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Lots of puzzle pieces

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

Rajesh from Jacksonville:
When was the last time the Jaguars won both games against the Titans or Oilers?

Vic: It was in 1997, when they were in Memphis and they were still the Oilers.

Harley from Ormond Beach, FL:
When you defined the Jags marketing area I was shocked to see that Volusia County was not in the area. Many cars with Jags flags make the trip to Jax for every game. Wayne Weaver even has a store here. What gives? Whose area are we in?

Vic: Volusia County is in the Jaguars' extended market area (EMA). The question I answered pertained to population and TV households figures and those are defined by a city's designated market area (DMA), which is usually a city's home county and its immediate surrounding counties. The Jaguars' EMA extends north to Savannah, south to Daytona and the north section of Orlando, and west of Gainesville.

Bobby from Jacksonville:
You've said in the past that the Packers and Steelers have waiting lists for season tickets. I noticed, according to, that the Steelers' home-opener last year had a paid attendance of 60,147, which is 4,000 fewer than the Heinz Field capacity. Do the Steelers report tickets sold or actual attendance?

Vic: The Steelers are the only team in the league that announces actual attendance, which is the turnstile count. The 4,000 difference to which you're referring is no-shows. Frankly, I don't understand why teams that are sold out every week keep announcing tickets distributed. It gets boring. All they're doing is announcing the stadium's capacity and we already know what that is. By announcing turnstile count, the Steelers also discourage creative ticket-taking, which has been a problem for them at times. If you look at some of their games, you'll see attendance in excess of capacity. How could that be? Maybe somebody was taking 20's instead of tickets, huh?

Mary from Middleburg, FL:
There's a lot of talk lately about how the NBA can sign their rookies within weeks versus the NFL. What is your opinion on this?

Vic: The NBA works with a relatively tiny roster. NFL teams, of course, have 53-man rosters. Basketball has been described as a two-man game. Get your two stars signed and you shouldn't have trouble fitting the other few guys you need into the team's payroll puzzle. The NFL's puzzle, however, involves several players and fitting them into the puzzle is much more difficult. It requires more time to do so because the structure of one contract massages the structure of another. The NBA puzzle has a few big pieces. The NFL puzzle has several small pieces.

Walter from Titusville, FL:
When do you think most of the Jaguars picks will sign?

Vic: I expect that most of the Jaguars' draft picks will sign their contracts just before the start of training camp. I'd like to think Matt Jones will be included. Rookie contracts are traditionally an 11th-hour thing. This is important stuff to the player and to the team. The player is providing for his future financial security. The team is providing for the future health of its salary cap. They'll get it done right.

Sean from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
You know what kills me? When a player is trying to get a richer contract and says, "It's not about the money, it's the principle." Who does he think he's kidding? To insult us by saying "it's the principle" is a load of you-know-what. I just thought I would see what your reaction is to Shaun Alexander's comments.

Vic: This is why I say over and over, "It's professional football, it's about the money." I don't want to see fans being misled into some kind of emotional issue that causes them frustration and disappointment and to pick sides. Then, when it's all over, the player and the team stand in front of the media hugging each other and the fan is left with the emotional baggage. All of a sudden, you feel betrayed and empty. Don't let that happen to you. It's about the money. Accept it and embrace it. Don't be naïve.

Doug from Tickfaw, LA:
Do you think LaBrandon Toefield has a chance to become a starter someday?

Vic: That's what we're going to find out this summer. LaBrandon Toefield will have the opportunity of his football life to prove he is a starting-caliber NFL running back.

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