Keeping the Faith: #DTWD

#DTWD: Duval ‘Til We Die is the acronym that shows Jacksonville Jaguar fans’ commitment and faith in the team and the city it represents.

I was born in this city. Growing up, I didn’t know how special it was to live in Jacksonville. I took for granted going to the beach and boating on the St. John’s River with friends and family.

We didn’t seem like a very fancy city, but we were always a beautiful one. I don’t think outsiders thought much of us. They wanted to head south toward Orlando to visit Mickey or to some of the quainter beach towns north of us.  I didn’t think much about it at first. I mean, who can compete with the “happiest place on earth?” Nor did I feel there was a reason to compete. Jacksonville didn’t need to be a vacation destination. It was home, and it always had my heart.

That’s why I wanted to beat the New England Patriots. Not because I care terribly about football, but because I felt like as a city we had something to prove. For too long, we’ve been considered a backwards city of rednecks. Our natural beauty isn’t recognized, our commitment to family life is mocked, and our lack of diversity is criticized despite the many ethnicities who live here.

I guess it is silly to think that winning a football game would help change those perceptions. People will always think what they want. I know this city has real problems, and I am not trying to diminish our demons, the greatest of which may be our lack of pride.

The Jacksonville Jaguars gave this city hope. I dedicated my mass this morning to their win for no other reason than this is my city and the Jags represent my people. People who know their neighbors, are charitable, practice their faith, and are fierce in the way they show up for one another.

I am disappointed in our loss, but I couldn’t be more proud of Jacksonville. As I scrolled through social media posts I saw that the real win was how the game, the fans, and the team, united the city.

It is my prayer that we build on that momentum, on that faith in ourselves, and on the hope of what we can become.

Duval ‘Til We Die.

Interested in reading more about having faith in yourself, read:…r-life-right-now/

7 thoughts on “Keeping the Faith: #DTWD

  • January 29, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Your right Lara. Go Jags!

  • January 22, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    As an “outsider”, I agree with so many of your points Laura. Well done my friend. I’ve been praying for the team whose coaches are trying to make good men out of some of our young athletes who may not have had discipline and love from a father figure growing up, that they would see that their purpose was more than creating a player, but in developing a man, and teaching each one how to love and support their teammates. I feel that we are witnessing that in the charitable works our Jags are supporting and the coaches tone when talking about their team and their town. I think this “loss” will inspire more to take a look at how much our great city has to offer, and yes, NFL football will be among the offerings. All this from a Buffalo girl who watched the Jags defeat her “hometown” team. There were no losers for me. Now, to be truthful, watching Tom knocked down by the “sackers” from “sacksonville”, warmed my heart!

    • January 23, 2018 at 1:38 am

      LOL! Well, to be be truthful, I was a little nauseated by all the stroking he got at the end of the game. What happened to we win as a team we lose as a team? In general, I dislike when people are put on pedestals so I don’t mean to single him out. The only thing I disagree with here is you calling yourself an “outsider.” The beauty of this city is there are no outsiders. When you are educating so many of our children, not just in academics but the ways of God, you are as inside as you get. We natives welcome people like you with open arms! You make us a better city.

  • January 22, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Thanks for this Lara. It was a gut check for sure but I am so proud of how the players, coaches and the community carried themselves. I love it when HOPE is so palpable among a group/community where otherwise there would be no connective tissue bringing these same people together. Thanks for speaking this truth – Jacksonville – it’s players, coaches and it’s entire community won in my eyes.

    • January 23, 2018 at 1:33 am

      I agree Nancy. The HOPE was palpable and that was such a gift. I’ve never been a football fanatic but I desperately wanted a win. That was the gift, the game was about so much more than football and the loss was as much about winning as losing.

  • January 22, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    LOVED THIS!!! My eyes started to warm up with tears. So true.

    • January 22, 2018 at 5:24 pm

      Ha! I did well not to cry after that game!

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