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The power of positive doing

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

Andrew from Jacksonville:
All right, Vic, let's hear your Watson story from the 1983 Open.

Vic: Tom Watson is being accused of having choked on the 18th green at the British Open this past Sunday. My point of view is that he didn't choke; he's just a bad putter. Watson never choked when he was young. He was the best clutch player in the game and he never shied away from drama. I was covering the '83 Open at Oakmont and I was walking with Watson and Seve Ballesteros, the final twosome on the course in what was figured to be a head-to-head battle for the title. They were on 14 green when a storm forced postponement of play until the following morning. What I remember fondly is a dramatic moment on the 15th tee the following morning. The 15th at Oakmont is a signature hole. It's a killer four-par with a church pew-type trap on the left at the dogleg. Watson had an iron in his hands on the tee when, all of a sudden, there was a roar from an adjacent hole. Jesper Parnevik would've ignored it. Jean Van de Velde wouldn't have even heard it. Watson, however, turned toward Bill Campbell of the USGA and Campbell began speaking into his walkie-talkie, then he said to Watson, "Nelson just birdied 16." Without hesitation, Watson walked back to his bag and took driver, which he striped down the middle of the fairway. That's not what a choker does. Two holes later, Watson faced a four-foot putt for par following a fantastic bunker shot out of a trap known as "Big Mouth." Watson was a great short putter in those days but he missed the putt and it cost him the championship. It was with that missed putt that he mysteriously developed short-putting woes. He was never the same again. All of a sudden, he was old. The moral of the story is that sometimes we confuse choking with inability. Watson didn't choke on Sunday. He's been a bad putter for a long time.

Benny from Jacksonville:
I tend to agree with your statement about high expectations leading to disappointment, but isn't there something to be said about the power of positive thinking?

Vic: I don't believe in the power of positive thinking. I believe in the power of positive doing.

Skip from Riyahd, Saudi Arabia:
What would be the possibility of the marketing department offering half packs and letting the fans pick and choose which games they want to attend? Is it possible that could help sell tickets? Or how about providing free admittance to both preseason games as a reward when you purchase season tickets?

Vic: How about anything you want and you can defer payment until after you're dead? Now that's marketing.

Tim from Jacksonville:
Photography rules have been strictly enforced in the past at training camp. How will the closer location of the bleachers factor in to those rules this year?

Vic: Only still cameras are permitted and the lens must not be longer than six inches. Anyone with a lens longer than six inches must buy a half pack.

Michael from Middleburg, FL:
What exactly do you mean "by the time this season is over, everybody's gonna get it?"

Vic: I mean this is the year Jaguars fans learn what the blackout rules are. There aren't going to be any extension requests or magical disappearance of the remaining tickets. This year, it's gonna be by the book.

Jason from Brooklyn, NY:
I was watching the ESPy Awards and I was distraught to see that this year's Super Bowl got the "Best Game Award." Personally, I did not find the game to be all that great and I think the six-overtime NCAA game was a much better and memorable game. Do you have any thoughts on this matter?

Vic: You're kidding, right? Which play didn't you like the most, the record-setting, 100-yard, run-through-the-whole-team-and-score-as-the-first-half-expired interception return by James Harrison, the split-the-defense-and-grab-the-lead catch and run by Larry Fitzgerald, or the game-winning toe-tap catch by Santonio Holmes?

Sean from San Bernardino, CA:
Please, stop with all the ticket sales and blackout questions. I know it's the "dead zone," but the people of Jacksonville know what they have to do. I wish I could go to a Jaguars home game. I'd rather listen to you answer golf questions than hear anymore about tickets and blackouts.

Vic: I completely agree, but 99 percent of the e-mails I receive are about ticket sales and blackouts.

Abel from Jacksonville:
Instead of the NFL having home teams blackout games that are not sold out, why don't they have those games as pay per view instead?

Vic: Because once the leash is taken off the pay per view animal, there's no puttin' it back on.

Cameron from Jacksonville:
I hope I misunderstood you. You stated that the team has "abandoned plans" to televise the two home preseason games because it "requires considerable advance planning" (read: money). How are we supposed to "fall in love with the team" if we can't see all these young guys? Pay full price for a ticket to a glorified scrimmage? The Jaguars don't spend the money to compete (relative to other franchises) and now they don't spend the money to sell their product. I don't get it.

Vic: And you never will get it because you want it for free and the NFL isn't about free. The NFL is professional football and professional football is about the money.

Ronnie from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Hypothetically, should the preseason games here sell out, what then? It would be too late to schedule production and fans at home would be up in arms. Would the Jags then just feed us the visiting team's broadcast?

Vic: Teams are not required to televise preseason games. Even if the games are sold out well in advance, teams are not required to televise them. Your confusion is the problem the Jaguars face in Jacksonville. This town, through years of not having to support a team and being able to just turn on the TV and watch football, developed a TV habit of getting football for free. It's a habit that has to be broken.

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