JACKSONVILLE – “Too much watermelon, not enough turtle necks.”
It doesn’t make much sense. But as I sat down to write about my love affair with our tailgate spot, one that I’ve traveled near 3500 miles for the last five years, this line is repeating itself in my head.
Let me set the stage. A man in his late 40’s is approaching, wearing a blue dri-fit-ish turtle neck, carrying a plate of cut up watermelon. Just before he passes, I yell, “too much watermelon, not enough turtle necks.”
He’s looking right at me, somewhat confused as to why someone is yelling from less than eight feet, and his head cocks a little to the side. At the same time, my friends begin to yell. A chorus of “Ohhhhh”’s, and the catch phrase for the weekend, “you just got got … kinda” are echoed by about a half dozen friends standing within earshot.
There really isn’t anything to say in response to this comment.
Does it make more sense now? … Exactly
Ok, well that story doesn’t really do this 1,000 square feet of grass justice. Just trust me, it's really great.
It has history – a depressed hedge, where my friend Homer fell and eventually passed out, has not yet recovered. Tattered remains of plastic bags used for holding makeshift signs are still wrapped around street signs.
It has friendship – old friends reunite, and the most recent girlfriends are assessed. Strangers fail to walk by and become new friends.
It has passion – the comments range from mean spirited to nonsensical, but it doesn’t really matter. People usually appear appalled when they look at us, but it’s the reason they’re there. What happens on the football field matters only because the fans care. And most of the fans that make it to Jacksonville care a lot.
Post any clever or not so clever things you said, or heard someone else say, to Florida fans below. I tried to think of a bunch, but haven't had much luck.
5 months ago