John Short rings victory bell, one of many items in his tailgate setup
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- John Short pulled up in his van outside EverBank Field at 10:30 in the morning, ready to set up for his tailgate party, a good nine hours before kickoff for the Jaguars preseason opener.
"All right it is time for football!! It's official, Jaguar time!!," said Short.
John Short could be described as a Jaguars extreme fan, the very first fan to arrive at the Jags parking lot way before the Jaguars kick off against the Miami Dolphins at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
"Tremendously excited!! Love it, love it, real optimistic about the team this year!"
He started planning for this first game weeks ago, getting everything ready for his ultimate tailgate party he hosts every year in the same spot.
He can be found with flags flying and a fully decorated van just southwest of the south end zone under the Hart Bridge expressway.
"I started about three weeks ago, getting things out of the attic, getting things out of two storage sheds. Later on you'll be able to see my setup and things, it takes quite a bit, I loaded the van a week ago, that way I can go through my checklist."
Short hates to wear shorts after being teased about his legs, but he's proud of his Jaguars socks he wears this day.
"Legs aren't too good looking, but the socks look good!!"
Hundreds of fans know to stop by Short's party and enjoy his Jaguar Juice, his secret formula. He says it contains 9 liquors and 14 ingredients and of course it is teal in color.
Eddie Smith has been tailgating with Short for several years.
"Nobody puts in as much time and effort as John does, there is no question," Smith said.
Reporter: Quite the fan? The number one fan in Jacksonville.
"No doubt? No doubt!!" Smith said.
Short can think of no better place to celebrate his birthday.
"Last year, the first game fell on my birthday, tomorrow is my birthday, so I will have to celebrate today though!!"
Short will be 68 years old on Saturday and he hopes to celebrate tonight by ringing his Jaguars victory bell.
First Coast News