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Boselli was consummate professional

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

Rob from Jacksonville:
What do you think about the Packers ditching 2004 first-round pick, Ahmad Carroll?

Vic: Teams don't make decisions based on anger. The Packers must truly believe he can't play, then seized the opportunity to deliver a message by cutting him after a particularly bad performance. The message is: We're moving on. I can think of another personnel decision that might deliver that message more emphatically.

Jesse from Tallahassee, FL:
The selfish attention-getting antics will get worse. I coach for the 5-7 age group and even those kids are watching the NFL players and their antics. In our past game, I had a six-year-old child, after making a good play, yell to the other team, "Get that junk outta here." Some of the parents found it amusing but I am old school and I let him know very clearly I did not find it acceptable.

Vic: Do we really need six-year-old football players? Shouldn't he be in the Cub Scouts or something at which he could learn to work with other children instead of learning to hit them? You don't have to learn at a young age how to play football. One day, when a kid becomes a teenager, he develops a need to damage something or hurt someone. At that time, he should report immediately to the high school or junior high school football coach.

Richard from Richmond, VA:
Your recent post from Chris from Williamsburg hit home. I, too, went to the Jags-Redskins game and took my two young nephews hoping to get them interested in football. I had also planned to root for my beloved Jags while being respectful of where I was. I have never had such a terrible time at a game. The Redskins fans were abusive and profane toward us during the entire game, even throwing things at us. I don't mind friendly banter and give and take, but this was something totally over the top. On the way out, I had three different individuals want to fight me. Needless to say, my nephews never want to go to a ballgame again. I agree with you that stadium behavior is something that needs to be controlled, especially regarding intoxicated individuals. Is it that bad everywhere, or did we just hit on a bad day?

Vic: It's that way in a lot of places. I cover games all over the league, which I think qualifies my opinion on these matters. In many cases, fans perceive themselves as players. A lot of fans are having difficulty making the distinction between what a player does and what a fan does. Loud doesn't mean unruly. Enthusiastic doesn't mean out of control. I'm saying go to the game with great enthusiasm and yell your head off, but know where the line is and don't cross it. I don't care what your level of passion is, you have no right to abuse anyone. If you wanna be a tough guy, put on the pads.

Chris from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
If teams have perfected the silent count, then what is the big deal about letting fans feel as though they are actually a part of the game?

Vic: It's no big deal. I was asked my opinion and I gave it. Does my opinion threaten you?

Ben from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Mob rule mentality or not, and I know Jacksonville is toward the bottom of ticket prices, for the same price of a single-game ticket you could sit at home with some satellite package and yell as much as you want in the comfort of your own home, saving on gas, food, beer, etc.

Vic: If you do that, your neighbor may call the nut house. You know, this has become, without a doubt, the most eye-opening give and take I have ever experienced in "Ask Vic." I had no idea the average American was so desperate for excitement. I had no idea he possessed such penned-up emotion. I'm going to end on this note because this is starting to make me feel uncomfortable. Any more e-mails on this subject will not be used. You win. Do whatever you want. I was asked my opinion on dealing with crowd noise and I gave it. I said I liked the old way of doing it. That's all.

Charles from Jacksonville:
How can you be a team player and celebrate a personal triumph when your team is losing? I liked Maurice Jones-Drew's comment about rushing yards meaning nothing when you lose.

Vic: I spent a portion of Tuesday evening on the phone with Tony Boselli, interviewing him for the story that appears on the front page. Tony is the best offensive tackle I have ever covered. If he had played 10-12 years, I may be telling you he's one of the two-best football players I ever covered. That's how proficient he was at his craft. I have a special relationship with Tony, and it's mostly because he loves football as much as I do, he's a fan of the history of the game and he's as stubborn in his opinions as I am in mine. In other words, Tony and I have spent a lot of time talking about football. The other night, he told me how anxious he was in the summer of 1995, when he injured his knee, that he would be a bust. He told me how nervous he was for the 1996 playoff game against Buffalo that he would be embarrassed by Bruce Smith. They were the honest thoughts of a man who was as dominant an offensive lineman as Joe Greene was a defensive lineman. I use Greene's name because Tony and Joe were the most naturally dominant football players I have ever covered. What Tony was describing is called introspection. It's called fear of failure. It's what normal people who take pride in their performance experience emotionally. Swagger is an act some players use to deny or combat their anxieties and we mistake it for superiority. Tony and Joe were intense competitors. They were focused at all times. They were and still are huge fans of the game. They have something else in common. I don't remember ever seeing one of them involved in a frivolous display. They did their jobs. That's all that mattered to them. They were consummate professionals. That's why Joe is in the Hall of Fame and Tony would be, too, if his career hadn't been cut short by injury. These are the kind of men I admire.

Tom from Fort Myers, FL:
On a Saturday afternoon after the first draft, the draftees gathered at a local mall to sign autographs. One family brought their child in diapers. As the child crawled across the tables, each player signed his diaper, including Tony Boselli. I wonder if that couple kept the diaper and that wonderful memory.

Vic: My guess is it depends on what was in that diaper.

Joni from Jacksonville, FL:
How exactly does the silent count work? Does it go by hand signals, the play clock or some other way? Does each team have a different silent count?

Vic: The quarterback signals the center to snap the ball. If the QB is under center, he uses his hand to nudge the center. If the QB is in the shotgun, he stomps his foot. All of the other players are watching the ball. When the ball moves, so do they. The movement of the ball triggers the start of the play. All of that sounds simple and effective, but there's a price to pay for having your head turned toward the ball: You have your head turned away from the defender opposite you, and that gives the defender a huge advantage. Imagine you're a left tackle blocking Dwight Freeney, who probably has the quickest first step of any pass-rusher in the league. By the time you turn your head to see him, he may be by you.

Bill from Searcy, AR:
I have had enough. Your insight on this website is terrible. I look here just to laugh at your big-time wannabe analyst or beat writer and I am sure you will rip me and tell me what you are. The Jaguars will never be an elite team until they find a QB that can do more than lock in on one receiver and hope that receiver can catch his poorly thrown passes. You constantly criticize people from Arkansas for following a special player from there saying they follow players instead of a team. My opinion is that this player will be special in the NFL but not on this going nowhere franchise that would not know talent unless they have to defend it on other teams, which they cannot do.

Vic: I'm a terrible person.

Chase from Huntington, WV:
I don't have a question for you but I just want to commend you on being one of the more honest and straight forward journalists in America. It's great reading your material because you always stand for what you believe and you don't let others push you around. I'm sure the fan base has grown because of you, too. Many people from West Virginia used to root for the Jets, (Pennington is from Marshall) but now the tide has turned toward the Jaguars and I think you helped many in that decision between the two teams. So thank you.

Vic: All right, I'm great again.

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