Fixing The Jacksonville Jaguars With Methods From 80s & 90s Sports Movies, By Jeaux Sportsbreaux
Fixing the Jags:
Using Team-building Methods Learned from 80s and 90s Sports Movies
by: Jeaux Sportsbreaux
The Jacksonville Jaguars are really bad. If you have a Jag on your fantasy football team you should drop him now, and acquire someone on the Packers’ practice squad, you’re six-year old niece, or a half of a chicken salad sandwich. If someone in your league would trade you a half a chicken salad sandwich for a Jag, take that deal all day. Don’t even ask how old the sandwich is or whether it was made with mayo. Just gobble it down. There is no way the sandwich will make you sicker than having a Jag on your team the rest of the year. Two omens of the impending Jagpocalypse: (1) Orlando TV stations are apologizing for having to air Jag games and (2) fans are rallying for the Jags to purposefully sign Tim Tebow and allow him to play quarterback. Even the Jags’ uniforms are ugly. It looks like the artist huffed glue and designed uniforms for an NFL Europe franchise. Half the helmet is gold and half the helmet is black, I’ve had less ridiculous things airbrushed on my t-shirts from Destin when I was 8.
But, the Jags’ demise gives us a chance to rebuild them. I’m sure some NFL salary cap experts, free agency wizards, and Mel Kiper’s hair-helmet are already working on it. However, what if we had to turn the Jags’ season around using only plot elements from 80s and 90s sports movies? Guess what, we do . . .
The Nitty Gritty
A notorious sports movie villain is the champion that doesn’t train, but sits in his ivory tower while being fanned by palm fronds. This causes the underdog to get back to basics, down to the nitty gritty. And, if we are going to move this Jag franchise forward that’s what we are going to have to do.
Best Movie Examples: Rocky I, II, III, and IV training montages, the “no basketballs” practice in Hoosiers, car waxing in Karate Kid, passing eggs in the Mighty Ducks. For your enjoyment, the training montages from Rocky III and Rocky IV. There are an awkwardly large number of quadriceps shots in these montages. It’s like the director was sitting around in the editing room and made a conscious decision that more glistening thigh shots would draw the audience in.
Application to Jags: The Jags rent 30 double-wides and move their practice facility to the everglades. They practice every day in waste deep swamp water. They also do completely random, nonsensical things like throw logs around or skin alligators, because it somehow better prepares them than their opponents who are actually doing completely appropriate, targeted, football-related practice drills.
Result: Jags develop team chemistry and we start to feel that maybe, there just might be something different about these Jags going forward.
The Coach That Doesn’t Fit In
“Oh no, they hired him?” “He won’t fit in here, because (insert reason).” The new coach is black. The new coach is white. The new coach got fired from his last job. The new coach is a disgrace to the sport. The new coach is a quadriplegic, Hispanic, gay female. Okay, the last one is too progressive for the 80s and 90s, but it’s coming.
Best Movie Examples: Gene Hackman in Hoosiers (fired from old job), Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans(black coach coaching white kids), John Candy in Cool Runnings (cheated by hiding weights in the foot of his bobsled), Emilio Estevez in Mighty Ducks (lawyer who was forced to coach as community service following a DUI).
Application to Jags: The Jags hire Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as head coach. What’s that? She won’t work here? Why? Because, she’s a woman, a Latina, has no discernible knowledge of football?
Result: Sotomayor holds an emotional first practice in an empty Supreme Court, because “a team can’t know its future without knowing where it’s been.” No one questions whether that makes any sense.
The Player on His Final Go-Round
Every team needs an aging player that is steady, emotional anchor for the team.
Best Movie Examples: Paul Blake (Scott Bakula) in Necessary Roughness, Jake Taylor (Tom Beringer) in Major League, Mel Clark (Tony Danza) in Angels in the Outfield, Chet Steadman (Gary Busey) in Rookie of the Year, Andre Krimm (Sinbad) in Necessary Roughness.
Application to Jags:In an effort to chase the elusive World Championship, the Jags sign Dan Marino to a one year contract. Marino’s mobility is limited and even plays some obvious rushing downs sitting on a stool.
Result: Marino gets the ship righted after losing three more games and the Jags rattle off eleven consecutive wins. However, in Week 17 Marino goes down to injury and is replaced by . . .
The Player That Is Missing a Requisite Skill
Typical movie scene: After showing a bunch of inept players, eventually the camera finds a guy who looks like he can really play. The only problem is he can either only do one thing really well or does one thing terribly bad. This gives us a great moment of synergy between our other sports movie elements. Specifically, the Coach that Doesn’t Fit In takes this Player and by taking him back to the basics, the player eventually becomes a contributor.
Best Movie Examples: Willie Mays Hays (Wesley Snipes) in Major League (great speed, always popped up), Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert) in Major League (great power, couldn’t hit the curve), Happy Gilmore (Adam Sander) (great drive, no short game), Fulton Reed in Mighty Ducks (big slap shout couldn’t skate).
Application to Jags: TEBOW TIME!!!! It’s perfect. The guy looks like a football player, runs like a football player, and is athletic like a football player. The only problem is . . . he can’t throw. Enter Coach Sotomayor, who teaches Tebow how to pass by forcing him to walk to the ocean every morning, pick up a conch, listen to the waves, and throw it back. From this, he learns the lessons necessary to throw a perfect spiral.
Result: After Marino’s injury in the first half of Week 17, Tebow enters the game. His first two passes are incomplete. “Oh no, here it goes again,” he thinks. But, then, unbeknownst to Tebow, Sotomayor signals to the crowd and all the fans hold up a conch. A ball boy hurriedly runs in from the sideline and delivers Tebow a football branded with a conch. He completes his next 15 passes.
The Jags need one.
Best Movie Examples: Julie “The Cat Gaffney” in D2: The Mighty Ducks, Cathy Ireland as Lucy Draper in Necessary Roughness.
Application to Jags: Most likely candidate = Mia Hamm.
Result: In a crucial game, a bully from the other team takes her out on kickoff coverage. But later, she channels her inner-Kerri Strug and nails 56-yarder to secure the Wildcard for the Jags. For movie points, her follow-through would hit the aforementioned bully in the crotch.
The Trick Play
Obviously, if the Jags are going to rely on sports movie plots to save their season, they’ll need a trick play or two on the wristband chart.
Best Movie Examples: Jake Taylor calling his shot in Major League, the Hidden Ball Trick in Little Big League, the Flying V in Mighty Ducks, Rocky’s rope-a-dope in Rocky III, the Crane Kick in Karate Kid.
Application to Jags: In the first playoff game, Marino is wheeled onto the field for one last play. He goes in at quarterback and Tebow goes to wide receiver. OMG, it’s a reverse. OMG, Tebow’s gonna throw it. OMG, Tebow’s gonna throw it to …MARINO!!!!!!!
Result: Sotomayor takes the Gatorade bath and the Jags move to the Divisional round.
We later find out in the small white font before the credits . . .
The Jags did not win the 2013 World Championship. But, they laid the ground work for back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015.
Coach/Justice Sotomayor retired from coaching and was later named Chief Justice. She is the only person to be a Super Bowl Championship coach and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Dan Marino retired and is now general manager of the Jaguars. He wears four pairs of Isotoner gloves at all times.
Mia Hamm runs a not-for-profit called Kick for Equality. Thanks to her efforts every NFL team now has a female kicker.
Tim Tebow is still quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He went on to win 19 consecutive NFL MVP awards.
The Jags never returned to their swamp water practice field. But, still today, a small plaque at that field reads “a team can’t know its future without knowing where it’s been.”
The Jags got rid of their hideous uniforms and now where uniforms airbrushed by Jeaux Sportsbreaux.