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Blame it on the Dolphins

Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Corey from Naples, FL:
Do any of the franchises in the NFL actually own their stadium, or do the cities own them? Which one is a better option for the franchise?

Vic: Most stadiums are municipally owned, but some teams own their own stadiums. Gillette Stadium, for example, is owned by the Patriots. The advantage to owning your own stadium is that you own all of its revenues and you can aggressively recruit events, ranging from monster truck shows to concerts. The downside to owning your own stadium is that it's a huge outlay of cash, both in the construction and the maintenance of the facility.

Josh from Lanesboro, MN:
I am just wondering your opinion on Michael Irvin's football show? I take it all the contestants declared for the draft prior to getting the chance to play for the Cowboys?

Vic: You don't have to declare for the draft. Everybody, including you, has a year in which they are automatically eligible. As far as the TV show to which you are referring, I was channel surfing the other day when I came across it. They were showing guys vomiting. I watched for awhile but they kept showing the same guys vomiting, so I went to another channel.

Mike from St. Augustine, FL:
I understand the experience is better for the fan in the stadium, and it's clearly better for the players having a full stadium to yell for them, but is it really more important for the owners? Can't they make as much money by jacking up the TV costs?

Vic: The standard is set by the teams who have fans that actually like to go to the game. I think you're trying to find a way to have a team that doesn't have to sell tickets, and I think you know that's unrealistic. The solution is very simple: Buy the tickets and everything is fine.

Lamar from Palmview, TX:
Comparing offseason moves, free agency and the draft, who had the best offseason in the AFC South and why?

Vic: I think the Titans took a major hit in free agency with the loss of Albert Haynesworth. He made everyone around him better because so much of the offense's attention had to be focused on him. The Titans won't have that player this year and logic would dictate that will make everyone a little worse. I really like what the Titans did in the draft, however, and the combination of selecting Kenny Britt in the first round and signing Nate Washington in free agency should bolster what was a weak wide receiving corps. I like what the Texans did with their first couple of picks and Houston had the kind of relatively quiet offseason that seems to work the best in transitioning from a strong finish to one season to a strong start to the next. The Colts took big hits on their coaching staff and I'm not crazy about their draft. Donald Brown has a chance to be a home-run player, especially in that offense, and he pretty much has to be a home run for that draft class to be successful. I think everyone knows how much I like what the Jaguars have done this offseason. They've turned over their roster and, in my opinion, they desperately needed to do that. I don't know what kind of positive impact that can have this season, but I think it'll have long-term positive impact and I like that most of all. Frankly, I don't think any team in the AFC South did anything this offseason to run away from the other teams in the division.

Scot from Jacksonville:
I agree that a great deal of the Jacksonville football culture is due to college football, but I don't think the influence of the Miami Dolphins can be overlooked. We were effectively their home market. For many fans, they established not only the habit that pro football was watched on TV, but also led folks to think that having a hall of fame quarterback with a high-scoring offense was no big deal.

Vic: Ah, I get it. Blame it on the Dolphins. That's a new one.

Michael from Orlando, FL:
With the current CBA, the players receive 60 percent. How is this money distributed to the players?

Vic: It's distributed in the form of compensation that's derived from the salary cap. The players' cut of the league's total football revenue for that year is each team's salary cap times 32. The players' cut of TFR is also distributed to them in the form of benefits.

Anthony from Jacksonville:
The fans will take responsibility for selling out the stadium as soon as the organization takes responsibility for not giving the fans a quality product. Deal?

Vic: No, not a deal. Yes, it's the team's responsibility to give the fans a quality product, but successful franchises aren't built on empty seats in losing seasons. The support has to be there win or lose. As far as giving fans a quality product, I think the Jaguars have done that. Over the last five seasons, they are ninth in the league in winning percentage. They are also ninth in the league in winning percentage in the team's 14-year history. If that's not a quality product, then 23 other teams in the league are also providing a nonquality product. I think what you're saying is that you want championships and playoff games or you're not buying a ticket. If we applied that logic to relationships, nobody would get married.

Mike from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I took your advice and calculated the approximate amount of tickets available in other cities for sporting events. I exclude preseason and postseason, which for sports like basketball can be extremely expensive on their own. I compared New York, Dallas and Jacksonville. Here's the tally: Metropolitan New York has 11,860,000 tickets for 18.8 million people or 1.59 people per ticket. Dallas has 4,590,000 tickets for 6.2 million people or 1.35 people per ticket. Jax has 520,000 tickets for 1.3 million people or 2.5 people per ticket. Other than the Texas Rangers, every other team in these markets also has a higher average ticket price. So, we actually have the largest market per ticket and the second-lowest price per ticket. Once and for all, this should eliminate all the excuses and back up your theory that people just want to watch from home.

Vic: As I said, eight NFL games a year should be a lay up in any market.

Peter from Jacksonville:
Can you shed some light on why Matt Jones, Jerry Porter and Reggie Williams have been unable to find a team thus far?

Vic: Because they're so good teams don't want to wear them out in OTAs? How about, they're holding out for a better deal? Or how about the other teams are telling us what we should've known?

Erik from Salt Lake City, UT:
In regards to the Michael Oher story, do you think this special treatment is one of the cons with having a school system? I don't mean that it's bad to help someone but I wonder if the U.S. had a club system instead of schools, would it get rid of all this special treatment we hear is given to student athletes?

Vic: That's an interesting question. What you're suggesting, I think, is that attaching academics and athletics is unnatural. What's the tie, right? Rocky could box but he didn't have much upstairs. Adrian was a good thinker but she wasn't much of a looker. Athletic competition was included in the academic culture as a means of stimulating school spirit and morale, which was a great idea, but then winning became too important. You know the rest. Now we have a culture that makes exceptions in academics for the sake of athletics. As a result, the integrity of the academic system is compromised. If we separate the two, no problem, right? I'm with you. I don't see why a great athlete who doesn't have much upstairs has to go through the farce of acting as though he's seeking an education, or why a kid with no athletic ability has to work his butt off to get a grade the gifted athlete is given. I like the way you think, but it's not going to happen. The system, sadly, will remain the same.

Rich from Santa Clarita, CA:
It's great how you're already whining about how "this dead zone crap starts earlier every year." It seems to coincide with the way you get more bitter every year. The way you hate your job more every year and get more irritable every year. Does your editor know you answer questions that way, with such bitterness and contempt?

Vic: Yes.

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