"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Brian from Little Rock, AR
Have you been able to get the COVID vaccine yet?
I got my first shot last week. I think I've gained a few yards.
Jack from Middleton, WI
What will be missed when ticket stubs are no more? Some good memories are tied to the old stubs I've kept.
They'll sell commemorative stubs, and the sheep will buy them.
Isaac from Nashville, TN
Vic, do you think Rodgers bails on the game plan when he thinks it isn't working?
He likes plays. I think he sees football as a chess game. Rodgers sees coverage schemes as something to be exploited. The running game is too procedural for him. He believes he can move the ball faster through the air.
Scott from Issaquah, WA
What box are you talking about putting on the TV to encourage gambling?
The one you use to place a bet when the TV screen says, "If you wish to place a bet on today's game, do so now." Imagine how many people would push a button. It's frightening.
Joe from Milwaukee, WI
Who's the second best quarterback in the draft?
I don't know, but of all the quarterback prospects, Trey Lance is the one who interests me the most.
Samuel from Jacksonville, FL
Your thoughts on the NFL giving Amazon black Friday games that would overlap college football rivalry week?
Thank you, NFL.
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
Would you explain again what the inherent risks in restructuring and pushing money out are?
The risk is the player you've restructured will be on your cap but off your roster. Drew Brees is retired, but he'll be a $12.2 million charge on the Saints' cap this year and $11.5 million in '22. Tom Brady was a $13.5 million charge on the Patriots' cap last season as Brady was leading the Bucs to the Super Bowl title. In all, the Patriots had $31 million in dead cap charges in '20. The Jaguars had $49 million. That's why they're big spenders this year. They cleared their caps. Dead money is going to catch up to a team. It's not a risk, it's a guarantee. The risk is it could cause damage from which it'll require more than a year or two to recover. I saw it first hand in Jacksonville. It turned that franchise dark.
Kyle from Cambridge, MN
When you say, "You pay it you claim it," does that also count towards salaries of players for playoff games?
Players don't receive salary money in the postseason. They are paid by the league in the form of pre-designated shares for the rounds in which they played, and that share money does not count against a team's cap. Incentives reached would count. Player salaries are paid over the 17 weeks of the regular season.
Morgan from Little Chute, WI
Is that when games will become rigged?
A partnership with legalized gambling would require aggressive enforcement by the league. The players union would probably agree to increased oversight because the money would be so fantastic. I think the big concern would be any hint of impropriety, even if it was unfounded or even intentionally planted, could create irreparable damage to the integrity of the game. If you give fans a reason to suspect the games aren't legit, the result could be devastating.
Robert from South St. Paul, MN
Vic, can you still watch football with the innocent enthusiasm of a 10-year-old, or has your previous employment, along with the sometimes drastic changes of the game itself diminished the excitement you once knew?
I was always different from the other kids as to how I watched a game. They cheered, I watched and analyzed. Even then, I liked to be alone when I watched games. The innocence I felt was for the spectacle, and I still feel that. It's a big, beautiful picture painted just for me. The innocence is in the appreciation of the sights and sounds of a major sporting event. I still thrill at the sight of bright colors on a gray day, at the roar of the crowd. All of the innocent pleasures that drew me to football as a kid still thrill me today. Big contracts and greedy players don't bother me. Even as a 10-year-old getting an autograph from Buzz Nutter, I wasn't in awe of who and what he was, I was in awe of the stage on which he played. I'm still attracted to football for all of the right reasons. It might be the only innocence I haven't lost.
Bob from Green Bay, WI
What are your thoughts on the Packers bringing back a player like Kevin King instead of investing in a vet player like Richard Sherman or Casey Hayward, Quinton Dunbar or Bashaud Breeland for just one year?
The Packers believe King is the better choice. I'm OK with that.
Mike from Tuscaloosa, AL
What was your reaction to Lynn Swann telling Phyllis George he was scared? Did you see opposing defenses try to play him harder after the comment?
I don't remember having a reaction. All of the top receivers were targeted: Swann, Stingley, Warfield, Branch, Gilliam, Curtis, etc. They all knew they were going to get wacked when they crossed the middle. Two weeks after Swann sustained a devastating shot to the head and concussion in the 1975 AFC title game, he was the MVP of Super Bowl X, and the target on his back broadened. I remember a game against the Browns early in the 1978 season. Swann was the victim of a brutal head shot that left him to lie stunned on the ground for a few seconds, as the Browns celebrated the hit. All of a sudden, he shot up and ran back to the huddle. I viewed it as a turning point in his career. He went on to have the best season of his career, including seven receptions for 124 yards and the game-winning touchdown catch in Super Bowl XIII, the leaping one NFL Films loves to feature in its Super Bowl highlights.
Mike from Fort Wayne, IN
Is there a method in the madness with the Bears front office moves the last few years?
No, only madness. Seriously, the Bears could be headed for collapse. They could be picking first overall in a year or two. Gross mismanagement usually creates inescapable consequences.
Paul from Cumming, GA
Kevin King is back and the wolves are howling. Why do we have such difficulty accepting the outcome of the NFC championship game was not the sole responsibility of one player? Is this phenomena simply part of the human condition?
Defense always gets the blame in Green Bay. Offense is the darling. Well, the darling was a dog at crunch time. That's where you put the blame.
John from Kalamazoo, MI
I've read your work for long enough to observe that on social issues you are open-minded, willing to adapt and accepting of new ideas. How are you adapting to society's evolving understanding of gender?
My understanding of gender began with Wilma Rudolph. No man ever ran with the power and grace she did.
Carl from Blue Mounds, WI
Do you ever wish a free agent said they signed their deal because it was the most money they could get, or is it just me?
They say it; you're just not listening. Fans, especially Packers fans, don't want to hear it. They want to believe the lie. I like the truth: It's about the money. It's cold. It's honorable. It's American.
Mike from North Hudson, WI
When it comes to the offseason, what does your weekly interests involve?
Up early, coffee, "Ask Vic" questions. Read the news and stock futures. Breakfast and then take care of business, followed by my bike ride around the beach. I go to the range in the early afternoon, followed by an outdoor shower, watch some cable TV news, phone calls with friends, refreshments and dinner. I'll work the kayak back into the routine (depending on the tides) when my new kayak carrier arrives. I like to go to bed early and read. I recently finished "Caste" by Isabel Wilkerson. It is a humbling and enlightening read. I'm now reading "Bobby Kennedy" by Chris Matthews, who has a sensational grasp of politics and their history.
Greg from Columbia City, OR
The commissioner of the NFL embracing gambling surprised me. I guess I was more innocent than I realized.
I, too, was surprised. I'm OK with it being about the money, but not that kind of money. That kind of money is about stealing from the poor and the desperate.
Mel from Blount Island, FL
Mike McCarthy made a very good comment when asked about QBs. I think it was, "Is the team ready for the QB?" Is Jacksonville ready for the QB?
Great quote. Imagine, a guy from Pittsburgh being that philosophical. Yeah, the Jaguars are ready for the QB. Are the Jaguars ready to pick the right one?
Randy from Billings, MT
If there's a quarterback that grades out better than Love, and he slips significantly to be available in the mid to late 20's in the first round, do the Packers do what it takes to get him?
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