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It's a line in the sand

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

Vincent from Jacksonville:
If a CBA cannot be reached by 2011, what's going to happen? Replacement players, strike or lockout?

Vic: From where I sit, it would be a lockout. It wouldn't be a strike because the players aren't the ones who want to void the current CBA. It wouldn't be replacement players because if the owners attempted to do that, the "real" players would show up for work; they have contracts. The potential for a work stoppage in 2011 is the result of owners exercising a clause in the CBA that allows them to void it in 2011.

Jordan from Lincoln, NE:
So the Jags are experimenting with the "Wildcat?" Why has this formation become so popular?

Vic: It's popular because it's something new. If every team ran it, people would quickly tire of it. I fail to see the big deal. You hike the ball to a guy who then runs forward with the ball. What's the big deal? Now, add a true element of pass and that's a different story, but then we'd call it the "Spread."

Tim from Jacksonville:
Can you see Mike Walker becoming a future go-to interview in the locker room?

Vic: If he becomes a go-to receiver, I guarantee he'll become a go-to interview. Mike is a wonderful interview. He's respectful, introspective and insightful.

Andrew from Toledo, OH:
I am tired of hearing all of this rebuild crap. I think this team should win this year and I expect them to. I feel like Smith built this team for the future as well as the 2009 season. Should we expect them to win?

Vic: You have your expectations and I'll have mine. Is that fair? My expectation is for this season to be the start of a rebuilding process.

Tim from Atlantic Beach, FL:
So far, you've tackled the following reasons/excuses/explanations for low ticket sales: bad economy, inconsistent winning, high-definition TV, high ticket prices, parking, heat, Colts division dominance, being in a division of retread franchises, Sunday church, market size, stadium size, Gators season tickets and, of course, crows. Please don't tire of fielding these questions. You are one of the few outlets where this can be hammered home and people need to hear it. I don't want to lose this franchise.

Vic: You forgot the Dolphins.

Jason from Honolulu, HI:
If you had your way, would every home game be blacked out regardless of the number of tickets sold? I imagine that such a practice could significantly drive up ticket revenue in the long run.

Vic: No, it would not, and I'll tell you why: We suffered as kids under that system. Sell-outs meant nothing. If it was a home game, we weren't going to see it, period. When I think about not seeing the things I did, in fact, see because I found a way to go to the game, I can't imagine my memory not including them. I'm talking about the punt-snap from center hitting "Cannonball" Butler in the butt. My life wouldn't be nearly as complete had I not been in the stadium that day and seen that event, and I wouldn't have seen it if I wasn't there because all home games were blacked out. The same goes for Y.A. Tittle's head being cracked like an egg. If I hadn't seen it happen, I don't think I'd be the kind and sensitive person I am today and I wouldn't have seen it happen had I not been there because all home games were blacked out. I think the 1973 Act of Congress is a wonderful example of compromise. As long as the games are sold out, show 'em. If they're not sold out, however, then black 'em out because it's not fair to make any business give away its product. As it turned out, there were things I didn't see because I wasn't at the game. For example, I wasn't there the day the idiot who was deployed at the goal line to field Jim Bakken's long field goal attempt, should it fall short, jumped up and knocked the ball down at the one-yard line, where the Cardinals recovered the ball, because the guy thought the ball was going to go over the crossbar, which it wasn't going to do. I heard it on radio, but I never saw it, and a part of me will never be able to comprehend the stupidity of that act because I have no picture of it happening.

Kevin from Festus, MO:
They need to buy tickets and that is all. The city is becoming the butt of jokes in other NFL cities. You would think with the Rams looking for buyers, they would be concerned here in St. Louis. The general opinion is Jacksonville would get moved first. As a former Jacksonville resident, it pains our family to see the empty seats and know we can't go to the games any more. Will the Rams' situation and outcome have any impact on what is happening in Jacksonville? Thanks for your humor and tough love. Everyone needs to wake up and support the team. We buy our Jaguars gear from to better support the team. Any "Ask Vic" coffee mugs in the works?

Vic: Forget about predicting what's going to happen. Just know that sellouts are good and blackouts are bad. By the way, I like that coffee mug idea. We could all have "Ask Vic" coffee mugs; they would make us feel a bond in the morning.

Howard from Homestead, FL:
I fail to understand the benefit of calling out Henderson publicly. Could you explain for the non-jocks out here?

Vic: I don't think it takes much imagination to figure out that Jack Del Rio probably tried all the other stuff and it didn't work. I think it's safe to assume that he tried patience and understanding. I think it's easy to understand that he reached the end of his rope, so to speak. I think the first thing we have to do is understand that Del Rio knows a lot more about this situation than we do and that he almost certainly had been dealing with it without going public for a long time. Yesterday, he decided he didn't want to do that any more. Why? Because it wasn't working. Let me ask you a question: What were your thoughts last December when Del Rio announced a new no-nonsense approach? Did you applaud when he said everybody would be expected to participate in the following spring's OTAs? Did you nod your head when he talked about bad chemistry overtaking the team and the need to fix that problem by demanding a new resolve and commitment to winning? Did you like that? Well, this is it and all those words would be meaningless if the message isn't reinforced.

Kevin from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I just noticed the New Orleans Saints sold out their season tickets for the year and also have a waiting list of about 50,000 people to get season tickets. Jacksonville has been a stronger team than New Orleans since their inception. What did New Orleans do that Jacksonville hasn't done?

Vic: They had a hurricane that devastated the region, and then those who remained rallied behind the recovery. The Saints are one of the symbols of that recovery. I think it's a great story and I cheer it.

Ryan from West Chester, OH:
I got pictures of old trading cards. One of the featured cards is Don Maynard of the Jets, yet, his position is "Flanker." I've played football all my life and followed it extensively but I had never even heard of a "flanker." Is this a primitive form of the H-back?

Vic: No, a flanker is a wide receiver. He was termed a flanker because he played on the flanks of the offense. The important thing to note is that the flanker must line up off the line of scrimmage. Technically, he's a backfield player. He's the T-formation right halfback or Wing-T wingback. In Maynard's day, the receiver designations were split end, tight end and flanker. In today's game, we were refer to the split end and flanker generically as being wide receivers. Specifically, they are the X and Z receivers, the flanker being the Z.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
I saw a lot of empty seats at Joe Louis Arena in the Stanley Cup finals in Game Two against Pittsburgh. I think you are underestimating this recession.

Vic: Oh, Jeff, you've made my day. I'm a morning grump and I always need someone to give me a laugh and you've done it. Those empty seats you saw were wearing red shirts, or sweaters, as they call them in hockey. I did some homework on the subject, Jeff, and the best I can tell you is this: The Red Wings had a streak of 396 consecutive sellouts end in the opener for the 2007 season, when fans protested a dramatic ticket-price increase. The Red Wings responded by re-structuring prices. I assume every game has been sold out since then but I can tell you for sure that "The Joe" has a capacity of 20,066 and the official attendance for Game Two on Sunday was 20,066. You're talking about "Hockeytown." You're talking about the most hockey-crazy place in America. When the Jaguars played in Detroit last season, there was a sign outside the front door of our hotel that said hockey sticks were not permitted inside the hotel. Oh, yeah, well then why did I have to call the desk at one o'clock in the morning because kids were playing hockey in the hallway and shooting pucks off my door? All right, folks, it's time to stop all of this. When we get to the point that we start using Detroit as an example of a bad hockey town, we've gone too far. It is what it is. Just let it go. Stop flooding my inbox with ticket sales commentary and I'll let it go. That's all you have to do. You determine the subject matter. No hockey sticks allowed.

Zoltan from Budapest, Hungary:
I wanna ask about John Henderson. Is just a minor problem or the situation with him is a real big concern?

Vic: That's the definitive question and only Henderson can answer it. Yesterday's comments are a line in the sand. It's a line coach Del Rio drew last December and he re-drew it on Tuesday and it can not be crossed. The players on this team will watch this drama very closely.

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