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They're comin' for you, kid

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

Conor from Missoula, MT:
You have perfectly described what it is to be a true fan of a team. I have been a lifelong Jaguars fan (I picked them as they entered the league when I was five) and I will never forget my first time seeing my favorite team play. I have two vivid memories. I remember it was in Seattle at Husky Stadium in 2001. I remember the heartache I felt for Tony Boselli when I saw him get onto the team bus with crutches. I remember the joy I felt when I got Jimmy Smith's autograph and was almost run over by the crowd of people around Mark Brunell. Do you have any particular memories of that weekend?

Vic: I remember thinking, as Boselli left the game, that I was seeing him play for the final time. I don't know why I thought that, but I distinctly recall this feeling that I was covering his final game. I guess it was just a reporter's instinct, or maybe it was just the innate fear in someone who knows it's a young man's game and football careers tend to be short and end abruptly. I remember the buses being parked between the stadium and a building, and standing outside one of the buses and talking to Tony after the game. I remember him telling me he just couldn't go any more. Looking back on that day, it was the unofficial end of the first era of Jaguars football.

Greg from Kansas City, MO:
Since there may not be football after this coming year, can the Rams place the franchise tag on Sam Bradford?

Vic: If you're suggesting that, instead of negotiating a long-term contract with Bradford, the Rams should just put a franchise tag on him, the answer is, no, they can't do that. You have to be under contract before you can be franchised. Franchising a player is what you do when a player's contract is about to expire.

Brandon from Jacksonville:
I researched the reserve clause and I'm amazed at how much power the owners had back then. You were right on point when you said the players were right above slaves. I also found out the impact it had on all of sports. Why is Curt Flood such a forgotten pioneer?

Vic: His decision to challenge the reserve clause was unpopular among fans. Most fans laughed at the notion that a player could play for any team he wanted. They never thought that could happen. The ones that didn't laugh knew that should it happen, it would result in a salary explosion that would cause a sharp increase in ticket prices. In other words, the fans were with the owners on this one. The reserve clause protected the owners' profits and the affordability of the fans' tickets.

Bruce from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I find it almost humorous that a self-proclaimed liberal would actually be in favor of a pay-per-view NFL because the people who actually pay for tickets are "the heart and soul" of a team. Isn't that against the liberal mantra, let the rich carry the poor? I am amazed that the story changes when it's your ox being gored.

Vic: I don't have an ox. What makes you people so angry?

Angel from Jacksonville:
If you were offered a job on "NFL Network" would you take it?

Vic: That's not gonna happen. I think you have to be an ex-player to work for "NFL Network."

Paul from Indian Harbour Beach, FL:
Reports indicate the Rams are working on a record-breaking deal for Bradford. Why would they do this? It seems like the Rams would have leverage. Bradford would never sit out this year knowing next year will probably be a lockout and draft compensation will be further regulated.

Vic: The first overall pick isn't a good place for holding the line. It's not where you go if you're looking for a bargain.

Grant from Fernandina Beach, FL:
July 19th and not a big push, yet. I'm getting a little nervous.

Vic: So am I.

Dan from Jacksonville:
I am a single father with two boys. After work I picked up the kids and headed home. In the mailbox was a thick envelope from the Jags and I instantly knew what it was, my first-ever set of season tickets. The kids could see my excitement and we all sat together on the couch and opened them. What a feeling. The three of us then headed outside and proudly put our "We Are Jaguars Season Ticket Owners" sticker on my truck. We made a Jaguars memory today and the games have not even started. The three of us will be at every game because we own the right to be there now.

Vic: That's a lovely story. I hope you and your family have the best football season of your lives.

Patrick from Orlando, FL:
Have the ones in charge of ticket sales and advertising considered reaching out to Orlando? I think that city is ripe with potential despite the legions of Dolphins and Bucs fans. There could be a good showing of Jaguars fans down in Orlando.

Vic: Oh, please, not the Orlando thing, again. I know, billboards, right? Yeah, billboards'll do it. Hey, the Jaguars have enough trouble just getting their games on TV down there. Look, the name of the team is the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was awarded to Jacksonville, and it was expected that Jacksonville would support it.

Andy from Tyler, TX:
Your reply to Darrick brought back some memories. I started thinking of the 1999 season and how I felt after that loss to the Titans in the AFC championship game. It was a feeling of it's over, what do I do now?

Vic: I remember going home late that night and the roads were empty. The despair was palpable. The following day, the atmosphere in the office at the stadium was funereal. As much as Tom Coughlin tried to direct the franchise's attention forward in the spring, all thoughts reverted to halftime of that game. What happened? It was on everybody's lips and in everybody's mind. It was as though that question had to be answered before the franchise could go forward and, frankly, I don't know that the question has been answered yet.

Kevin from Manchester, CT:
In the fall, I will be starting quarterback for my football team in one of the best leagues in the state. This will be my first time playing any sort of quarterback in a league. Any tips?

Vic: Condition your mind to overcome pain and play hurt because that's what you'll have to do. As Joe Namath said, you're the trophy. The quarterback must go down and the quarterback must go down hard. They're comin' for you, kid.

Keith from Jacksonville:
After mini-camp and OTAs and with training camp right around the corner, do you see any players the Jaguars regretted drafting?

Vic: It's too early to have regrets for anyone in this year's draft class, but I can't think of one player in either of the last two draft classes that General Manager Gene Smith regrets having selected.

Colton from Merced, CA:
Why do the Jaguars always seem to pass up on everybody good that has bad character but they are clearly the best available?

Vic: If they have bad character, they can't be the best available because those guys aren't even on GM Gene's board.

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