JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – They are a special breed of Jaguars fan: the ones who have purchased season tickets over and over again for the past 23 years.
Not only is the financial investment tremendous, supporting the team throughout the years has been tough; especially when considering the abysmal seasons the Jaguars have had of late. After all, it’s been nearly 20 years since the Cardiac Cats have hosted a playoff game.
Gwandos Ward, a 23-year season ticket holder, thinks this year the Jags will rise to the top.
"This magazine was signed in 1999 by Coach (Tom) Coughlin. This is one of my prized possessions,” she said.
Ward has been a Jaguars season ticket holder since the team's inception and has seen the good times and the bad. The recent 10-season playoff drought is something she's had a hard time digesting, but she's relentlessly supporting the teal and black.
"It was tough,” Ward said. “I found myself always defending my team.”
With Sunday’s playoff game against the Buffalo Bills approaching, all of that is behind Ward and the rest of Jags’ nation.
Ward credits the Jaguars' recent success to new head coach Doug Marrone and Coughlin. She said she's expecting a playoff win Sunday, and she has this message for so-called fair-weather fans, who might have lost their faith in the hometown team.
"Bandwagon fans can become real fans,” Ward said. “I don't care who you are. If you are supporting my team, then get on the train. Let’s go, because the train is pulling out of the station. We are getting ready to go!”
The Jaguars’ wild card matchup against the Bills kicks off Sunday at 1 p.m. at EverBank Field.