Fans ink support for Jaguars at 'Sack the Steelers Send-off'

Jacksonville takes on Pittsburgh in Sunday's AFC Divisional Round playoff game

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Before the Jacksonville Jaguars depart to Pittsburgh for Sunday's road playoff game against the Steelers, Mayor Lenny Curry hosted a "Sack the Steelers Send-off" at City Hall Friday afternoon.

More than 100 Jaguars fans stopped by to sign well-wishes and good-luck messages on a giant banner, which will be presented to the team Saturday morning as players load buses at EverBank Field to head up north.

The signatures inked on this banner offered words of encouragement for the Jaguars. 

The ROAR of the Jaguars cheerleaders and Jaxson de Ville were also at the pep rally to pump up the crowd ahead of Sunday's AFC Divisional Round matchup. Curry reminded the room packed with people wearing teal and black that the Jaguars can defeat the Steelers, pointing to Jacksonville's 30-9 win over Pittsburgh back in October.

But it was clear fans were already hyped up for Sunday's game.

"I could cry. It's exciting, really," fan Bella Basilio said as she teared up.

Basilio has been a Jaguars fan since the team came to Jacksonville, and even has a 1996 AFC wild card shirt as proof. 

Before and after the sendoff, fans also had a chance to spin the wheel to win Jags swag.

Longtime Jaguars fan Leroy Ricks said he wouldn't miss  Friday's sendoff, and he's optimistic about Sunday's game.

"I think we have a chance," Ricks said. "It's going to be cold, but I think our defense is really going to put a lot of pressure on their quarterback. So I think we have a good chance of winning."

Fan Sara Roberts said the vibe around "Sacksonville" has been contagious. 

"It's been a lot of this excitement just walking around downtown and seeing a sense of community," Roberts said.

Chants of "DUUUUVALL," filled the air before Mayor Curry announced a friendly wager with the mayor of Pittsburgh.

Last week before the Jaguars 10-3 win over the Buffalo Bills, Curry and the mayor of Buffalo made a bet. Curry said Friday that the city is still waiting on the buffalo wings.

But for Sunday's game, the bet between Curry and Pittsburgh's mayor involves serving food to a homeless shelter, which Curry said he will do at the City Rescue Mission no matter the outcome of the game. 

The playoff game between the Jaguars and Steelers kicks off at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Field.

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