Martin Buckley's business has boomed with the Jaguars success.
“Oh it's been crazy,” Buckley said. “We have been riding the Jags wave here for a couple of months now. We've had Leonard Fournette, Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith. We had Jaydon Mickens here last night, and it's been great. All the players have been fantastic the fans have been showing up in droves. It's been really good.”
From jerseys to helmets to autographed pictures, like one hanging on his store wall.
“So … this was Leonard's best game of the year when the Jags beat the Steelers at Pittsburgh earlier this year, and that's him diving he jumped from about the five-yard line and just soared over the defensive line there for a touchdown,” Buckley said.
The owner of Palm Beach Autographs at the Avenues Mall says Jags memorabilia is a hot commodity right now.
“The Jags have this year been 100 percent our No. 1 seller. Jaylen Ramsey by far has been the guy, you know a lot of Christmas presents were Jaylon Ramsey jerseys, helmets, logo footballs, pictures,” Buckley said.
Sunday, Buckley is flying to Pittsburgh with Mark Lowry and a group of others from Jacksonville to be at the game, but among his friends, he will definitely stand out. He will be the only one in his group wearing Steelers gear.
“It is what it is. We're happy he's got the best of both worlds because he loves the Jags and you know his childhood team is the Steelers,” Lowry said.
“I'm a huge Steelers fan,” Buckley said. “All my mom's family is from Pittsburgh. My grandparents live there. That's where I spent a lot of my summers growing up and going to Three Rivers Stadium to watch the Pirates and the Steelers, and so I'm a life-long Steelers fan. My friends, they thought they'd let me tag along with them.
Tag along and enjoy some front-row seats.
“A friend of mine texted me and said he had a couple of seats available. He said ‘Do you know anyone that needed them?’ I said ‘Yes. We do. Don't let them go,’ so we got four seats in the first row right behind the Jags bench so we're looking forward to it. It couldn't be better seats as far as being behind the team you love,” Lowry said.
As for Buckley, he says regardless of the outcome he will come back to Jacksonville a happy man.
“I'm going to pull for my team, but at the end of the day if the Jags win, like I said, I have all my friends and all the customers that we've become friends with here and all the players that we've worked with, the past players and the current players. I know how excited they'll be and how much that'll mean to them, so I think either way it's kind of a win-win situation,” Buckley said.
First Coast News has a team of people in the Steel City to cover what happens on and off the field. Stay with First Coast News for continuing live team coverage as the Jaguars prepare to take on the Steelers Sunday at 1:05 p.m. in Pittsburgh.