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It's only hot in Jacksonville

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

Greg from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I don't want to make excuses for empty seats and I accept that it is my responsibility to fill the stadium, but I do want to ask if you think the Cowboys could sell out a 330,000-seat stadium? The Jets would be about 900,000. If they could, why wouldn't they have built their new stadiums with that capacity?

Vic: You're referring to size of stadium relative to market size, which is a very popular excuse, but I don't remember anybody in the beginning saying, "No thanks, we're too small to have an NFL team." Plus, have you taken into consideration all of the major league teams in Dallas and New York that have to share the sports entertainment dollar? Here's what you should do: Add up all of the major league sports events in New York (Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Islanders, Knicks, Nets, etc.) and divide that total into the total population of the New York market, which will give you the number of people per major league sports event in New York. Now do it for Jacksonville. Let me know what you think.

Henry from Jacksonville:
I wanted to buy season tickets. Then I started hearing all the excuses and they really ticked me off. I refuse to sit in the stands with a bunch of whiners. When the excuses are gone, I'll buy tickets again.

Vic: What a great excuse: too many excuses.

Sean from St. Johns, FL:
Heat will affect ticket sales, at least in my house. I will only buy one ticket for the summer games, because my wife gets nauseous at those.

Vic: Didn't everybody move down here because they like hot weather?

Neil from Orange Park, FL:
I was 12 when Jacksonville was awarded the privilege of having an NFL team. I got married in 2004 and we both had steady, full-time jobs. The first thing I did was buy season tickets. We've since had a child and my wife has taken on the ultimate full-time job, however, we still fight the heat, crowds and the slumping economy and still have our season tickets. There's not much I look forward to other than some day taking my son to his first Jaguars game. I've even got my in-laws to buy season tickets right behind us. I love this team. Keep up the good work. You're a real treat every day.

Vic: You remind me of a funny video someone sent me recently. It was a horse race in which all of the horses were named for stages of marriage. For example, "Romance and Affection" broke out to the early lead, followed by "Wedded Bliss" and "Immediate Children." Halfway through the race, "Credit in Shambles" took the lead from "Mortgage Up the you know what." I think "Keep the House" and "I'm Outta Here" finished one-two. Anyhow, here's your race: "Married in 2004" takes the early lead, followed by "Steady Full-Time Jobs" and "Buy Season Tickets." Coming up on the outside is "Ultimate Full-Time Job," followed by "Taking My Son." And here comes "In-Laws Buy Season Tickets." Whoa! I don't even wanna know how this race ends.

Alex from Jacksonville:
Since so many people just want to watch the game from home, what do you think about the idea of putting the games on pay-per-view?

Vic: There would be mass suicide in Jacksonville.

J.P. from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Just wanted to tell you the Jaguars do provide cool-off zones, as you suggested to Catherine from Jacksonville, during extremely hot games. They set up seats and high-powered electric fans. They also make announcements about making sure to drink water to stay hydrated. Also, if you do pass out, they have plenty of well-trained paramedics on staff to revive you. So, shut up and come out to the stadium, you sissies.

Vic: On Monday and Tuesday, I stood on the practice field in the worst weather I can ever remember in May. It was cold and windy and the rain was a steady downpour. I thought to myself: What if the Jaguars played a game today?

Lance from Jacksonville:
With all the excuses for not buying tickets from all these fair-weather fans, how about an added bonus? Golf! With season-ticket purchases we get discount golf at two of the premier courses on the "First Coast," North and South Hampton. The former is one of the most beautiful and most challenging courses I've ever played.

Vic: What if it's too hot or too cold?

Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
Do these people really think the NFL is going to have an entire league running on a set schedule and let the Jaguars start at another time because of heat? Do they know nothing about the NFL? Do they not care that the team and the fans would be mocked as the biggest bunch of sissies in NFL history?

Vic: I think the rest of the league knows it's only hot in Jacksonville.

Mac from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I was at the December, 2004 game. You forgot to mention that it rained for about six hours prior to kickoff.

Vic: So I should only check attendance figures for dry, 70-degree days, huh?

Stephen from Jacksonville:
How many of the people that are complaining about the season tickets for the Jags have season tickets to the Gators?

Vic: Not many. I think you'd be surprised at how few Florida season-ticket holders are from Jacksonville. The Gators are followed and supported by people from all over the state. The Gators aren't eating up the entertainment dollar in Jacksonville. That's just another excuse people use. There's no reason why Gator fans can't be Jaguar fans, and vice versa. Does Penn State hurt the Steelers and Eagles? Does Ohio State hurt the Browns and Bengals? How about the Cowboys? Did they overcome the passion for college football in Texas? The Bears wear the University of Illinois' colors and one is seen as an extension of the other. They said pro football wouldn't work in Nashville, or in Tennessee, for that matter, because of the dominance of college sports, yet, the Titans have quickly become one of the elite franchises in the league. Michigan and Michigan State are big draws and I guarantee that if the Lions weren't on one of the worst losing streaks in sports history, Ford Field would be full, even in one of the nation's worst economies. I hate the mentality that pits college football against pro football. I love them both and there's no doubt in my mind that one promotes the other. The draft is the perfect example of that.

Richard from Jacksonville:
I was much worse than Bruce. I actually Googled "fighting crows," thinking there might be some current expression of which I was unaware. Interestingly, I discovered that hunters who decoy/call crows have enjoyed great success using the "Fighting Crows" call. This can actually be heard at , click "beginner techniques." My education continues as a result of being a loyal "Vic" reader.

Vic: When I was young, I was told to read anything I could get my hands on. I was told that reading was the key to learning. It may have been the best advice I have ever received.

Tom from St Augustine, FL:
I read where the Jaguars are not going to use all of the days available for OTAs. I think they are using 12 of 14. Why? It's a young team, why not use every practice available?

Vic: I'll ask coach Del Rio, but I'm assuming the answer is that he feels as though he can get the work done he needs to get done in 12 practices. In my opinion, there's a point at which these OTA practices become overkill. In my opinion, there's only so much you can accomplish in your underwear. In fact, I think there's a point where too many underwear practices become harmful because you start developing touch-football habits.

Stephen from Jacksonville:
Mr. Ketchman, with all due respect, many times when I read your responses you seem to come off as being condescending. Would you please attempt to reply in a manner that observes your writers as being your fellow human being? I'm not saying you are a bad person, however, I do think there are some instances where you can be viewed as making rude remarks. This isn't to say you can't try to be funny (or point out the truth). One can still be humorous without making fun of others. Remember, it's nice to be important, but more important to be nice.

Vic: I'll say three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Matt from Havelock, NC:
My wife had a baby boy. We named him Vic.

Vic: One day, he will ask you why you named him Vic, and you will say that you named him after a sportswriter. You must be prepared for the crisis that could follow.

Adam from Brisbane, Australia:
I can't take these questions about buying tickets anymore.

Vic: I can't either, but I'm not getting much else. I knew this would happen once we got on the topic, but I have a plan for ending it. Friday's column will be the last until the following Friday, which will provide a nice cooling-off period. When I come back, let's talk about something else.

Tony from Jacksonville:
I attend church faithfully every Sunday. The home games, I get a DVD copy of the message from Saturday night and plug it in the DVD player and have church while I tailgate. I have the church service playing while others around me are drinking and partying. Anyone is invited to stop by and watch the service.

Vic: Only in Jacksonville.

Jim from Jacksonville:
My only problem with saying three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys and dropping the envelope in the mail is that I'm a priest.

Vic: Bless me, father, for I have sinned.

Richard from Jacksonville:
My wife and I have had club seats since day one. I know these seats don't count against a blackout and that most of your readers seem to believe we don't count as real fans, but I have to believe the Jaguars appreciate the income.

Vic: They sure do. Just send in the envelope.

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