JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars’ surge in the second half of the 2022 season to the AFC South title surprised most people.
Not with Trevor, though — both Trevor Lawrence the quarterback and Trevor the ghost.
Trevor the Ghost is a character on the CBS sitcom “Ghosts”, based on the British series of the same name, and played by actor Asher Grodman.
Grodman is a fan of the Jaguars, who says he called for the division title when the team was 4-7.
“I said after the Ravens game (on Nov. 27) that we were going to make the playoffs and win 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. Solid football, luckily, Lawrence’s development into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL as head coach Doug Pederson cleans up the negativity and dysfunction of Urban Meyer’s tenure.
Despite not having any ties to Jacksonville, Grodman is a Jaguars fan. He is the latest celebrity to be added to the list of notable fans of a franchise that is not exactly 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 segment with NFL Films. Actor Gene Hackman has a relationship with Del Rio and was also a fan during those nine years. Actor Patrick Heusinger — whose credits include Gossip Girl, Royal Pains and The Black Swan — is a Jacksonville native, as is singer/guitarist/songwriter Derek Trucks, who formed the Band of Tedeschi Trucks with his wife Susan Tedeschi. They sang the National Anthem before the Jaguars’ wild card playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
NBA player Kevin Durant is not a Jaguars fan, but he recently praised the franchise and receiver Christian Kirk on his podcast. Durant said he thought the Jaguars overpaid for Kirk ($37 million per year) in free agency but said he was wrong after Kirk set career highs in catches (84), getting 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 that his mother was worried that 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 fine with him 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 they’re the freshest colors in the league, they’ve got to bring back some of that gold from those early uniforms — for eight years old, I was like, ‘Whoa, this is unlike anything else,’” Grodman said. “It took me a year, two years to get used to things that my father had never seen in his life.
“At first (it was) unbelievable. And then there was a fall out.”
Big fall. After going 4-12 in their inaugural season in 1995, the Jaguars made the playoffs four years in a row, finishing with a 14-2 record in 1999. That season ended with a disappointing loss to the Titans in Game AFC Championship in Jacksonville.
Since then the Jaguars have only made the playoffs four times, had back-to-back seasons with a winning record once, and have lost 10 or more games in 10 of the past 12 seasons. But Grodman said he never considered another change.
“I’m an actor and I basically went through like 20 years of unemployment and just like banging my head against the wall and stuff 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 the Jaguars are enjoying their latest success. Grodman attended several games, including watching the Jaguars’ overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys from owner Shad Khan’s suite. He met several former players, including Hall of Famer Tony Boselli and Fred Taylor. He was with his Lions-fan father when he met Taylor after the win over the Ravens, and Marc Grodman couldn’t help but talk to Taylor about … Barry Sanders.
Grodman said he hasn’t met Pederson or Lawrence yet, but he and his father have met kick returner Jamal Agnew, which Grodman said was an added treat for his father 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 wide receiver Matthew Cherry.
“He runs the team like training camp,” Grodman asked. “It is brilliant. He was a lot of fun to be with.
“The Jaguars had to send me his jersey so I could wear it on the first day to congratulate him. Then eventually the whole team signed it and gave it to him.”
Grodman said he hopes to attend as many games as possible next season based on his filming schedule. He’s optimistic that success in 2022 is just the beginning, and he’s excited to see what the offense looks like with receiver Calvin Ridley eligible to apply for reinstatement from his indefinite suspension on February 15 .
“If Ridley is really in shape I think they will be THAT offense,” Grodman said. “It’s going to be pretty scary next year. Scary.”