"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Sreve from Lake Stevens, WA
What are your thoughts on the Astros sign stealing and the way MLB has handled it?
I have avoided addressing this topic because reaction to my opinion on other such issues and cheating in general has caused me disappointment and despair. A few weeks ago, I told the story of the Steelers reporting themselves to the league for a minor and unintended salary cap accounting error. The league hadn't detected the mistake and it likely would've never become an issue had the Steelers not brought it to the league's attention. The league penalized the Steelers by taking a third-round draft pick from them. In reaction to that story, a reader asked why the Steelers reported themselves. I was so shaken by that reaction I considered ending the column. I felt the same kind of frustration a few years ago when my opinion on "Deflategate" met with so much unpopularity. What's my opinion on the Astros' cheating scandal? It's a stain that franchise and the game of baseball must bear forever. Don't strip them of their title. Let their name remain on the list of World Series champions as a reminder of the depths to which we have sunk as a sporting culture. In my opinion, any fan who excuses, defends or continues to support a team that acts in contempt of the spirit of fair play is as dishonorable as the cheaters themselves. Fans, too, need to be accountable.
Nate from Milwaukee, WI
Can a pass-rush specialist learn to be better in defending the run?
Yeah, but at crunch time players revert to their true personality. Know what your players' strengths and weaknesses are and scheme accordingly.
Steve from Las Vegas, NV
Your reply to the question regarding the Packers drafting a cornerback was perplexing to me. I personally think the position is in relatively good shape and not the top priority in the draft. I subscribe to best player available, so if it happens to be a cornerback in the first several rounds, so be it, but I would be surprised if it went that way. Having never been to Edisto Island, is Scott Creek a large body of water with alligators and snakes, or a creek on your golf course you can walk through and over. Just trying to understand the metaphor.
I'm fishing in it. It's salt, so there are no alligators. There are lots of dolphins, but they're nice.
Brad from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, as one of the young kids when Jacksonville got a team and someone whose parents are original season ticket holders, and as a current season ticket holder since I graduated from college, I can confidently say Jacksonville has arrived as a professional football town. We don't care about all of the pools and dog parks and the amphitheater. We want a winning football team. Packers fans that comment we need to show up can hardly understand what it's like to sit in 115-degree temperatures watching a team that has averaged 10 losses a season since 2000. In contrast, the Packers have averaged 6.4 losses a season over that time period. That's the difference in a perennial top 10 pick versus a perennial playoff team. It's hard to not become apathetic when it feels like the ownership is not interested in winning.
The team and the town are at the test, and the football world is watching.
Dave from Savage, MN
Do you remember any thoughts you had when the Steelers made their picks in 1974? When did you know it was a very special class?
Training camp began with a players strike, so the rookies had plenty of reps and opportunity to show what they could do. We all saw it and we all wrote it. It was obvious it was a special group. It was so special a middle linebacker named Henry Davis, who had played in the Pro Bowl the previous season, decided to retire. Lambert won the job without even a competition.
Dave from Chippewa Falls, WI
Is spring there yet? How do people in SC know when it is?
The purple azaleas begin to bloom right around Valentine's Day. That's the first sign of spring and it's immediately followed by the yellow dust of pine pollen, which glazes my car windshield every morning. The big spring event is the leaves being pushed off the live oaks by new growth. The old leaves are yellowing and the leaf blowing season is about to begin.
Mike from Somerset, WI
Vic, I think Packers fans wanted McCarthy gone because of his Pittsburgh dialect. Midwestern Wisconsin folk mistook his communication style for lack of intelligence. The Packers now have a guy that is more articulate. They like that even if the team gives up 6.8 yards per carry after adding $177 million dollars worth of free-agent contracts in the offseason.
Good for yinz.
Ben from El Paso, TX
What did you learn during Black History Month this year?
I learned some people feel a need to mock it.
Mark from Wausau, WI
As a former print journalist, what do you think of the gradual extinction of newspapers and how does the prominence of electronic media change the way “news” is presented and interpreted?
Those quotation marks are an insult to my profession and my dedication to it. It would probably be a waste of time to answer your question.
David from Rochester, MN
Who do you consider to be the 10-15 most important people in the history of the NFL and why?
How about seven? Bert Bell (inverse order draft), Pete Rozelle (leaguethink), Wellington Mara (share the revenue), Vince Lombardi (the spirit of the game), Johnny Unitas (the greatest game ever played), Judge Doty (free agency), African-American players (they made the game great).
Steven from Racine, WI
Please give up more life advice. I hope you’re a Christian.
Love all men.
Jack from Middleton, WI
What does Vic's morning routine look like?
Coffee, "Ask Vic," more coffee, read the news, ride my bike around the beach island and wave to the people I know.
Eric from Atlanta, GA
Why is nfl.com covering the XFL games? What is in it for them?
Readership. One of my favorite philosophies of my profession is "Don't promote, provide."