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What do poll results mean?


This requires an explanation.

All right, let's take it from the top.

A significant portion of the daily regimen of "Ask Vic" e-mails are direct complaints about the expected TV blackout of Jaguars home games this season. That's to be expected.

Talk-show time spent on listener complaints about those expected blackouts dominates all other subject matter. That's easily understood, too.

Readers, listeners, columnists and talk-show hosts all agree the size of Alltel Stadium is at the root of the blackouts problem. We all concur: The place is too big, right?


So, please explain why over 43 percent of fans responding to the poll survey – "The Jaguars should lower the Alltel Stadium seating capacity to:" – have chosen "Don't lower it" as their response.

We're not talking about 43 percent of 100 people polled, folks. We're talking about over 5,000 respondents. That's a legit poll. Gallup would say it's a credible cross-section.

The choices were: 70,000, 65,000, 60,000, 55,000, and Don't lower it. The final tally shows "Don't lower it" with 43.5 percent of the vote, 65,000 with 21.3 percent, 60,000 with 18.8 percent, 55,000 with 8.8 percent and 70,000 with 7.6 percent.

Did everyone understand what was at stake here? We're talking about lowering the seating capacity for the purpose of satisfying the blackout regulations and televising home games to the Jaguars' home market. You get it, right?

So why are the final results backasswards?

If the intent of lower seating capacity is to sell the place out and put the game on TV, then the overwhelming choice should've been "55,000," with "Don't lower it" getting no votes. We know what the current size of Alltel Stadium produces: blackouts, right?

What's the deal here? What do the poll results mean? That's the question we have to answer before we can go forward. Frankly, it's a question the Jaguars have to answer before they begin covering seats.

Poll professionals get a lot of money for this kind of stuff. They look at the results and analyze the findings. What would the poll tell them?

Well, the obvious answer is that Jaguars fans don't like the idea of covering seats. They don't like the stigma associated with covering seats. They perceive that it will result in embarrassment; that Jacksonville will be ridiculed.

Is that the answer? If it isn't, then please explain what is.

Everybody understood the question, right?

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