For group of die-hard Jags fans, excitement already building for next season

Game full of emotional ups and downs at watch party at home of ultimate Jags fan

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars' 24-20 loss to the Patriots has been stinging to fans all around the Jacksonville area.

But after the heartbreaking defeat, fans displayed their support for the team that gave them a great season. They have also started looking forward to the beginning of the 2018 season. 

News4Jax watched the game, full of emotional ups and downs, in the ultimate Jaguars house, which has teal-painted walls and decorations everywhere. 

For most of the game, it was raucous with a group of Jags fans chanting "DUUUVALL" for hours.

The sorrow then set in for the group of fans who met at Jon Fichter's self-made Jaguars museum on the Southside about 6 p.m. when Tom Brady and New England clinched the AFC Championship game.

"Give me a minute," Jaguars fan Kenneth Sanchez said. "It's just, I thought we were Super Bowl bound."

The fans still believe the roster has a Super Bowl in it, but it won't be this year. 

"I thought they were going to pull it off ... They played great all season," Jags fan Barb Herzig said. "There's always next year."

But after the initial shock of the loss had faded, the die-hards were really congratulatory of the Jaguars and already talking about next season.

The group of fans said if anything for now, they believe the Jaguars should keep quarterback Blake Bortles.

"I think they're going to keep him," Herzig said.

Fichter agreed.

"I think we should keep him," he said. "No reason why not to."

Jaguars fan Erica Sanchez, who has lived in Jacksonville for 14 years, said she had never seen the city as excited as it was during the team's playoff run.

"You can't walk down the street and not see a Jags shirt on right now," Sanchez said. "I loved the team as a whole this year." 

When the regular season returns in the fall, the group of fans said they will be meeting again in their teal and black -- hopeful for another run deep into the playoffs.

They plan on their watch parties to be just as intense next season because of all the excitement the Jaguars garnered this year -- excitement that has not been around at the end of the season in more than a decade. 

Shortly after the game, a billboard on Beach Boulevard near the home of the ultimate Jags fan including a sign reading, "Thank you, Sacksonville," in its electronic rotation.

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