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Wars between our ears

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

Greg from Hollywood, CA:
Your autumnal equinox answer got me thinking, so I thought I'd give you a heads up. Leap years occur every four years, except centennial years that are not divisible by 400. So you won't need to prepare a column for Feb. 29, 2100, because there won't be one.

Vic: Yet, more proof that "Ask Vic" is a forum for those of higher intelligence.

Steve from Jacksonville:
You are the head coach. It is fourth-and-five with 30 seconds left in the game. A field goal would tie or win the game and it would be from 68 yards with the wind to your back. With what you saw from Scobee in practice, would you go for it or try the 68-yard field goal?

Vic: A field goal wouldn't even be a consideration. Screwing around on an empty field with a ball on a tee in June is one thing, kicking in a game is something altogether different. The point to my note on Scobee's 68-yard field goal is that he has a very strong leg.

Carl from Bushwood Country Club:
So Scobee's "got that going for him." Like he's ever schlepped a bag for the Dalai Lama. Big hitter, the Lama. Anyway, I have one piece of advice for Scobee: Be the Ball.

Vic: And no night-putting.

Jim from Irvona, PA:
There's no denying that football is a violent sport and many people are drawn to that violence in the game. For me, however, I'm drawn to the precision of the game. The blocking schemes, pass patterns, etc. Ron Jaworski is regarded as one of the best analysts of X's and O's today, but who are some of your favorites when it comes to breaking down the game?

Vic: Jeff Lageman does a great job. I rely on him. I'm not, however, a big fan of breaking down the game. I'm a big fan of playing the game. Jaworski said Ben Roethlisberger should've thrown underneath to Verron Haynes for 10 yards and a shot at a field goal, instead of throwing to Hines Ward at the three-yard line. If the pass had been incomplete or intercepted, you can certainly make that argument. When it's complete and becomes the big play of the biggest game of the year, however, I think it's ridiculous to make that statement. That's when breaking down the game becomes a lot of poop. A great play was made, instead of a very average play. How's that for breaking down the game? I don't wanna see average and I don't wanna see X's and O's. I wanna see great athletes doing great things. Football is a game of human confrontation. That's what excites me.

Gary from Orange Park, FL:
Yo, Vic, baby. Get on the planet. Don't mean to dis your views but they call it fall practice because it goes with the fall semester.

Vic: Yeah, and you go back to college after Christmas to begin the spring semester. What's that? Spring in January? That's like fall in August. They're institutions of higher learning. They should be capable of less-confusing language. Just call it "football camp," huh?

Pike from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I noticed Cowher walking into a Pittsburgh hospital, presumably to visit "Big Ben." Was he there to check on his stud QB, or was he donating part of his chin to the seven-hour plastic surgery?

Vic: That's a really good one and, honestly, it makes me chuckle, which gives me an uneasy feeling about myself. Shouldn't there be more sensitivity about an event such as this? I read a story on Thursday that asked that question. The story was about people who mocked Roethlisberger and seemed to take delight in his misfortune. A psychologist was asked about it and he gave a clinical explanation that left me numb. Here's part of what he said: "Our heroes are no longer humans. They're symbols. Ben is no longer Mrs. Roethlisberger's son or someone who is coming to dinner. He is someone who represents the wars that take place. And there are no bigger wars than the ones that take place in the 5 ½ inches between our ears."

Brian from Austin, TX:
A follow up on Zoltan's email: My company has operations in Hungary and I mentioned Zoltan's participation in "Ask Vic" to a Hungarian co-worker who is here in the U.S. for a few weeks. He told me American football is gaining popularity in Hungary and amateur leagues are popping up around the country. Who would've thought?

Vic: That doesn't surprise me. Consider the options. Do you know why all of those people migrated from Europe to the United States? They were trying to get away from soccer.

Scott from Houghton, MI:
What is your opinion of sportscasters who obviously are rooting for one team, but still give the play by play in an objective manner?

Vic: I consider that to be professional behavior, but I don't think it should be too obvious.

Zoltan from Budapest, Hungary:
I probably must try it, but I can't. I don't think my professors at my university would be happy if I visit football matches, instead of their seminar. But be sure, I will be there with the team, the Jags fans and you in my heart. Thanks about your comments of my questions. I'm in a very hard exam season at the university and I need sometimes something else, then reading, learning and preparing to one exam to an another.

Vic: Zoltan, go out with the boys and have a beer. Scope some chicks. You need to experience the full range of college life. You'll go blind if you bury your head in those books.

Chad from Yulee, FL:
I want a tally on how many Gator fans said they are done reading "Ask Vic" after the Danny W comment.

Vic: Not one, and that's the truth. If I take a shot at soccer, the world comes down on me. I made reference to the movie "Christmas Vacation," and the majority of my e-mails today had a quote from the movie in them. I've taken a shot or two at Florida State and my inbox has lit up. If I say anything about Arkansas, pro or con, the whole state responds. So what is it about Florida fans? I've taken shots recently at Steve Spurrier and Danny W and I've gotten next to nothing. Why? Well, in my opinion, the vast majority of Florida fans aren't Jaguars fans, and the vast majority of Jaguars fans aren't Florida fans. I really do believe they are opposing forces.

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