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I like intelligent, sophisticated fans

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Will from Orlando, FL:
As a Colts fan, I usually dislike anything Jaguars, but for some reason your columns have hooked me. If people would consistently read your columns, they would see the overall Vic who is a true fan of the game. From a Colts fan, good work.

Vic: I'll converse with any fan of any team. I like corresponding with fans of the game; people who can communicate lucid thoughts about the game of football. What I don't like are fans who want to turn this into a pep rally or want to talk smack or who are just so blinded by their bias that their minds are shut. For example, I made an innocuous comment the other day that the Colts needed the Bills to miss a 41-yard field goal. It was one of several such examples I used to describe how fine the line is between the top teams and the bottom teams. Then I got e-mails from Colts fans telling me I was a jerk because I didn't mention that there were six minutes to play in the game when the Bills missed the field goal, and that the Colts would've surely rallied had the Bills made the field goal. Isn't that a little fragile? I knew there were six minutes to play, but the example fit my purposes because it described how fine the line is between the good teams and the bad teams. I could've countered with, "Well, they didn't rally when the Steelers handed them ball at the end of last year's playoff game, did they?" I let it go. I like to exchange opinions with fans, but I don't like the rah-rah crap. I'm looking for fans with a higher level intelligence; a more measured and sophisticated appreciation of the game. You sound as though you're that kind of fan.

Brent from Dunedin, FL:
What is the Jaguars' all-time record on Sunday and Monday night games, or any other prime-time games they've played?

Vic: The Jaguars are 12-9 overall in regular-season, prime-time games. They are 6-3 on Monday night (5-1 at home), 5-5 on Sunday night and 1-1 on Thursday night.

Clell from Bee Branch, AR:
A couple of days ago Randy Moss said something about the reason he was having so many dropped balls was because he was not happy. He said make me happy and you will see some amazing results. He is being paid well already to do a specific job and sounds to me like he is practically refusing to do it to the best of his ability. Are these athletes becoming that spoiled?

Vic: Randy Moss is a person of notoriety (it doesn't mean famous, it means infamous) and he makes notorious statements. Don't beat yourself up. Don't ruin your enjoyment of the game and the players. Ignore him. It's all said for effect.

Parks from Port Orange, FL:
I saw the Jaguars put Brent Hawkins on injured reserve last week. Did they sign anyone to fill his vacated spot on the active roster?

Vic: Rookie defensive end James Wyche has been moved from the practice squad to the active roster.

Michael from Los Angeles, CA:
Pat Forde recently wrote that covering games for a living beats the fan out of you, and that mostly you're hoping for quick games and good storylines. Do you agree?

Vic: It can be that way, for sure. That's why I think it's so important to cover a team for whom you have an attachment. It's that attachment that keeps you interested. You can't be so attached that you lose your sense of objectivity, but if you're covering a team about which you have no feeling, you can become a zombie who wants a quick game and an easy story. I've been telling you guys for a long time now, it's a job. It's what I do for a living. The thing I have going for me is that I really do love football. It goes back to when I was a kid. I've never lost my romantic attachment to the game.

Jose from Kissimmee, FL:
In your expert opinion, who's our emotional leader (on defense), now that Mike Peterson is out?

Vic: Marcus Stroud and John Henderson are the leaders on defense. Henderson is really developing his leadership skills. I like him more all the time.

Rob from McLean, VA:
Come on, be honest in your power rankings. I think that keeping us 10th is a little far-fetched. We lost to the Texans.

Vic: When midseason arrives, I change my rankings formula a little bit. By midseason, I think the sampling is great enough that teams can be ranked according to their records. At that point, what I'm doing is ranking teams in their respective record groupings. I have the Jaguars as the number one team in a seven-team grouping of 5-4 teams, and I think they deserve to be number one in that group because they've beaten three of those teams. Don't hold me to that formula because if I see a team at, say, 9-2 that I think is better than a 10-1 team because the 9-2 team has played a tougher schedule, then I'm going to rank the 9-2 team ahead of the 10-1 team. It's just that you're going to see a lot less of that now because the sampling of games is large enough to let the records speak loudest.

Bob from Rochester, NY:
You mentioned the other day that the Jaguars will be wearing all black on Monday night. I know the home team gets the first choice of uniform color, but how far in advance is it known and is the rest of the season already set. I'm interested in knowing road games, too, since I will be at the Buffalo game the following week and have to know if I need white pants or black.

Vic: You understand, don't you, that you're not allowed to play for the Jaguars unless they put you on the team? The uniforms teams are going to wear for each game are designated in late spring. Yes, it has already been decided what uniforms the Jaguars will wear for the rest of the season. In Buffalo, the Jaguars will wear white on white.

Corry from Wahiwa, HI:
You said a first-round pick shouldn't be traded for a WR. Then, do you also think no WR should be picked in the first round?

Vic: I'm not against picking a wide receiver in the first round, provided that he's worthy of the slot, but I'd rather use my first-round pick on a premium-position player.

Ed from Middleburg, FL:
I asked you this near the end of camp; you blew me off. What if we had Jimmy Smith come back for a couple days, rattle some jock straps and get these young receivers back on the right path?

Vic: If your jock strap rattles, you might want to have that checked out.

Jim from Jacksonville:
Where would we be without some of Coughlin's draft picks that are the backbone of our team?

Vic: No question, Tom Coughlin's last two first-round picks, Stroud and Henderson, are the foundation on which Jack Del Rio and James Harris built this football team.

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