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What's in a number?

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

Pierre from Jacksonville:
This isn't a Jaguars question; it's just something I've always wondered. How can Keyshawn Johnson wear number 19 and every other wide receiver in the NFL has to wear a number in the 80's?

Vic: When Keyshawn Johnson was drafted by the Jets in 1996, he requested and was issued number 19. Immediately, a lot of veteran wide receivers in the league wanted to go back to their college numbers that were not in the 80's. The league realized it had a problem. Its solution was that it denied any player already in the league from switching his number out of the 80's, grandfathered Johnson's request for number 19, then put a rule into effect that required any wide receiver to wear a number in the 80's, if one was available. If a number in the 80's was not available, then he would be permitted to wear a number between 10-19. J.J. Stokes would like to wear number 18, but the Jaguars are not likely to be out of numbers in the 80's.

Dean from Jacksonville:
I can't remember the game and date we took the field with the all-black uniforms. Would you possibly have that information?

Vic: Dec. 1, 2002, vs. Pittsburgh, at Alltel Stadium.

Dave from Jacksonville:
What in the world are the Colts going to do with Peyton Manning; $15.5 million against the cap this year, right? I know they're talking about a new deal, but 41-0! How do the Jaguars stay off this course with Leftwich? If (James Harris') evaluation becomes reality and (Leftwich is) as good as a franchise quarterback can and should be, what then?

Vic: The Colts screwed up. It doesn't have to be that way.

Sean from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Which NFL organization do you think the Jaguars could take some ideas from in the area of gameday experiences, attracting a wider (financial/geographical) fan base, and making our town's name synonymous with the word Jaguars?

Vic: Kansas City is the model franchise for drawing fans from outside the primary market area. The Chiefs have done a great job in selling their product regionally. Atlanta is the new marketing model. The Falcons' new ownership has convinced Atlanta sports fans the Georgia Dome is the place to be. Of course, a lot of that has to do with Michael Vick, but the Falcons must be credited for a dramatic make-over that has resurrected a previously dead franchise.

Bret from St. Petersburg, FL:
I recently saw a piece on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" about "event-used" merchandise; the show featured Byron Leftwich. Apparently, the players only use the merchandise for a few quick drills, which isn't much of a surprise to me, especially considering the rookies haven't even played an NFL game. Some people felt ripped off when they found out about it, though. I see it from both sides because the players should use the merchandise for more than a drill or two, but the NFL is looking for a way to turn a profit on the new talent and this way does make sense from a marketing perspective. What's your opinion on the whole situation, if you have one? Or is this whole controversy news to you?

Vic: I saw the show and I was appalled by what I consider to be a shameless example of blatant deceit.

Daryn from Gainesville, FL:
With rumors Tony Boselli is retiring, what team do you think gained most by unloading or trading a player; Herschel Walker being traded to Minnesota, or Houston taking Boselli, Payne and Walker in the expansion draft?

Vic: Good question. Dallas used the Herschel Walker deal to lay the foundation for three Super Bowl titles, so it's difficult to deny the impact of that personnel move. But where would the Jaguars be today if the Texans hadn't assumed nearly $17 million of amortization from the Jaguars when the Texans selected Tony Boselli, Gary Walker and Seth Payne in the 2002 expansion draft? Boselli represented about $9 million of that amortization. If not for the Texans, the Jaguars would've been buried under an avalanche of amortization that would've left the Jaguars with no option but to have re-structured every contract on the team in 2002 and push the problem even deeper into the future. The Texans could've crippled the Jaguars' future by not selecting a Jaguars player in the expansion draft. And we're talking about two teams in the same division. I'm still stunned.

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