JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars’ surge in the second half of the 2022 season to an AFC South title was a surprise to most people.
Not to Trevor, though — both Trevor Lawrence the quarterback and Trevor the ghost.
Trevor the ghost is a character on the CBS sitcom “Ghosts”, which is based on the British series of the same name, and is played by actor Asher Grodman.
Grodman is a fan of the Jaguars, who says he called the division title when the team was 4-7.
“I said after the Ravens game [on Nov. 27] we were making the playoffs and winning the division,” Grodman said.
The Jaguars lost just once in their next six regular-season games, beating the Tennessee Titans in Week 18 to win the AFC South. Nothing supernatural about that, though. Just solid football, a little luck, Lawrence’s development into one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks and head coach Doug Pederson purging the negativity and dysfunction of the Urban Meyer tenure.
Despite having no ties to Jacksonville, Grodman is a Jaguars fan. He’s the latest celebrity to be added to the list of notable fans of a franchise that hasn’t exactly been one of the most popular in the league over the past two decades.
Actor and comedian Billy Murray visited the Jaguars during Jack Del Rio’s tenure as head coach (2003-11) and did a piece with NFL Films. Actor Gene Hackman has a relationship with Del Rio and was also a fan during those nine years. Actor Patrick Heusinger — who counts Gossip Girl, Royal Pains and The Black Swan among his acting credits — is a Jacksonville native, as is singer/guitarist/songwriter Derek Trucks, who along with wife Susan Tedeschi formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band. They performed the National Anthem before the Jaguars’ wild-card playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
NBA player Kevin Durant isn’t a Jaguars fan, but he recently praised the franchise and receiver Christian Kirk on his podcast. Durant said he thought the Jaguars had overpaid for Kirk ($37 million annually) in free agency but said he was wrong after Kirk set career highs in catches (84), receiving yards (1,108) and TDs (eight).
Grodman had a different path to becoming a Jaguars fan. He was born in New York City in 1987, but his father was a Detroit Lions fan, so he naturally followed the Lions when he was younger. But he joked his mother was worried he and his brother wouldn’t have friends since they were surrounded by New York Giants and Jets fans, so she told them to pick a new team.
Grodman said his father was okay with it as long as they stayed away from the Giants and Jets.
“It was 1995 and when the Jaguars showed up — those colors still, I think the coolest colors in the league, they need to bring back some of that gold from those early uniforms — for an eight year old, I was like, ‘Whoa, this is unlike anything else,’” Grodman said. “It took me one, two years to experience things that my dad has never seen in his lifetime.
“In the beginning [it] was incredible. And then there was a drop-off.”
A big drop-off. After going 4-12 in their inaugural season in 1995, the Jaguars made the playoffs the next four years in a row, culminating in a 14-2 record in 1999. That season ended with a disappointing loss to the Titans in the AFC Championship Game in Jacksonville.
Since then the Jaguars have made the playoffs just four times, have had back-to-back seasons with a winning record once, and have lost 10 or more games in 10 of the past 12 seasons. Yet Grodman said he never considered another switch.
“I’m an actor and I basically went through like 20 years of unemployment and just like banging my head against the wall and things not working out and not working out,” he said. “And I think on some level, I must have seen some camaraderie with the Jags.”
Now he’s enjoying the Jaguars’ newest success. Grodman has attended several games, including watching the Jaguars’ overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys from owner Shad Khan’s suite. He has met multiple former players, including Hall of Famer Tony Boselli and Fred Taylor. He was with his Lions fan dad when he met Taylor after the victory over the Ravens, and Marc Grodman couldn’t help but talk to Taylor about … Barry Sanders.
Grodman said he hasn’t yet met Pederson or Lawrence, but he and his father have met kick returner Jamal Agnew, which Grodman said was an extra thrill for his dad since Agnew spent the first four years of his career with the Lions.
Two episodes of “Ghost” — one of which aired Jan. 5 — are directed by former Jaguars practice squad receiver Matthew Cherry.
“He runs the set like training camp,” Grodman asked. “It’s awesome. It was fun to be on set with him.
“I had the Jaguars send me his jersey so I could wear it on the first day on set to greet him. Then at the end the whole cast signed it and gave it to him.”
Grodman said he’s hoping to attend as many games as possible next season based on his filming schedule. He’s optimistic that the success in 2022 is just the beginning, and he’s excited to see what the offense is going to look like with the addition of receiver Calvin Ridley, who can apply for reinstatement from his indefinite suspension for gambling on Feb. 15.
“If Ridley really is in shape then I think they’re going to be THAT offense,” Grodman said. “It’s going to be scary good next year. Scary.”