Marrone also tells us his Styx-related secret for beating the Pittsburgh Steelers not once, but twice this season.
by Mike Mettler
When Doug Marrone, the head coach of the red-hot Jacksonville Jaguars, came backstage at Daily’s Place Ampitheatre in Jacksonville to visit with Styx right before their United We Rock set back on July 20, 2017, he already had the winning formula for how he was going to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2017 NFL campaign. And the Jags did it not once, but twice this season, including a thrilling 45-42 victory in the AFC Divisional playoff game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on January 14, 2018.
In a word: It was “Renegade” who had it made.
“I know that’s their fire-up-the-defense song,” Marrone told us around 9:15 p.m that evening, about 15 minutes or so before Styx went onstage. “So I’ve been having it played over the P.A. during our summer practice sessions to get our guys immune to it.”
Longtime Styx and Steelers fans know that “Renegade” is often pumped in over the P.A. at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh during the fourth quarter to inspire the Steel Curtain defense during crunch time. Eagle-eared viewers will have observed hearing the song being playing in the background right before a fourth-quarter kickoff during yesterday’s CBS broadcast of the aforementioned Jaguars-Steelers AFC Divisional Playoff game. Alas, it was all for naught, as the Steelers’ suffered their second loss to the Jaguars on home field this season. (They also lost to the Jags 30-9 back in Week 5 of the regular season, on October 8, 2017.)
Marrone, who grew up in The Bronx in New York in the late-’70s and early-’80s, has been a Styx fan pretty much all his life. “One of my first 45s growing up was ‘Come Sail Away,’ so for me, that got me locked into it,” he told us before heading out to his seats. “Everything from ‘Fooling Yourself’ to the autobiography that’s out now [i.e., Chuck Panozzo’s The Grand Illusion], that’s all been part of it for me.
“People don’t realize how many hits this band has,” Marrone continued. “People who don’t know them hear a song on the radio and will go, ‘Oh my God, I know that song!’ Styx are an awesome band, and I’m really fired up about them.”
On next Sunday, January 21, the Jaguars will be facing the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts for a chance to go to Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on February 4, and we have a feeling the spirit of Styx will be right there with them all. Oh, Mama. . .