Jaxson de Ville has been with the Jacksonville Jaguars for nearly two decades. That’s longer than any coach, player or even owner.
While some NFL teams have rapidly gone through mascots, the Jaguars have had the same cat since day one, and despite his age, in cat years that is, Jaxson proves he is the best in the league season after season.
From forcing the NFL to change its rules on mascots and being renamed Jaxson de Villain by the Steelers, to philanthropy work and visiting our troops overseas, Jaxson has many great memories with the team during its 20-year history.
During a recent trip to EverBank Field, Jaxson shared his diary with us, and highlighted a few of his most memorable moments with the team since Wayne Weaver, former owner of the Jags, discovered him as a young stray, wandering the Gator Bowl during reconstruction of the stadium.
July 6, 1993
While out wandering the grounds of the new stadium with my fellow stray cats, I discovered a group of humans walking about and touring the area. Among them was none other than Wayne Weaver, the man behind bringing Jacksonville its NFL team at long last. Though the other cats are much bigger than I am, I approached Wayne and expressed my interest in becoming the new mascot for the team. I told him about my family’s journey, all the way from the deep jungles of South America to the bustling streets of the Bold New City of the South. “You’re a little too young, and the NFL won’t allow a cat of your size out on the field,” Wayne said. But, despite his initial rebuttal, I told him I was determined, and would do whatever it took to become the mascot for my city’s new team.
June 15, 1995
Today I finally did it. Wayne announced the acceptance of my new position as mascot after several years of hard work and willpower. He even gave me a studio apartment up in the south scoreboard where I get to watch this season’s games until I begin my career next season. It is impossible to even begin to write down my joy and feelings in this simple book. All the other cats who said I wouldn’t make it are going to be so jealous. I have to tell Sir Purr.
December 22, 1996
During today’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, I almost got myself into trouble again by shaking the goal post during the final kick of the game. It was supposed to be an easy win, but you know how that goes. So anyway, as they were making their way down the field to kick a field goal, I began to smack my head into the goal post to show my frustration. Well, I didn’t see it at first, but the head referee sure did because he quickly turned and shouted at me to get away from the goal post that was aggressively shaking from side to side. Just then, the kicker missed his mark, and I immediately thought I had ruined the game, since my disturbance on the field would undoubtedly give him another chance to score. Luckily, the ref turned and walked away, announcing final time and the Jaguars’ win. We’re going to the playoffs!
December 28, 1998
It seems like Steelers fans must really hate me, but I think that’s because they’re just allergic to fun. In our game against them earlier today, which we won, I beat up a life-sized doll of Pittsburgh’s quarterback, Kordell Stewart, during one of their huddles and used one of their rugs to clean my armpits. The fans all loved it and thought it was hilarious. The Steelers’ team – not so much. Bill Cowher, head coach of the Steelers, even whined to the reporters after the game. Dan Rooney, who owns the team, doesn’t seem to like me much either, but I don’t know why they’re so concerned about a big furry cat’s actions off the field; they should be more concerned about their players dropping touchdown passes.
December 15, 2001
We are currently on our trip with the U.S. Navy and just visited the pyramids in Egypt, where many of history’s greatest cats come from. This journey has by far been the coolest part of my career so far. If the Navy accepted Jaguars into its ranks, I would sign up in a heartbeat. We have been living aboard this aircraft carrier and while I have been here, I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet so many brave soldiers who inspire me to do more.
November 30, 2003
So, I have been progressively getting crazier with my stunts, but tonight, I think I may have outdone myself. I skydive into a least one game a year, but always during the day. Well for today’s game, I decided to parachute down to the stadium at night. ESPN was there covering the event, and told me several times not to harm their expensive camera, which hung over the field via cables. Ya, thanks for your concern of my life ESPN. I’ll try to avoid damaging your camera by crashing into it at 100 mph while I descend into the stadium. Anyway, we managed to safely land, and the fans went simply wild. Only afterward did I find out we came within feet of a collision with ESPN’s fancy equipment. Maybe I’ll take it easy on the stunts – or not.
October 3, 2010
How do I even begin? In the game today vs. the Colts, it came down to the final seconds. There I was, waiting in the end zone to catch Josh Scobee’s kick and return it to him. I signaled to him information about the wind, as well as other factors, via our top-secret hand signals, and then, Scobee kicked the most glorious kick in the history of football, and we beat the defending AFC South champions 31-28. What a game.