Last season, the bottom feeders of the AFC South found new hope and life by making the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade. The Jaguars and the Titans were the laughing stock of the division for the entire 2010’s decade, until 2017. They were so bad, the NFL gave them both their lone primetime game on a random Thursday night in the season where the two squads would battle it out to see who sucked less. It was a miserable time for both franchises.
As both teams turned the corner in the past two years, what was once considered the toilet bowl of the NFL, has become a bitter rivalry between the two fan bases with real implications on the field, and not for a higher draft pick, but for division titles and playoff seeding.
It seems that the two fan bases can’t stand to see the other succeed. Both want all of the glory of the turnaround. No sharing with the other. It has caused a major rift between the two fan bases, who constantly rip each other and try to convince anyone who will listen to them that the other team is not as good as they appear.
It’s a unique rivalry because it’s not as though these two teams have been battling for the divisional title for years, and the rivalry has slowly built over time. It’s become the way it is because both teams were awful for so long and always looked up to the Colts and Texans, and never across the aisle to one another.
In the AFC North, for example, the Steelers and Ravens have dominated their division for years and have a respected rivalry because of it. In the NFC East, the Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, and Giants have battled it out evenly for years. One winning the division, then dropping off the next year. The Titans and Jaguars have exploded onto the AFC South scene, and like a starved man in the wild, want all the food for themselves. They don’t care about the hunger of the other, even though it’s equal. They just want to feed themselves. They want as much glory as they can get.
As for the rest of the South, there have been short rivalries before, like pop up showers in the summertime, but none have lasted or had the fierce competitiveness that I’ve seen from the Jaguars and the Titans this past season. The Titans and Colts were early rivals in the South, but Peyton Manning ended that quickly. The Colts and Texans were rivals, then the Texans took over quickly. Now, though, the Titans and Jaguars have something special brewing. Each squad has been built for the future and is starting to see the fruits of their labor. I don’t see either team slowing down in the near future, and the AFC South could birth its first long-standing rivalry from it.
Things that fuel the rivalry?
Jags fans are notorious for making fun of Marcus Mariota breaking his leg against them in 2016.
Marcus Mariota’s stiff arm on Barry Church to beat the Jags in the final game of the 2017 season and propel the Titans to the playoffs.
Jags fans getting all up in my mentions on Twitter.
Each fan base making fun of the geographic location of the other. Nashivlle is 1000x better than Jacksonville, by the way.
How heated does it get? I’ve compiled some tweets between the two fan bases below.
Are you talking about the AFC SOUTH Champion jaguars ? the more successful team then the titans ?? https://t.co/Yz7Qnjf1FR
— Frankie Teal (@FrankieTeal) May 20, 2018
1st Down: Hand the ball to Derek Henry.
2nd Down: Hand the ball to Derek Henry.
3rd Down: Mariota breaks his leg.
4th Down: shrug and punt
— Uncle Ian Snow (@Jawabreaker) April 12, 2018
You get 100 million dollars tonight but you have to root for the Titans, your only condiment is mayo, and Mitch Firkins is your best friend you must hang out with the rest of your life… Wyd?#DTWD #jaguars
— Teal Tomahawk (@JagsApologist) May 15, 2018
What kind of backwoods, hillbilly, trashy-ass, teeth missing, no-washing, fucktarded state has a filthy ass racoon as their state ani—- oohhhhhhh https://t.co/BT60WdBp3M
— Teal Tomahawk (@JagsApologist) May 14, 2018
Remember that time Jacksonville fans jumped into a pool of mayo? Then lost to the Titans?
— HasBeenSports (@HasBeenSports) December 29, 2017
The Titans division title hopes are souring faster than mayo in the Nashville sun
— med (@medBCB) November 17, 2017
Imagine being a Titans fan. You’ve gotta be so miserable in every aspect of your life.
— Carolina Jaguar (@Carolina_Jag) May 20, 2018
Jags fans: I hope Marcus breaks his leg in half
Me: Shut up fat fuck
Jags fans: WHOAAAAAA TITANS FANS HAVE NO CLASS
— Bryce. (@Bwl931_) January 9, 2018
Outside of the Jags team shower pic.twitter.com/S9NFkHUo28
— matt neely (@mattneely_) April 19, 2018