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A difference of opinion

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Trevor from Jacksonville:
I've been a season ticket holder since 1995 and have never had an altercation in the stands except for all of the Pittsburgh games. They seem to think they own the place and wave their "Terrible Towels" in your face. The past three years we have gone to one away game a year and have not had any problems. I was in Cleveland during the bottle throwing and luckily all the fighters were still throwing bottles while we got the heck out of there. No offense, Vic, but Steelers fans suck.

Vic: Hmmm.

Alex from Los Angeles, CA:
Dan from your last article was incorrect about the number of players the Jaguars had on the 25-and-under team on They actually had five, excluding Marcus Stroud, who was mentioned as having just turned 26. John Henderson, Deon Grant, Byron Leftwich, Vince Manuwai and Mike Pearson were all named on this team. Thanks for keeping us informed in the offseason.

Vic: Thanks for the info.

Chris from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I would like to chime in on the critique of visiting fans. Tennessee and Pittsburgh fans are always very proud and very loud, but never disrespectful. I'm OK with that. The best visiting fans? Cleveland. The absolute worst fans? Tampa Bay. I was shocked by how obnoxious these idiots were. I also realize the majority of these fools were not season ticket holders, but drunken frat guys who made the road trip to jump on the bandwagon of a Super Bowl winner.

Vic: All right.

Scott from Jacksonville:
I was discussing with someone about rivalries in the NFL, and I remember hearing somewhere that the Bears and the Cardinals are the longest rivalry in NFL history.

Vic: According to some research I did, the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cardinals played each other for the first time on Nov. 28, 1920, with the Cardinals winning 7-6. My guess is that game probably marked the first time two current NFL franchises played against each other, which would make the Bears-Cardinals series the oldest current series in NFL history. The Bears and Packers met each other for the first time in 1921, and most people consider those two teams to have the oldest continuous rivalry in the league, since they have played against each other every year since 1923, except in one season, 1982, a strike year. The Bears and Cardinals, of course, have not met in several seasons.

Bill from Springfield, VA:
My son and I attended the Monday night game when we beat Pittsburgh in 1997. While we were not in the north end zone, we did have a lone Steeler fan directly behind us who drove down from Pa. We had a good rapport going throughout the game and at the end he congratulated our group for the win and for being such great fans. He said we were a force to be reckoned with.

Vic: We seem to have a difference of opinion.

Derrick from Jacksonville:
Who do you think has a chance to be that "jar on the shelf" this year?

Vic: Cortez Hankton, Lionel Barnes and Tony Gilbert would be candidates.

John from Jacksonville:
I think we had a great draft, but I have always had an uneasy feeling about Daryl Smith over Ben Troupe. Once again, not to take anything away from Smith, I hope he turns out to be a great player, but how much of a contribution is he going to have to make on defense to account for the five-plus touchdowns you take off the board by not signing a top-notch tight end?

Vic: Daryl Smith was a "Wow!" kind of player all spring. There are no regrets about having drafted him.

Lane from Orlando, FL:
Who do you see as the five most-improved teams this year? Conversely, what five teams do you see as most likely to take a nosedive?

Vic: I think the Jaguars can be one of the five most-improved. I think Buffalo, New Orleans, Atlanta and Detroit could be the other four. In the nosedive category, my candidates are Tennessee, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Dallas and St. Louis. Understand, of course, to take a nosedive you have to have been pretty high.

Shawn from Jacksonville:
In response to your question about visiting fans, it has been my experience that Pittsburgh fans have ranked right up there with Green Bay fans as being the best to sit with in our own stadium. They have been gracious, polite and a lot of fun. As far as the worst-behaved fans, the Jets, Bills and Titans fans seem to stick out. I hope that it was their "bad apples" and not the general consensus of their fans.

Vic: As always, stereotyping is wrong.

Shon from San Antonio, TX::
As a Jags fan who lives out of state, what is the best way to get my hands on a last-minute ticket during the regular season? My job often doesn't allow for the proper planning. Thanks for a highly entertaining and always informative column.

Vic: Call the ticket office at 904-633-2000.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I understand that we should be good hosts to visiting fans, but all I have experienced so far is that the nicer we get the rowdier the visiting fans get in our own house. Try going to a Giants or a Steelers game wearing Jag colors. Your life insurance agent will cancel your policy. Drunks have nothing to do with it.

Vic: Rowdy will land you in jail. Don't be foolish.

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