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The kid's all right

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

Ryan from Savannah, GA:
I live in Savannah and I am over 100 miles from Alltel Stadium. Why is the game going to be blacked-out for me when I live outside the 75-mile zone?

Vic: Because Savannah's television signal penetrates the 75-mile zone.

Nick from Clearfield, PA:
I was in Buffalo wearing a Jaguars jersey, jumping up and down, while all those around me were screaming obscenities. To my surprise, I didn't really get harassed. Most fans actually welcomed me. It was a top-notch experience at a top-notch stadium among people who love football.

Vic: I'm glad you had a good time. It was a great day. The weather was perfect. The stadium was packed; every seat had a seat in it. Buffalo fans are outstanding.

Nimrod from Toronto, Ontario:
I was in the first row on the 15-yard line with my wife (who was incidentally wearing a Bledsoe jersey and Bills hat to take the pressure off me). I was the only Jag fan in my section and let me tell you they were riding me the whole game. Every time someone would heckle me about the score, all I kept saying was "wait for the fourth quarter." Man, what a finish. I couldn't believe it. The fans around me went absolutely berserk. They started throwing beer (which actually got a good piece of me), and I'm not sure if they were throwing it at me or if they were throwing it at the refs for upholding the call on the field on the last play. Either way, I stuck by my Jags. Even got a picture of me and the Buffalo cheerleaders! It was a phenomenal experience. I just pretty much had to wait for everyone to leave in my section before I ventured out of the stadium. I just wished that I lived closer to Jacksonville, I would love to be front row in Alltel going bananas.

Vic: Where was your wife when you posed with the cheerleaders?

Devin from Middleburg, FL:
Will the Jaguars' Sunday game against Denver be blacked out? If so, what could local businesses do to help out? Or is it mainly the fans' problem?

Vic: Why is it the responsibility of business to buy Jaguars tickets? The team was awarded to the city of Jacksonville because it was understood the FANS wanted a team and would support it. Yeah, Sunday's game will be blacked out. That's very disappointing.

Corey from Lancaster, PA:
Vic, here is your young Jags fan. I took your advice and didn't wear anything to show I was a Jags fan. However, one brave fan was wearing his jersey and was called about every vulgar thing in the book. I was fine but taunted the fans as we were driving home. My weekend looked like it would be terrible because Penn State lost and the Jags were not looking good. Thank you, Wilford, for saving my weekend.

Vic: You made it home safely. What a relief. We were worried about you. By the way, no taunting, either.

Roger from Valdosta, GA:
My old high school coach had a saying that went, "A good defense and a good kicking game wins games and championships, a good offense only sells tickets." With the blackout problems, do you think that saying is holding true? It takes an educated football fan to truly understand a defensive game. Our offense, minus one drive, will put most people to sleep rather than in the stands.

Vic: The attendance problems in Jacksonville began long before the team changed quarterbacks or became defensive-minded. Mark Brunell was still the quarterback and the Jaguars still had one of the best offenses in the league when attendance began to dip, in 1999, when the Jaguars were 14-2. Back then, Tom Coughlin was blamed for the problem.

Justin from Jacksonville:
Here's the key to beating Denver on Sunday. Get the early lead and count on our defense. Stop the running game and passing game, don't let Denver get too much of a lead, hang with them and, last but not least, use homefield. What are your keys to winning on Sunday?

Vic: Run the ball and stop the run, and don't turn it over.

Daniel from Arcola, IL:
Does a blocked kick count toward the kicker's field goal percentage?

Vic: Yes.

David from Port Orange, FL:
Yo, Vic! Real long time since I've had a question. I really enjoyed your two articles. One thought from your article: Does everybody like Peyton Manning? I think he is way overrated, but his performance in last year's playoffs hurt my argument. However, that ridiculous contract he got in the offseason and his inability to take his team from behind in games (Patriots' goal line stand last season) solidifies my point. How many times has Manning brought his team from behind? Since he is considered to be so great, how does that compare with other great quarterbacks?

Vic: Peyton Manning is a great come-from-behind quarterback. Remember what he did against Tampa on Monday Night Football last year? Two years ago he rallied the Colts to a win in Cleveland. Manning might be the best two-minute quarterback in the game today. That's not the issue with him. My criticism of Manning is that he never wins the big game.

Karen from Evansville, TN:
Everyone says Byron Leftwich needs time to develop. You take him early in the first round, pay him big bucks and then sit around and wait for him to develop. My question is: Why would someone drafted this high take so much time and work, when Marc Bulger, Jake Delhomme and Tom Brady did not?

Vic: First of all, you gotta get your facts right. Yes, Tom Brady developed very quickly. He became a starting quarterback in just his second pro season, and he led the Patriots to the Super Bowl title that year. But he is the exception to the rule. Dan Marino did the same thing; led the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in his second season. But almost all other great quarterbacks were stinko early in their careers. I'm not going to go through the list because I have too many times already, but it is long and distinguished. As far as Marc Bulger and Jake Delhomme are concerned: Bulger was drafted by the Saints in 2000, then cut that summer. He was signed by the Rams, then cut by the Rams. He was signed to the Falcons' practice squad, then cut by the Falcons. He was re-signed by the Rams and sat the bench until getting his big chance in 2002, when he replaced an injured Kurt Warner. Delhomme was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Saints in 1997. He was cut by the Saints and then re-signed to the team's practice squad. He was assigned to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe, cut by the Saints, then re-signed to the Saints' practice squad, again. The Saints then assigned Delhomme to the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe in the spring of 1999, cut Delhomme that summer and then re-signed him in late November. He became a free agent in 2002 and re-signed with the Saints. In 2003, he signed with the Panthers and took them to the Super Bowl. Quick?

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