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It's an emotional buy

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

Justin from Bonner Springs, KS:
If the Texans didn't enter the league a couple of years ago and took some of our cap hit, how long do you think it would have taken Jacksonville to recover from its salary cap problems?

Vic: They'd still be recovering.

Jeremy from Jacksonville:
This question isn't meant as an excuse for the lack of passion in our fan base, but do you think the realignment of divisions stunted our growth of tradition? I miss playing the Steelers twice a year; same with the Ravens and Browns. Did moving to the AFC South yank up what roots we had put down and force us to start growing a new history, with teams we didn't know or care about?

Vic: It was a minor setback. Being put in the same division with Tennessee helped ease the separation from the other teams. The Jaguars and Titans had developed some history against each other and they've deepened their rivalry in their three years in the AFC South. I think Jaguars fans also found it attractive that the Jaguars were put in the same division with Peyton Manning. It might've been traumatic had the Jaguars been uprooted geographically, but even though the Jaguars built a nice rivalry with the Steelers and Ravens and were on their way to doing that with the Browns, those teams are from "another world" geographically. They have their own little "rust thing" going on and they get after it real good.

Mike from Jacksonville:
You're right, Vic, no more excuses. This franchise is headed in the right direction. I just got off the phone with the ticket office. Me and the fellas just booked four seats for next year. Go Jags! Do we know who our non-division opponents will be in 2005?

Vic: The Jaguars will play Baltimore, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Seattle and Denver at home, and Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Arizona, St. Louis and the Jets on the road.

David from Port Orange, FL:
I had a great Christmas. My wonderful parents got me season tickets for 2005. I've wanted them ever since I went to my first game back in 1997. Football is best in person, tailgating all day, making new friends with complete strangers, and all to watch your favorite team come out with a win. Although, sadly, all four games I went to this year the Jags lost, there is nothing like being at the game. Maybe if you write about the little things that make football worthy of your money, instead of the prices, we will finally fill up this stadium with our fans and finally take back our house.

Vic: Football is an emotional buy. If you have to ask yourself if the money would be better spent on food, clothing, housing, education, etc., football is probably not important enough to you to make it an emotional buy. Sure money is better spent on food, clothing, housing, education, etc., but tell that to someone who lives and dies with the fortunes of their favorite team. Those people have established the habit of attending games. They have sat in the same seats and next to the same people for years. They have come to be close friends who have added each other to their lives, and their "seat" is at the epicenter of their life. Football has become so important to their lives that almost everything revolves around it. They literally make road trips part of their vacation budget. When it gets to that point of importance and magnitude, the price is not perceived as prohibitive. Fans who've committed to football to that degree are incapable of living without it. I know people who display in their homes photo albums of pictures from games, tailgating, road trips, etc. They love to show and tell guests about their experiences. Losing their season tickets is unthinkable because it means losing friends and memories.

Jon from Van Buren, AR:
I laughed at your comment about the kid from Crawford, Texas. We all know who is from there, right?

Vic: At least one person got it.

Chris from Glen Allen, VA:
As an original season ticket holder, formerly from Jacksonville, it's time to put up or shut up. I just bought 2005 season tickets. I don't care if I have to drive from Virginia for every game, my seats will be filled.

Vic: You are truly going the "extra yard."

Brandon from Jacksonville:
I was wondering what a first alternate in the Pro Bowl means. Could you enlighten me?

Vic: A first alternate to the Pro Bowl is a player who was the top vote-getter among those players at his position who weren't selected to the Pro Bowl. Jimmy Smith and Deon Grant are first alternates. If a player at his position is unable to play in the Pro Bowl, the first alternate takes his place.

Mike from Burbank, CA:
Would I be too off-base if I suggested the Colts might have chosen Denver for the playoffs? Jacksonville did manage to beat the Colts in Indianapolis. Who would want to go up against that again? Or am I just suffering from sour grapes?

Vic: Resting and protecting players is what teams locked in playoff spots do. Philadelphia and Atlanta have each lost two in a row since clinching the top two playoff spots in the NFC. Pittsburgh finished the game in Buffalo with a guy at quarterback they had cut a few weeks ago. If you had been Tony Dungy, would you have played Peyton Manning and risked injury to him for the purpose of winning a meaningless game? Jack Del Rio handled the issue very well last week. He said teams in that position have earned the right to rest players. He left no doubt he would've done the same. The bottom line is that you better take care of your own business. One of my all-time favorite Chuck Noll lines is, "Help is not on the way."

John from Tampa, FL:
We are 9-7 and not in the playoffs. The Rams and Vikings are 8-8 but in the playoffs. Assuming neither team makes the Super Bowl, will they draft before or after the Jaguars?

Vic:They would draft before the Jaguars. All teams except the two teams in the Super Bowl are assigned positions in the draft order according to their regular-season records, with ties broken by applying those teams' strengths of schedule. Playoff teams within each grouping will draft after non-playoff teams in that grouping. The Super Bowl winner drafts last and the Super Bowl loser drafts next to last. The Jaguars are currently scheduled to draft 21st. That would change only if the Rams or Vikings made it to the Super Bowl.

Paul from Las Vegas, NV:
After watching the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day, I was very impressed by Vince Young's phenomenal performance. Not only did he rush for 192 yards but he also proved to be an effective passer by throwing for 180 yards. Byron Leftwich once again proved to be ineffective by only leading Jacksonville to three first-half points, a consistent theme I am growing tired of. Do you think it would be in the Jags' best interest to save salary cap room for Vince Young when the 2006 or 2007 draft arrives?

Vic: Absolutely; I think Vince Young will be a great wide receiver.

Jon from Van Buren, AR:
Now that the season is over, what Jaguars would get season game balls?

Vic: I hope to announce's players of the year later this week. The categories will be: offensive player of the year, defensive player of the year, special teams player of the year and rookie of the year. Jaguars Inside Report selected winners in each of those categories through the first nine years of the Jaguars' existence and is going to pick up the torch in Jaguars Inside Report's absence.

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