Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

No-win situation

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

John from Arlington, VA:
You said yesterday that Orlando is in Jacksonville's market, but your article about them playing games in Orlando referred to it as being an "out-of-market" game. Can you explain?

Vic: Orlando is a secondary market within the Jaguars' total market area. Jacksonville is the Jaguars' primary market, therefore, the correct reference should've been "out-of-primary-market" game.

Jordan from Kill Buck, NY:
I have a feeling the Dec. 17th game could become a national ticket nightmare.

Vic: I hadn't even thought about it, but you're right. Oh, poor Jacksonville. It's gonna get killed that night.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
How many tickets do the Jaguars have to sell to avoid a blackout and where does that number rank among the NFL teams?

Vic: The stadium seats 66,000-plus, but only about 50,000 of those seats, which is the general bowl seating area, apply to the blackout number. It is one of the smallest blackout numbers in the league, therefore, when people talk about the Jaguars having a stadium that's bigger than most, blackouts should not be part of that discussion because as the stadium pertains to blackouts, it's very small. Premium seating, which is to say seating that involves a club license, does not count toward the blackout.

Eddie from Cocoa, FL:
I have a concern about the whole Orlando thing. What stops the ball rolling all the way? If Orlando can build a stadium and sell out a game or two or three, what keeps the Jaguars in Jacksonville? What keeps the team from just moving to Orlando, which has twice the metro population of Jacksonville?

Vic: Eddie, with or without Orlando, empty seats aren't gonna work. What keeps the team from moving? The answer should be obvious: a sold-out stadium. Nothing else will work long-term. Sellouts work anywhere, anytime.

Justin from Jacksonville:
Do you know how many Toronto residents make the commute to Buffalo to see the Bills play, or fans from Buffalo to Toronto, and do you think if a game or two were to be played in Orlando it would have this effect?

Vic: I don't know to what degree Bills fans migrated from Buffalo to Toronto for that game played there last December, but I can tell you from years of having covered Bills games in Buffalo that the road leading from the highway to the stadium in Orchard Park was always full of cars with Ontario license plates. They aren't all from Toronto. I'd guess that most of them are from just across the border, between Hamilton and Buffalo. Yes, I believe Jaguars fans would make the trek to Orlando to see the Jags play but that wouldn't be in the intent of playing a game there. The intent would be to help develop the fan base there.

Paul from Los Angeles, CA:
When and why did the coaching staff decide to focus on switching our base defense to a 3-4?

Vic: That's a question I want to explore later this season, as we near the offseason and the personnel decisions that will be made. I'm getting the feeling a commitment may have been made to the 3-4. I'm getting the feeling GM Gene is on board with this and he's prepared to effect the changes necessary to make a long-term commitment to the 3-4. As I have said, it's something an organization has to do if it wants to play the 3-4. It's a big change. You don't just change players' positions, you change players. I've always liked the 3-4 because it's offered a bigger pool of players from which to draft. More teams, however, are making the switch to the 3-4 and that'll shrink the pool of talent. If that's the case, the Steelers will make the move to the 4-3. Their main interest in the 3-4 was the pool of talent available. All of a sudden, the 4-3 pool could become greater than the 3-4 pool.

Ryan from Ancaster, Ontario:
I'm all for games in Orlando but, not being from Florida, I'm not entirely sure what other benefit the city of Orlando would get by renovating the Citrus Bowl. Surely they won't renovate/build a new facility just to host one NFL game per year. How else would they recover the value of such an investment?

Vic: How about playing the Super Bowl and/or Pro Bowl in that stadium? Would that make it worth it?

James from Jacksonville:
You like people in Tennessee? They eat raccoons and dance to fake country music like Taylor Swift. If you like Tennessee so much, move there, bud. If I see you talking highly about Tennessee, I'll hunt you down like the crazy person I am. This is Jacksonville. Now for my question: What can the Jaguars do to sell tickets? And you think you are special, huh?

Vic: I think it's time to stop asking what the Jaguars can do to sell tickets. I don't think there's anything more that can be done. Tickets are for sale. They are reasonably priced and they've been packaged in ways that are so submissive to the fans that it has to be embarrassing to the franchise that it has to do that. The rest is up to the fans. As for your second question, I have never thought of myself as anything other than an ordinary person trying to pay the bills and do for my family what my dad did for his.

Bob from Jacksonville:
I saw where some players are wearing pink cleats and/or gloves this week to support efforts to defeat breast cancer. Are any of the Jaguars involved in this effort?

Vic: Reggie Nelson will wear pink cleats and gloves, as will David Garrard, Maurice Jones-Drew and Torry Holt.

Stephen from Jacksonville:
"Del Rio cancels Garrard's weekly show" is the headline read on ESPN. It sounds to me like sour grapes. David was out promoting the product and doing his best to help build a fan base and Del Rio didn't like the fact that he wasn't included. It's not like Del Rio and his bland personality are out there trying to get people excited about Jaguars football. Mr. Ketchman, you know better than I do, but is there really anything wrong with what Garrard was doing?

Vic: I've been covering the Jaguars from their inception and that includes two head coaches and I can tell you that Jack Del Rio didn't do anything Tom Coughlin or any other coach wouldn't have done. What you don't know, Stephen, is that Friday's practice schedule is tailored for players to get home early, relax, do things around the house and spend time with their families. Why is that important? Because they're going to be gone all weekend. They will report to the stadium on Saturday morning and they will go from there to the hotel, etc. No coach shortens the work day so his players can do radio interviews. Friday afternoon is the concentration line, Stephen. The players cross it when they get within 48 hours of kickoff and coaches want their players to have a singular focus from that point on. It's been that way forever and every beat guy who covers any team knows this to be true and they know it to be fair. The game plan has been installed and coaches don't want anything being said that might reveal its contents or the medical condition of a teammate. When we get to Friday afternoon, Stephen, every coach in the league becomes hyper-sensitive. Friday is lock-down. I knew coach Del Rio would get ripped on this thing because America loves nothing more than a good freedom-of-speech argument and this made for an easy target. Coach Del Rio was in a no-win position. Also, it provided another excuse for fans not buying tickets: He wouldn't let Garrard interact with us. That is such crap.

Adam from Cypress, CA:
I noticed that on your Twitter account you are following only one account, My suspicions are that an old man is unable to figure out the new technology. Am I correct or was this intentional?

Vic: The IT guy did it when he was setting up my Twitter account. I asked him this morning why he did it and he said he was testing it. He said he'll get rid of it. As you can see, you were not correct, but don't let that stop your rudeness.

Donny from Pensacola, FL:
Can we get a pink ribbon put on for the wives, moms and daughters that help keep us sane?

Vic: That's a great idea. It's on the site.

Greg from Atlanta, GA:
You seem to be a person who says it as it is so what do you think about the Jaguars' future in Jacksonville? What was your opinion like before this season?

Vic: I provided a link last week to a column I wrote in Dec. of 2000. I saw storm clouds on the horizon then, but I never thought it would get this bad. My hope is the economy will recover, fans will start buying tickets again and out-of-market games will assist in filling Jacksonville Municipal Stadium again. I don't see the team leaving, but empty seats won't protect this franchise. We can deny, deny, deny as long as we want, but we all know that empty seats are bad.

Nick from Chesapeake, VA:
Tra Thomas was a big name. I have heard nothing about him this year. I agree with you that the NFL is a young man's game but has this guy done anything this year? Has he even been given the chance?

Vic: The Jaguars have moved into their future at left tackle with a player the team has judged to be worthy of the starting job now. Thomas provides insurance at that critical position. You're right, it's a young man's game.

Stephen from Clermont, FL:
I remember that 36,000 people showed up to an XFL game in Orlando and that was considered a sellout. With those numbers in consideration, do you think Orlando could support an NFL team?

Vic: We may find out in a few years.

Kevin from Orlando, FL:
I'm not sure the people and radio announcers of Jacksonville understand that if Wayne Weaver doesn't sell tickets he can't make payroll. How long can he afford to play in a half-empty stadium? A stadium with no naming rights?

Vic: What the Jaguars lose in not having a naming-rights sponsor is minor compared to what the team loses in unsold tickets. Just for this Sunday's game, the Jaguars will lose more than a million dollars in unsold tickets, and the situation could worsen as the season goes on.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content