It’s a known but unverified rumor that Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles likes to partake in Jacksonville’s nightlife, specifically beach bars. (Specifically an establishment called Lemon Bar.) But in a recent interview, the QB says that’s no longer the case and hasn’t been for a couple of years. He does still love beer, though.
Bortles did an interview for the March issue of Void, a local magazine in Jacksonville, in which he says his beach-bar days are behind him, although he acknowledges that he still gets heckled about it. It’s an entertaining interview, including topics like Bortles’s offseason Vegas trips with his linemen, his plan to hustle his teammates in video games, and his social life and interactions with Jacksonville’s residents (he appreciates the free shots but actually doesn’t like liquor that much). It’s worth reading the full interview, but here are a couple of good excerpts. The questions are in bold:
Uhh, I don’t think so, unless you just wanna BS about anything else? Anything around here outside the team?
Outside the team hanging out around Jacksonville Beach?
Dude I don’t do anything anymore man. I caught so much shit for going to the Beach bars, I haven’t been to the Beach bars in like two years.
No more Hoptinger?
What goes through your mind when you see stuff like that?
The problem was, there’s no class or lesson to teach you how—I mean, I was living in college and we went out and drank all the time. We also played at a mid-major school, so it’s not like we were in the spotlight.
Wait where did you go to school?
I feel like I should know that...
Haha no worries. So all of a sudden I get to the NFL and it was like, “Well I might as well keep doing the same thing I was doing in college,” and it just took me a year or so to figure out that it wasn’t really acceptable in other people’s eyes. But it was also because we were losing right? I get that. I don’t know if it helps or hurts. But to understand and get a feel for [Jacksonville]—although it’s a huge town, it’s a small town type of feeling and everybody knows who you are. So dealing with that was weird. I think it was during the Pittsburgh game toward the end once we won, there was like a “Beach Bar Bortles” chant going on, and I was like, “Jesus I haven’t been there in like two years!”
What’s your go-to liquor?
I’m not a big liquor fan. I’ve never had a beer I didn’t like. I don’t think I’ve ever had a liquor drink that tasted good. Like I’ll drink it, but...
Sometimes I just force myself to like it.
Yeah I haven’t done that. I did it with beer, but I gotta do something. It looks so cool to like sit down and drink Scotch with your dad—that looks awesome.
I think eventually you just kinda learn how to drink it in a way that you don’t hate it.
...Or look like you’re not trying to taste it. I’ll drink it and like hold my breath for 30 seconds like, “Oh god this tastes terrible. Let’s try not to spit this up.”
This guy was one win away from a Super Bowl appearance. Related: Bortles at one point says, “The Internet is the devil.” Can’t argue with that.
H/t to Thomas