Sophy Ziss
January 22, 2018 11:26 am
NBC

A running joke on NBC’s The Good Place is Jason Mendoza’s obsession with the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s even carried over to the TV show’s Twitter account, where The Good Place proudly follows two users: the Jacksonville Jaguars team and its quarterback, Blake Bortles — who is a real person, not a joke that The Good Place made up. Considering all of the football that’s happening online, we figured it was time to break down why exactly a Twitter account for an NBC sitcom loves an NFL team so hard.

It’s a *fact* that Jason’s Jaguars fandom knows no bounds, even in death.

From the moment Jason is allowed to embrace his *true* self in Season 1, it’s all Jaguars, all the time. In a flashback, we see him hurl a Molotov cocktail with the cry “Bortles!” — in fact, the quarterback’s name would become something of a battle cry for Jason in the future — and that’s only the beginning. He’s likely the only Jacksonville Jaguars fan on television — living or dead! That’s part of what makes The Good Place so special, though.  Sweet, loving Jason would *so* worship his hometown team, and remain stunningly optimistic about them no matter what.

Also, the Jaguars are generally a…not great team. Sorry, just speaking the sports truth!  This year, they made it as far as the playoffs, where a win against the Patriots would have put them in the Super Bowl (ed note: Go Eagles!!!!). Can you imagine if series creator Mike Schur had done for the NFL what he did for the MLB in the last season of Parks & Recreation?

The Good Place social media team honors Jason’s diehard fandom the best way possible: Proudly and loudly

The “pre-successful” DJ from northeast Florida’s premier swamp town remains loyal to the Jags  and just wants the best for QB Bortles. This love is carried over to The Good Place Twitter account, which celebrates every Jags success (and laments their every failure). The account has routinely changed its name to reflect the Jags’ season, posting .gifs and stills and videos of Jason along the way. It’s kind of endeared the internet to the NFL team, which is rare. Seriously, when was the last time a TV show made you want to buy an NFL jersey?

Jason — er, Manny Jacinto — actually went to a Jaguars game, because when The Good Place commits to a joke, THEY REALLY COMMIT TO THE JOKE.

The best part is, his fandom could have been even weirder. As writer and producer Joe Mande told SB Nation, once the Jaguars stuff was written into the character, they tried to make it as authentic as possible. This meant Jason would have shouted a lot of stuff that no one outside of the Jacksonville area would recognize, and since it is still a major network sitcom, they had to edit the jokes to make people understand them.

In the end, the fact that The Good Place loves the Jacksonville Jaguars is as adorable and ridiculous as Jason Mendoza himself. We’re sorry about the playoffs — you’ll get ’em next year, right? BORTLES!

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