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Wayne Weaver's response to Kevin83

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Dear Kevin83,

Your post this week on the Jaguars message board brought back a lot of great memories. Like you, I recall the excitement of that day in November, 1993 when the Jaguars were born and all the wonderful fans who turned out to celebrate this victory for Jacksonville.

I also recall thinking at that time about all the young people in our community and how rewarding it was going to be to watch them grow up as Jaguars fans. So many of my friends and acquaintances tell me about what ardent fans their sons and daughters have become.

Last week, I met with one of them. He was 14 years old and came with his father to see me. He had worked at odd jobs all summer and had saved his money, and he wanted to use that money to buy his own season ticket to the Jaguars games.

I know that we are faced with hard economic times, but your post and those who commented on it, as well as fans like my new 14-year old friend, show that we are on the right track. I believe that the young generation of Jaguars fans is intent on joining the ranks of our loyal fan base and making Jacksonville and the Jaguars proud.

I am going to reprint your post below so that all of our Jaguars fans who may have missed it on the message board get a chance to enjoy it. Thank you for your support, and enjoy the upcoming season.

Sincerely

J. Wayne Weaver
Jaguars Owner

Original Post by Jaguars Forum member Kevin83

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Posted on Sep 1 2009 at 08:05 PM
http://forum.jaguars.com/index.php?showtopic=673220

I was 10 years old in 1993. And I'll never forget where I was, who I was with, or precisely how I felt when Paul Tagliabue took the microphone to announce that my city had been awarded the 30th team in the NFL.

My cousins lived in St. Louis at the time, and through the months that my brother and I followed the NFL's decision-making process, never did we think that our town could be a city like that. They had the Arch – and we had a Maxwell Coffee plant downtown that looked ugly but smelled okay. They had the Cardinals and the Blues. We had the Jacksonville Suns and high school football. They had a domed stadium. We had an outdoor hunk of concrete called the Gator Bowl.

I will never forget the elation I felt when the word "Jacksonville" rolled off the Commissioner's tongue. The word had never sounded so beautiful. And within a day – hell, within an hour – the town was in a Jaguar frenzy. Shirts sold out. The stadium filled up to welcome back a team that consisted only of men in dark suits. People united behind a logo that dangerously mimicked a car emblem. In a single moment, we had a bigger and more awesome reason than ever before to be excited about the future of the River City.

Like so many kids my age, I've been a die hard Jaguars' fan ever since. From when I was in high school, following Natrone Means Business and our City's finest steward, Morten Andersen – to my college years, when our young franchise saw it's first major change with the exit of Tom Coughlin – to my time in law school, when MJD made my team "cool" to my friends given his fantasy football appeal – I haven't missed a beat.

Fifteen years later, I sit at a desk in Washington, DC working as a first-year attorney. Although I always wanted to go home, DC simply had more job opportunities for the early part of my career. The pay is better and the clients are bigger – and that makes it a good place to start out. But I still don't miss a game. When I can make it down I go – when I cannot, I'm glued to the television. And as soon as I do move back home (which I hope is soon), I'm sure I'll sell whatever it is I need to sell (except my wife, if I have one) to become a season ticket holder.

We've gotten so much negative press lately, and it's scared me just as much as it's hurt. Some of it is undeserved – but unfortunately that doesn't matter. Whatever the reason, the excuse, or the proposed solution – the fact is that we're on a course that could see a change in team ownership (at best) or a change in team location (at worst).

I don't know why I'm posting this exactly. The people who come to this board, by and large, aren't part of the problem. Whatever the case, I'm hoping and praying that this team and this city can unite in a way that recaptures the spirit my friends and I felt on that awesome afternoon back in '93. You have to believe that we can do it. If Jacksonville's coffee factory can beat St. Louis's arch -- if Morten Andersen can miss a chip shot to send us to the playoffs -- if a guy as small as MJD can become one of the most well-known backs in the league -- then this city and this town is more than capable of turning it around.

I love you guys, Go Jags, and God Bless Wayne Weaver. Let's shock the world.

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