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Please stop the selfish displays

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

Greg from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
That celebration penalty cost the Jags the game. There's no room for that type of error to occur by supposed college grads that are highly-paid pros and, not to mention, full-grown men. This ain't dancing with the stars. Your thoughts?

Vic: I'm with you. I'm tired of seeing these childish displays. I'd like to think the greatest football players in the world can carry themselves with more dignity. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for a fan to spend three hours of their day intensely watching their team play, rooting for them every step of the way, then have their heart broken by some ridiculous display. It's selfish behavior to do that to your teammates and fans.

Brian from Jacksonville:
Short and sweet, in your opinion, the Jags are 2-2 and suffered a loss to the Redskins. The Jets are coming up and after a great game with Indy I see momentum changing. Will the Jags be able to recover and, the biggest question is, will the fans continue to support the Jags the way they did in the first two games?

Vic: If the fans are going to start bailing out already, then why bother with any of this? No-shows at 2-2? I hope not. It would be a devastating blow.

Dan from Frederick, MD:
I read some Jaguars fans' opinions in "The Florida Times-Union" and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the Jaguars. What a pathetic fan base. Of course, I am generalizing here but when fans are calling for almost every player's head after a game, I have to laugh. It was a great game by both teams. Stop taking everything to heart and just enjoy the excitement for once. The Jaguars are a good team; they will be fine.

Vic: There's a tendency to swing too far from one side to the other following a win or a loss. Fans were giddy after the win over the Steelers. Now we're outraged, as though we're above losing. Nobody is above losing. I agree with you that we really do need a more even approach to each game.

Tim from Satellite Beach, FL:
What are your thoughts on the Dolphins? They were the media's preseason darling to go all the way.

Vic: Early indications are we missed big-time in our expectations of the Dolphins. Please remember that next spring and summer when we go through all of that worthless preseason prediction garbage.

Vaughn from Jacksonville:
In your opinion, why do the Jaguars have such a problem with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties? Do you think Jack Del Rio should impose a fine on players for these penalties?

Vic: The coaches are in a tough spot when it comes to player behavior in matters of celebration and self-expression. All they can do is continue to preach the need for self-control. The CBA doesn't forbid fining a player for committing a penalty, but you can bet any player who's fined for committing a penalty is going to file a grievance and he's probably going to win. Now you have a reputation for being hard on players and that's going to hurt you in free agency. Del Rio isn't the only coach having to deal with this insatiable need for "look at me." Bill Cowher had to deal with two "unsportsmanlikes" that went a long way in costing the Steelers a loss to the Bengals. When asked about it, Cowher said, "It won't happen again." We'll see. The Redskins had an "unsportsmanlike" after a touchdown and it cost them 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff, which the Jaguars returned to the Redskins' 45-yard line. It resulted in the Jaguars' first touchdown of the game, so, if the Redskins had lost, you could've said that celebration penalty cost them the game and I would've agreed with you. I don't understand why players of today feel this overwhelming need to express themselves, and I really don't want to hear some long-winded explanation about the psychology of their culture. It's a lack of discipline and self-control; that's all. It's not the coach's fault, it's the players' fault for not acting as professionals; for being concerned about something other than winning.

Ben from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
"Why should visiting teams be denied the ability to communicate?" Because it's the non-artificial homefield advantage that excites fans and fills the seats. You play eight at home and eight on the road. If you can't win on the road, then you don't deserve to win the whole thing, let alone get into the playoffs. Just ask the 2005 Steelers.

Vic: That's the mob rule mentality that seems to be taking over sports, and I dislike it intensely.

Mike from Jacksonville:
What is the difference between this year's team and last year's team? Both teams started 2-0, both teams lost to the Colts by seven and played horrific defense in the fourth game. I certainly would like a 12-4 record like last year but the schedule is different. How do you see this team compared to last year's?

Vic: The Rams game was not the fourth game of the year. It was the seventh. You're right, however, that the Jaguars were 2-2 last year. What's the difference? None. What's going to happen the rest of the way is going to make the difference.

Chad from Jacksonville:
If we take away crowd noise before the snap, then what is the point of fans coming to the games, besides watching your team play? It will be just one boring game.

Vic: That's why I go to the game. I go to see the teams play. Why else would I go? To hear the fans yell?

Ken from Ft. Smith, AR:
Is it me, or for the second week in a row has the offense struggled with consistency in the passing game without the presence of Matt Jones? Coincidence? I don't think so. Reggie Williams has been the number one receiver the last two games because Jones has been injured.

Vic: I think it must be you, because I didn't think the offense, at least the passing game, struggled on Sunday. Byron Leftwich threw for 289 yards, which is his best since he threw for 300 against the Colts on 10-24-04. He also threw three touchdown passes, which is only the second time in his career he's done that. Reggie Williams turned in what I consider to be the most impressive performance by a wide receiver other than Jimmy Smith in a long time. Here's the disconnect: You're a fan of a player. The majority of the people in "Ask Vic" are fans of the team.

Chris from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Your assessment of how the Redskins attacked our defense was accurate: stretching our defense from sideline to sideline. However, the announcers described the Redskins as running right at our strength: Stroud and Henderson. While I am not an NFL analyst, I did not see that at all. Was that just "coachspeak" or just plain stupidity?

Vic: It may have been a broad way of saying the Redskins were running the ball. Of course, everybody could see that. I'm covering the game so I don't have a chance to listen to the commentary, and that's good because I have a real problem where TV has gone with the analyst's position. The Jaguars' analyst, Jeff Lageman, is outstanding. He's a former player who truly tells it like it is. Jeff spends a lot of the week watching tape so he can tell the listeners on "Jaguars This Week" exactly what happened in the previous game. I lean on Jeff a lot for information from his tape evaluations. There are other former players whose evaluations I trust. I think Cris Collinsworth will give you a straight story. There are, however, several former players serving as analysts who are little more than player apologists. I have a problem with that. I have a philosophical problem with players reporting on players. When they earn my trust, as Lageman and Collinsworth have, I'm OK with it. Initially, however, I am distrusting of their objectivity. Howard Cosell talked about it years ago. He called it the "jockocracy." He was right.

Scott from Gilbert, AZ:
Any idea what transpired in that draft-day conversation between Tom Coughlin and Albert Haynesworth, resulting in the Henderson pick over Haynesworth?

Vic: My understanding is that Haynesworth was ambivalent about whether or not he wanted to play for Coughlin.

Alex from Cincinnati, OH:
I am a huge Jags fan and was really upset when they lost on Sunday in OT. I don't think the NFL sudden death overtime rule is fair. I like the college rule better. Do you think this is a fair rule and do you think we would have won if we both got a possession in OT?

Vic: I love the NFL overtime system. You want the ball? Take it away from them.

Tony from Jacksonville:
Well, at least we don't need to hear those whiny questions about respect and comments about being an elite team now. Don't get me wrong, I think we're a good team, a better team than our record shows, but some of the comments that were made after only two games were pretty laughable.

Vic: Laughable? How about nauseating? I won't discount the possibility that they hurt this team. Players read the newspapers. They watch "Sportscenter." We're all products of our environments and when you keep hearing and reading about how great you are, you start to believe it, and that's when you're ripe for a fall. I'm not saying that's what happened. I'm just saying I won't discount the possibility that it may have happened.

Dustin from Kissimmee, FL:
They gave Haynesworth of Tennessee a five-game suspension. The penalty was disgusting, but I know very little about this stuff historically. What are your thoughts about the penalty? Do you think the punishment fits?

Vic: I think the new commissioner used the incident to send a message. The message is that he's not a "player's commissioner."

Mike from Middleburg, FL:
A 31-9 score on Monday Night Football? National following or not, ESPN should be embarrassed for putting Green Bay on MNF. They stunk last year and everyone knew they were going to stink this year. Would you be in favor of having minimum wins the previous season to qualify for Sunday night or Monday Night Football?

Vic: I would be in favor of people knowing enough about the game to know Brett Favre was done. I saw it two years ago when the Jaguars played in Green Bay. Why do we continue to perseverate on washed-up athletes?

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