Curtis Dvorak, the individual inside the Jaguars mascot Jaxson de Ville costume for 19 seasons, has announced that he is retiring. Dvorak has entertained fans at nearly 200 Jaguars games, becoming a fan favorite of both the young as well as long-time fans.
"Curtis has been the person inside the Jaxson de Ville costume for nearly all of Jaxson's appearances the past 19 years. He has been a valued and important part of the Jaguars family and a key contributor to our fan engagement efforts and game day entertainment," Jaguars President Mark Lamping said, "but he has also been much more. We are tremendously proud and thankful for what Curtis has accomplished inside the Jaxson de Ville costume."
"It's impossible to put into words what the last 19 years with our team has meant to me and done for me professionally and, without a doubt, personally," Dvorak said. "I have had the privilege and honor to bring life to and raise Jaxson for almost two decades. This has been an incredibly fun, challenging and extremely rewarding journey. I've been asked often over the years, 'When do you think you'll retire?' My answer was usually either tomorrow or some other time. Well, the time has come."
Dvorak, 39, made his first game appearance inside the Jaxson de Ville costume during the Jaguars' preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers on August 18, 1996. His last came in a nationally-televised Thursday night game, the team's regular season home finale last December 18 against the Tennessee Titans.
In between, Dvorak was inside the Jaxson de Ville suit for 37 preseason, 152 regular season and three postseason Jaguars games, including the 1999 AFC Championship. Jaxson has also developed an international following, performing several times in London, including the Jaguars' two games there in 2013 and 2014.
"I met with Mark Lamping a few weeks back and shared that I have decided to move on to my next career. But no worries, I'm not leaving Duval," Dvorak added. "I'll be coming soon to a TV, radio or internet thing near you. I feel lucky to be walking away, literally, because I'm pretty sure I've gone through more than the standard nine lives cats have. I take with me so many great memories from performing at over 200 games, more than 7,000-plus events and some unreal, pinch-yourself moments that never once made this feel like work. I will forever be grateful to the hundreds of staff, coaches, players and cheerleaders I've had the privilege to work with. Your love, support and yes, at times, tolerance are appreciated more than you know.
"To the Weavers, I love you and simply can't thank you enough for giving me a chance, and for then giving me second chances. To Mr. Khan and Mark Lamping, it's been a pleasure having a front row seat for the past three years to some truly great moments and achievements in our team's history. It's been my passion to entertain the Jaguars fan base and help it grow. I'm proud of what has been accomplished and am conﬁdent that, in the words of Delores Weaver, the best is yet to come!
"Finally to the fans, what can I say? YOU made Jaxson who he is. Your laughter, applause, cheers and support are things I am certain a doctor would classify as an addiction for me. I would not have lasted 19 seasons without you, but knowing that I'll get to 'CIRCLE UP at the Slab,' sit in the stands and get rowdy on game days makes this a 'sweet, sweet' moment in my life! It was an honor being your mascot."
One man. 19 seasons as Jaxson de Ville. Countless memories. Thanks, Curtis!