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I wanna see them play

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

Greg from Fayetteville, AR:
You say the seat covers are permanent. However, when the waiting list reaches the number of people that would completely fill those seats, wouldn't it be a smart move to uncover them for those on the waiting list?

Vic: No, it would not. Jacksonville is just not a big enough town to support a 76,000-seat stadium. That waiting list is there because of the covers. As soon as you start increasing the size of the stadium, the balance between supply and demand would tilt toward supply and people would stop buying tickets on a season-ticket basis. When you lose demand, the ticket goes "cool" and people pick and choose the games they want to see. In a demand market, the ticket is "hot" and people buy tickets for every game so they'll have tickets for the games they want to see. That's what this is all about. The first time I saw Alltel Stadium, which was Jacksonville Municipal Stadium then, my first thought was, "it's too big." It was ludicrous to think this market could fill that stadium 10 times a year. A once-a-year college game that draws from two states is much different from a high-priced, every-other-week-in-the-fall event. Those covers are staying on. They'll probably stay on for as long as the Jaguars play in Alltel Stadium. I asked Scott Loft, the Jaguars ticket director, for verification of that and he gave it to me. He said there is no plan in the foreseeable future that would remove those covers. It is what it is and that's the way it's going to stay because people who are experts about these matters knows the gains the Jaguars have made in ticket sales would be immediately lost if the covers came off. I'm done answering questions about seat covers. They're staying on. Deal with it.

Kyle from Charleston, IL:
So are you saying that out-of-town fans shouldn't even try to buy single-game tickets and just stay at home?

Vic: OK, we'll do this one more time, too. The Jaguars have announced that Alltel Stadium is sold out for the 2006 football season. Let's equate that to a shoe store. The shoe store says it's sold all its shoes. Would you go there to buy a pair of shoes? Well, you might, if you thought some shoes were going to be returned. The Jaguars' shoe store is out of shoes, but some could be returned. The opposing team gets an allotment of 500 tickets and they could return some. Five thousand tickets per game have been put aside for group sales, and I guess it's possible the Jaguars might not sell every one of those group sales tickets for the games of lesser attraction. In other words, tickets could become available and, if they do, they would be put on sale for the public on Aug. 26. That's what you're looking at. If you can buy tickets by another means, go ahead. What I have described is the situation for possible single-game ticket sales through the Jaguars. Isn't it kind of nuts to ask these questions the week the team announced it's sold out, after years of begging fans to buy tickets?

Michael from Jacksonville:
The current version of the annual "Ask Vic" golf tournament requires faxing the registration. Will there be an on-line registration available as well?

Vic: If you want to register on-line, send the necessary information from the registration form to

Mike from Jacksonville:
I totally agree with you regarding a person's ability to perform under pressure. It's not something you can teach; you're either born with it or you acquire it with experience. When my brother and I play golf, he always plays down to my level and I play up to his. That all changes when the betting starts, usually at the turn. He's a totally different golfer when something is on the line. He excels, where I crack.

Vic: You're describing what's called a money player. They have a grit about them. They're at their best when it counts the most. There's no denying it. They are special competitors and they are the players I admire. I can't stand chokers. They break your heart. I actually feel sorry for them because when it happens over and over it becomes embarrassing for them and they have to make excuses. Look at Greg Norman. He had a six-shot lead heading into the final round of the Masters and he lost it. For arguably the most important round of golf in his life, he shot 78. What possible explanation could there be other than he choked? Does that mean that every time a player loses a big game he's a choker? Absolutely not. You know choking when you see it. It's about collapse. When the most accurate passer in the game starts throwing balls 20 feet over receivers' heads, he's choking.

Chris from Gainesville, FL:
I'm not too long in the tooth, so I like to catch up with ESPN Classic. I was watching Super Bowl III and I was stunned to see that Namath got so much credit when the Jets defense shut down one of the greatest offenses ever. Watching the game genuinely piqued my interest, so, what could you tell me about Weeb Ewbank?

Vic: First of all, Joe Namath was outstanding in that game. It was a different game back then. Quarterbacks didn't throw for the kind of yardage totals they do today. Namath was great, Matt Snell was great and either the Jets defense was great or Earl Morrall was in over his head. As for Ewbank, you're talking about one of the great coaches in NFL history. You're talking about the coach who "found" Johnny Unitas on that sandlot in Pittsburgh. How's that for irony? Ewbank won titles with Unitas in Baltimore, then beat the Colts with another young quarterback. What does that say about the importance of great young quarterbacks? Is it the coach or the quarterback? Any great coach will tell you it's the quarterback. Ewbank was the winning head coach in two of the most important games in NFL history, the 1958 NFL title game and Super Bowl III. He was a great motivator. To motivate his Colts team for the '58 title game, he played on the reject factor; Ray Berry wasn't fast enough and Unitas came off a sandlot, etc. For Super Bowl III, Ewbank kept showing his players films of Colts games, which caused a Jets player to say, "you're going to make us over-confident." Ewbank countered by asking his players not to carry him off the field when they won on Sunday.

Jonas from Jacksonville:
Can you explain the supplemental draft in a little more detail?

Vic: If you like a guy who's eligible to be selected in the supplemental draft, then pick him in the round you want, provided you have a pick in that round in next year's regular draft. If you've picked him ahead of every other team in the league, he belongs to you and you lose the corresponding pick in next year's regular draft.

Cole from Melbourne, FL:
Have there ever been any noteworthy players who came out of the supplemental draft?

Vic: Bernie Kosar is the headliner.

Dan and Thousand Oaks, CA:
Tiger never chokes? What about when he lost to Rich Beem in a playoff at a major a few years back? Are you telling me Rich Beem was just better? Even Tiger "chokes" sometimes. No one is a machine; not even Tom Brady.

Vic: Rich Beem hit the shot of his life over water. That's why he won. Tiger didn't choke. Tiger never chokes. He's the consummate money player.

Leo from New Orleans, LA:
Now that Frostee Rucker and A.J. Nicholson, along with Chris Henry, have been arrested this offseason, can we say that Marvin Lewis brought the standards of the Ravens' draft picks to Cincinnati?

Vic: That's an awfully smug comment. Frankly, I've grown tired of this obsession with the off-the-field activities of players. I don't expect them to be saints. It's a game for tough guys and you don't usually look for those kinds of guys in choir lofts. The fans want their players to be "killers" on the field and saints off it. That's ridiculous. The players need to control themselves off the field, but I leave judgment of their behavior to the law enforcement authorities. You wanna play, stay out of jail. If a player can't do that, it's his loss. The game won't miss him. As for the ones who do stay out of jail but don't qualify as model citizens, I'm not going to sit in judgment of them or the teams that employ them. I'm interested in how they play, not how they live.

Lane from Orlando, FL:
What was the greatest team to not win a Super Bowl? I say it was the Buffalo team that lost to the Giants.

Vic: I would agree. The Buffalo Bills of the K-Gun era were sensational. The Vikings teams of the early-1970's were very good. Those would be my two choices.

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