She ordered a drink. Talked to a cute boy at the bar. Got his phone number. Their 10-year wedding anniversary is this year. Their oldest daughter turned to me today and said "Auntie Ally, next year I'm going to be a pre-teen."
In addition to marrying a well-educated, well-traveled, Scottish chap, she also married a sports marketing genius (as in...he is all of these things...not that she was married multiple times). Working at the time for the Scottish Claymores, he eventually left there to do marketing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and finally ended up at the Jacksonville Jaguars.
And this is how I came to have one entire shelf in my closet designated for the teal.
I have to admit...I loved his time with the Bucs. Their colors are badass. They have a pirate's ship...with cannons that fired for every touchdown (rent in the neighborhood had to be dirt-cheap). And a peg leg is the new black (insert lame pirate's joke here: What kind of socks do pirates wear? ARRR-gyle!). Plus, they play their home games at Raymond James Stadium. You feel like you are investing just by attending a game. There wasn't much to hate about the Buccaneers. Oh, except their losing seasons. That was unfortunate.
Who's up for a little swashbuckling on a Monday night?
And lo and behold, right before they won the Super Bowl in 2002, Mr. Marketing took a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars (I love how Wikipedia lists the Bucs as "Super Bowl champions in 2002", which is immediately followed by "Period of Struggle" from 2003-2008." No shit. That's putting it nicely.) Trading it in for teal on the cusp of a national victory is kind of like playing the nickel slots for 12 hours and then walking away to go to the bathroom, only to return to discover someone hit the jackpot of $500K while you were wiping
It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. So, I didn't. I was being stockpiled with Jags gear, but I just couldn't give up the red and black...the parrot accessories...the eyepatch....the rum...until I caught a Sunday afternoon Jags game. Jackson DeVille, the teal-clad, cool kat mascot was working the crowd. He could be Chester Cheetoh's twin brother (er...or cousin...considering the whole genus/species thing). I love cheetoh's and I madcrush on Chester. I was hooked. Goodbye village pillaging pirates, hello kitty kitty.
That was 3 years ago. Since then, they've changed their slogan each year and explored the challenges of marketing to a college football state (and selling tickets for a Florida NFL team that is not the Miami Dolphins). This season, the rallying cry is "It's Go Time!" Fitting for a club that's been cooling their heels all summer waiting for the sealed deal. In addition, the tickets will feature the faces of "superfans"...the painted warriors and diehard ticket holders. My sister saw them last week and the most appropriate word she had was awesome. I guess they took a note from the Bucs Bad-Ass Playbook.
Marketing for the upcoming year had its own set of challenges. Until the strike was over, no player's photo could be used for any marketing campaigns. Creating excitement around a season that may be played by ghosts requires no small amount of creativity. But with the slogan and the superfan tickets, the Jags are well on their way. It's GO Time and we've got our game faces on! Is it pre-season yet?