yelling for the Jags then. Have been a yelling fan since then. Never talk bad. A fan regardless, always will be and go Jaguars Forever. Was my birthday actually also. Will not ALLOW ANY MOANING AND GROANING IN MY LIVING ROOM, DURING A GAME . NOTHING GOOD TO SAY? LEAVE..!!!!!!!LOL I'M 73 ON THE NEXT BIRTHDAY.
Name: Wayne Williams
I was celebrating my son's fifth birthday as he was born on November 30 and our first year in a new home we had built the year before. I have always loved football but a teen injury kept me from being able to play. My son and I went to several games as often as we could as he shared my love of football. Sadly in 2006 I lost my son to a bone marrow disease but those memories of he & I sitting in the stadium are some of my fondest of our time together. As a Jacksonville native I am proud of "my" team and so was my son...loyal to a fault. Thank you for being here and thank you for the opportunity to share my passion with him, but most of all thank you for the memories of my time with my son! I still scream my head off every game, something my son always got a kick from and I know he is laughing at me and loving every minute of it as well. Thanks for 12 years of fun with my boy and eight years of carrying on those memories. In honor of my little Jag, Sean Eric Williams 11-30-1988 to 03-16-2006…GO JAGUARS!!!!
Name: Beverly Dabreau
I was on the volunteer committee that organized the most incredible drive to sell out the season tickets to the stadium as a requirement to competing for the team. The night the announcement was made I rushed to the JCP store at the mall that was to sell the very first ever logo T-Shirts. I waited in a line for hours to buy my first Jaguar gear!! Twenty years later, I am still totally devoted to this team, win or lose. Go Jaguars, happy 20th!! And yes, I still have my T-Shirts with the original logo!
Name: Alan Singer
I worked for Barnett Bank at their Southside Office Park. On that afternoon I left a meeting and heard about the announcement that Jacksonville had been awarded a franchise. I turned on the radio and it was true. It was a huge surprise as we all thought St. Louis was a lock. Then I heard that the sports store at the Avenues Mall was getting in some Jaguars T-Shirts. I snuck out of work early and went to the mall. I was the third person to get to the store. After three hours in line a delivery guy came in with two boxes of shirts, the first shirts ever printed for the new Jaguars team. I got a shirt out of the first box, black with the Jaguar logo on the front. It was the original logo, the one the car company didn't like. I don't think they distributed too many more of them. I still have that shirt as well as the one sold at the stadium only at the first ever Jaguar game. That one has never been worn; I'm saving it for our first Super Bowl.
Name: Fred Laurin
I was living in Charlotte, NC. I actually started rooting for the Jags because there was too much Panther Fever. Since then I have grown to make this my favorite team no matter how they are doing.
Name: Dennis Sassenger
I read the announcement of Jacksonville being awarded an NFL franchise via official US Navy message traffic while stationed overseas in Britain. The Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) sent a daily sports news release and I was on watch when it came across the teletype. A couple years later I was stationed back home in Jax and went to every game I could! Now I am stationed overseas again, so thank goodness for Sunday Ticket! Go Jags!
Name: Jerry Sutton
My father was a sports addict. His passion for watching sports drew me into watching football at an early age. I went with him to the countless NFL exhibition games, the rallies for whichever NFL team was courting a new stadium deal. We watched football every Sunday together. The night the Jaguars were awarded to Jacksonville I was watching the news when Deron Cherry flashed his thumbs up symbol to the Jacksonville Media. My father was rarely excited, but he was that night coming home from a very long day I remember that he couldn't stop smiling. The next day my mother, my sister and I braved the weather to be at the stadium to see the Weavers and to sign up for season tickets. I remember not really having the money to afford the deposit we had to make on the cheapest of tickets, which were in the West Upper Deck, but my mother talked me into it and we bought six seats that night. My dad passed away several years ago, and my mom shortly after him. It has been a long journey and those six seats are down to two and have moved from the West Upper Deck to the West bowl, and finally now to the East Club but it is impossible to think of the Jaguars and that night without thinking of my father and his passion for the game and the change that the team made to his life.