"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Will from Julian, CA
Vic, political commentary is not your forte. It puts you on an even par with the rest of us unwashed masses, and that type of commentary is dime a dozen. Conversely, because of your lifetime covering the NFL, you have immense gravitas from us, your fans, when writing about football. Please write about football. It is the only reason we read your blog.
Kaleb from Oregon
Vic, fantastic columns recently. I’ve been reading your work for almost a third of my life, and even shouted at you “Vic, I love your work!” one time in Denver as you were boarding a Packers bus. I don’t agree with some of what you’re saying at all, but who cares? You’re making it so evident that, despite the conviction with which we feel our thoughts are representative of reality, someone else thinks the opposite with equal conviction. When do we realize that maybe all we have are just feelings, not actually answers? Keep up the great work!
Mark from Wisconsin
The Wiki for "perfidious Albion" saw a 220 percent increase in page views on Monday (6-15). The old "Ask Vic" bump, I'd say.
Our numbers are pretty good.
Alex from Orlando, FL
What does buy the dips mean? I need to know.
It means if you had invested some money when the Dow dropped 40 percent in March, you'd be sitting on about a 30 percent gain right now. We are in a very volatile market. There are lots of dips.
Isaac from Nashville, TN
Vic, I always wanted to play defensive back but I was told I was too small. In a fit of boredom, I discovered Antoine Winfield is only 5-9. I was robbed! Can you think of any small DBs that were particularly successful?
Frank Minnifield was a star cornerback for the Browns at 5-9. He was a mirror technique corner, one of the pioneers of that technique in the post-1978 rules changes era. The elimination of bump and run brought a wave of small corners who could flip their hips, shuffle their feet and mirror. Offenses began to counter with tall receivers. It's always a chess match.
Kevin from Eau Claire, WI
Vic, any thoughts on the Chuba Hubbard story? How long until just being a conservative or Libertarian gets you fired?
Coach Gundy certainly has the right to express himself but, in a game in which black players matter, he didn't help himself in recruiting them.
Braden from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, if there's no season, what does that look like? Do players get paid? Does that count as a year off the contract? Does the schedule stay the same next year?
You're asking good questions but nobody can fully answer them because there's no handbook on the circumstances the NFL faces right now. The CBA says players don't draw their first paycheck until after the first regular-season game is played, so the thought is the players won't be paid if there's no season, but I have to believe that'll be challenged. If there's no season, I think we're going to see some kind of reset agreement between the owners and players.
Brett from Pasadena, CA
Vic, lots of talk about Kaepernick needing to be signed to an NFL team, basically because people believe he was right for protesting for racial equality and shouldn't be blackballed for it any longer. I, for one, have always thought his skills weren't up to par after teams figured out how to play the read option. Would it be a detriment to his legacy if he was given the opportunity to play at the NFL level and then laid an egg?
No, because his legacy will have nothing to do with his performance on a football field. His fame will always be for his peaceful protest. Jackie Robinson spoke with his bat; Kaepernick spoke with his knee. In my opinion, Kaepernick has been far more impactful than Robinson. Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, but little more. Segregation continued into the '60s. Twenty-one years after Robinson broke the color barrier, America experienced the worst race rioting in its history. Kaepernick's knee is effecting dramatic and meaningful reform. He has leaders in nearly every facet of our culture praising and defending what he did. He even caused Roger Goodell to apologize for not having been more supportive of the protest movement. History will record Kaepernick as an American hero; his football career will be a sidebar.
Mario from Lemon Grove, CA
In Carlisle vs. Army, "The game was like America itself in 1909: raw yet developing, brutal yet beautiful, democratic yet dominated by only a few." Vic says the game is like America itself in 2020 …
I wouldn't say that because little about football is like America in 2020. Football, at least the NFL, is at peace with itself. Its right and left, which is to say its owners and players, just negotiated a new CBA with unprecedented ease. The game is healthy; America is not. The game is unified; America is not.
Jason from Green Bay, WI
Are you surprised by New England's approach to the quarterback position this year?
No. Coach Belichick is a bright man. He knows what rebuilding means. If you wanna get good, you better be willing to lose. Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh and Jimmy Johnson were a combined 4-42 in their rookie season as head coaches.
Adam from Wausau, WI
Did you have free speech when you were employed by the Packers (assuming you wanted to keep your job)?
The first amendment makes no mention of "assuming you wanted to keep your job." Exercising our right of free speech requires the willingness to accept its consequences. Kaepernick knew there would be consequences. As for my situation, I've commented on it several times.
Joshua from Wilmington, DE
Players testing positive already. How are we going to have a practice much less a game?
If five percent of rosters test positive for the virus, and if that standard is applied to spectators, then 4,000 fans in an 80,000-seat stadium can be expected to be carrying the virus when they attend the game. Without a vaccine, we're going to turn Sundays into a coronavirus incubator.
Jason from Austin, TX
If the columns are going to be this spicy, I ask you bring it back to Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I want more!
That's not going to happen. Subject matter is very limited.
Marc from Aachen, Germany
Before you knew you'd become a journalist, had you been a football fan?
I think my first football memory was the Jim Brown Cotton Bowl. I remember my father and grandfather talking about Brown while they were watching the game. My memory of the 1958 NFL title game is more distinct. I vividly remember Alan Ameche running into our living rooms, so to speak. At that point, it was on, and my hometown's high school football team would become the subject of my affection.
Alan from Albuquerque, NM
Vic, if we're talking hate, how about Steelers-Raiders stories such as Joe Greene carrying a motionless Lynn Swann to the sideline?
I'm kind of weird about those games and that rivalry. I'm not sure why, but I don't talk about them with just anybody; it needs to be someone who was there and shares my viewpoint. My friend and longtime NFL reporter Vito Stellino is the person with whom I speak most often and openly about those games. I did radio in Jacksonville with Pete Banaszak, who played on those Raiders teams. We only spoke about those games once. He said Swann was soft. Nothing more was said. Those games sit on a different shelf in my "library." They collect a lot of dust because I don't need to look at them and, frankly, I don't want to look at them.
Jack from Chicago, IL
Vic, you said Randall Cobb returned punts with his eyes. I recently watched some Micah Hyde punt returns and he seems to have a similar style. Would you agree?
I haven't studied Hyde, but I can tell you Louis Lipps, who would be the No. 2 punt returner I covered, was an eyes guy and ran with a Cobb-like grace. There are eyes guys and there are burst-and-go guys. Eric Metcalf was a burst-and-go guy.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
Vic, did you know modern science believes man came from mud? That Martinsville, Ind., is the home of the KKK?
I'd rather come from mud.
Richard from St. Augustine, FL
I disagree! Hate never wins but love always wins and ultimately that is how this will be solved. Will you end the hate on display here in your column in the name of love?
I think it's too late for that. The line is drawn. It's winner take all.