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'Holdouts' part of the game

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

Kelvin from Jacksonville:
What do the Jags have to lose if they pick up T.O. for one year?

Vic: Their heart.

Scott from Aurora, IL:
Has a quarterback ever been a starter and a Super Bowl champion with two or more teams?

Vic: No, but Kurt Warner came close. Warner was the MVP of the Rams' Super Bowl XXXIV win over the Titans and he nearly beat the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII as the quarterback of the Cardinals.

Dave from St. Augustine, FL:
May I be the first to say no to the vuvuzelas? I'd rather have my headache come from the volume of the crowd and the over-priced beer.

Vic: You are not the first because the NFL is the first. Noisemakers are not permitted.

Bill from Woodbury, MN:
Is Indy really that young?

Vic: You're referring to one of those ESPN lists that shows the Colts as having the third-youngest roster in the NFL, which is another classic example of statistics not telling the whole truth. The truth is that you're only as young as the core players on your team, and chief among those core players is your quarterback. When you have a quarterback as dominant and as integral to your team's success as Peyton Manning is to the Colts, you're only as young or as old as he is. It's just that simple and I don't think anyone would disagree with me. The bottom half of the Colts' roster is loaded with first and second-year players, but the Colts don't win with the bottom half of their roster. They win with Manning and Dwight Freeney, and they are 34 and 30 respectively.

Rob from Jacksonville:
With the passing of John Wooden last month, who do you think is the greatest living coach currently in any sport, pro or college?

Vic: Mike Krzyzewski.

Slim from St. Augustine, FL:
Did you know Bob Sheppard? Do you have any stories? I loved watching and listening to him do Giants football games against the Eagles.

Vic: I didn't know him but I met him once. The Jaguars were playing at Giants Stadium in a preseason game and Sheppard came to the Jaguars radio booth before the game seeking pronunciations of a few names. As soon as he spoke, I said, "I know that voice," and he got a big smile on his face. I then went through the Jaguars roster with him, giving him the perfect pronunciations, in Pittsburghese, of course.

Nick from London, England:
I notice the Jaguars' bye week comes exactly halfway through the season this year. Would NFL coaches generally prefer to have an earlier or later bye week, or is it not all that important?

Vic: Coaches want their bye weeks and their injuries to occur at the same time, whenever that might be.

Andy from Jacksonville:
Did management inform you the youth movement is going to cost you your job? Your replacement is going to be Kirk Morrison.

Vic: He did a great job.

James from Jacksonville:
With new additions to the team, do you feel the Jaguars will exceed the fans' expectation of having an exceptional season and getting to the second round of the playoffs?

Vic: That's not my expectation, but there's always a chance it could happen. David Garrard got hot in 2007 and took the Jaguars to the second round of the playoffs and he can do it again. It's going to depend on the defense. The Jaguars are going to be plugging in a lot of new people on defense and we can't know for sure, yet, how that's going to turn out. I expect the front seven to be greatly improved, but it would be unfair to expect immediate impact, and the secondary, in my opinion, remains a concern. I like what I see on offense and I think the offense has to accept the burden of carrying the team over the first half of the season. For the Jaguars to be successful early in the year, as the defense plugs in new people and develops continuity, the offense needs to perform every week as it did in the game against the Colts in December.

Justin from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Welcome back and thank you for educating the "Ask Vic" community before your vacation about the Association of American Universities (AAU). I knew nothing about it until you brought it to our attention. Since then I have done a little research and have been amazed by the facts I have discovered. For 2009, the University of Florida Athletic Association's contribution to the school was $3.9 million. That seems respectable until you compare it to the annual contribution the school receives from licensing and royalty income. For 2009, total licensing and royalty income was $49.1 million. That is over 12 times larger than the entire athletic association's contribution and most of that was generated by three UF-created products: Gatorade, Trusopt and Sentricon. Not only are our priorities out of whack (we value athletics over academics), but so are our perceptions (academics is far more profitable than athletics).

Vic: Anybody who thinks athletics pay the bills needs to get off the sports pages and find the real worth of America's institutions of higher learning. The bottom line is that a professor that attracts millions of dollars in federal grant money and leaves a legacy of royalties is worth far more than a carpet-bagging football coach. Did you know the polio vaccine wasn't even patented? Its creator and the institution where he discovered the cure sacrificed riches so the vaccine could be mass-manufactured and distributed as quickly as possible. What was that worth to the world? We really need to keep the importance of our universities in perspective. The most important building on campus is not the football stadium.

Timothy from Riverview, FL:
I can't wait for training camp to open. I am coming up from Riverview to witness the first couple days of camp as part of my vacation. What is your best memory of Jaguars training camp of years past?

Vic: My most vivid memories are from the first-ever training camp, in Stevens Point, Wisc. In the worst heat the upper Midwest has ever known, Tom Coughlin laid the foundation of a program built on discipline and dedication with a training camp regimen that would've made the "Junction Boys" wince. My memories of that camp are forever: Tony Boselli's knee injury, Ernest Givens and Desmond Howard trying to miss practice due to muscle pulls and all but being ordered out of the tub and onto the field or else, Leon Brown's horrific broken leg, no air-conditioning, a bar across the street called "The Penalty Box," and the strangeness that goes with covering a new team and in a new place after 23 years of familiarity covering another team in another camp. In recent years, the Oklahoma drill in training camp has produced some strong memories. One of them is of a fire truck that had parked outside the practice field fence, and firemen sitting on top of the truck and watching the Oklahoma. I like that kind of stuff.

Danton from Mount Dora, FL:
According to the website, we need to sell almost 11,000 tickets. The odds are against us. Someone on another website said we only needed 6,200. What is the true story and what is wrong with their counting?

Vic: shows 10,773 new sales needed to fill the general bowl. The Jaguars have accepted responsibility for selling 8,000 general-bowl tickets per game as part of group sales. They have sold 3,118 per game so far, but I think you can count on the Jaguars getting those group sales tickets sold, therefore, when you subtract the Jaguars' group sales responsibility from the 10,773 new sales needed, the difference is 5,891. That's the fans' responsibility. That's the number of general-bowl tickets per game that must be purchased by the fans for the games to be shown on local TV. If that amount is purchased on a season-ticket basis, then before the season begins we'll be able to proclaim that all games will be shown on local TV. If we have to depend on single-game sales, however, then beating the blackout will become a game-by-game thing.

Shawn from Cape Coral, FL:
How do you feel about veterans like Brett Favre skipping training camp? I think it's OK to some degree. Rookies should be forced to take a pay cut if they miss training camp. I understand it's about money, but it's money they haven't proved they deserve yet.

Vic: Who would enforce this penalty? What court would agree that a man must be forced to work? This is the big leagues, Shawn. The owners have what the players want and the players have what the owners want. When the players proved they have what the owners want, they proved they deserve the money. We really need to grow up on this "holdout" stuff, folks. It's part of the game.

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