"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Eric from Atlanta, GA
Are there any circumstances in life when it is acceptable to chortle? I try to avoid chortling over insignificant events like sports events, but every once in awhile the universe does something that causes me to snicker a bit. Is that wrong?
Are you talking about chortling at the Cowboys' 1-3 start? My inbox is full of it and I'll remind everyone of this: The Cowboys play in a division that owns only three wins. They might win the NFC East and it's possible the Packers and Cowboys could meet in the playoffs. He who chortles last chortles loudest.
Fabio from London, UK
Foles is better than Trubisky but does not seem to be "The Man" and the Bears fell at the first hurdle. Patricia is done. One tight win against the Texans does not dispel the doubts about the Vikings, Zimmer and Cousins. Is the division already in the bag and can we start thinking about Wilson and Brady?
If you're saying the Packers are the class of an otherwise weak division, I would agree.
David from Washington, DC
What's going on in Dallas? I kind of figured McCarthy and Dallas were going to do a lot better than they have.
This has become a kind of weekly "Is Minshew 'The Man?' " question? Again, the Cowboys have huge problems on defense. They're not fixable without an offseason re-tooling. Mike McCarthy inherited this problem, but I will say I didn't like his Mike Nolan hiring. McCarthy reached into his past to hire Nolan. It was a comfortable hire. I think Coach McCarthy would've been better served by something new, young and edgy.
Ben from Chicago, IL
Vic, all these injuries suggest the players weren’t in playing shape to start the season. Your thoughts?
I gave my thoughts on this season before it began and my thoughts haven't changed. I think it's a season that already has been and will be further compromised by Covid and, therefore, I don't think it's worth much more to fans than something to watch. I don't think this season is worth intense scrutiny, celebration or angst, and it's certainly not worthy of historical perspective. Several players opted out before the season began and now, just a month into the season, injuries are mounting and games are being postponed. I'm not sure anyone's heart is truly into this season. How long will we have it? That's the big question. The season could end abruptly.
Wesley from Appleton, WI
What about Josiah Deguara draws the particular fascination of Packers fans?
Packers fans love tight ends. A big guy bowling over defenders would be a folk hero. If George Kittle played for the Packers, he'd be more popular than Aaron Rodgers.
Christopher from Hagerstown, MD
As a connoisseur of shrimp and grits, I’m always looking for new and different grits. Watching some public TV recently and what’s on? Miss Emily Meggett from Edisto Island making shrimp and grits. Looking forward to my first shipment of Geechie Boy Mill stone-ground grits. Small world.
It won't be coming from Geechie Boy, it'll be coming from Marsh Hen Mill. It's a name change caused by complaints Geechie Boy was appropriating black culture.
Craig from Sheboygan, WI
Why did you move on from the Steelers and Jaguars? You seem to have many good memories of your Steelers days.
Memories make us rich but they don't pay the mortgage. For me, football was first and foremost a job. It's what I did to earn a living. I continue to be amazed by fans who don't understand that.
Jack from Middleton, WI
Since you're no longer writing features, how much value do you find in the books you get from the PR guys?
The "NFL Record and Fact Book" is my bible.
Samuel from Jacksonville, FL
I'll give you credit for anointing Matt Ryan a franchise QB his rookie year with only a preseason drive to show for it. What did you see?
His command of the action jumped out at everyone. So did Aaron Rodgers' the first time I saw him in person, in a 2007 preseason game.
Neil from Cheddar, UK
So the Trumps have tested positive for Covid. What do you think this means for the U.S. election, if anything?
I visited Table Rock State Park and Congaree National Park this past weekend. Table Rock is in the uplands white Bible belt and Trump signs dominated with a nearly palpable anger. Leaving Congaree, we drove through the cotton fields, which is dominated by small black towns and all of the signs were for Biden-Harris. Covid isn't the issue; it's a disguise. We're a nation divided by race, and we can't even begin to bridge that gap until we acknowledge it.
Matt from Altoona, WI
Brett Rypien had to cover his ears in an empty stadium to hear the play call because of the ridiculous siren blaring between plays. Is there any chance such shenanigans will ever be dialed down?
No, we love noise. I had to pump gas to the sound of blaring country music. Football this season just isn't the same without stand and howl.
Brian from Conroe, TX
Hi, Vic! I finally found you! Been wondering how you were doing. I’ve asked a couple of questions and included an inquiry of your well being but, alas, my questions weren’t selected. I’m very happy to again enjoy your direct responses and humor. When will we know if the Packers are for real this season?
The Packers are for real. I don't know if the season is for real but the Packers are. I guess we'll find out to what degree they're real when they play at the 49ers on Nov. 5.
Jeff from Miami, FL
Do you have any thoughts about how a team could beat the Chiefs?
Run the ball and dominate time of possession. It begins with that.
Alex from Acworth, GA
Vic, it goes against much of what you've preached to us over your career, but does Gutekunst need to trade for a receiver with Lazard out indefinitely? Does the team's strong start to the season impact his decision-making at all?
Nobody knew who Lazard was when the Packers acquired him, but you want to trade for someone to replace him? Dime a dozen. Next!
Jim from Jenkintown, PA
Vic, if a team trades for a player and, as part of the deal, has the other team eat most or all of the salary so it doesn’t add to their cap, is that allowed? Or will it be flagged by the commissioner as a way to circumvent the cap?
The easy way to do what you're describing is for the team trading the player to restructure his contract by converting a portion of his salary to signing bonus before making the trade. Bonus amortization remains with the team trading the player; the team trading for the player must assume his salary. It goes back to this: You pay it, you claim it.