Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

So the Steelers Hate Jaxson deVille? Hey . . . That's His Job

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

So the Steelers Hate Jaxson deVille? Hey . . . That's His Job

Article excerpt

He struts. He leads cheers. He beats the tar out of effigies of opposing quarterbacks.

And the 7-foot-tall mascot sometimes makes ESPN Sportscenter highlights.

But does he go too far?

Jaxson deVille is Jacksonville's most recognizable mascot, frolicking and taunting on the sidelines during home Jaguars games.

But his antics Monday night left some Pittsburgh Steelers less than impressed. During one timeout, Jaxson brought a stuffed toy in the form of Steeler quarterback Kordell Stewart onto the field and began beating and stomping on it a few yards behind the huddled -- and glaring -- Steelers.

"A couple of them wanted to kick my [butt]," the mascot said.

During another break, Jaxson marched around near the Pittsburgh bench on stilts with a Steeler rug he got from a fan. He used the towel to wipe his armpits and buttocks.

"The big left tackle, No. 77 [actually guard Will Wolford], shouted a few expletives and said, "If you don't get the bleep out of here . . ." Jaxson said.

Steelers officials were unavailable for comment yesterday. But the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted Steeler Coach Bill Cowher in yesterday's editions as being particularly displeased with Jaxson's antics.

"You just banked it in your memory bank," Cowher told the newspaper. "It's been banked in my mind."

Jaxson, who agreed to talk to the Times-Union on the condition his identity remain secret, laughed when he heard the quote.

"That's kind of funny," he said. "I think he might want to bank that they only put three points on the scoreboard or the fact that his receivers dropped four touchdown passes."

The life of a mascot can be controversial. Take, for instance, The Famous San Diego Chicken, loved on both coasts as he tackles opposing mascots, but not loved by Barney, the beloved purple dinosaur. Barney's makers sued The Chicken for using his likeness as a punching bag at sporting events around the country.

And remember when Jaxson took so much heat for shaking the goal posts prior to Morten Anderson's missed field goal in 1996 that sent the Jaguars to their first playoff appearance? …

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