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What it would take to win division

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

Roy from Starke, FL:
I just completed a 26.6 mile walk with some friends. This is the second time we have done this and we always have the same problem, blisters. Do you know of any way to prevent them for such a long walk?

Vic: Blisters are nature's way of telling you to stop walking.

Tim from Lawton, OK:
What's your opinion of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops?

Vic: I think he's a fabulous coach, but I was really taken aback by something I read last week. I was in Tulsa and picked up the "Tulsa World," where I read a column in which Stoops blamed Oklahoma's recent bowl losses, most prominently the ones to West Virginia and Florida, on injuries. I was stunned by that comment. I can only guess that Stoops didn't think anyone outside the state or the Big 12 would see what he said. Hey, West Virginia absolutely hammered Oklahoma and that surprised everyone because West Virginia was coming off a devastating loss that cost them a spot in the national title game, and they had just lost coach Rich Rodriguez to Michigan in a move that sent shock waves through the program and left the team and the fan base feeling bitter and betrayed. If ever a team had a reason to play poorly, West Virginia did, but it didn't play poorly. What it did was play Oklahoma off its feet. West Virginia was, by far, the faster, more physically gifted team and I think coach Stoops knows that.

Zack from Tallahassee, FL:
In college football, what does it mean to gray-shirt someone?

Vic: A gray-shirt player enrolls at his college or university in the winter semester. Usually, he's red-shirted the following fall, which means he will have spent nearly two years (two offsesason conditioning programs and two spring practices) in the program before he plays in a game. It's a way of buying time for players who need some body work or head work or just need to get away from home and mature.

Rob from Middleburg, FL:
What was your opinion of Lebron James walking off the court after losing and not congratulating the Magic or going to the postgame press conference? It's amazing how much he liked the pregame photo ops or flexing his muscles after every dunk when they were winning. Hopefully, more kids will grow up like "Big Ben," who waited for David Garrard after their playoff loss.

Vic: I don't like it. I'm not going to dump on the guy for not shaking hands or being a good sport, but not talking to the media is a really childish, pouty thing for him to do and if I was a reporter who covered the NBA, that snub would color my commentary on James.

Joshua from Cincinnati, OH:
What is your honest opinion of the Jags' chances of finishing first in the division, if no teams have done anything to separate themselves from each other?

Vic: David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew would have to have career years, Eugene Monroe and Derek Cox would have to become immediate stars, Derrick Harvey would have to have a 10-sack kind of season and Torry Holt's tank would have to be more than half full.

Tim from Albany, NY:
Please clear up your math on the CBA and 60 percent, as it does not make sense if the salary cap is the 60 percent because teams are not required to spend to the cap number. What makes up the TFR; like how does your golf tournament get considered in TFR?

Vic: Teams are required to spend to the minimum cap level, which is 87.6 percent of the cap. The league uses CAM (Cap Adjustment Mechanism) to add cap room to make up for money not spent to the level of the cap. Trust me, the players get their money. As far as what makes up Total Football Revenue, I guess the answer is all the football revenue, which would include the "Ask Vic" golf tournament if we accepted the money from the golfers and then paid the golf course. That would leave us with 40 percent of the registration revenue to pay 100 percent of the costs. Even an idiot knows not to do that, so we have the golfers pay the golf course directly and we don't touch a dime.

Ryan from West Chester, OH:
You answered Lamar from Texas yesterday that you liked the Titans taking Kenny Britt in the first round. Being a daily reader, I'm well-aware and in agreement that WRs are a dime a dozen. So what is it that makes you think Britt merits that early of a pick?

Vic: It was the 30th pick, which is only three picks away from the second round. Don't view everything so black and white; put a little gray in your life.

Joel from Jacksonville:
You're right, you can't blame the Dolphins, and though you've already implied this at times, you cannot blame the fans either. The games were on television last year, even though they were not sold out. I'll be the one to admit it: I watched games on TV because they were available.

Vic: The team got soft on blackouts and that sent a bad message that created an even worse habit. Now the team has to be extra vigilant about enforcing the blackout rules this year and the result is a kind of Pavlov's dogs effect.

Gene from Punta Gorda, FL:
I have always believed in the rule that if it wasn't broke, don't try to fix it. I thought the logo was just fine with the swiping claw. What was the rationale for changing the Jaguars logo?

Vic: The opinion was that there were too many logos and that blunted the Jaguars' identity. There was the cathead on the helmet, the prowler on the sleeve of the jersey, the swiping claw, and there was one with the cathead and Jaguars lettering above it. There were just too many versions and the team decided to make the cathead the one and only logo used.

Curt from Jacksonville:
Do you think the blackout policy is outdated? I agree with these comments: The NFL is no longer baseball's ugly stepsister. It's the most powerful professional sports organization in America. The blackout policy was put in place to make sure tickets would be sold, as the demand for football wasn't as great as it is today. Today, football is king. The NFL can afford to allow all of its games to go on TV.

Vic: I don't know who said that but they are way off base. The blackout policy by which the league continues to abide was established by an Act of Congress in 1973. The blackout policy wasn't put in place to make sure tickets were sold. It was put into place to get games on TV. Duh! The 1972 playoffs were the impetus to Congress' action. On Dec. 23, 1972, the one o'clock game was the "Immaculate Reception" and the four o'clock game was Dallas' furious fourth-quarter rally to beat San Francisco. They are two of the greatest playoff games in NFL history, yet, nobody in Pittsburgh or San Francisco saw those games unless they were at the games because all home games were blacked out in those days. The following day, Christmas Eve, the Redskins hosted a playoff game and congressmen living the D.C. area were incensed that they couldn't see the game on TV, even though it was sold out, as were the games in Pittsburgh and San Francisco. That's why the rule is the way it is. Congress tailored it that way, according to the situation that existed in the 1972 playoffs. Curt, professional football was very popular back then. The NFL's popularity is not a new phenomenon.

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