BOSTON, Ma. — The atmosphere around Boston has been electric leading up to the AFC championship. Some may say, it’s just football, right? Wrong. Lifelong Jaguars fan Sarah Bartley is one person who proves there’s much more to football than what you see on the field.
The Jaguars weren’t always easy to watch growing up, she said, but it wasn’t about winning or losing for her. It was about spending time with her number one fan, her dad.
“I went to games their first season, I think I was six, it was just something that really bonded the two of us together,” said Bartley. “He passed away five years ago, I’m going to get a little emotional talking about it, and I know it’s just football, but I feel like I’m with him when I’m watching the games.”
For her, this weekend is more than a lucky charm.
“I had to wear the sweatshirt here, I had to wear it here and bring him with me to the game.”
His favorite Jags sweatshirt that he wore even when he was getting treatment for his brain tumor has made its way to the AFC Championship in his honor by way of his daughter.
“When he was sick he still wanted to watch the game every weekend, and it was a time we were struggling so it was really hard.”
Now, she’s taken on his passion.
“This feels like a natural part of me, this intense Jags fandom.”
So intense that she’s converted her Patriots fan fiancé into a Jaguars fan fiancé, something else she knows her dad would be proud of.
“I think he is somewhere now watching, he’s happy to know we are here this weekend, just so excited about it.”