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Get ready for big push

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

Kevin from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I have been following "Ask Vic" for a few years now. It is as a regular part of my day. Although I haven't always agreed with you, I have always respected your opinion. I am a first-time season-ticket holder and have opted for the three-year option. I am so excited for football to start. It may be a little early to speculate, but what game this year do you expect to have the biggest impact for the Jags?

Vic: I'm not going to look past the opener against Denver. I think we all know what the storyline of that game will be. It's going to be more than a clash of two teams. It's going to be a clash of two cultures.

Joshua from Jacksonville:
Someone asked about when and why footballs went to rubber. Well, while doing research on rugby, Richard Lindon's wife (who used to blow up the bladder-based rugby balls for her husband) contracted a lung disease thought to have come from years of blowing up pig bladders. You had it spot on, Vic.

Vic: She obviously loved her husband very much.

Steve from Jacksonville:
I noticed while at one of the establishments that has provided the added value to the season tickets via their "Teal Deals" coupon that they are selling the "Teal Deals" for $50. I was thinking that we were getting more than $50 for value. Isn't that undermining the added value? The only way to get the booklet should be with a season ticket purchase. I can't wait to get my four "Teal Deals" books.

Vic: Marketing is a wonderful thing, but sometimes it can go too far and that's when it reaches the point of diminishing return. Perception is critical to value. I understand your concern and I share it. Having said all of that, I think we need to appreciate the intent in selling the "Teal Deals" on the side for $50. The plan is to use that money to purchase tickets and distribute them to people who otherwise could not attend a game. It will further assist the whole ticket-sales push.

Greg from New York, NY:
What's the theory behind limiting a player's practice squad eligibility? Why isn't everyone eligible?

Vic: If there wasn't a cap on eligibility, coaches would use the practice squad as a stockpile for ready-made players. It would be full of old players coaches could move up and down at their whim. That's not the intent of the practice squad. The intent is for it to be used to develop young talent.

Micah from Kansas City, KS:
Can you mention any players that turned into stars that were picked from the supplemental draft?

Vic: Bernie Kosar and Steve Walsh were selected in the supplemental draft. So were Cris Carter, Jamal Williams, Mike Wahle and "The Boz." Jared Gaither was a recent supplemental selection.

Brian from St. Marys, GA:
You said "cheap" seats in Heinz Field. You make me laugh. Jaguars premium seats are $2,500 (avg.) A premium seat in Heinz costs $3,800 per seat, plus $10,000 for the seat license, so your price tag is $13,800 for one seat. My friend works in D.C. and lives in Pennsylvania. That's how much he pays to see his games.

Vic: That's why I put quotation marks around the word cheap.

Nick from Jacksonville:
I think it's very telling about the mindset of Jacksonville that the Jaguars ticket issues are almost always presented in local new outlets and, frankly, by most people I encounter, as being one of whether the games will be televised. The concern is always that the game will be blacked out and fans won't be able to see it on TV. Hopefully, this community is starting to realize that blackouts are even more significant in what they mean for the probability that future games will even exist that can be televised.

Vic: Yeah, we're more concerned about beating the blackout than we are about achieving a sellout. They are not the same. Let's just focus on beating the blackout this year. That's enough of a challenge for now.

Jim from Gainesville, FL:
How are players on the practice squad salaried?

Vic: They receive $5,200 a week for a maximum of 17 weeks.

David from Tuscaloosa, AL:
Are the players allowed to use team facilities to do weight training and such when the NFL orders the OTAs to end? Will the players be using the facilities during the dead period?

Vic: They were banned this week from using the facilities other than for treatment of injury. They may begin using the facilities again on Monday and they will continue to work on their conditioning right up to the start of training camp.

Dennis from Orlando, FL:
"The feel I like best is that crisp, clean and sunny late-season weather that makes you happy to be alive." Just reading that sentence gave me goose bumps. That's exactly what I love about pro football in Florida and what I love about this column.

Vic: We wait for months for that first such day in the fall. We endure months of oppressively hot and humid weather, which concludes with the traditional late-summer, early-fall hurricane scares. Then, out of nowhere, we awake to the first wonderful hint of a chill in the air and for the first time in months we reach for a jacket or a sweater. It's a glorious feeling and it never feels better than it does at "The Jack."

John from Jacksonville:
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on why you love living in Jacksonville. I can't wait for your article about the general bowl being sold out in 2010.

Vic: As you can see from the "gas gauge," ticket sales have slowed in June, which is traditionally a slow month for sales. I hope that's all it is. We need to have a big July, so here's my idea: Let's cut back on those Fourth of July fireworks purchases and apply the savings to buying Jaguars season tickets in July. It would help the team and it would help me get to sleep a little earlier over the Fourth of July weekend, and my dogs won't have to spend the weekend under the bed shaking and panting. Folks, get ready for some exciting news and a big ticket-sales push in July.

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