Alex from Milwaukee, WI
When the league switched to letting themselves in New York overturn calls by replay, I was shocked at the lack of outrage. The shadow hand deciding games? Now, after this last season and the absolute ridiculousness of the replay system, I am still shocked not many seem to understand the problem is the league is deciding these things from miles away. Changing the rule for the catch does not solve this problem. Vic, can you explain to us, why is it OK to let the league office referee games from sometimes 1,000 or more miles away?
You're a football purist. So am I. You have a problem with this impersonal approach to the game and so do I. My outrage is for the event. I believe its integrity is being violated. A game in Green Bay should be decided in Green Bay, not in New York. Why isn't our outrage shared by the masses? I think it's because we've learned to treat football with a degree of disdain. I don't think it's as revered by its fans as baseball and golf are by their fans. In my mind, the game is sacrosanct, and that's why I was outraged by Deflategate. In my mind, the ball is the centerpiece of the game and is inviolable. Why were so many football fans not outraged by Deflategate? It's for the same reason they're not outraged by games being decided by people sitting in front of a TV in New York: They don't revere the game, only the result.
Jeremy from Lethbridge, Canada
Vic, with Sports Illustrated on the selling block and its future now once again unclear, how do you think sports journalism needs to be new (if it does at all)?
Digital has replaced ink, and I think it's good for the business side of journalism, but only if we apply the same standards to the digital media we did to the print media. I don't think we have and that's how sports journalism needs to be new. Digital is a wonderful medium. It's immediate and, therefore, easily updated. Now we need to give it stature.
Jensen from Houston, TX
Vic, I enjoy your ability to succinctly describe players and their contributions to the sport. Tell me about Reggie White.
He possessed the size and power of a defensive tackle and the speed and agility of a pass rusher. He was the dominant defensive lineman of his time. There was no weakness in his game.
Jake from Knoxville, TN
I’m all for improving player safety, but it is obviously having some significant side effects on the game’s already skewed competitive balance. I guess there’s a chance the new “see what you hit” rule could be good for defense. Is there any rule you’d like to see the league write to tilt things back toward the defense or against the offense a little?
I would like to see the league legislate against rub routes and pick plays. I think there needs to be a rule addressing spacing between receivers, especially within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Think of it as a kind of reverse chuck rule.
Nick from Water Mill, NY
You were high on Aaron Donald. I remember the general reservation concerning him, however, was his height. Why is height considered so important for a defensive tackle?
The concern is a tall offensive lineman will get over the top of a short defensive lineman and simply push him face first into the ground. Football is a game of leverage.
Justin from Muleshoe, TX
I went to high school with Landry Jones. He was a stud then and a stud at Oklahoma. What about his game didn’t translate to the NFL? He had better college stats than a couple of the guys projected to be top five picks this year.
College stats are meaningless, especially for Big 12 quarterbacks. There's never been one who's been a big hit in the NFL; John Hadl's best years were spent in the AFL. Jones strikes me as a soft thrower. I covered his Senior Bowl and that was my opinion of him then. Also, he seems to lack presence.
Kevin from Silverdale, WA
Vic, the Immaculate Reception was definitely the best "you had to be there" moment. I have a bad feeling the game in Seattle was the worst.
Which game in Seattle? I considered both.
Fearn from Rolling Meadow, IL
What is the reason you are not a fan of Le'Veon Bell's running style?
He hesitates for no reason. I see holes he doesn't hit, and that's why he's not a good short-yardage runner. I want a physical runner who moves the line of scrimmage. Bell's style is hit and miss.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, what did you think about the Vikings' quarterback maneuvers during the offseason?
Kirk Cousins is an upgrade at quarterback. The Vikings should be an even more formidable team in 2018. I think they're a Super Bowl favorite.
Mike from Niagara Falls, Canada
I like to watch a lot of old NFL footage. One thing I always notice when watching old games from the '70s and early '80s is fans storming the field after a win. Why did this happen and why doesn’t it happen anymore?
It happened because security wasn't as intense. Everything about life in this country changed as events became bigger and the threat of danger increased. The events of 9-11 changed our lives forever. Somewhere along the line, between the Ice Bowl and where we are now, innocence was lost. Nothing is so sad as the loss of innocence.
Bob from Kennesaw, GA
"Every man in that locker room is an independent contractor." Is there a player you've felt genuinely just liked playing the game and the money was an added bonus?
No. It's about the money. Stop fooling yourself.
Alex from Brooklyn, NY
Did you ever meet Phil Coyne?
I never met him but I know of him. When he was a rookie usher for Pirates games, Lou Gehrig was playing first base for the Yankees and Joe DiMaggio was a rookie. Now, after 81 years as an usher, Coyne is retiring at age 99. He's worked at Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium and PNC Park. He's worked through 14 presidential administrations. What a great story. Baseball knows now to make itself revered.
Pete from Rescue, CA
Who were the dirtiest players, as incidents proved, as told to you by other players in postgame interviews? I have to imagine some Raiders names might fit in there based upon your Pittsburgh experience.
I didn't need players to tell me what my eyes saw. The dirtiest players in my years covering the NFL are Jack Tatum, George Atkinson and Glen Edwards.
Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador
It's amazing what a 7-9 season will do to a psyche. In previous years, I would eagerly await the schedule, then go down the list game by game, thinking "we can win that, we can win that, we can win that." This year, when the schedule comes out, I imagine myself thinking, "I'm not so sure. Hmmm, that one could go against us. That one will be tough." I know you preach realism. I know you are right. Still, visions of 16-0 were a lot more fun.
Packers fans need some "I'm not so sure." Being new can have a cleansing effect.
Barry from Chico, CA
Did you find it interesting Patrick Reed, winner of the Masters, is estranged from his family? So is Aaron Rodgers. It's a tough game for tough guys, who don't get along well with others?
Just win, baby.
Tom from Iron River, WI
How did 23 teams pass on drafting Aaron Rodgers?
He was coming off an ACL and there were shoulder concerns. Green Bay was a perfect place for Rodgers to allow himself to heal as he learned, and vice versa.
Eric from Appleton, WI
What was the perception of the Green Bay Packers from outsiders in the '70s and '80s? Did people ever expect them to recover from their pattern of losing?
The perception was it was a franchise with a strong fan base but lacking the deep-pockets owner to take the franchise into the future. As it turned out, it was the fan base that took the Packers into the future. The fans are the Packers' deep-pockets owner.
Gene from Milwaukee, WI
Isn't all of the discussion about accountability of the players on the Green Bay defense, more than anything, a huge criticism of Mike McCarthy, even more so than Dom Capers?
Packers fans are different from other teams' fans in at least one unique way: The players are never wrong; it's always the coaches' fault.
Joey from Irvine, CA
Aaron paid a visit to the Dalai Lama and converted him into a cheesehead, so we've got that going for us, which is nice.
If the Lama can't play defense, he can't help the Packers.