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By definition, I am an idiot

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

Gabe from Indianapolis, IN:
I got to give it to you, you are a man of your word. Putting up the "Is Vic an idiot?" poll takes guts. You've earned my respect and from a Colts fan that's saying something. I think there's a movement here in Indy to get you to come on over to I think I'm on the Jags website just as much as the Colts. Keep up the good work.

Vic: The right to free speech, in my opinion, is America's greatest treasure. Everything we do in this country is about freedom and voting is one of those freedoms of expression. We're heading toward an important voting day next week. What we did in "Ask Vic" was a fun-and-games warmup to something very serious next Tuesday. Hopefully, it got everybody in the mood to vote.

Chris from Ormond Beach, FL:
I think someone cheated your poll. I find it hard to believe the tide would turn that much in half a day.

Vic: Let me tell you what I did. When I got to work on Wednesday morning, the "idiot poll" results showed well over a thousand responses and the "no" vote was running at about 86 percent. Clearly, that was indicative of what the final tally would be, unless, of course, I did something to alter the voting. So, as I was looking through Wednesday's e-mails, I thought to myself: "I wonder if I could manipulate the voting." Then I got a question from a man in Australia about stem cell research, asking me if I was for or against it. I knew right away what to do. I used that question and answered "for." I also made a reference to John Kerry, who was an unpopular figure in America on Wednesday. When Wednesday's "Ask Vic" was posted, the "no" count was just under 86 percent. From the time Wednesday's "Ask Vic" was posted, the voting results began to change dramatically until at some point Wednesday evening they turned upside down. All it took was the expression of an unpopular and controversial opinion and name to change the results. So, what does it all mean? It means we have defined what an "idiot" is. According to the results of the "Ask Vic" poll, an "idiot" is a person with a different opinion. Given that definition, I am very definitely an idiot. I thank everyone who took the time to vote. This has been one of the most enlightening exercises in my life. The poll received nearly 5,000 responses. I am flabbergasted that we have so many readers and I am deeply appreciative of your support of the column and your participation in it. At this time, I would like to make this request: Please be tolerant of opinions that differ from yours. Please remember that we live in a country that defends and promotes difference of opinion, and we should be permitted to exercise our right of expression without being ridiculed.

John from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Looking ahead to the Tennessee game. What do you expect the Jaguars will do as far as the running game against the Titans? Are the Titans good at stopping the run? How do you see this matchup? They seem to always play the Jaguars tough.

Vic: The Titans didn't play the Jaguars tough in the last game of last season. That was the worst performance I've ever seen by a Jeff Fisher team. The Titans are currently 31st in the league against the run and dead last in overall defense. As I said, expect the Titans to load up against the run, but don't be deterred. Run the ball.

Terry from McKinney, TX:
Do you think putting the Colts back into the number one position in your power rankings hurt you in the idiot voting?

Vic: The Indiana vote was important. It was not a state we expected to carry. We wanted to hold our own in Indiana and I think the Colts' victory over the Broncos and the Colts' subsequent rise to the number one spot in my all-important power rankings helped us in the Hoosier state.

Jason from Jacksonville:
I enjoyed reading the first-ever "Ask Vic" so much that I went back and read a lot of your writings from past seasons. One thing that struck me was how often Fred Taylor was brought up due to questions about his future, starting around the 2001 season. What do you believe the chances are of Fred Taylor getting in the "Pride of the Jaguars."

Vic: Taylor is sitting at 8,921 career rushing yards, which means he's very likely to top the 10,000-yard mark for his career. I can't imagine any guy rushing for 10,000 yards and not making it into his team's ring of honor.

Ken from Jacksonville:
Do people really think the idiot poll was for real? I thought it was a joke, so I voted yes. Doesn't anyone have a sense of humor anymore?

Vic: You're blocked.

Jeff from Westminster, CO:
"The Denver Post" has a weekly "Bronco Mailbag" in which people's questions get answered. The writer was asked why teams don't defer on the coin toss and his answer completely got it wrong (he didn't know you can't defer). Needless to say, I wrote in, explaining his error, and thus spread the football acumen of Vic to the Rocky Mountains. You just got a "not an idiot" vote from Colorado.

Vic: Colorado was a target state.

Jason from Jacksonville:
You have stated the two quarterbacks on our team are the same guy. If that is true, then wouldn't it be smart to get rid of the expensive contract that Leftwich has and start David Garrard?

Vic: That's a valid question because there will be a $4 million difference in base salary between the two in 2007, but before you can pick and stick you have to decide why they have largely achieved the same results. Is it because their talent levels are the same, or is it due to other factors? Is there any chance the receiving corps is holding back the passing game?

Andrew from Ft Lauderdale, FL:
I know you've said quarterbacks should be judged on their postseason performance, but you really have to hand it to Peyton Manning. Every year, you predict the Colts to drop off, and so do I. There's no way they should be any good. They've lost more talent this year than they had in the past, and they're still undefeated. Has your opinion of him changed at all this year?

Vic: My opinion hasn't changed at all. He's a fantastic quarterback. He's a first-ballot Hall of Fame lock and one of the most prolific passers the game has ever seen, but there's an asterisk next to his name and you know what it says: "He can't win the big one." That's a tag he needs to extinguish to reach the full height of his potential for acclaim, and there's only one way he can do it: Win the big one. I don't think it's an unfair criticism of him. He's 3-6 in the postseason and if that doesn't sound too bad to you, remember this about postseasons: You only get one loss per year. Each one of those six losses represents another failed season. Great quarterbacks should never have losing records from the postseason. Shouldn't you at least win one or two before you lose? Last year is a perfect example: one and done. What good is it going 13-0, setting records and stimulating debate about whether or not your team is as good as the 1972 Dolphins if you don't win in the postseason? What good is anything you do in the regular season if you don't win in the postseason? Manning is a great quarterback. If that's what people want me to say then, there, I've said it. But if you want me to say he's a championship quarterback, I'm sorry, I can't do that. When he wins one, I'll crown him right here in "Ask Vic" and I will heap praise on him.

Paul from Jacksonville:
Shouldn't last week's game give people a clue as to the type of game you need to play to win the late-season games and playoff games when it tends to be cold and windy in a lot of locations: Run the ball, play strong defense, especially stopping the run, and protect the ball? Maybe there's a reason the Colts haven't won playoff games to get to the Super Bowl.

Vic: You're forgetting one very important ingredient: Convert on third down. That's the key to it all on offense, especially when you're playing ball-control football. You have to convert on third down. When you do that, then you go back to the run and eat up more possession time. Run the ball, run the ball, convert on third down, and then back to the run. The Steelers were 22 of 41 on third down in the playoffs last season. That's a fantastic conversion rate in the postseason. With Manning at quarterback, the Colts were a mere three of 13 on third down in their playoff loss to the Steelers. The Colts are number one in the league in third-down conversions so far this season, 50 of 86. That'll win for you in the postseason, guaranteed.

Kevin from Hillsborough, NJ:
I think the deciding factor for who should be the starting QB for us should be who has the better third-down conversion percentage, since this stat shows which QB can sustain drives better. Just out of curiosity, who has the better percentage?

Vic: Over the last two years, Byron Leftwich has converted 86 of 171 tries, or 50 percent. David Garrard is 33 of 62, 53 percent. Do you see a disparity in those numbers?

Kevin from Jacksonville:
What is it with Tom Brady? The opposing defense knows he's passing the ball play after the play but can't cover the plays? Why is it the Jaguars can't pull that off? It's got to be more than just Brady being a better quarterback. I'm sure it's a team effort.

Vic: Why won't people accept the fact that Brady is a superior quarterback? By the time he finishes his career, he could be the greatest quarterback of all-time. The Patriots win because of Brady. Bill Belichick was 5-13 and on his way to being fired when he put Brady in the lineup. What are they since? Belichick's genius is knowing a great quarterback when he sees one. Has losing Deion Branch hurt Brady? Wide receivers are a dime a dozen. Quarterbacks like Brady are once in a lifetime.

Chad from Liberty, SC:
I voted "no" and then I signed on five other computers at my office and voted "no."

Vic: You're a good man. My wife is from South Carolina and she was in charge of getting out the "Palmetto State" vote.

Ryan from Syracuse, NY:
I found this while looking on my own. This started it all.

Vic: I think you found one from before we even gave a name to the column. My memory tells me you found the "Ask Vic" pilot. I'm going to stick with the March 7, 2001, birth date because it seems to be the first one we can find that included questions from readers.

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