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It's the real world

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

Dale from Atlanta, GA:
Whenever there's a dispute between the player and the team, I always side with the team because 10 years down the road, when I'm still a Jaguars fan, I won't care that Donovin Darius didn't like to be franchised, for example. It's a team sport and I'm a team fan.

Vic: That makes complete sense.

Todd from Baltimore, MD:
With all the talk about agents holding their clients out for bigger contracts, who has Matt Jones employed as his agent?

Vic: David Butz is Matt Jones' agent.

Dave from Saint Marys, GA:
I thought I remember you writing during the season that the Jags started announcing actual attendance. Is that true or did I just misunderstand you?

Vic: The Jaguars switched last season from announcing actual attendance to announcing tickets distributed. Previous to last season, the Jaguars had always announced actual attendance.

Ryan from Los Angeles, CA:
Will the Jaguars and NFL Network team up for an inside training camp show again this summer?

Vic: NFL Network won't do a premier production on the Jaguars as they did a year ago, but the network will do one-hour shows from the training camps of eight different NFL teams and the Jaguars will be one of those eight teams.

Alex from New York, NY:
With all the recent questions pertaining to "no cheering in the press box" and journalism ethics, any thoughts about the price Judith Miller is paying for protecting her source?

Vic: Marie Torre paid that price over 40 years ago when she went to jail to protect her news source. The ensuing court case produced a landmark decision that resulted in shield laws in 49 states. Had it not been for Torre and the victory she claimed for all reporters, there may never have been a Watergate or "Deep Throat." The Judith Miller situation is a little bit different. What will its impact be? A federal shield law?

Chad from Middleburg, FL:
In your own opinion, do you think covering 10,000 seats in Alltel Stadium will lift home-game blackouts?

Vic: When the seats-covering plan was first announced, there was no doubt in my mind that TV blackouts in Jacksonville were a thing of the past. Now, with a lot of seats unsold and the start of the regular season less than two months away, I'm not sure. The Jaguars blackout number is just under 49,000. I still believe Jacksonville has what it takes to fill a 67,000-seat stadium, so, I guess my answer is that, yes, I expect that covering 10,000 seats will result in lifting the TV blackout for Jaguars home games. My concern, however, is growing. What's the next move? Should they have covered 15,000 seats?

Daniel from Orlando, FL:
You've said on many occasions that playing football is "all about the money." I was curious if writing about football is "all about the money?"

Vic: I didn't use the word "all" with the words "about the money." Yes, writing about football is "about the money." Why would you think it isn't? Do you think I'm going to spend eight hours a day doing something for free? This is my profession. I trained for this. It pays the mortgage, the car payments, college tuition, food, clothes, braces, dog food, doctor bills, etc. This is also about doing something I love. I identified that early in my life and I chose this pursuit. At some point in time they make you leave the dormitory and you have to step into the real world. Professional football is for those people who have left the illusion behind. It is for people who pay the bills and embrace the competitiveness of the American marketplace. Professional sports in general and professional football in particular are symbolic of the American way of life. This is play for pay. It is also write for pay. If you can't accept that, then this isn't for you and you may need to move back into the dormitory. When you find one that lets you stay forever, let me know.

Mario from Zapata, TX:
As of right now, Fred has 7,580 rushing yards and 1,868 receiving yards. In your opinion, how many more yards in both categories before he can be enshrined in the Hall of Fame?

Vic: It doesn't exactly work that way, but 10,000 yards rushing will usually get you into the Hall of Fame. O.J. Anderson is the only running back with 10,000 career rushing yards who hasn't made it into the Hall of Fame. In his case, a rather unimpressive yards-per-carry average would seem to have kept him out. I expect the 10,000-yards bar to be raised over the next several years, as Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis move into the Hall of Fame.

Kelvin from Warwick, UK:
Living in the United Kingdom means I rely on this website for up-to-date info on the Jags, which is why I'm asking what was the general view on how Reggie Hayward looked during the spring?

Vic: Yours is one of the most asked questions of the spring but I've resisted answering it because there's just no way to do it. Spring practices are touch football. You can get a read on quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs, but it's tough to learn anything more from spring practices other than how open-field players run. Reggie Hayward is a muscle player. We can't know much about him until we see him in one-on-one drills against offensive tackles. That'll come early in training camp and, I promise, I'll be there to watch and let you know what Hayward did. I'll be just as interested to see what Khalif Barnes does in one-one-one drills. I don't want to downplay the importance of spring practices, but they're just not in the same league with what happens in training camp. The average fan overrates the importance and competitiveness of spring practices, and the media is partly responsible for that because our stories don't include a disclaimer: Warning! The following information could be completely worthless because football is a contact sport and there's no contact in the spring.

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