Due to Hurricane Ida, the Saints will not be able to play their home opener against the Packers in New Orleans. The first alternative stadium was AT&T Stadium in Texas. The Saints have been practicing in Dallas since before Ida hit and the Cowboys are away. However, the venue will be setting up for a concert and is unavailable. With Dallas out as an option, the City of Jacksonville was selected to host the game. Jacksonville, which knows all too well about hurricanes, opened her arms and welcomed the Saints and Packers.
What should have been a time for appreciation quickly turned sour though as NOLA columnist, Jeff Duncan, decided to take this opportunity to badmouth the new host city. His column is behind a $10/month paywall, which based off of this column, seems about $10 too much.
Jeff could have mentioned some nice things about Jacksonville, like our beaches, golf courses, restaurants, minor league sports teams, or heck, even just our proximity to Disney World in Orlando. He didn't do that though. Instead, he decided to insult the city that is welcoming his home team. According to Jeff, the Saints chose Jacksonville for its "relative inaccessibility and unattractiveness". This got the attention of many people in Jacksonville, including the mayor.
I appreciate the mayor's decision to take the high road on this one, but I would have been happy seeing a Jacksonville politician going "Duuuval" on this sorry guy. The Mayor of Jacksonville definitely has a free pass to do Duval things every now and again and this would have been a fair use. After the mayor called him out, Jeff gave a pathetic attempt at saying he was just kidding, which is not a surprising move from someone who decides to insult a welcoming city.
Thankfully, I know Jeff is an outlier and does not represent the overwhelming majority of wonderful Saints fans, like our dear sweet hearted friend, Mintzy. Unfortunately, I'll be in New York for the game, but I'm excited that my fellow Jacksonvillians (Duvalites?) get a chance to see an extra NFL game at home. More football is always good football. Have fun Saints and Packers fans. Enjoy the pools and come back now, ya hear!