Jags losing Ketchman, a major link to fans

When I started covering the division in 2008, I was more than a bit skeptical about Vic Ketchman of jaguars.com.

Reporter/journalist/columnist/senior editor, whatever tag a person wears, when he is on the team payroll, most of us in the business automatically wonder about autonomy.

Can he write what he wants? Does he have special access? Are people inside the building feeding him things to spin in a direction that favors them?

Here’s what I know about him now: He calls it like he sees it, he does a nice job of melding his great knowledge of history and the game with new media and, most importantly, for a big share of the team's fan base he provides a tangible connection to EverBank Field and what goes on in it.

So it’s a huge loss for the franchise that he’s going to the Green Bay Packers, news I learned via tweet from Vito Stellino.

Ketchman's "Ask Vic" column and editorials for the team web site from games have been regular links in our "Reading the coverage" entries. And I know that's been redundant for many Jacksonville fans, because they read him before they read me.

The Jaguars will have a difficult time re-establishing that sort of connection with fans. It’s something they should definitely try hard to do.