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The Jacksonville Jaguars made the league by a long shot. With early and consistent success on the field, the team met own expectations and exceeded the expectations of competitors.
One of the longest campaigns for an NFL team began in August 1989. This started the partnership that allowed to lead the community towards their effort to win an NFL franchise. Jacksonville businessman Tom Petway was the leading candidate that won the team.
The $60 million dollar commitment to the new stadium was announced to upgrade the Gator Bowl. The team confidently announced that the team would be named the Jaguars, even though no one thought that the city would be awarded amidst strong competitors with great fan bases such as Carolina who won another franchise, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Memphis.
Jacksonville started winning early and often on the field. The Jaguars posted an impressive 4-12 record in their inaugural season, which was a new mark and standard for expansion franchises with an expansion draft and free agency in the modern game.
The team not long after, the next year in fact, made it to the AFC championship game in 1996. They lost to the New England Patriots in that game. The Jaguars were led by Tom Coughlin, who brought a tough brand of football to the team, as they took a lot of players that were either free agents that were not highly sought after or trades that made the team very competitive. The over achieving Jaguars developed talents such as Mark Brunell at quarterback, Jimmy Smith at receiver, and draft pics Kevin Hardy, and Tony Brackens in the front 7 on defense.
In 1999 they reached the AFC championship again, this time with a more efficient game, having a +12 turnover ratio and a more developed drafting and maturing of players, they played the Denver Broncos for the chance to go to the Super Bowl. Again they fell short though.
The beautiful stadium is used for optimum enjoyment for the fans. The practice fields used from 1995 to 2003 were converted to interactive places to tailgate, play games, and enjoy other activities in a 400,000 square foot area for years to come.
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