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downtowngal

Orlando Sentinel

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I'll be he's never even been here.

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Can Jacksonville really be Super?

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Jerry Greene

August 4, 2004

You know the feeling you get in your gut when something happens that is so obviously wrong that the mere idea offends you? I'm talking about when something happens that attacks the very foundation of what you hold sacred -- like doing something that cheapens the Super Bowl?

No, this has nothing to do with Janet Jackson. I'm over that. In fact, I haven't even looked at the videotape in weeks.

This is worse than Janet Jackson -- or even Michael Jackson.

Jacksonville.

Yes, I thought I had accepted the disgraceful fact that a Super Bowl was going to be played in Jacksonville, but I can't accept it. It's just so wrong. As Abby Goodnough recently wrote in The New York Times: "But what is Jacksonville, other than a blur outside your window en route to Disney?"

Here's the quote Abby got from Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton: "We were known as the town of smells and odors, the schools were failing, the river was polluted, the sewers overflowing, and all the politicians were getting indicted."

Y'all come, y'hear?

Jacksonville would have you believe it has put all that behind it. Its Super Bowl host committee has lists of "Jax Facts" to promote the place such as it's Florida's least hurricane-prone coastal city. Impressed?

Guess what? We have some "Jax Facts" of our own:

JACKSONVILLE'S TOP 10 REASONS FOR STAYING AWAY

10. Slim Whitman. There's nothing wrong with old Slim, except he's their leading celebrity -- not counting the surviving Munchkin that lives there.

9. Night life. Let's see, they've got bats, owls and gators. That's about it.

8. Dog tracks. I like dog tracks, but when that's where you take out-of-towners to show off, well, it's lacking something.

7. Jaguars. Because of falling attendance, they're thinking about putting black curtains in parts of their stadium's upper decks. Remember when the Orlando Miracle did that and how embarrassing it was? This is the NFL, friends.

6. "Entertainment Zone." That's the politically correct term for a downtown area near the stadium. In the old days we called it "red-light district."

5. Cruise ships. They don't have any decent hotels, so they are bringing in eight cruise ships. Have you ever slept on a cruise ship?

4. Cruise ship waste. Uh, they're going to be docked, so what happens to the, you know, waste products? Maybe they'll dump it into the St. John's River, because who's going to notice?

3. Panhandlers. Actually, Jacksonville has taken steps with a new law that can place panhandlers in jail for mere loitering. At least this is not as severe as how Athens is handling its stray dog problem.

2. Town slogans. Jacksonville does have a newspaper, which asked readers to suggest promotional slogans for the city. My favorite: "It's Not That Bad."

And the top reason to stay away from Jacksonville:

1. The Great Fire. Granted, it happened in 1901, but it was the last significant thing that happened there -- unless you count the last time a dog track opened.

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Greene is a sports columnist who writes a lot of toung-in-cheek stuff. This article seems especially harsh, but I wouldn't take it too seriously.

Growing up in Orlando, I can say that there is a lot of negative vibes towards Jacksonville. You hear on the radio, see it the paper, hear it around town. The stereotype was that Jax was a smelly, polluted, redneck town that probably should just switch to georgia.

I guess it's a form of sibling rivalry. Especially in sports.

They also hate Miami, but love Tampa.

I never got over my Jax biases till visiting these boards and finding out how much is going on up there.

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I wouldn't put to much into this, Greene has probably never even visited or heard of places like San Marco, Five Points, or Town Center. I guess he would consider me to be pretty crazy since I decided, 9 months ago to relocate to Jax, instead of Orlando, even though the Orlando job offered $5,000 more.

While growing up in Central Florida and even while attending college, many people I meet from Orlando would normally put down other Florida cities (including Tampa & Miami) in an attempt to make their town look better. For example, I've several debates with people about how Orlando was a much better place than Tampa and offered a better quality of living, because it looks cleaner from I-4. These same people had never heard or seen Tampa's vibrant neighborhoods like Hyde Park, Davis Islands, or SoHo. Luckily, many here on the forum seem to be more open minded.

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9. Night life. Let's see, they've got bats, owls and gators. That's about it.

Well, I'd rather have bats, owls and gators instead of "The Mouse" any day of the week. Ooooooh Snap! In yo face, Bizatch!

But seriously, this guy was desperately searching for reasons to dislike Jacksonville. I hope his article holds no merit to the people of Orlando.

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I would take this article with a big huge grain of salt. Many orlando sports fans absolutely detest Jacksonville, primarily because our football stadium is so much better than theirs. Given the fact that Orlando is easily twice the size of Jax, I think they get overly sensitive when we actually beat them at something.

Of course, we rarely beat them at anything, (the stadium, our waterfronts, and skyline are about the only things that come to mind) so I think this guy needs to get a thicker skin and deal with it.

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It's really just to stir stuff up. I wouldn't be suprised to see a Jax sports columnist to come out with a column in the near future rebutting Greene's column and putting down Orlando at the same time. I remember it was a big deal and a lot of fun in the early days of the Miami Heat/Orlando Magic rivalry. Some Jacksonville guy probably asked him to do it so they could sell more papers.

You all are taking it too seriously.

If this was on the front page, or an editorial you might have something to complain about, but it's a sports writer for goodness sakes.

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The Orlando Sentinel, while getting tons of awards (god knows why) is a terribly biased and unobjective newspaper.

As for some Jacksonville/Orlando thing, I've never heard of one. Maybe Tampa/Orlando.

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Well, I'd rather have bats, owls and gators instead of "The Mouse" any day of the week. Ooooooh Snap! In yo face, Bizatch!

Oh come on. You're just jealous. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, you know! Oh yeah, and let's not forget that you guys have the better, newer arena... and we have teams that actually play in ours. :P But seriously. Don't turn this into a "Let's bash Orlando cause that newspaper guy bashed Jax" sort of thing.

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and we have teams that actually play in ours.

Like the US olympic team? Or the Tracy McGrady show? Oh wait. That show is over.

See you at UCF Homecoming! (Your best football product)

And I don't think anyone here is taking it seriously. What I mean is we need Orlando. How would we get free cruises and luxury time shares without your fair city? ;)

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this is just a sarcastic article, who knows... the writer might be jelous that Jax is getting to host such an event.

But think about it this way, what is Jax known for? Outside of the Jaguars people don't really know what Jacksonville is all about since it doesn't get much national exposure. You might get some people who know it for the Navy base, or it's shipping industry. Because of Jax's lack of exposure people typecast it as some sort of "drive-by" city or "sleeper city." Of course, those of us in the know & Jacksonvillians know this is absolutely not the case.

Orlando faces a different yet similar problem. Jacksonville may not have a national identity, but Orlando can't ever seem to escape hte shadow of the mouse. When someone says Orlando, everyone thinks "disney". A cheesy 2-bit tourist town that is 100% geared to tourists. Again, those of us who live here know better.

So take articles that bash your city with a grain of salt. Jacksonville needs more positive national exposure before people see it differently, & Orlando needs to diversify & be seen as more than just disneytown. Orlando & Jax both have identity issues, so deal with it!

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You are pretty much right on, but I know Orlando better than perhaps the national perspective. I like Orlando and think of it as the great American entertainment city. Its job base has so many cultural (that's all a vacation is, a submersion into a foreign culture) and creative jobs that it will always be a special city away from the spotlight. I like Orlando, but your sports "writer" listed unfounded jabs where founded jabs are readily available.

No worries.

I am actually glad our stereotype is underdog(ish). The quality of life here is sweet. We have NFL and double a, a new arena, rejuvinated(ing) downtown, diversified job base, low cost of living, intl airport, a park system bigger than the entire city of Boston.

I digress. Our paper is not much better.

Peace

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They want to make fun of MY HOUSE!!! No sir! Orlando may be great but people underestimate Jacksonville. We have the beaches and other areas that are exciting. Orlando has other attractions and most people would prefer not going to Disney for the Super Bowl. Jacksonville is for grown-ups and Orlando...well Disney just won't cut it. It is the type of age group that is being attracted that will help make the Super Bowl great!

I think that Florida residents should not bash each other's cities. I am not trying to cause conflict, just stating my opinion!

:lol:

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Hey not all of us in Orlando work for the mouse, some of us work for Universal! :) If anyone ever comes to the Horror Makeup Show, hollar! At least until Sept, then back to Boston.

I don't think anyone is jealous that JAX is getting a superbowl, I mean, Orlando and JAX are very different culturally, economically, etc, and so are the people and styles.

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See you at UCF Homecoming! (Your best football product)
The Preds would probably resent that. :P We do have banners hanging from the arena's rafters.

Hey not all of us in Orlando work for the mouse, some of us work for Universal!

ROFL. Don't leave out SeaWorld. It'll get ADD.

You work at the Horror Make-up Show? That's my favorite show at Universal.

I don't think anyone is jealous that JAX is getting a superbowl

Especially since we've had an NBA Finals, the NBA All-Star game, World Cup games, 3 ArenaBowls... oh look at the time, gotta go! :lol:

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ROFL. Don't leave out SeaWorld. It'll get ADD.

You work at the Horror Make-up Show? That's my favorite show at Universal.

As it should be. I've worked there (seasonal now) since I was 16.

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Hey, Jacksonville will not be a one time event either. What about the first and second rounds of the college basketball champioship coming to Jax in 2006. Don't forget about that. We are also in the running for the ACC football championship here. Gator Bowl, what?

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Orlando has an NBA team. Orlando has a more vibrant downtown. We don't need no stinkin' beaches. Coasters? Hah. Busch Gardens is a hellhole.

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Last i checked Jax has an NFL team, taller buildings than orlando, oh did I forget the beach? Besides Tampa has orlando beat on coasters.

Actually the Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure has been ranked #1 in the WORLD by skyscraper enthusiasts for two years now, and the park has been ranked the #1 theme park in the world for two years.

Roller coasters in Orlando:

Hulk (IOA)

Dueling Dragons (IOA)

Kraken (Seaworld)

Mummy (Universal)

Space Mountain (MK)

Thunder Mountain (MK)

Rockin Roller Coaster (MGM)

U/C:

California Adventure (Epcot, right beside Canada)

Kilamanjaro (Animal Kingdom)

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Cedar point the best coaster in the U.S...The millenium somethin. o and surfers like me care about the beaches. and if ur going to talk about coasters in orlando atleast get it right. kraken is the best there...most gs, longest ride, tallest, etc. but i prefer busch gardens. and ur nightlife is just a bunch of northerners on vacation.

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There's a ton of surfers in Orlando too. You can make it to Cocoa in a half an hour on a good day. New Smyrna in 45. It takes me longer to get to the beach here in Miami.

I will admit that the best waves I've ever seen in Florida were at Anastasia.

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