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2008 September Chapter Spotlight - JaxBAG (Jacksonville, FL)

By Mr. Steeler, SteelCity Mafia
August 15, 2008
JAXB.A.G.

(Jacksonville Black and Gold)
The official Pittsburgh Steelers fan club in Jacksonville, Florida has been around for a number of years. Current President Delores "Dee" Enos has been there since the club first formed and the club has been through several bars that they have called home. Either it was the growing size of the club, or the disappointment in the services rendered by venues that the club headquartered at, sometimes even the desire by the owners of some bars not to have the Steelers faithful congregate in their place anymore that forced the club to keep moving on.
 
In 2003, Harvey "Mr. Steeler" Aronson relocated from New York City after having moved there from Pittsburgh 20 years earlier to Jacksonville and introduced himself to Dee and the Steelers club. He quickly became Dee's right hand man and the two took on decided roles. Dee would continue to serve as President and oversee the club's finances and handle all financial decisions, while Mr. Steeler took over as Vice President and Director of Operations in control of all club activities, press releases, and dealing with the media. Harvey decided that the club needed a catchy nickname and came up with JAXB.A.G. It quickly stuck and caught on. When Mr. Steeler first joined in 2003 and the club was located at Turn 4 Wings in Mandarin, Florida, official membership was around 75. Since that time, the club has grown tremendously now number over 350 official and paid JAX.B.A.G.ers.
 
In 2006, the Steelers were scheduled to play the Jacksonville Jaguars on national television in a Monday night football game. With no Steelers game being played on the typical Sunday afternoon, Harvey made arrangements with the general manager of the then home of JAXB.A.G. Calico Jack's to stage a "pep rally" for Steelers fans. With about three weeks notice, officials from Steel City Mafia learned of the rally and joined forces with JAXB.A.G. Word was sent to the masses about the rally, and while 300-350 fans were expected on that day, in the end the estimates were anywhere from 800-1,000. The rally attracted the attention of NFL Films who came to Jacksonville to complete a documentary on Steelers Nation that they had been filming. Sally Wiggin of WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh did a live broadcast from the event. Jim Rooker, a world series champion of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979 also made an appearance. The event was so successful that JAXB.A.G. and Steel City Mafia are planning another rally at the new headquarters of JAXB.A.G., Chicago Pizza on October 4.
 
The great thing about the club JAXB.A.G. is that nearly 90-95% of its members hail from Pittsburgh. When you visit JAXB.A.G. you feel at home. JAXB.A.G. also likes to boast that they are not your normal fan club. At Chicago Pizza, Mr. Steeler leads the cheers and traditions to the mass of Black and Gold fans with the main tradition being the toting of an official Steelers helmet around to the fans before the game so that they can give it a nice smack for good luck. That routine is repeated upon every Steelers touchdown. There is an array of cheers including the yelling of players' names when they make a big play but doing so in unique fashion. 
 
Having grown to such large numbers, JAXB.A.G. also expanded in 2007 to two main affiliate bars. Box Seats is one of the larger affiliates located in Fleming Island, Florida. This group is an official affiliate but refers to themselves as "FLIB.A.G." for Fleming Island Black and Gold. Then there is the Times Grill on Baymeadows Road in Jacksonville. 
 
Locations of JAXB.A.G.:
 
Chicago Pizza and Sports Grille
8206 Philips Hwy #38
Jacksonville, FL 32256
http://www.chicagopizzasportsgrille.com

Box Seats at Village Square
2245 Plantation Center Dr
Orange Park, FL 32003
(904) 637-0152
http://www.myspace.com/box_seats
 
Times Grill
10915 Baymeadows Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32256
(904) 674-2606‎
http://www.timesgrill.com



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