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Don't worry, it's only MNF

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

Ron from Jacksonville:
Do you have a favorite football play-by-play announcer? I liked Charlie Jones doing the AFL games, but hearing Lindsey Nelson calling Terry Hanratty's handoffs to Bob Gladieux in the 1960's … Notre Dame telecasts were memorable.

Vic: We move to further action in the first quarter.

Marc from Jacksonville:
Vic, I'm in the Air Force, currently stationed in Italy and today my office was visited by our wing commander. When he came into my office, the first thing he noticed was the Jaguars replica helmet and coffee mug proudly displayed on my desk. He asked, "What team is that?" I confidently replied, "Are you serious, sir? That's the helmet of my Jacksonville Jaguars, America's team." He responded, "I thought the Dallas Cowboys were America's team." I replied, "Have you seen them play lately?"

Vic: I don't want the Jaguars to be America's team. I just want them to be Jacksonville's team. By the way, I'm assuming that was an "Ask Vic" coffee mug.

Simon from Gainesville, FL:
I'd love to see you write a piece about what constitutes an icon in the football world. Fame? Presence? Personality? Respect? All the above? Thanks for the work you put in; the website is fantastic. I'm British and have been a Jags fan since 2003, when I moved here for a year. A lot of my NFL knowledge (and virtually all of my historical knowledge) is due to your column or things I followed up after initially reading at I know several others who feel the same way back home.

Vic: A person's impact is what makes them an icon and Lombardi's impact on the game is indisputable. He defined his era, plus, he was the perfect bridge from the old NFL to the new NFL, at the time of the AFL-NFL merger. He was a figure both leagues were proud to have represent them. He was everything that was good about the game.

Andrew from Charlotte, NC:
If the Jags pass-defense is 29th-ranked, is it just wishful thinking to hope for a serious playoff run? How can any team whose secondary can be shredded contend for the Super Bowl? Can anything be done at this point in the season to improve against the pass?

Vic: You're absolutely right. You cannot contend for a championship in today's game without being able to defend against the pass. I don't even think the Jaguars can be a playoff contender if their pass-defense doesn't improve significantly. Can it? That's the big question. In my opinion, for the Jaguars' pass-defense to improve, they must find a combination at safety they can trust to be a last line of defense, which means they won't miss tackles and they won't allow the ball to be thrown over the top of the defense. The best thing the Jaguars have going for them, in my opinion, is a pass-rush that's going to get better and better. I expect Tyson Alualu to become a major factor in the second half of the season, and if they can get Larry Hart to come to life, the Jaguars could become a big-time pass-rush team and that would be the equivalent of an extra defender in the secondary. I like the way you think.

Daniel from Howell, MI:
The quote did make me like your column just a little more.

Vic: It's a memorable scene from "Gettysburg," isn't it? Buford's speech was a chilling moment in the movie. "I've led a soldier's life and I've never seen anything as brutally clear as this. It's as if I can actually see the blue troops in one long bloody moment, going up the long slope to the stony top, as if it were already done and already a memory." When I was a kid, I was taken to Gettysburg, but I was too young to appreciate it. I spent the day with a transistor radio pressed to my ear, listening to a baseball game. I really wanna go back. People I know who've visited there tell me there's something eerie about the place. They said they were engaged by a feeling or presence they couldn't explain.

Ron from Pensacola, FL:
I was in that movie, Vic. Look for me walking behind Jeff Daniels (Col. Chamberlain), when he was talking to his brother, just before all Hades broke out, right before Pickett's charge.

Vic: "The name of this place, this hill, has it got a name, this hill?" "This is Little Round Top. That's the name of the hill you defended." I'll watch for you the next time I see the movie.

Rick from St. Augustine, FL:
Great story about Maz's home run. It made me pause to think about the discussion I had with my 11-year-old son this morning. I told him he couldn't go to the game with me Monday night, when I found out he has a World History test on Tuesday. He was crushed. Your story is making me reconsider my position. He is an outstanding student and one sixth-grade test is not going to change the college he gets into some day, but his first Monday Night Football game at EverBank will be a memory for a lifetime. I'm not so sure my wife will agree. Any advice for what I can tell her?

Vic: Tell your son to give you a plan for doing both, preparing for the test and going to the game. Ask him what grade he expects to achieve on the test, then hold him accountable for executing his plan. Let me know what you do and how it turns out. As for your wife, tell her you're the boss of that family and you don't wanna hear any of her crap. Let me know how that turns out for you, too.

Zhane from Jacksonville:
So according to the guys on NFL Network, Deji Karim, although not quick or fast, is very smooth, and the Titans are far superior to the Jaguars in third-down offense.

Vic: Not quick? Not fast? Is there anybody in the media outside Jacksonville that knows anything about this team?

Jose from Van Nuys, CA:
What are your thoughts on Chris Johnson putting his two cents in by saying the Jaguars aren't using Mike Sims-Walker right?

Vic: This is why I'm opposed to fraternization of players on different teams. It's bad in a couple of ways. Fans don't wanna see friends playing against friends. They wanna believe these guys are true adversaries. The even bigger issue, however, is that when these guys know too much about each other's teams, they can drive wedges with comments such as these. This is something, in my opinion, the commissioner needs to address.

Julie from Land O Lakes, FL:
Ordered my teal t-shirts on Tuesday; received them on Thursday. Heading to Tennessee to see the leaves change; we will be wearing everything teal on Monday. My husband even made a hanger for my Jag flag to put on our fifth wheel. We love the Jags, had Jags season tickets when we lived there and represent them well in Land O Lakes and now in Tennessee. Go Jags.

Vic: Fall in a pile of leaves for me.

Andrew from Daytona Beach, FL:
I really need someone to ease my mind. I keep stressing out about this game Monday. Is it going to be sold out? Everyone in America will be watching our team perform; what will they think? What if Garrard doesn't have a good day? Does that mean we will lose? What if we do lose? If we didn't have critics before, we certainly would then, especially if we don't sell out. Not to mention, if we lost we would fall in our very tight division. Give me some ease, Vic. It's not even Sunday, yet.

Vic: Clearly, you are hyperventilating, so I want you to breathe into a paper bag for a few minutes, then come back and read the rest of this answer. OK, feel better. Let's start with the attendance. I think Boselli will break enough arms to get the game on TV. Hey, he promised, right? I don't, however, think the game will be sold out, but that won't be a big deal because the Monday Night Football broadcasters are good guys who like to say good things about teams and towns. It's all part of the MNF mystique. They like to think MNF is so important that no fan base would dare not fill its stadium for an MNF game. Even if it's not sold out, they're not likely to announce that fact. If David Garrard doesn't have a good game, it's likely the Jaguars would lose. I know this is being billed as a battle of running games, but the Titans are going to put 12 in the box and force Garrard to beat them, so I think he pretty much has to play well. Here's the good news: I think he will play well. The Titans are having their own problems in pass-defense and I tend to think Garrard will make them pay for overplaying the run. What if the Jaguars lose? Well, that would be really bad because I think this is a must-win game for the Jaguars to be a division title contender. It'll be very difficult winning at Houston, Indianapolis and Tennessee, so you better win your home games against those teams. The Jaguars have already won one of those. A win over Tennessee would give them two big division wins at home with one coming up against Houston right after the bye week. What about the critics? I wouldn't worry about them. Boselli will get the game on TV – hey, he promised – and everybody who has a ticket will show up because they'll wanna show off their teal shirt and wiggle their stick. I really think you only have one thing to worry about, and that's the possibility of losing, but that's no different than it is for every fan of every team in the league that doesn't have a bye this week. You really need to calm down.

Scott from Jacksonville:
Suppose you were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame some day. Who would you pick to give your presentation speech?

Vic: I would request co-presenters: Joe Greene and Tony Boselli.

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