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Country turned upside down

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

Travis from Jacksonville:
Is the CBA in place, since the cap is removed, or are they separate things?

Vic: The CBA that was negotiated in 2006 remains in effect for one more year and it provides for an uncapped season in 2010.

Joshua from Rancho Cucamonga, CA:
My dad passed from a heart attack in 2006 at the age of 56. Watch what you eat and take care of yourself. I agree with some of the readers; something is different in your writing. My question is what do you think it will take to get the Jaguars to come out here to L.A. asap?

Vic: You're gonna have to come here, Joshua, because the Jags aren't moving.

Brian from Jacksonville:
I don't know if I can listen to "Jaguars This Week" anymore. Some of these people that are calling in are making me pull what little hair I have left out. Can't figure out the traffic? Reduce the prices of the visitors section? Either I am a complete genius or there are some really stupid football fans here.

Vic: They installed gaudy traffic lights all the way down Bay St., past the stadium and into downtown. The poles reach over four lanes and display green arrows, red X's and turning designations for turning lanes. I have never seen so many poles saying the same thing in my life, and they stretch past the stadium and all the way into downtown. If they don't make it clear as to where to go and where not to go, then the next step would have to be men standing in the don't-go-here lanes yelling "don't go here" at drivers.

Samuel from Orlando, FL:
What are your thoughts on the Big 10's success in the state of Florida? Is it coincidence that the coldest Orange and Capital One Bowls of all-time were won by the northern squads. Evidence that the Big 10 would probably be more successful if it had the advantage of playing some games in its own territory, wouldn't you say?

Vic: It's what I've been saying for years and this past bowl season said it best. This was an extraordinary bowl season for weather. The wet and arctic weather that descended into the south turned the country upside down and it has yet to ease. By the way, it wasn't just the Big Ten. What about UConn's dominant win over South Carolina? I've never seen a team look colder and more disinterested than South Carolina did. The notion that the south has faster people than the north is ridiculous. Evolution doesn't work that way. Yes, southern teams play a faster game and their teams tend to have more speed because the conditions promote a faster, more wide open game, from high school football on up. There's your evolution. It's not the body, it's the game. Northern teams have to build their teams to play in all weather conditions, especially the cold and wet conditions they'll face late in the season in their conference's big games. They are built to play on a compressed field and that style of play was rewarded in this most recent bowl season. The southern teams are built for fast, dry tracks and warm weather, and that's not the weather they got in the bowls this year. Wanna go up there and play in those conditions in a playoff system? Of course they don't, and that's why we won't have a playoff system any time soon. The south controls college football because the bowls control the money and as long as it stays that way the warm-weather teams will remain at a distinct advantage.

Eric from Jacksonville:
I'm going to word this as carefully as I can to avoid the dreaded "I wouldn't worry about that" (even though telling you that will probably just cause you to reply that way). If a professional team were to make the mistake of drafting a player, say a QB, purely to pander to a vocal fan base of a college team in the area, wouldn't that pro team run the risk of alienating fans that are not fans of said college team? The clear message there would be that we value the opinion of the very loud, vocal fans of said college team more than we value picking the best player to make our pro team better. Most certainly, you would be gambling that the vocal fans of that college team would step up and buy tickets in droves, which they have not done despite high draft picks of other members of said college team. Not that I'm worried about it, or anything.

Vic: That's good because I wouldn't worry about that.

John from Kingsland, GA:
My wife is a 'Bama fan, my 11-year-old son a Texas fan. I decided to root for Texas last night. When McCoy went out of the game I got really angry. I said mean things to my wife as her team was winning and eventually went to bed in a huff and found out this morning Gilbert rallied them; then I guess 'Bama intercepted him and my son threw something and stormed off to his room. I'm setting a terrible example for my son. How do I stop this? My father never once got mad at a football game that I can remember. Why do I, and so many from my generation? I will not allow my own emotional outbursts to set this example for my son anymore, but I'd like to eliminate the feelings completely. It's got to stop.

Vic: Remove yourself from the game. That's how you do it. Let the players play it. It's their responsibility, not yours. Fans have lost control to the point that they think they're part of the game. That's the problem and it really is a problem, as you have so introspectively described. I'm glad you got a look at yourself. Now change it. I like to watch. That's all, just watch. What more can we do?

Brian from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Do you think season-ticket prices will or should go down to increase sales?

Vic: I think it would be a nice gesture, an olive branch, so to speak, to do a little of that this year as the Jaguars make this big ticket-sales push. It would be a goodwill gesture made with the expectation that the fans would return the favor. Yeah, I'm all for it, but fans must understand that the Jaguars are at the bottom end of the league in ticket prices and revenue and lowering prices further can't be a long-term thing. Truth be known, the Jaguars need to increase ticket prices. Any reduction in prices would be a grand gesture.

Nick from Jacksonville:
It's great to have you back. Can you please let your readers know the "Ask Vic" coffee mug is now available?

Vic: I'm not a salesman and it wasn't my idea; I think it was a reader's idea. You guys are free to have fun with the column and I encourage you to do that, but I don't want anyone to ever think I'm anything but a sportswriter.

Brian from St. Augustine, FL:
Maybe we should just post the list of reasons we will not renew our tickets? I will not renew because there's no partition between urinals, so it makes it difficult for me to pee.

Vic: That may be the first valid excuse I've heard.

Wally from Jacksonville:
I was delighted that Andre Dawson made the Hall of Fame. You must have covered Dawson when he was in the National League East. Have any good stories?

Vic: I don't have any stories because I only did baseball part-time, but I remember seeing the Expos play when Dawson broke in. The Expos had several other outstanding young players: Dawson, Warren Cromartie, Ellis Valentine, Gary Carter and Steve Rogers. I remember thinking the Expos were going to dominate, but they never did.

Jason from Jacksonville:
Did you get to stay up late enough to finish the GMAC Bowl? It was a fantastic finish and LeFevour looked fantastic. Is some team going to take a risk on him? Or is it even a risk?

Vic: Drafted in the proper round, he's no risk. He's a smart, talented player who knows where to go with the ball. He'll probably play in the league for 10 years. I just don't know if he has the arm to be a star. Can we hold off on him until after the combine, please?

Melanie from Quincy, FL:
Now that the Jags' season is over, when do the players clean out their lockers and say their goodbyes?

Vic: They were gone by two o'clock on Monday. Goodbye only takes a second to say.

Christian from Coconut Creek, FL:
I'm watching the BCS game and just want to know what you think about this kid Ingram. Is he that good? It seems like no one man can tackle him.

Vic: He's a wonderful football player. He's a ball of energy and he runs with purpose and power. He truly is my kind of football player. The only reservation I have about him is that he appears to be a little bit of a straight-liner and those guys don't have a high success rate in the NFL. He reminds me of Archie Griffin, who was a great college football player but pretty much of a bust in the NFL.

Cameron from Tallahassee, FL:
How does the NFL determine who you will play the next year? Is it a set formula every year?

Vic: Yes.

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