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Don't punch your chair

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

Steve from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
You have bashed the fans for years for being so dumb about football and the Jags, but the fans are smarter than you, the coaches, the front office and the owner. We are not buying this crappy product that is being sold by the Jags. I was a season ticket holder for six years and finally had to stop because there was no hope. Winning would increase sales five percent. If everyone wants to blame it on the economy vs. a team with no talent, go ahead.

Vic: Really, a whole five percent?

Beau from Burlington, NJ:
I wish the Jags would win for your sake. I'm sure your inbox was loaded.

Vic: Don't worry about me. I get paid to do this. I want the Jags to win for the fans' sake. For them, it's about the heart.

Mike from Atlanta, GA:
How much skill does it take to hit a guy in the head with a football 30 yards away while he is moving? That is what really impressed me, the fact that he can throw a ball and hit someone in the head 30 yards away. Garrard is definitely not the problem.

Vic: I hadn't thought of it like that. It's all about the way you look at things.

Mark from Greenwood, IN:
Your response to Joe from Atlanta was dead on, but it seems more and more that you are being forced into a role of telling Jaguars fans truths that they seemingly don't want to hear.

Vic: Yeah, I know. It's becoming rather pointless. In times of losing, anger becomes the overwhelming emotion. I'm the whipping boy. That's OK.

John from Jacksonville:
In doing a personal poll of bumper stickers spotted in the Jacksonville area over the last couple of weeks, the local drivers are not promoting the Jaguars or even the Gators. I think the winner is "Salt Life." What is this movement all about?

Vic: At first, I thought it was a brand name for a fishing pole. Then I decided it was the name of a surf board or a swim suit. Recently, I was told it stood for nothing; it is merely a lifestyle statement. Oh, how cute. Where can I get one of these stickers to put on my car window?

Matt from Monticello, IN:
Monroe literally got thrown back on the blocked FG attempt. What are your feelings on that? Was he just not prepared for a strong rush? Rookie mistake?

Vic: Josh Scobee should get the blame. He didn't get the ball out fast enough. Oh, wait a minute, I got the wrong guy. I should've said David Garrard didn't get the ball out fast enough.

Steve from Jacksonville:
Do you still love the way the Jags took care of the WR problem? Sign a washed up vet and spend late-round draft picks on the rest? Bahh! Just like you loved last year's draft headed up by Harvey and Groves. Vic, you smell like bad feet.

Vic: I've had that problem for a long time.

J.R. from Yulee, FL:
Why does everybody always blame the QB?

Vic: It's the easy thing to do.

Stephanie from Jacksonville:
What happens if an official gets hurt during the game?

Vic: The crowd cheers.

Bill from Jacksonville:
The picture you painted for someone who didn't see the game would have thought the Jags played a tough game and lost in the end by 14 to last year's Super Bowl team, and that is not accurate. It was 31-3 at one point and the Jags were not even competitive from the start of the game. The two touchdowns the Jags scored near the end of the game were as meaningless as touchdowns scored by the third-string offense in the fourth preseason game. This was a 31-3 win where the Cards looked unstoppable and the Jags looked terrible. That's more accurate than: "You saw a football game. You saw a team that was in last season's Super Bowl score a 14-point win over a team that was 5-11 last season. Is that not reasonable?" Not only is it not reasonable, it's not accurate.

Vic: I'll try to be more negative the next time.

Aaron from St. Augustine, FL:
You want to be reasonable? This is the Jaguars' second rebuilding in a six-year Jack Del Rio tenure, with possibly six first-round busts and a 2-7 home record in the last nine games. I go to the games and I'm angry.

Vic: That's your problem, not mine. I'm more capable of controlling my emotions and concentrating them on life's real problems. I can't think of anything more useless than being angry about the result of a football game.

Wally from Jacksonville:
I look forward to Fridays because I love the "10 things" columns. Your comments last Friday put me off so I wanted to ask if I misunderstood your intent. You asked valid questions but the spirit of the column left me with this question: "Are the Jaguars blaming potential customers for poor sales?"

Vic: Absolutely not and neither am I. The fans are under absolutely no obligation to buy tickets. Buying a ticket to a football game is something you do because you want to do it, not because you should do it. As Yogi said, if they don't wanna come, you can't stop them. I completely agree.

Pat from Jacksonville:
How bad does it have to get before Cowher/Shanahan become viable prospects?

Vic: That's not gonna happen.

Thomas from Jacksonville:
I saw we released Nate Hughes. Isn't that being a little tough on the young guy?

Vic: Yes, it's very tough on him. I hurt for him and I'm sure Gene Smith and Jack Del Rio do, too. What I'm having trouble understanding is the mood swings of this fan base. My inbox is loaded with people who want to cut everyone, but when a guy gets cut, they turn all sensitive.

Gavin from Palm Coast, FL:
I went to the game on Sunday just like I have for 15 years, every year in a different seat but still there every game, and I have never seen such disrespect from our fans toward all of our players.

Vic: I don't think it's the way they want to be or that it's really in their hearts to be so angry. I think it's just fashionable to be that way. Somewhere along the line, license was granted. It's too bad. I was watching a feature on Arnold Palmer, who told the story of having thrown a golf club while playing in a high-end amateur event as a teenager. Palmer said that in the car on the way home his dad said to him that if he ever saw him throw a club again, as long as he lived under his father's roof he would never play golf again. Nothing more was said and Palmer has never again thrown a golf club. Discipline is a good thing. Dignified behavior is a really good thing.

Adam from Rowlett, TX:
In your honest opinion, will Jack Del Rio be back if the Jaguars finish under .500?

Vic: Yes, he will. I have every belief Del Rio will be the Jaguars' coach next year and I look forward to watching him improve his young team as the season goes on, just as he did in 2003. I won't ask that you be patient and watch it unfold because I know that's asking too much, but I'm going to be patient and watch it unfold. It's what I enjoy the most, watching a young team grow.

Aaron from Jacksonville:
From Ryan's blog on "The Jaguars had a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown for the first time in franchise history." I could be wrong, but didn't we have a kick blocked and run back by the Rams a few years ago? It may have been a punt; I just distinctly remember Jack Del Rio saying something in the postgame like the odds of winning a game when a kick is blocked and run back become astronomical.

Vic: It was a punt and, yes, I remember coach Del Rio making that statement and I remember thinking to myself how true that was. That's why I'm having trouble understanding why so many people want to ignore the blocked field attempt and the dropped touchdown passes and the 92.3 completion percentage and put the blame squarely on David Garrard, who wouldn't have had a bad day statistically had he not thrown the desperation pass that was intercepted when the game was out of reach; 23 of 43 for 282 yards and two touchdowns isn't a bad day. I guess we live in a blame-the-quarterback environment and that's just the way it is.

Bill from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I don't boo the players, I boo the coaches.

Vic: Maybe the PA guy could make an announcement, telling people when it's time to boo the players and when it's time to boo the coaches, so the two don't get confused.

Robert from Orlando, FL:
Where are the all-important power rankings? I need something to ease the pain.

Vic: Ease the pain? Let me tell you, those power rankings aren't gonna ease my pain. I have to go in that locker room every day, and dropping the Jaguars lower every week isn't gonna help me get interviews. Reggie Hayward already called me out on where I had the team ranked to start the season. I may decide to ease my pain by turning those power rankings into a top 10.

Alex from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I agree that a missed call by the officials shouldn't affect the players, no matter how young or experienced; they are professionals. However, that was quite possibly the worst missed call I've ever seen. I am a season ticket holder and never act out of line in our stadium, but I was throwing a fit, punching my chair because of how obvious that pass-interference call was.

Vic: Don't punch the chair, Alex. It doesn't do you or the chair any good. It was a bad no-call but it was far from the worst missed called I've ever seen. I saw bad calls in every game I've watched so far this season. I saw one in the Thursday night season-opener in which the defensive back was penalized for pass-interference, even though he was playing the ball in the air with his eyes on the ball when the receiver ran up his back and knocked him to the ground. It resulted in a big gain for the offense and led to a touchdown, but there wasn't much complaining because it's part of the game. What happened to the town that gave the Jaguars a standing ovation as they left the field following a loss to Chicago in 1995? Is this an aliens problem? Did they take all the happy people and leave behind the angry ones?

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