Jacksonville teacher keeps students focused with Jaguars meme

Teacher replaces American patriots' portraits with Jaguars players

By Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer
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(Photo: Amanda Swearingen via Facebook)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville middle school teacher has a nifty way of getting her students to pay attention in history class ahead of Sunday's big game: She posted a meme that replaced American patriots' portraits with Jaguars players.

Amanda Swearingen, who teaches eighth grade U.S. History at James Weldon Johnson Preparatory, edited an image of the founding fathers to include quarterback Blake Bortles, running back Leonard Fournette, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Swearingen said she made the meme in an effort to "disregard all things Patriot," saying that any "founding father who was deemed a patriot during the American Revolution has been photoshopped into a true hero."

The lifelong Jaguars fan told WJXT she came up with the idea so she could put it on display during class. 

"We just finished the American Revolution last semester so I thought, 'I'll just throw this up and see if they get that I put Jags faces over patriots,'" she said.

"I had no idea it would blow up this much," she added.

Swearingen, who was among the crowd that flocked to EverBank Field last week to welcome home the Jaguars, acknowledged it's been tough for her and students alike to focus on anything but Sunday's AFC title game against the Patriots, which will decide who advances to the Super Bowl.

She said she and two students, who also are die-hard fans, spend a few moments before class every day talking about whichever team the Jaguars are preparing to play. This week was no different -- well, almost.

"When I told them this meme went viral, one said, 'Does this mean we don’t have to take our unit test today?'" said Swearingen, to which she replied, "Nice try."

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