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Sex appeal needed

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

Nathan from Richardson, TX:
Even worse, as soon as you posted your draft analysis on each player, there was a grade-the-pick module beside each player. All the players got A's! The wise, unbiased fan is a rare one.

Vic: I checked back to see what grades the fans gave Byron Leftwich, Rashean Mathis, Reggie Williams and Matt Jones. Leftwich, Williams and Jones all got A's. Mathis got a B.

Davy from Jacksonville:
On Nick's Blog on the main page, he goes on a rant about man should have invented a more practical electric car by now. Well, there's actually a guy that has invented a vehicle to run on water. He mentions something about his vehicle being able to go about a hundred miles on a few ounces of water. The water goes through some electrolysis process.

Vic: We need to make better use of our resources. For example, billions of golf balls are manufactured in America every year. So where are all those golf balls? Don't we owe it to nature to find them and isn't there some way re-claimed golf balls could be used other than for hitting and losing again? Old Cleveland Stadium, for example, is serving as a reef for fish in Lake Erie; I wonder what they did with the press box and the hot dog-making machine. Maybe we could use old golf balls to fill potholes. Think about it, where the heck are all of those golf balls? Have you ever seen anyone throw a golf ball away?

George from Shreveport, LA:
I have one more question about the OT statistics. How many NFL games have ended in a tie?

Vic: Since the NFL began using the sudden death overtime system for regular season games in 1974, 16 games (4.1 percent) have ended in a tie. The last time a game ended in a tie was on Nov. 10, 2002, when Atlanta and Pittsburgh played to a 34-34 tie.

Ryan from Hamilton, Ontario:
If it's in the playoffs, then obviously one team has to win. If the OT period ends and it's still a tie, then do they do another 15-minute period and another coin toss, or does the loser of the first coin toss get first choice?

Vic: There's only one coin toss and no halftimes. Each 15-minute overtime period is treated as the end of the first and third quarters of regulation are treated, with a two-minute intermission between periods and the two teams switching goals. Play on.

Rhett from Jacksonville:
I know that dedicated "Ask Vic" readers are required to wear numbers over 95, but I was hoping I could wear my number 23 jersey when I read your column. Could you make an exception just for me?

Vic: You can read it in the nude for all I care. In fact, "Ask Vic" could use a little sex appeal so I was thinking of writing one in the nude. By the way, what's the over 95 bit?

John from Jacksonville:
If you could let any of the fans reading your column know about one particular event in football history that many do not know about, what would it be?

Vic: One of the things I've come to understand is how little fans know about the genesis of the TV blackout rule. When I explain it to them, they get a look on their face as though I'm talking a foreign language. The first thing they always ask me is, "What do you mean all home games were blacked out?" That's how spoiled we've become. There are several events in pro football history worthy of research. For those fans who really want to know the history of the game, I recommend "The League," by David Harris. If there's one event in NFL history, however, for which I would like fans to develop a fuller understanding and appreciation, it's the impact of the playoff weekend of Dec. 23-24, 1972. That's the weekend professional football became the number one sport in the land. The one o'clock playoff game on Dec. 23 was the "Immaculate Reception" and the four o'clock game was Dallas' fourth-quarter rally behind Roger Staubach to beat San Francisco. That evening, America was pro football crazy. Anywhere you went, it's all people wanted to talk about. In those days, TV was a desert of entertainment on Christmas weekend. You'd get the Andy Williams holiday show, followed by the Perry Como Christmas show, followed by Lawrence Welk's Christmas for Senior Citizens show, etc. The pro football playoff games that weekend were a treat the country devoured. Those games were also blacked out in their hometowns because all home games were blacked out back then. We're talking about a broadcast rule that was sacrosanct to NFL owners. On Dec. 24, Washington hosted a playoff game, which was blacked out, of course, and that sent Congressmen who were angry that they didn't get to see the Redskins game on TV on a crusade to end TV blackouts of home games that were sold out. The following summer, just before the regular season began, the 1973 Act of Congress was passed, ordering any game that is sold out 72 hours in advance of kickoff be televised to the home market. NFL owners were outraged. They complained bitterly that they were being forced to give away their product. Harris covers the significance of the '73 Act of Congress thoroughly. That act expired a few years later but the NFL continues to abide by the 72-hour rule. I would like for fans to understand all of this because I'd like them to have an appreciation for the luxury free TV football is. And I would like everyone to understand what the weekend of Dec. 23-24, 1972, meant to the game we love today. That weekend, in my opinion, was the pivot point of the modern era of professional football. More specifically, Dec. 23, 1972 is the day pro football became our national obsession.

Angie from Little Rock, AR:
When you make your little drive to the Arkansas border, make sure you let us know you are coming. We aren't used to such high-profile people almost visiting our state.

Vic: I would love to meet you people, and I genuinely mean that. If at some point in time Arkansas should decide to send a contingent to Jacksonville to see their favorite son play, I propose a get-together. If you take care of it at your end, I'll pull some strings at this end.

Ed from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China:
Please don't mention that Tiananmen Square thing. I love reading about the Jags from your webpage and I'd hate to see you get censored from the Great Red East. How else will budding communist football fans learn about the irrelevancy of Sam and Wil linebackers in a system that easily switches its fronts from over to under?

Vic: "Ask Vic" is a free voice for a free world and will not be silenced.

Kamal from Novi, MI:
Isn't it all about the money? The NFL is passing up tons of marketing money by not allowing Reggie Bush to keep his number five jersey. He even said he'd donate part of his share to the Hurricane Relief Effort. Is this as bad of a public relations and marketing gaffe by the NFL as it seems?

Vic: Do you remember Peyton Manning's Johnny-Unitas-tribute request? How about the Jake Plummer tribute to Pat Tillman? I can remember L.C. Greenwood getting fined every week for wearing gold shoes. The NFL is serious about its uniform code. Its uniform is its ultimate brand and nobody trifles with it. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's not all about the money. Maybe it's all about the uniform.

Wade from Winston-Salem, NC:
What's more important, lifetime QB rating or total wins in the Super Bowl? I agree, rating.

Vic: Just win, baby, win.

Chip from Jacksonville:
Are you at all uneasy about this sandpit they've put in? I keep thinking about Robert Edwards playing flag football on the beach in Hawaii and basically ending his career.

Vic: My first thought when I saw the sandpit was something I remember coaches saying when I was a kid. The coach would ask if you were going to the beach this summer. If you said yes, he'd say, "Don't run on the sand." I never asked why because I had no intention of running anyhow. I mentioned that to Mark Asanovich when I interviewed him and he didn't understand the basis for the comment. These guys know all about Robert Edwards. If there was any reason to believe Edwards' injury had anything to do with the sand, they wouldn't let these guys even look at sand. Conditioning is a science and Asanovich's record is outstanding. The Jaguars have been a very healthy team in Asanovich's three years. Do you remember John Henderson's chronic back problems? I haven't heard a word about them in three years. I'm still curious, however, as to why the old-time coaches said, "Don't run on the sand."

Jonas from Jacksonville:
Jack Del Rio seems irritated with Fred Taylor. Do you think this is close to the end if he doesn't play well this season?

Vic: It would be close to the end for any player if he doesn't play well this season.

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