Point/Counterpoint: Should We Euthanize the Jacksonville Jaguars?
POINT: We must euthanize the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Close your eyes and imagine you have a beautiful golden retriever. He is a sweet, friendly dog that has never upset anyone in his life. He helps other teams bolster their records, he hasn’t ruined anyone’s playoff ambitions for almost 20 years, and his fans usually don’t stab people. Okay, maybe his fans stabbed a guy once, but it’s not a regular occurrence.
Here’s the problem with your dog: he is completely fucking worthless. He’s been dying since the late 1990s, and the last five years, he’s been absolutely miserable. Every year it gets worse. And it’s not even out of his control; every May, your dog gets an opportunity to jumpstart his laughable shitsack of an existence with a top 5 draft pick, but he squanders it.
If we had to put down Old Yeller, we sure as shit have to put down the Jacksonville Jaguars, for somewhere between seven and eight thousand reasons. Here are just a few.
1. Nobody gives a shit about the Jaguars, so who cares if we sneak into their room at night and smother them in the shadows? Honestly, if you gathered everyone in the world who gives even a measly quarter-fuck about the Jaguars, they wouldn’t be able to beat the E Street Band in Tug of War. People in Jacksonville care more about a college football team helmed by a triple-threat rapist/obscenity-shouter/crab-leg-thief than they do about the Jaguars. In fact, of the 60 people who at any point in time have positive feelings toward the Jaguars, 53 of them are the roster of the team getting ready to commit Holy Swaffelen unto the poor bastards. If we euthanize Jacksonville, it will be just one fewer distraction keeping North Florida dwellers from cheering on college teams that are actually good.
2. A few months ago, the greatest mathematicians in the world put their heads together to try to calculate how many times a Jacksonville wide receiver has been cited for possession. They weren’t successful. They even brought in the kid from Good Will Hunting, and he couldn’t figure it out either. The Jaguars receiving corps smokes so much weed that their workouts are legally declared to be brainstorming sessions for the next Clerks movie. Reggie Williams openly wept the day he found out that off-season joint practices were just practices with another team. Justin Blackmon has a tattoo across his shoulder that reads, “Clear Bongs, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.” Euthanizing this team will actually cause a visible drop in crime in Duval County, because the number of policemen tied up confiscating drugs from Jaguars’ receivers will be able to stop real crimes in Jacksonville, like murder, and theft, and Jacksonville.
3. How does an organization go from having good running backs (Fred Taylor, young Maurice Jones-Drew) to starting Toby Gerhart? And when I say “starting Toby Gerhart,” I mean, “hesitantly starting Toby Gerhart because they’re not sure whether he’s better than a guy who played quarterback in college.” I think I’d rather have Bindi Irwin taking handoffs than Toby Gerhart. Fun fact, though: In 2012, Toby Gerhart made a covert weekend trip to Palau, because it’s the only country where it’s legal to marry a fumbled football. Even if we don’t euthanize the entire team, we still have to euthanize Toby Gerhart no matter what.
4. The Jaguars have never been to a Super Bowl. They’ve been to two conference championships, but none since Willow Smith was born. If you asked each of Elizabeth Taylor’s husbands to write a report on a Jaguars playoff run, two of them would have to work together because there aren’t enough playoff runs to go around. So if we put Jax to sleep, they won’t even have a legacy for people to rally around and question the ethical rectitude of putting them down.
5. As a drafting institution, I have more respect for the actual draft — as in, the one that sent 18-year-olds to Vietnam — than I do for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Let’s quickly review recent offenses:
- 2010: The Jaguars pass on Dez Bryant because of concerns about his character. Two years later, they would use a 5th overall pick on Justin Blackmon, who is currently on his second year of suspension for possession. Bryant is currently one of the best receivers in the NFL, and with the exception of a time he sort of beat up his mom, he hasn’t been in too much trouble.
- 2011: The Jaguars draft Blaine Gabbert instead of JJ Watt. JJ Watt is arguably on his way to being the best defensive player of all-time, while Blaine Gabbert’s biggest accomplishment to this day is “Second Best Quarterback at Mizzou between 2009 and 2011.”
- 2012: The mother of them all. The Jaguars draft Bryan Anger in the third-round. Bryan Anger is a punter. He punts footballs. He comes in on fourth-downs and punts footballs as deep as he can. Granted, there’s no better place for a punter to be than Jacksonville, but let’s not forget that Russell Wilson — you know, the quarterback who lead his team to a Super Bowl victory in his second-year — was still available when Jacksonville drafted the guy who punts football for a living.
- 2014: The Jaguars draft Blake Bortles with the third overall pick, implying that they believe he is the type of player that can turn their franchise around. You know what Blakes Bortles is? Tall. He’s a tall guy. That’s about it. They probably could have just asked Vince Vaughn to be their “back-up” quarterback, then used their first-round pick on someone worthwhile.
6. Never forget the Jag Rag. Jacksonville recently gave their fans mini-towels called “Jag Rags” for them to wave at games. Jag Rags.
If we can’t euthanize an organization that lacks the foresight to see that “jag rags” is not a good name for anything associated with their brand, then what the hell are we doing?
7. I don’t want to live in a world where we can’t euthanize a team whose mascot — literal mascot — is photographed standing on a Segway, holding a sign trivializing thousands of dead Africans.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we’ve already let Andrew Luck murder the Jacksonville defense. Unlike the torture of watching the Jags play the Titans twice every season, let’s just make this quick and painless for all involved.
COUNTERPOINT: We should resist the overwhelming urge to euthanize the Jacksonville Jaguars.
My esteemed colleague has raised some important points, but let’s take a step back here: The heinous crime that he is suggesting amounts to a state-sponsored cleansing of a football program, just because it is considered so inferior to its peers that it is perceived as a very scourge upon the name of the NFL. Euthanasia at this level is just plain wrong and reprehensible, and this proposal would stamp out the diversity of 4-12 franchises in the AFC.
Roger Goodell may be evil, but he’s not Hitler. Well… he’s probably not.
What we need here is cultural relativism — we need to understand that, just because a team drafts a punter in the third round, that doesn’t mean they’re unfit to live, just that they probably never deserved Maurice Jones-Drew in the first place. We need to accept that some people have their own set of values and ways of life, and just because we might think letting Jack Del Rio coach a professional football franchise is indecent, that doesn’t give us the right to methodically slaughter the Jaguars’ secondary like we’re Tom Brady or something.
I mean, you can’t blame an 0-6 record on lack of skill, effort, and well-thought-out choices alone. A problem this endemic results from institutionalized structures that must permanently disadvantage a team that has strung three wins together only twice since Obama took office. Which is probably why the NFL seems to have instituted an affirmative action program that always allows the Jaguars to draft in the top five.
So we can’t kill the Jaguars, no matter how humane the idea might seem at first. Let’s think like the morally-reprehensible utilitarian Roger Goodell might be: Is it not acceptable, is it not just, to torture one team if it produces an inordinate amount of happiness and schadenfreude for the rest of the NFL and its adherents far greater than Jacksonville’s suffering? I think so, and I think Goodell would agree, at least as long as NFL owners are still reaping profits at the end.
In fact, we need the Jaguars, more than we’ll ever truly know. You see, the Jaguars are essential to the collective psyche of every other fan of the greatest sport on Earth. The Jags remind us all that, no matter how bad things are going for your team (or, if you’re a Patriots fan, how much you like to talk about how bad things are going for your team), it could always be worse. We can always take consolation in knowing that there’s a football franchise out there in the world that has it so bad a move to England is considered a viable option.
What happens when we no longer have the Jags to look to and say, “Sure, I can’t believe Chris Conte still gets paid to play football by my front office, but holy shit at least Mark Brunell wasn’t the quarterback during my team’s high water mark.” What happens when we’re no longer able to make fun of a team that chalks up more TV blackouts than victories and whose win percentage is on par with the USFL team that preceded it? I’ll tell you what happens when we lose the Jaguars: our hearts will be as dark as a Jacksonville strip club and as cold as the empty seats in EverBank Field.
Anyways, we should also probably keep Chad Henne around to see if he might have any potential military uses — we could almost certainly send him into Russia and watch him instantly overthrow Putin.
That being said, I am in favor of euthanizing Jacksonville’s fans. It’s about time we end their pain and suffering.