Media takes its cue from you

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

John from St. Augustine, FL:
Thinking about Tom Brady and his lack of star talent at the WR spot immediately brought to mind Donovan McNabb. He is regarded as a top tier QB and other than one year with (Terrell Owens), he has never had a true star WR. I recognize that if the Eagles actually ran the ball, his stats might not be so bloated, but he also might have won a Super Bowl in the process. What are your thoughts about McNabb?

Vic: Yes, McNabb only had a star WR for one year, and I think that says a lot about his skills as a passer that he has been able to do what he's done without much talent on the receiving end. I acknowledge Brian Westbrook's pass-catching ability, but he's not a downfield receiver and history tells us every quarterback needs a top downfield receiver. Whether or not McNabb achieves the level of an all-time great NFL quarterback will probably be determined by the Eagles' ability to provide him a star WR. They tried with Owens. That was a mistake. Now they're hoping Donte Stallworth will be that guy. He certainly has deep speed. We'll see. McNabb's a good quarterback. I like him. He needs a star receiver.

Andrew from New York, NY:
In what way can fans show they're not interested in certain media coverage and the decision-makers will get the point? Do we just turn off our TV and radios whenever such issues are discussed?

Vic: Absolutely, that's what you do. Don't let the media dictate to you. You dictate to the media. If you don't like their coverage, don't read it or watch it. Find your news somewhere else. That's maybe the greatest thing of all about America, that we are allowed to choose from so many media outlets. Freedom of speech is such a precious gift, and in this country, it's a right. That's what I love most about America. Don't complain about an excess of coverage or that the media is covering something you don't like. Revel in the fact that an excess and variety of coverage is available to you. We don't have just TASS. We don't have to worry about our government forbidding our media from covering T.O. because his behavior is considered to be a threat to social order. When I stop getting questions about T.O., the media will stop covering him. Now ask yourself the big question. Why are we so intrigued by nefarious personalities? That's the lesson in all of this. That's what all of this T.O. coverage is teaching us.

Nick from Wakefield, RI:
I know fantasy football is a huge money-driver for the NFL, but aren't you sick of all the coverage it receives on TV, radio, magazines and the internet? Personally, I have never been a fan of fantasy football and I am sick and tired of hearing about it all the time. I fear it's taking over the headlines of the actual games in the NFL. What are your feelings about it?

Vic: See the answer above. The fan rules. The customer is always right. There are a lot of people who enjoy the interactive quality fantasy football offers. The only thing I don't like about it is that it clogs my inbox with questions about whether or not this player or that player is going to play this week. Everything the NFL is – for that matter any sports league – is built on the whim and fancy of the fan. No fans, no NFL. It's that simple. This is all for you. You drive it and you pay for it. Decisions won't be made for you, they will be made by you. Yes, the NFL has to govern itself with the integrity of the game and sound athletic competition in mind, but the wants of the fan are always primary in every thing the NFL does.

Garie from Fordyce, AR:
It occurs to me after watching a particularly pathetic performance by the Razorbacks this weekend that at some point you just have to step up and make the plays. It's entirely possible to not play bad but still lose. Beneath all the hype and quarterback and receiver controversy, I think that is what will ultimately decide the Jaguars fate this year. They have the talent but will they make the plays when it matters? I hope so.

Vic: You have a wonderful command of the obvious.

Dave from Jacksonville:
Would you or whoever is in charge of it update the injury report for this Sunday's game vs. Dallas? Your column is awesome. My friends and I read it daily.

Vic: The injury report isn't updated until Wednesday of each week in the regular season. The deadline is four p.m. on Wednesdays and some coaches adhere firmly to that deadline.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
I don't think Terrell Owens' antics bother Jerry Jones one bit. I believe he was hoping for it. His Dallas Cowboys have been on TV in every city in every state every day for the last five months. If there is one team that some young kid in Alaska is learning about, it's the Cowboys.

Vic: You get it and it's so refreshing to read this kind of an e-mail from a savvy fan. Jerry Jones is a salesman. He loves glitz and glitter. I prefer football men but I acknowledge that this is a business and any business is all about driving sales. T.O. is driving sales. It's a sad fact but a fact nonetheless. Here's another fact: The moment he stops driving sales and catching passes, he's done.

Scott from Port Charlotte, FL:
In response to Luke from Dallas, TX, I thought it was probably one of the best college football games. I don't like the high-scoring affairs that college football tends to be. It was a battle between probably the best two defenses in the NCAA. I love defensive struggles. Thus I tend to stick to watching NFL games. So what is your opinion of the Florida State-Miami game?

Vic: Those are two teams with great defensive personnel, but the performance of those two defenses was aided greatly by some of the worst offensive line play I have ever seen, for the second consecutive year, too, I may add. Somebody's gotta teach some offensive line play at those two schools. Offensive linemen are allowed to use their shoulder pads, you know.

Moshe from Mexico City, Mexico:
In your opinion, who is the best referee in the league?

Vic: I like Walt Coleman and Gene Steratore. Steratore is just in his fourth year and he's already a referee. He's going to be a star. He comes from a great official's family. His dad was a top high school and college official. Coleman and Steratore were both in Jacksonville a few years ago for the annual preseason presentation to the media and I liked the way they interacted. They have good communication skills, which is what defines referees nowadays. Ed Hochuli is outstanding. He was in Jacksonville, too, and I enjoyed his candor. I'm just afraid his upper body is going to explode while on camera. By the way, my favorite head linesman is Tom Stabile.

Dan from Tempe, AZ:
We agree power rankings in the NFL are just for amusement and banter but in college football that is how they actually put teams in the standings. If the NFL used (the power rankings) system, the Steelers never would have had a shot at the national title game last year. Will college football ever go to a playoff format, Vic?

Vic: What a great observation. Thank you so much. You've put the situation in such great perspective. You're right. The Steelers wouldn't even have been in the BCS. They probably would've played in the Insight.com Bowl. Will college football ever go to a playoff format? Not as long as college football continues to take its lead from the Neanderthals and profiteers that run the bowl games.

Mack from Jacksonville:
Now that all teams are down to the 53-man roster, where do the Jaguars stand as the youngest team in the league?

Vic: The average age of the Jaguars roster is 26.167. A statistic on the average age of rosters in the league won't be available until next week.

Rajesh from Jacksonville:
Does Jacksonville hold the record for the league's best winning percentage on the opening weekend?

Vic: The Jaguars' 8-3 record in season-openers is the best in the league. The Cowboys are second at 31-14-1, a .689 winning percentage.

Hugh from Jacksonville:
You've gotta be kidding me with your power rankings. Kansas City hasn't made the playoffs in two years and they are the number six team in the NFL after losing both their starting tackles from last year? Did you know a tackle guards the quarterback's backside? Then comes San Diego at number eight. You've lost a lot of credibility.

Vic: It's people like you that allow college football to continue its farce of a system for determining a champion.

Kim from Jacksonville:
This explains why MSNBC's ratings are in the toilet. Here is what they wrote about Byron in an article rating the NFL quarterbacks. "The Panthers have one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the league in Byron Leftwich." I am speechless.

Vic: The misidentification of the Jaguars and Panthers continues. It began right away, on July 30, 1995, when the two teams opened the preseason in the Hall of Fame game and the media credentials were mislabeled. What you have are two teams from two low-profile Southeastern cities. These are two places that would be easily mistaken for each other and, in my opinion, the NFL did a very poor job of branding the two teams, which has only served to perpetuate the problem. They came into the league together, they were each given a color scheme that included black and a shade next to each other on the eye shadow chart, and they were both branded with mascots that are in the cat family. The NFL needed to create a greater distinction between the two teams. Having said all of that, there's no excuse for the media getting it wrong.

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