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A little over two years ago Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair was murdered in a downtown Nashville condo. The violent murder still lingers in the city of Nashville. McNair wasn’t an isolated sports star adrift from the city; he was a popular pro athlete who called Nashville home and was embraced by the community. Even two years later his death still stings. McNair, who led the Titans to many big wins in Jacksonville — most notably the AFC Title game in 2000 — doesn’t have the same popularity in north Florida.
Two days ago the Titans opened the season at division rival Jacksonville. The game was a far cry from the AFC championship game in 2000. Two mediocre football teams battled in the Florida sun for three hours before the game came to a merciful 16-14 end. The Jaguars triumphed on the field, but they didn’t triumph in the pregame tailgate.
That’s because some Jaguar fans set up a skeleton at a tailgate wearing a bloody and torn Steve McNair jersey.
The picture, which arrives via email from a reputable source, included these details: “A very close friend who lives in Jacksonville that is a big Jaguars fan took the photo Sunday before the game. He asked me who #9 belonged to. When I replied he apologized for the classless Jag fans.”
Amazingly this isn’t the first controversy involving a skeleton wearing a Steve McNair jersey. In September of 2009, just two months after his murder, Kings Island amusement park in Ohio also featured a skeleton wearing a McNair jersey. The park apologized for the display and removed it from view.
Two years later the McNair skeleton is back. This time at an NFL tailgate.
It is, however, nice to see that the same Jaguar fans who dressed up a skeleton in the jersey of a murdered NFL star also were patriotic enough to fly the flag on 9/11. It’s the little things that count.
The little things such as: what will become of the 46 Jacksonville Jaguar fans when the franchise relocates to Los Angeles?