Jags fans experience roller coaster of emotions watching AFC title game

Fans at restaurants, bars across Jacksonville quickly go from jubilant to sad

By Ethan Calloway - Anchor/reporter, Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It didn't take long for Jacksonville restaurants and bars to clear out shortly after the Jaguars lost 24-20 to the Patriots in AFC Championship game.

It was a roller coaster of emotions Sunday at Dick's Wings in Lakewood, where a packed house of Jaguars fans started off as jubilant and optimistic.

"Pretty excited that the Jaguars just got a touchdown," Fan Ryan Wilder said. 

For most of the game, smiling faces could be seen in the sea of teal and black. But it suddenly shifted to a somber mood as the realization of a loss set in. 

"They were so close," Jaguars fan Matt McCranie said. 

Just one single fan at Dick's Wings was pleased with the outcome of the game. 

James Heffernan, a lifelong Patriots fans who was born in Maine, may not have been the most popular person in the restaurant, but he was definitely the happiest as he celebrated his team's win in the absence of any other New England fans.

"I'm loving it," Heffernan exclaimed while sitting at a table full of Jaguars fans. 

But his daughter Darlene Sutton, who was also born in Maine, wanted to see a different outcome. 

"I'm actually a Patriots fan, as well, but I was really pulling for the Jaguars today because we need this," Sutton said. "I'm a little disappointed, I have to say." 

Soon after the game clock ran out, sealing the Patriots' victory, Jaguars fans began to clear out the restaurant.

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But they left with optimism, saying they just hope this season was the start of even bigger things to come next season. 

"I'm very proud of the Jags as far as what they've done this season. They've played an awesome game," McCranie said. "It's just disappointing and, unfortunately, part of it."

It was a similar scene at Wicked Barley on Jacksonville's Southside. Although fans were sad about the loss, they said the team had a great run this season. 

From babies to adults, Jaguars fans showed their support, cheering and chanting "DUUUVALL," throughout the entire game.

WATCH: Jaguars fans upset, but optimistic

"It's a sad day but, you know, we got this far but that was something nobody really expected," one Jaguars fan said. "So it's not too sad, you know, we did pretty good this season."

There were also a couple Patriots fans at Wicked Barley, who said they felt out of place in Jags nation. They gave Jacksonville credit for playing a good game.

"They held their own," Patriots fan Taylor O'Lery said. "They played a good game."

Though the Patriots won the AFC Championship, the Jaguars won the loyal support of so many across Jacksonville and across the country.

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