Vikings

Ask For Directions If You Go To the Jacksonville Game This Year

Photo credit: Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union

Katt Williams has some advice for anyone who visits Jacksonville.

“In Jacksonville, you’ll see s— you don’t see nowhere else,” he said in his 2018 comedy special. “You need a tour guide in Jacksonville from Jacksonville to tell you where you can and cannot go. You don’t just wanna be driving around, looking around. You’ll see some s— that’ll scare you.”

Willams would know. Jehovah’s Witness parents raised the 52-year-old comedian in Dayton, Ohio, but he emancipated himself at age 13 and moved to Florida. In 2018, Williams charmed a Jacksonville crowd by name-dropping various locations, equally praising and denigrating the city.

“Love it here. You come to Jacksonville, you ain’t ready for it,” said Williams. “I don’t care where you from; you not ready for this. If you love water, you could overdose in this m———-. Jacksonville got water, water, water, and water. They got a creek, lakes, rivers…. If you not from here, you gotta be specific when you talk to your Uber driver. You can’t say nothing like, ‘I’m by the bridge.’”

Minnesota Vikings fans looking to attend an away game have many great options this year. The Vikings open the season in New York. There’s a London game in Week 5, Los Angeles in Week 8, and Nashville in Week 11. Seattle in December. But New York, LA, and Seattle are expensive. London requires an international flight. Nashville has a lot of bachelorette parties.

Somebody is going to talk themselves into Jacksonville. Pour one out for that guy.

At first glance, it will sound enticing. Minnesota’s Novembers are typically dreary and grey. Jacksonville has highs of 78 and lows of 60. However, that warmth comes with a catch. “If you don’t travel, you don’t know,” said Williams. “This Jacksonville sun, its its own sun. It don’t follow no sun rules.”

There’s a different kind of heat in Jacksonville. Lather up in sunscreen, leave the hoodie at home, and turn up the A/C in the rental. Jacksonville has the kind of heat that will make you want to cool off in December weather. You’ll return home begging for it to snow.

However, New York is challenging to navigate. The subway is dirty, Manhattan is ritzy, and Brooklyn has too many hipsters. No one is sure what’s in Yonkers. The stadium is in New Jersey. Who wants to spend $25 for a sandwich in Queens when you can get a $5 sub at Publix?

London? Are you kidding me? Fish and chips are bland. People drive on the wrong side of the road, and everyone has bad teeth. Who in their right mind sits through customs and buys a $400 ticket to watch a football game in a soccer stadium?

LA? You’ll land at the airport, sit in two hours of traffic on the 105, and arrive at halftime. Nashville is full of pedal pubs and twentysomethings packed into dive bars. Seattle is stuck in the ‘90s, there’s a constant drizzle, and the Vikings never win there.

Me? I’d take any of those cities over Jacksonville. There are endless things to do in New York and London. The international crowds at the London games are fascinating. Los Angeles would be nice in late October. Nashville is an “it” city. There is a reason why there are cranes in the Seattle skyline.

But I get it. Going to a football game is expensive, especially compared to watching on your couch. The division games are the worst: It’s $270 to watch the Vikings play at Lambeau in Week 4, the final game of the season in Detroit is $160, and Chicago in Week 12 is $144. Seattle is $112, and New York is $74.

Jacksonville? $52.

However, you always get what you bargain for in Florida. The new Grand Theft Auto game takes place in the Sunshine State. You may have seen the teaser trailer and laughed at the guy doing yard work naked or the lady twerking on top of a moving vehicle.

Then you realize that they’re based on Florida news reports.

Some dude actually had to fish an alligator out of his pool. Sometimes, those giant reptiles get loose and end up at the Piggly Wiggly.

The “Florida Joker” committed a concealed-carry offense.

“Love Jacksonville. Y’all got everything,” Katt Williams said in 2018. “Even your s— that ain’t the top is still the top. The Jacksonville Jaguars is doing they shit. That’s right. F— all them stats. F— all them stats and accolades. Jacksonville Jaguars know two things for a fact: They know they weather is better than yours, and they know they uniforms look better than yours.”

I salute the Vikings fans who go to the Jacksonville game this year. You’ll be in good company; there are plenty of snowbirds out there. The sun will feel nice, and the tickets will be cheap. Just promise me that if you go, ask a local for help getting around.

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