Attention readers: "Ask Vic" will not publish on Monday, Aug. 3. The next publication is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 6.
Michael from Eau Claire, WI
Vic, I’m ready to throw in the towel. After seeing the Marlins have canceled their home opener due to eight players testing positive for Covid-19, I am of the opinion we do not need to resume any sports at the moment. I never thought in my 65 years I’d hear myself say it, but I’ve lost any interest in them for the time being. If we value life we need to prove it.
This season, if there is a season, will be about maintaining a calm and understanding attitude. I think it would be a mistake for fans to get excited about something as uncharted as what the NFL is trying to give us. It's nice the league is trying to provide entertainment during this pandemic, but for fans to treat this pursuit with anything but reserve is almost certain to produce frustration. A Covid report is going to join the injury report. I think we're going to have games that remind us of the 1987 replacement-player games, if we have games at all.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
How do you feel about the Olympics? Or do they make you feel anything? I still get misty eyed watching the athletes take the podium to receive their medal and hear their national anthem.
It doesn't grab me as it once did. I think it's because the athletes are so overtrained. They have become the products of their specific events, products of science, training devices, technology and substance-abuse deception. The athletes have become machine-like. Wilma Rudolph running out of her leg braces to defeat polio and become the fastest woman in the world is my idea of the Olympics. That's true amateurism.
Todd from Prairie du Chien, WI
Do you get the sense America is tired of winning?
No. America is manic about winning. This country would go bonkers if all of a sudden it became the second-most powerful nation in the world.
Pat from Altoona, WI
The question is charcoal or LP?
I'm a charcoal guy all the way. I pile the coals up, douse them, light them and wait 10 minutes until I get a little glow deep in the middle. Then I turn the leaf blower on the coals and they burst into flames.
Adam from Denver, CO
Do players get paid if they voluntarily opt out this season?
A player who opts out of this season receives an advance of $150,000 on his 2021 salary, which would've been his 2020 salary. Opting out doesn't expire a year of the player's contract, it just moves the contract forward a year.
Tony from West Milwaukee, WI
Do you think there might be more trades this year, like the one for Jamal Adams, because college football might not have a season. I wonder if those draft picks are worth a little less to an established team that won't get to properly look at the players that'll be in the draft.
I think it's just the opposite. I think it's important to have as many picks as possible in next year's draft because big mistakes might be made and that means real talent could fall deep into the order. If there ever was a year not to have picks, this is the year. The development of this year's rookies is going to be compromised by Covid, and then they're going to run into next year's class without the advantage of a normal rookie season of training. I think the waiver wire could be full of talent in 2021, which could become a great year to rebuild a roster.
Ben from Phoenix, AZ
Today a gentleman honked his horn at me as I waited for a clearing in traffic to make a left turn at a stop sign. He then proceeded to tailgate close enough to see the sweat on his angry, furrowed brow for a few blocks before turning and shouting some obscenity. Obviously, this gentleman is a bully. While he reminded me of our president, he also reminded me of professional football. The NFL with its celebrations and trash talk appears to cater to bullying and childishness, and I’m losing interest because of it. Do you think bullying and anger are destroying the game? Can this be changed?
Jack Ham is the best tackler I ever covered, but I never saw him celebrate a tackle. Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best pass receivers and playmakers in NFL history, but I never saw him dance or taunt following a big catch or big play. I think fans respect that kind of sportsmanlike behavior, but the fans love the show and that's what the players are giving them. Our culture enjoys tough talk and taunting.
Dave from Loerrach, Germany
So, Vic, are you also opting out of the 2020 season?
Wayne from Beavercreek, OH
If you were a player, would you opt out?
I think the players are being put into a difficult and unfair position. I'd have difficulty opting out. I'd feel disloyal to my team and teammates. I'd worry about the door of opportunity I'd be opening for someone else. I'd worry about my career. I think it's up to our leaders to protect us. Is the NFL leadership doing the right thing by trying to play this season? I'll reserve answering that question until we get the results. The league certainly doesn't need to play to survive financially.
Nick from Waukesha, WI
Vic, what are your thoughts on the Marlins' outbreak and the effect it will have on the MLB season going forward?
I spent 45 years covering football teams. I can tell you they live and work in close quarters. It's not just about their contact with each other on the field, when they're breathing hard, sweating and spitting. They eat together, shower and dress together, their sweaty clothes are washed together, they sit in classrooms together, fly in planes together and assemble en masse to listen to the head coach present the game plan each week. I can't imagine how any sports league, including baseball, would be able to operate during this pandemic. My worry is somebody will die. Wouldn't it be better to just shut it down?
Sean from Chesterfield, VA
Is it really the best marketing strategy for these professional sports organizations to alienate more than half the fan base in supporting kneeling for the anthem, BLM propaganda, etc.?
It's not about marketing, it's about doing what's right and respecting someone's right to freedom of expression. I would not kneel for the anthem because that's not the form of expression I would choose, but I would speak freely in support of the cause and the movement. To those who think athletes who kneel should leave the country, I would say if you don't like it go live in a country that doesn't permit it.
Mark from Wheaton, IL
Vic, I know you already published a response regarding your "Ask Vic Day" celebrations at Lambeau, but I also participated in both 2014 and 2015. They were truly memorable nights. Unfortunately, I couldn't linger with the popcorn in 2014, having to drive back to Chicago, arriving about 2 a.m., but I do still have my "thing" from 2015 proudly displayed in case I have an emergency that calls for something I never need.
You'll always know where your thing is when you don't need it.
Braden from Milwaukee, WI
So it begins, players opting out. Do we know anymore about how this impacts a player's contract and a team's salary cap?
The team will get a cap credit for this season for the salary that wasn't paid to the player who opted out, and that cap room can be carried forward into 2021 when, of course, the team's cap will also be charged the salary the player is due to earn.
Blaine from Fennimore, WI
I'm getting married this weekend. In a better time I would have loved to send you an invite. Any suggestions for a happy marriage?
Love is the answer.
Mike from Jackson, MI
Do you think the NFL will play preseason games ever again?
Wow, that's a great question. Is this how it ends?