Two Dave Preachy Soapbox Comics(tm) in a row! Lucky you.

This is probably the other “thing” that came out of the Championship games this year, if the first thing was “Pissy fans declaring entire other fanbases bad people ™.

This happens every year, honestly. Especially when a good, hero underdog team loses to a traditional juggernaut in a close game. Fans who can’t just accept that the team wasn’t good enough or lucky enough to pull it out was actually PLAYING A RIGGED GAME. I’ve touched on this subject before, a while ago.

I don’t blame Jags fans for being angry. It was a close game that the Jags could and probably should have won. But take a late comeback by the golden boy, some bad calls, and the setting of the AFCCG and throw them in a pot; what do you get? CONSPIRACY! That was a tough game to lose because the Jags should have had it but some conservative coaching (This has never worked against NE for fuck’s sake people LEARN) and some bad luck they got Brady’d(tm).

There’s no goddamn conspiracy. Yeah, the refs may have had a little bias, that’s what we call “home-cooking”, and it happens in every home game. Refs are people. They fuck up. They fuck up every game. With an increasingly labyrinthine rulebook and being limited by having normal human vision, refs fuck up. It’s easy to call them wrong when we get the benefit of slow motion replay but they have to make the calls in real time from a limited vantage point and I don’t think they ever get enough credit for how hard that is. Also: that one ref who celebrated with Brady: this is not proof of a conspiracy holy moley. I think that ref would have celebrated with the Jags had they won. There’s nothing to prove he wouldn’t have. If there was bias, it was unintentional bias. The Jags lost due to some bad luck and poor decisions.

I feel like too many sad fans buy into the narratives through the year. Narratives are fun. It’s great to have a “story” to lock onto. Sometimes these compelling stories finish strongly with results most people want and it makes it easier to embrace the underdog. Hell, look at last year’s Pats. They had the revenge storyline going. Even though most of us hate the Pats, there was a compelling story in watching Brady and Co. stick it to the man, and it does feel like a solid WWE style script at the end. The Jaguars this year had a good narrative but…it’s just a narrative. It doesn’t actually mean anything. The Patriots this year have like no narrative at all. Doing it for…Tom Brady’s weird doctor? I guess? Stick it to ESPN for that one bad article? I guess? If this is the narrative that the NFL wants to secretly script, they are worse than WWE at writing. Nobody except Pats fans are excited the Patriots are back in the Super Bowl.

I also don’t quite buy that the Patriots going to the bowl is inherently a better thing. If I’ve seen anything this year once the teams got decided, it’s that most casual fans are about as bored and tired of the Pats as I am. I’ve fielded a lot of questions from my less football inclined friends asking “Do the Eagles even have a shot, should I bother watching?” and I tell them “The Eagles might legit be the better team especially if Nick Foles plays well!” and they look at me like I’m an idiot for telling them exactly what they hoped to hear. The Patriots being in this game again probably in fact turned a lot of people off watching the sport. The Jags might not be a big market, but they are fresh, and most importantly, have untapped market potential.

Jacksonville is a huge area. Most people have ignored the team because it is still fairly new and has spent the last decade in complete misery. But when a usually small and ignored market suddenly gets a good team, that is a lot of new fans that get picked up. Seattle is the perfect example here. Seattle wasn’t a big market. But that rapid climb to the top picked up a bunch of new fans from the entire PNW area and now they probably make pretty decent bank for the league. There is actual incentive for the Jaguars to be good from a monetary perspective. More bandwagoners equals more sales. Higher prices. The Patriots have more or less maxed out their potential as a market at this point. They can’t pick up any more bandwagoners, and their success is probably hurting sales-wise as casual people stop caring because the same team is always winning. Every chowdahead in Boston already has a Brady jersey. Lots of un-jersey’d people in northeast Florida right now.

So no. The league is not scripted. There is no conspiracy against the Jags. There are just a lot of sad people who don’t want to face up that their favorite team lost a heartbreaker. I’m sure most of these conspirators will come to their senses soon as they come off the immediate emotions if they haven’t already, such is playoff fandom life.

Special thanks to my wife who wrote a bunch of nonsense fake code that I could use for the middle panels. Thanks schweetie.