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Who are the Jacksonville Jaguars?
The Jaguars play in the NFL as part of the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC). They play their home games at TIAA Bank Field and are currently managed by David Caldwell (born 1974). Field joined the Jaguars in 2013 and has previously worked for the Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers.
At 4.12 pm on November 30 of 1993, after a four-year-long campaign, the Jaguars officially became the NFL’s 30th franchise.
The battle had started on August 17, 1989, with a bid from the Touchdown Jacksonville! Organization. This drive was going by Tom Petway, a Jacksonville agent, whose order was to lead the network to secure an NFL franchise.
On 16th September 1991, Touchdown Jacksonville!, with $60 million raised by the Jacksonville City Council for the redesign of the Gator Bowl, recorded their application with the National Football League. J.Wayne Weaver (current Chairman and CEO) and Petway were among the nine partners recorded in the application. Jacksonville’s application was viewed as a long shot, among the other ten urban areas that connected. And still, at the end of the day, the group made sure to declare that they would call themselves ‘Panthers’ on the off chance that they won one of the two expansions on the table.
Jacksonville was among the survivors of the first round of cuts on 17th March 1992. After two months, two more names were dropped from the list, bringing the contestants down to five: Jacksonville, St.Louis, Charlotte, Memphis and Baltimore. The team’s spirits were later dampened when on 20th October 1992, the owners of the NFL voted to delay the vote until the fall of 1993. They cited hitches in NFL labor. Luckily, on 6th January 1993, the NFL players and the league reached a seven-year CBA, and on 23rd March the same year, the race was back on.
The Jaguars’ first game was against the Carolina Panthers, in Canton, Ohio. It was clear from the start that the NFL expansion draft had propelled both Carolina and Jacksonville further and faster than other teams had done in the past. While the Panthers clinched the title with their 20-14 victory, it was apparent that both teams were good to compete in the NFL. For an expansion team, the Jaguars inaugural record of 4-12 was better than the previous best. They rose quickly to become a dominant NFL team and perennial participants at the playoffs. In 1996 and 1999, the Jaguars reached the AFC Championship game.
Taylor played both in college and professionally. He was running back in the NFL for 13 consecutive seasons between the 90s and 2000s. In college in played for the University of Florida and feted as an All-American. In the 1998 NFL Draft, the Jaguars picked Taylor, who played for them and the New England Patriots. He is a member of the 10,000-yard rushing club.
Tony Boselli was among the Jaguars’ most popular and successful players. He played with them until 2002 and was later picked by the Houston Texans in the same year. He was, however, unable to play because of injuries.
Smith was a starter for the Jaguars after their 11th game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was one of the players that led the team to win their last 5 games and reach the AFC Championships. He was a dominant receiver and finished with 7 touchdowns and 1,244 receiving yards.
He made his mark as one of the most important Jaguars for the better part of a decade. He was nicknamed J-Smooth by fellow teammates and “Thunder and Lightning” by Keenan McCardell after a 1997 photoshoot for TV Guide. In 2014, The NFL documented their history in a film called A Football Life: ‘Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith’