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Let it snow, baby

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

John from Green Cove Springs, FL:
In the trade for Justin Smiley, do we pick up his remaining contract?

Vic: It appears he has restructured his contract.

Andrew from Jacksonville:
Does the new Supreme Court ruling mean the Jaguars no longer get part of the profit from every Tebow jersey sold?

Vic: No, it does not. The split of the jersey money is per an agreement between the 32 teams in the league and, at this time, I don't see any indication of a team threatening to halt the agreement. The Supreme Court ruling has no impact on how you operate in-house, only as you conduct business with the outside world.

Kevin from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Gene has signed a couple of previously-injured players this offseason (Kampman and Smiley) and we have some guys recovering that are already on the roster. Do you think we have the roster depth to handle it if these players are re-injured during the season?

Vic: I wouldn't describe the Jaguars' roster as deep. I would describe it as in reconstruction.

David from Atlanta, GA:
I am a huge Atlanta Braves fan and I go to a lot of their games. I pay $10 for parking and $9 for a game ticket in the nosebleeds. Their payroll is $84,423,666. The Jaguars payroll last year was around $95 million. The Jaguars stadium is about 1.5-2 times the size of Turner Field, but the Jaguars have 10 times fewer games to make the revenue. Adjusting for the difference in payroll, the average nosebleed ticket to a Jaguars game should be around $65 to $70. That's all based on the low price of the Atlanta tickets, and I know there's a lot more to it, such as premium seats, club seats, etc. I just thought you'd be interested to know the math.

Vic: Thanks for doing the math. That was a great lesson in comparable economics. By the way, the Jaguars' cheap seat, so to speak, is $40, which is an unbelievably affordable price to watch a game in the world's premier professional sports league.

Kenney from Jacksonville:
If attendance rises, will the tarps come off or was that the point of no return?

Vic: Forget about tarps coming off. Please understand the severity of this situation. We're less than two months away from the start of the preseason and there are still 13,878 unsold seats in the general bowl. We're moving into the fourth quarter, folks. We're comin' up on crunch time. I can't stress enough the importance of filling this stadium this season. In my opinion, it is the number one issue for this team and this town. You want expectations? Expect to sell out this stadium.

James from Tallahassee, FL:
What does it mean that we traded away a conditional seventh-round pick?

Vic: It means that if the conditions of the trade are satisfied, a seventh-round pick will be the compensation. What might the conditions be? They could be as simple as making the final roster or playing in a certain number of games.

Brendan from Yulee, FL:
Have there been any players from the UFL or AFL that have been good enough to get into the NFL and succeed?

Vic: Kurt Warner played for the Iowa Barnstormers of the arena league.

Cody from Seattle, WA:
Would the words "cautiously optimistic" fit the way you feel about the Jags at this point?

Vic: Yeah, they would, but those aren't the words I would use to describe my view of the Jaguars. The words I would use are "resigned patience."

Bill from Lancaster, PA:
What is your opinion of the 2014 Super Bowl being awarded to New York?

Vic: Pete Rozelle's idea was to play the game at a warm-weather, neutral site, and I've always believed that was the way to go. One of the problems we've run into in recent years is the loss of neutral sites. You're just not going to play the Super Bowl any more in places such as Tulane Stadium and Rice Stadium; the game is just too big to be played in stadiums that don't offer the finest in state-of-the-art amenities and, of course, no stadiums offer more in the way of amenities than the stadiums of the NFL. In my opinion, playing the game in NFL stadiums is more of a potential problem than the threat of bad weather from playing the game in a cold-weather city. I covered Super Bowl IX and the weather was horrible. How did everybody like the rain in Miami a few years ago? Was that a fun experience? The idea of a team playing on its home field in the Super Bowl is outrageous, in my opinion, but it's almost certain to happen. So, if we're willing to accept that inevitability, why not play the game in bad weather, too?

Ryan from Columbia, SC:
I have made it official. I took off the old Gator tag on the front of my car and replaced it with a shiny, new Jaguars tag. I choose pro football and I'm sick of all of the divisiveness a good portion of Gator fans try to stir among the Jaguars fan base. On a side note, do you really know Snoop?

Vic: Yeah, we go way back.

Kinzie from Asheville, NC:
How do you like seeing everyone's "Facebook" opinions, let alone all the questions you get? I don't have "Facebook," I just have "Ask Vic."

Vic: I like it, a lot. Our IT guys are doing some exciting things with jaguars.com. We've got some design and content changes coming up that I really like, and I think you're going to like them, too. Transparency is one of the buzz words of today's culture, and I'm all for it on jaguars.com and in "Ask Vic." I want people to feel free to express themselves on any subject. All I ask is that they do it respectfully. We all need to thicken our skin and appreciate other viewpoints, but neither is achieved through anger. Anger, in fact, usually results in thinning our skin and blunting our appreciation of other viewpoints. Go ahead and tell me what you think. That's what's best about being an American; you're free to speak your mind. All I ask is that you do it without anger.

Paul from Gainesville, FL:
Woody Johnson said, "I hope it snows." Me, too.

Vic: Of course you do; everybody does. I heard some guy on the radio this morning whining and crying about New York getting the Super Bowl. He said something about wanting a 1,300-day forecast and hoping it doesn't snow. That's a lie. I guarantee he hopes it snows. I guarantee he hopes there's a blizzard. Do you know what happens when the weather gets real bad for a football game? The game gets a nickname, such as "Ice Bowl," and it becomes legendary. Snow games always get high TV ratings. The Monday night game played in Heinz Field a few years ago that was preceded by a torrential downpour and resulted in a 3-0 final score and a punt sticking in the mud when it hit the ground delivered some of the best ratings of the year and they continued to climb as the game wore on. The whole "what if it snows?" thing makes me long for the days of cold-weather football. Have we really become that soft? I'm with the Patriots fans on this one: "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."

Kyle from Herndon, VA:
Why give up a draft pick for a guy who has injury problems the last two years and would have been released anyway? We could have given up nothing and signed him for a small amount and not have given up a valuable draft pick. I don't understand this move one bit.

Vic: If Justin Smiley had been cut by the Dolphins, the Jaguars would've likely had to bid for his services in free agency and that would've likely cost them more money than they're going to pay. There's nothing wrong with this deal. It's an extremely low-risk deal that offers high upside potential. What did they trade away? A player they'll likely be able to sign in undrafted free agency. If Smiley becomes a starter for the Jaguars this season, his value will far exceed the pick the Jaguars traded away.

James from Jacksonville:
I always read that when a player is traded, it's always "pending a physical." What does the physical consist of? What could disqualify a player?

Vic: It consists of an examination by the medical staff. Lots of things could disqualify a guy: arthritis in his knee, bone spurs in his neck, AC joint dysfunction, a degenerative hip, leprosy, hoof and mouth disease, debilitating flatulence, etc.

Fred from Jacksonville:
Since no one asked, why did your grandfather not watch the game with you?

Vic: He was probably upstairs interacting with the rest of the family. Even back then, I preferred to watch football alone, without noise and distraction. I guess I was already preparing for my career as a sportswriter.

Matt from Jacksonville:
Where do you think the Jags are in their rebuilding efforts?

Vic: They're in year two. There's much left to be done.

Skip from Jacksonville:
I like how you discuss more things than just the Jaguars football organization. It's like everyone who reads your column is part of an "Ask Vic" family.

Vic: That's the whole idea. I want the column to be stimulating. I want it to be something that makes you think. I don't want to spend an entire OTA season answering "how does he look?" questions. I want "Ask Vic" to be a place for people who like to read, research and exchange information, opinions and ideas.

Dave from Orlando, FL:
Is finding the best values in scratch-and-dent free agency part of being a creative, small-market team?

Vic: It's part of being a smart team, in any size market. It's called patching. You use the draft to build the foundation of your team and you use free agency to patch the holes left from the draft. If you use the draft to patch, too, then that's all you're doing; you're constantly patching. That's the way I used to think, of course, but not anymore. I've changed to the patch-always philosophy because then you never have unaddressed needs and you can go to the Super Bowl every year.

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