We are now JAX...Officially
Something remarkable happened in Jacksonville this week. And it had to do with sports, with a little social media mixed in. Now Jacksonville gets unfairly maligned as a sports city. The national media, and in turn the national sports fan, does not see our city, and our sports teams, the way we see them. We love our Jaguars. We are proud of how we have responded to the call for the sale of season and individual tickets. Even though our city was hit hard by the economic downturn, we still have managed to rank 20th in home attendance. We do not have the blackout issue that many other cities have. However, we have been portrayed as a city that cannot support our teams.
That could not be farther from the truth. Aside from the strong showing at EverBank Field, one of the largest stadium in the NFL, the people of Jacksonville have strongly supported the AA Suns and the ABA’s two time defending champion Giants. They have also come out by the thousands to watch The Players and regional tennis tournaments. Our support of soccer matches here has brought us a NASL team that will launch in 2015. Our support of the Jaguars is should truly be commended, as we have had to watch some underachieving teams over the past few years. But as disappointing these teams have been and as disappointing our national media coverage has been, nothing has been more disappointing, and extremely disrespectful, as the abbreviation the NFL has used for our city name.
Since the Jaguars inception, the NFL has used the three letters JAC to identify the team on schedules, press releases and in other league information. However, we here in Jacksonville know that we identify ourselves as JAX. Our airport is identified as JAX. But for some reason, this was first implemented incorrectly, and remained incorrect for sixteen years.
Jaguars fans have tried for years to get the National Football League to change their team's abbreviation. On Thursday, their request was answered.
ESPN reports that with help from a persistent social media campaign and the Jaguars digital media manager Chris Burdett, the NFL has agreed to change its official abbreviation for the team. Burdett says he's been trying to get it changed since the end of last season. Since he joined Twitter several months ago (@digital_jag), he'd get hits with requests and complaints from fans. He told ESPN there would always be at least 10 to 15 fans direct tweeting at them asking when it's going to change. On Thursday, fans reportedly took to Twitter and inundated Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) with tweets asking that the NFL change the team's official abbreviation from JAC to JAX. This included tweets from Jaxson DeVille, who himself is an active Twitter user.