JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars fans might be divided on whether management made a mistake by re-signing quarterback Blake Bortles or failing to draft an offensive lineman with the team's first-round draft pick, but they all agree on this:
Myles Jack wasn't down.
It has been nearly five months since officials made a huge mistake in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium, when they blew the whistle to stop Jack from returning a fumble for a touchdown, but Jaguars fans still (understandably) won't let it go. That's why "Myles Jack wasn't down" has become a thing around the city.
A really, really big thing.
Two local breweries have named a pair of microbrews with the phrase. High schoolers have decorated their mortarboards with it at graduation. T-shirts have been printed. Signs have cropped up on television at other sporting events, such as "WWE Monday Night Raw" in Albany, New York.
"Myles Jack wasn't down" even made its way into Rohan Bansal's valedictorian speech at Jacksonville's Atlantic Coast High School.
Jack, a linebacker, admits that the fun people are having certainly eases some of the pain of what happened on the sixth play of the fourth quarter, with the Jaguars leading the New England Patriots 20-10. The Patriots used a trick play -- receiver Danny Amendola threw a pass to running back Dion Lewis -- but Jack ran Lewis down after a 22-yard gain and ripped the ball out of Lewis' grasp as they went to the ground.
Jack ended up with the ball, got up and headed for the end zone, but officials blew the play dead and stopped what would have been a touchdown. After reviewing the play, the officials ruled that Jack was down by contact, and the Jaguars took over on their 33.
"At that moment, at that time, when I picked the ball up and ran and why I slammed the ball down, like, I knew I wasn't down," Jack said. "So I was screaming at the ref, like, 'Why the eff are you blowing the play down when I know it's not down?' Enough people at home know I wasn't down. People at the stadium know I wasn't down.
"It [people having fun with the phrase] is comforting, I guess. Therapeutic."
The Jaguars went three-and-out after the turnover, and the Patriots responded with the first of their two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Had officials not prematurely blown Jack's return dead, the Jaguars would have been ahead 27-10, and the entire complexion of the game would have changed.
That is why Jaguars fans won't -- and can't -- let it go.
That includes guys such as Intuition Ale Works founder Ben Davis, who decided to brew a small batch of a Belgian Tripel and call it "Myles Jack Wasn't Down." Davis said he got the idea from seeing social media posts with the phrase. He started selling the beer June 7 at his brewery and tap room two blocks from TIAA Bank Field.
"We want to promote the Jaguars," Davis said. "A lot of our biggest drinkers and supporters are Jags fans and are the demographic that kind of gets behind them. And I truly hate the Patriots.
"... The older you get as a brewery and the more beers you brew, it definitely gets harder and harder to come up with names. It's something that we thought was fun."
So did Eric Luman, who owns Green Room Brewing in Jacksonville Beach. During the NFL playoffs, his company brewed two beers named Sacksonville in honor of the Jaguars' defensive nickname, and it went over so well that he wanted to try another brew.
It was barroom manager Brendan Davis who came up with the idea to name the IPA they brewed two months ago Straight Facts -- Myles Jack Wasn't Down. Luman said it was a small batch, and there isn't any left.
"It went over really well," Luman said. "Those two Sacksonville beers we did and Myles Jack just flew off our shelves."
Makes sense. There's no better way for Jaguars fans to drown their sorrows than with a beer named after the play that might have robbed the franchise of its first Super Bowl appearance.
Or maybe play a joke on the president of the United States by asking his Twitter account to DM you because you have information that proves the Russia investigation is a witch hunt -- and answer the message with: Myles Jack wasn't down in the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots.
That, by the way, is Jack's favorite.
This is the funniest thing I've seen all year 😂😂😂 https://t.co/sDCZIYR22V— Myles Jack (@MylesJack) April 29, 2018
"I got on Twitter and [saw] that, and I really laughed out loud," he said.
The players can do that now, but that doesn't mean they no longer believe they were robbed by the officials.
"We saw it live, and I thought it then, and I still think it now," Bortles said. "I think it's tough to argue with, but there's definitely things we could have done in that game outside of that play, offensively, that could have won us the game, so it's tough to point out that or use that [as an excuse], but he definitely wasn't down."