Jacksonville: the Worst Coast

Don Russell, Philadelphia Daily News:

Philadelphians headed for this town are excused if they confuse it for home. Not because of the landscape, of course; this place lacks anything approaching charm.

You know your city has a bad rep when someone from Philadelphia calls it charmless. It's like being a singer booed off the stage by Ashlee Simpson.

Now that Workbench has begun to attract random abuse about Jacksonville, I'm feeling some civic responsibility to defend the Bold New City of the South, the First Coast, the place Where Florida Begins, or as one local dubbed it: "Just Barely Florida."

However, I would prefer for the world to believe the media digs and encourage the steady tide of new Floridians to beach themselves someplace else.

So Tony Kornheiser is right: Jacksonville is a foul-smelling city where we celebrate our wedding anniversaries by scrounging the doublewide for shoes and taking the cousin-wife out to Hooter's.

Forget what you heard about smooth beaches, year-round golf, and a nine-month summer that begins in two weeks. Those are lies spread by malicious yokels who lure unsuspecting tourists deep into the pines to re-enact their favorite scenes from Deliverance.



Have you ever been to Philadelphia?

Visited for a weekend? Even an afternoon?

I wouldn't be taking cheap shots from J'Ville, is all I'm saying.

I visited once, and my strongest memories are of being verbally abused by an airport pretzel vendor and crossing a dreary industrial part of town, driving over a ridiculously tall bridge where traffic was brought to a standstill by a burning car.

Perhaps I missed some of its charm, but you can't deny the city's rep for urban blight and abusive sports crowds who capture and kill fans of opposing teams, then eat their corpses wit' Whiz.

I haven't been to Philly in about a decade, but I've been there many times. My strongest impression is one of miles and miles and miles of bad roads. Largely a product of winter weather and the extraordinary expense of road maintenance, but still.

Jacksonville is kind of unique in terms of culture, depending on how one thinks of Florida in terms of culture. It's much more akin to Georgia in many respects than much of the rest of the state. It is not without its charms.

But I'll be quite happy if people aren't inspired to relocate here.

It's perhaps instructive that you write (emphasis added): "you can't deny the city's **rep** for urban blight and abusive sports crowds"

You're right, there is a 'rep'. But is the 'rep' deserved? Really, not to the extent portrayed in the media (and swallowed wholesale, apparently, by even smart out of towners). It's sort of like the caricatured vision of New York City held by Homer Simpson in the classic Simpsons Go To New York episode.

As for "abusive sports crowds", I can attest with full honesty that that rep is overblown by several orders of magnitude, and at this point, any bad actors that there are out there are encouraged more than anything by that rep to live up to external expectations.

To me, the biggest problem with Philadelphia proper is the city's provincialism in terms of city government and the way that organized labor wields its power. I'm not against organized labor (rather the contrary, actually), but I'm against the narrominded self-interest and latent corruption that's so prevalent in the Philadelphia region. This is part of the 'bad roads' comment above, but you're going to find the 'bad roads' problem in every major northeastern city, so to use that against Philadelphia is to use that against New York, Boston, et al.

Thanks Petey - glad I'm not alone. I'm really tired of folks dragging Philly thru the mud for things that happened long, long ago.

How about naming something recent that happened where a Philly sports fan was killed or a car overturned over some game?

Can't can ya. None of that bullshit as what went down in Detroit. And I'll wager you this Rogers - there will be no riot over the outcome of the Super Bowl. By riot I am defining it as something resembling Boston after the Red Sox win.

So how bout it? How about $20.

I'm not referring to rioting; I'm referring to the hostility exhibited during the games.

Philly is widely known as one of the worst places to attend an NFL game and dress in the opposing team's gear.

Read Steve Erban's letter to the NFL about his experience attending a game last year in a Packers jacket:

While walking to my seat, the continuation of the verbal abuse heightened and physical abuse started with intentional bumping and pushing as they saw the letters PACKER. I looked over and saw a female Packer fan wearing a Packer Hard Hat and watched as it was taken off her head thrown to the ground and smash into pieces of gold plastic, then picked up for souvenirs or weapons.

When I arrived at my seating area, I was approached by security and told that I should not push anyone, not defend myself, not to talk or make eye contact with any fans that were taunting me. He mentioned to yell at him if I was physically attacked as they have a jail and court operating in the stadium during the game for these kind of people.

I know that assholes are everywhere -- I wouldn't take my kids to a Cowboys/Eagles game in Dallas, because the hostility is so high I've seen multiple fistfights in the stands between opposing fans. But if your fan climate is so bad you have to run a stadium courtroom, maybe it's time to ramp up the security and start yanking some season tickets until people learn to behave themselves.

P.s. I'm rooting for the Eagles. Although I'm knocking Philadelphia, the town has the same working-class, industrial vibe as Jacksonville, and the fans deserve the win after packing the stadium for decade after decade of suffering.

Philadelphia is, however, the home of some of the worst jaywalkers in the country.

It's not so much the amount they do, it's the way they just wander out in front of traffic, then look completely stunned that cars are actually sharing the road with them. "Where did *that* come from?" is clear on their faces.

Jacksonville? The city motto is "at least we're not Tampa."

"if your fan climate is so bad you have to run a stadium courtroom, maybe it's time to ramp up the security and start yanking some season tickets until people learn to behave themselves."

But you see - that's what the stadium courtroom was for. Keyword "was" - we no longer have it:

Link Link

And if things get out of control again, I hope they bring it back. It's a civilized way of dealing with drunks right on the spot. That court existed only for the very last years at the Vet. If it came sooner, we might not have gained such a bad rep in the first place.

Then again - it's that damn Santa snowball incident started all this.

Happy your rooting for Philly too!

Well, after 3.5 years, I can say that Jacksonville isn't Columbus (I've never been to Philly), then again, Columbus isn't Jacksonville either. Both cities have NFL teams (OK, not quite... but...), It seems that Columbus enjoys its football team more, although you can get beer here. That might be an improvement. Although, I really don't even want to think about sitting in Ohio Stadium if they were serving beer. The parties, the dumpster fires and the riots after the game are bad enough.

Columbus has a NHL team, but a lot of good that did them this year. And technically, the Columbus Crew was the first major league team in there, except that nobody wants to really claim soccer as major league. It's more like a AAA club for the European soccer clubs. The Clippers are a AAA baseball farm team for the Yankees. They've won a few championships in their division. Nice, but everybody I know hates the Yankees.

You won't ever find beaches like here in Columbus, nor will you find any palm trees of any sort outside. Living vegetation of any sort outside isn't going to happen there. I wouldn't think about fishing in the Olentangy or the Scioto Rivers. Compared to the St. Johns, you'd probably just call them creeks anyway.

The sports writer for Columbus has already had his tongue-in-cheek say about Jacksonville, and he's already warming up for Detroit next year.

Plus, we're all drunk, carry guns and have not got over the "War of Northern Agression"!

Rogers: Although I'm knocking Philadelphia, the town has the same working-class, industrial vibe as Jacksonville, and the fans deserve the win after packing the stadium for decade after decade of suffering.

Yep. My only concern is what might happen in parts of Philly if they do.

As for complaints about Jacksonville, the two most frequent I've seen reported in the paper is our physical size and that we're so friendly.

Those are complaints? Theyy just don't know what to make of us is all. As one TU columnist said the other day, trying to compare Jacksonville to the locales in which other Super Bowls have been held is a mistake. We're not a copy, we're an original.

Doyle says:
"Yep. My only concern is what might happen in parts of Philly if they do."

On what do you base that concern, Doyle?

This morning on NPR, Jacksonville was refered to as "Baja Georgia".

I'm from Toledo - we have urban blight and snow - so I can't slap Jacksonville around.

Sadly, your city is home to the company I work for. The biggest dick-smacks in the Fortune 500. (FNF, if you were wondering.)

Chill -- Jacksonville is paradise compared to where next year's Superbowl will be held -- Detroit. Been to Detroit recently? Looks like the set of a post-apocalyptic movie.

Petey: On what do you base that concern, Doyle?

All too often the winning team's home city makes the news not just for its team winning, but the out-of-control "celebrations" that follow.

Note, for instance, the incidents in Boston after the World Series and how much coverage it's still getting ("Will it happen again?!") as part of the Patriot's trip to the Super Bowl.

I'll say one thing because it's the first thing that came to mind after reading this topic.

Philadelphia, for all of it's Value, is eternally in the shadow of NYC. One hundred miles and you go from 60 to 960 mph.

I thought it was peculiar that someone would find it necessary to insult.

jacksonville is a cess pool

Go fuck yourself.

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