Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Keith from Jacksonville:
First instant replay? I'm sure I'm only the 802nd person to email this, but it was 12/31/67 in the NFL championship game between the Packers and Cowboys. The play was actually used for Bart Starr's famous goal-line plunge over center Jerry Kramer. Fact, is the replay only happened because it was so cold, the cables and camera to tape the game were frozen in place. It was minus-15 at game time.
Vic: Keith, this is beautiful. We're talking about a great piece of humorous writing. Thank you for your creativity. However, you and some other readers have misinterpreted my question of a couple days ago. I wasn't asking when instant replay was used as an officiating tool, I was asking when it was first used by TV, period. In other words, in what game and in what year was instant replay introduced? You know what I mean? Humor is always welcome.
Steve from Glenside, PA:
Thanks for keeping us all entertained with your column. It's great lunch-time reading at work. Can a team put restrictions on the offseason travel of a player? For example, a player traveling to the MiddleEast or planning a trip to climb Mt. Everest?
Vic: There's nothing in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that says a team and a player can't agree to clauses restricting dangerous activities, such as skydiving, mountain-climbing, etc.
Trill from Jacksonville:
I checked out howstuffworks.com and you were almost right about the first-down marker. In addition to your explanation, a guy in a trailer with a "magic typewriter," much like the one you use to write this column, inputs the yard marker information to the "genie in the box." I hope this clearsup some confusion.
Vic: As I suspected, invisible paint.
Travis from Tampa, FL:
Just wanted to know why you never post my questions. Clearly, my question was more intelligent, if not more useful than Howard from Homestead's post about Fu. Do you just randomly select e-mails and answer those questions or what?
Vic: I read all e-mails and select them according to whatever mood I'm in. Today, I'm in a humorous mood so I selected yours. By the way, thank you for vowel rationing.
Don from Jacksonville:
ESPN has rated watching the History Channel more interesting than this week's Jaguars vs. Jets game. Would you agree?
Vic: It depends what's on. If it's that documentary on the retro-fitting of the B-2 Bomber, I've already seen it.
Todd from Jacksonville:
"Ask Vic" is a daily must-read. Why is it the Miami Dolphins of 1972 are the only ones ever mentioned as having an undefeated season? There are several teams (some of which are defunct) that have undefeated records, like the Chicago Bears of 1942 and the Green Bay Packers of 1929. Are the undefeated records only considered if they are part of the post AFL-NFL merger period? Or is it because they are the last one to have an undefeated season?
Vic: You're right on both counts. There's a tendency to discount the pre-merger period as a credible period in pro football history, and that's unfair and unfortunate. Baseball still measures itself against players such as Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. Football almost laughs at the mention of players such as Sammy Baugh and Red Grange. The main reason is that the game has changed so dramatically. Baseball has maintained most of its structure, which allows today's players to be judged against the Cobbs and Ruths. But that's impossible in football. How do you judge a player's stats in today's 16-game schedule against the stats of someone who played a 12-game or 10-game schedule? The 1972 Dolphins are the only team to have gone undefeated in a 14-game regular-season format, which means no team has ever won more games in a season. That's the reason they stand out above all other undefeated teams.
Josh from Las Vegas, NV:
I was watching a college game tonight and noticed on a PAT that the offensive line lined up to the right of the center and right as they were getting set they went to the formation I am more accustomed to seeing. Why is that?
Vic: I think what you're describing is the "swinging gate" formation. It's just a little trick thing a team might use to keep the kick-block team honest, in terms of personnel and focus. In other words, the kick-block team doesn't dare ignore the formation and focus only on blocking the kick. If the defense doesn't respect the formation by using the right personnel or adjusting to its shifts, the kick team can throw or run for two points. Some coaches also like to get the other players off to the side so his center, holder and kicker can focus on their tasks without visual interference.