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The math doesn't add up

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

Gil from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Wayne Weaver has said before that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That being said, why is it that some people still want the Jaguars to give away their product? I can't believe the uproar over the scrimmage. It's just a scrimmage, nothing very special, but you'd think it was a playoff game the way people are complaining. Vic, when will the gimme attitude in this town stop?

Vic: Last year's scrimmage drew 14,112 fans, a significant portion of which were season-ticket holders. OK, so let's do the math. Fourteen thousand go to the scrimmage, but at least a million people have complained that they won't be permitted to go to the scrimmage. Hey, that math doesn't add up. It sounds to me as though there's a lot more people who complain than would've actually attended the scrimmage. The darkest hour in this franchise's history, in my opinion, was in 2002 when any fan could've acquired free tickets by merely going to a Winn-Dixie store and asking for them, yet, the Jaguars set a record for the lowest single-season attendance in their history, which only proved that price wasn't the issue. It still isn't. We know that because if all the people that have complained about not being able to go to the scrimmage actually went to the scrimmage, the stadium wouldn't be big enough to hold them all.

Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
Well, since it's the "dead zone," what are your thoughts on the final day of the U.S. Open?

Vic: Let me start with this: I couldn't see the hole. Did anybody else have that problem? It didn't help that the greens looked like an animal pooped on them and the grounds crew tried to clean it up with a Zamboni, but shouldn't the fans watching on TV at least be able to see the hole? All I could do was wait for the ball to drop or stop. Here's another thought: What has happened to American golf? The generation that is in its prime didn't show up. Where was the guy who looks like he's trying to screw himself into the ground as he reads putts? Where was the guy who rides his driver as though it's a horse? What in the world got into Dustin Johnson? That was embarrassing. Here's a bit of advice to the young guns: Stop worrying about how you dress and start worrying about how you play. I tip my hat to Graeme McDowell. His game plan was solid and he executed it perfectly. This was one of those rare occasions in sports when a guy who was playing not to lose actually won. When is the last time a guy won the U.S. Open without having hit a defining shot? McDowell played it safe and won. This was not the USGA's greatest moment. Pebble Beach is delightful to the eye, but those little patches of bumps aren't U.S. Open-caliber greens. When I watch a U.S. Open, I expect to see the ball roll for a long time and I expect to be able to see the hole.

Fred from Naples, FL:
Vuvuzelas? I thought what I was hearing was locusts.

Vic: The first time I heard those horns, I was immediately reminded of the most awful job I ever had. It was one of those summer jobs you have during your college years. It was at a sintering plant. Sintering is a process in making steel. It left the air thick with a red-orange powder and the building had huge exhaust fans that were supposed to clean the air. Those exhaust fans made a hum very similar to the noise those horns are making.

Dave from Jacksonville:
I got my "Teal Deals." This ain't "buy three and get one free." This is good stuff with real value.

Vic: It's the best marketing plan in NFL history. I knew everybody would like it. The value in those books, which I have yet to receive, is fantastic. I honestly believe "Teal Deals" could save the franchise. If they don't, then nothing can.

Chris from Jacksonville:
If the NFL schedule goes to 18 regular-season games, I hope it means we will get to watch real games earlier. I'd much rather watch games in August instead of March. I'm pretty sure most people would rather it start sooner instead of the Super Bowl being played in March.

Vic: I'm with you. I am against the Super Bowl being played one week later than it is currently being played. It almost certainly means the NFL will have to play on Labor Day weekend, which they used to do and discontinued because fans complained that it disrupted vacation plans, but there's no getting around it in an 18-game season.

Tim from Jacksonville:
With all of the chatter and uproar over making the scrimmage an exclusive perk for season-ticket holders, it seems to me the same fair-weathers that never intend to purchase season tickets are in the midst of a power-play game to see how far the team will go to get their business. At what point does the team finally say enough is enough? After bending over backwards for several years to get them to buy into the idea of having an NFL franchise, have we finally reached that point?

Vic: You're asking the question of questions. The Jaguars are making an ultimate effort in marketing itself to its fan base this year. If it's successful, then I would expect the approach to be continued. If it's unsuccessful, however, then I would expect a change in strategies. Hey, we all know the definition of insanity, right?

Andy from Jacksonville:
Many records can be broken due to an enhanced regular season. Can you imagine if we had 18 games last season? Chris Johnson would've shattered the rushing record. Would that make previous record holders irrelevant when all of their records get passed?

Vic: That's why you don't use stats to judge players; you use your eyes. I saw Jim Brown; I know what I saw. He played in a 12-game season. Then the league went to 14 games and then to 16 games. Please, don't tell me about the all-time rushing stats. If Brown had played 16 games a year, and if he hadn't quit in his prime, he would've pushed the rushing record out of sight. As it stands, he still holds the record for most seasons having led the league in rushing, eight. Five guys are next at four. In an 18-game season and in this era of bad tackling and an anything-to-favor-offense league mindset, the record book will become increasingly meaningless.

Nick from Wakefield, RI:
"I don't expect that there would be additional games. I would expect two preseason games to become two regular-season games, which means that from a season-ticket standpoint, everything would stay the same. The difference is that the fan would receive added value for two games." Wouldn't it be added value for one game because instead of eight home regular-season games and two home preseason games, it switches to nine home regular-season games and one home preseason game?

Vic: You're not going to watch the extra regular-season road game on TV?

Tyler from Jacksonville:
So what is the NFL policy on noisemakers? I want the stadium loud this year.

Vic: Noisemakers are not permitted. Any sound you make must emanate from your body naturally.

James from Orange Park, FL:
Why can't people buy tickets because they love the team?

Vic: It's the only reason that can sustain ticket sales. You can market all you want and incentivize ticket sales with gimmick upon gimmick, but eventually the added value will be perceived as part of the ticket's real value and the ability to sell that ticket will come down to finding people that love the team and would buy the ticket with or without the added value. The feeling has to be that on Sundays in the fall in Jacksonville, if you're not at "The Jack," you're in the wrong place. Until that becomes the mindset of this town, the Jaguars will struggle to sell tickets.

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