"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Josh from Madison, WI
How much does the available talent pool factor into the success of a GM, versus their football knowledge and discipline and leadership? Are there ever dead GMs walking right from the get go?
That's exactly what happened at the start of the previous decade. We went through a drought in talent at the quarterback position that resulted in Tim Tebow becoming a first-round pick. What the NFL has learned is to control the quarterback position is to control the game. I don't think there's ever been a better time to be a GM than right now. The depth of talent at quarterback is allowing GMs great maneuverability and creativity.
Isaac from Nashville, TN
Could you please talk a little about the journalist's craft? Recently, I've been thinking our conception of good journalism has become too narrowly identified with Woodward/Bernstein style investigative reporting. I'd like to know more about how beat journalists do their job and how they see their responsibilities.
Why do I feel like this is a set up? OK, I'll bite. My job was to inform and entertain. To that end, I believed it was important to develop relationships I could trust as news sources.
Morgan from Fort Collins, CO
I tried convincing my wife's family to vacation further south than Myrtle Beach. They didn't bite; guess I'll have to come hit a bucket at your range another time. Any suggestions for how not to go crazy with all the tourists up in MB?
The tourons are everywhere. We're slammed with them. Vacation is the new job and it's year-long. The worst part is being a touron is perceived as license to misbehave. They come to the driving range, swing like Happy Gilmore, take a huge divot out of the tee and then stand there and wet themselves laughing. It's to the point parents are mimicking their children. The spring break mentality has become a contagion.
Daniel from Rapid City, SD
Even though I love to play the game, golf will always be elitist snobbery. It's an opportunity for those running the country into the dirt to rub elbows with one another and point the finger elsewhere.
You could say the same of people in the stadium suites.
Casey from York, PA
Have you watched the Packers OLB coach’s latest interview? It’s complete with tales of how he knocked his own tooth out, how he became infuriated with a child playing in the dirt instead of playing baseball, and mocking the idea parents who hit their children are abusing them. When will this guy’s craziness and aggression rub off on our defense?
I think I know this guy. Did he also talk about putting a piece of bloody meat on a stick and then drive it around the track in his convertible and the players would chase after the car because they want the bloody meat?
Kelvin from Kenilworth, UK
Vic, I'm curious as to your opinion about the issue Naomi Osaka raised as to whether well-remunerated athletes should be made to speak to the media irrespective of their concerns or issues in doing so. As a lifelong journalist it might seem obvious what your views are, however, over the (nearly) 20 years of reading "Ask Vic," you always provide more context than a simple yes or no.
I don't want to speak to anybody who doesn't want to speak to me, and I don't think anybody should be forced to speak to the media. I'm not familiar with the issue you're referencing, but pro sports league contracts commonly require players to make themselves available to the media. It's obviously intended to assist the league in marketing its product. So, as it would pertain to that type of situation, it's not really about talking to the media, it's about a breech of contract; Marshawn Lynch comes to mind. By forcing a player to speak to the media against his wishes, what a sports league does is create a story I have to cover because it's become a news event. I'd rather they didn't do that. I'd rather interview his empty chair. You'd be amazed at what the chair will say.
Mike from Des Moines, IA
I've read the Packers front office sincerely believes Rodgers is just bluffing and will start the season. This strikes me as a shocking miscalculation. I can think of nothing in Aaron Rodgers' persona since entering the league that indicates his pride would let him come back without concessions. What are they thinking?
I don't think we know what their plan is. I hope their plan is to achieve resolution. Anything less than resolution could have devastating effects on the franchise, including ruining any chance Jordan Love might have at success.
Kyle from Phoenix, AZ
Vic, I am 29 years old and have been watching an amazing World War II documentary. I have been flooded with emotions and have gained a whole new perspective on our history and life in general. I’ve thought often of my grandfather, a pilot in the war, and his horrific stories he shared before he passed when I was a boy. The events in the war are unfathomable to me, as I have lived a comfortable life. What an amazing thing the Allies did, and what a tragic undertaking it was. These men were heroes. Was your father a veteran? Care to share your perspective on the war? This documentary has forced me to slow down and consider things far greater than myself.
My father was one of three sons, all of whom saw combat action in World War II. He was in the Philippines. One of his brothers was a waist gunner. My father liked to say his oldest brother was in France drinking wine. I remember my father going to bed early and watching war documentaries. From his bedroom we could hear the sound of gunfire and bombs exploding and planes crashing. The day before my father died, he was in Pensacola to see one of his grandsons graduate to become a Navy pilot. It was a very proud moment for him.
Matthew from Shawnee, KS
Do you see any of the current running backs in the league that may be "Hall of Fame" worthy? It seems like backs no longer remain elite after age 26.
Bigger, stronger, faster, softer?
Brandson from Lexington, KY
"He could make life unbearable." Sounds soft to me. Being tough means standing firm.
Standing firm is another way of saying do nothing. I think doing nothing is the least courageous option.
Bruce from Washburn, WI
What is the anticipated time frame for a rookie offensive lineman to become a regular starter? And how would you rank the offensive line positions in terms of difficulty?
1) Left tackle, 2) right tackle, 3) center, 4) left guard, 5) right guard. A first-round pick should start immediately. I regard a low-round pick to be a jar on the shelf. I think a team needs a lot of them.
Ben from Chicago, IL
Can you envision alternatives to the way LaFleur has been addressing the Aaron Rodgers issue with media? His current tack comes across as wistful and helpless. It's not working for me.
I fear Coach LaFleur has damaged his image with his pampering and puppy-dogging of Rodgers. When asked recently if he expected Rodgers to be in attendance for next week's mini-camp LaFleur said "we'd love him to be here." That's really weak. At the least he should've said something like "we don't request RSVPs; this is mandatory." He needs to show some kind of an edge or he will lose the respect of his team.