"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Pete from England
Vic, you Americans crack me up. We in England live in arguably the most tolerant society worldwide and although we do have discrimination and social problems they are on a very small scale relatively, whilst America tells the world how to exist whilst having arguably the least tolerant society. I think it is time to look a bit closer to home to solve your problems. I will not be reading your racist anti-English column ever again after 10 years of doing so and I bet you don’t answer this one, you wimp.
Is Brexit an example of discrimination and social problems on a very small scale? Some would call it ethnic cleansing.
Will from Julian, CA
Vic, do you think the NFL has a realistic chance to be successful beyond the shores of the USA?
Craig from Cedarburg, WI
Pre-COVID, I recall you predicting stadiums going smaller and more intimate. Even after a vaccine is found, what do you foresee in the stadium of the future?
If you're not watching the television presentation, you're missing something. The TV production has become as much a part of the game as the game itself. Why would anyone pay all that money and invest an entire day to go to one game and miss so many games they could be seeing at home for free? The answer is the gameday experience is unique, but as TV continues to enhance the quality and importance of its presentation -- if you're at the game you're missing a big part of the replay review analysis -- I believe more and more fans will opt to stay home. That's why I believe smaller and better will punctuate the next wave of stadium design. I'll use Jacksonville as an example, since the idea of a new stadium was raised in Monday's column. If I'm Shad Khan, I want a 50,000-seat, tight-to-the-field design that offers amenities for all. If the city balks on that design because it doesn't offer enough seats for the Florida-Georgia game, then I can't guarantee the Jaguars will remain in Jacksonville.
Brett from Marietta, GA
In trying to find some objective news sources, I stumbled upon something entitled "Principles of Journalism" on the American Press Association's website. Reading them made me realize how far we've wandered. When you were a member of the fourth estate, was there any sort of industry-standard code or ethos only violated at your own professional risk, or was it simply a personal choice?
The Kent State School of Journalism required I complete a course in the "Ethics of Journalism." It was, as you say, the industry standard. I don't see ethics problems. I think the media coverage of George Floyd and the resulting protests has been outstanding.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, what changes have you observed in the interaction between the races during your time following the NFL?
The Colin Kaepernick movement and the league's recent acceptance of it is the most significant racial development in football history. Kaepernick is the Jackie Robinson of professional football.
Craig from Sheboygan, WI
I just watched a replay of Super Bowl III. Joe Namath looked like poetry in motion when he went back to pass. He had the quickest release I've ever seen and he could throw it a country mile. I think he tilted the field in the Jets' favor more than any player on the field that day. Did you have the honor of watching him play?
I first saw him on the 11 o'clock news' Friday night highlights when I was a kid crazy about high school football. Joe could run like Michael Vick.
Mike from Boscobel, WI
The recent discussion of centers has stirred memories for me of a young man named Michael Cheever. For those who may not know, he played for Georgia Tech and showed a great deal of promise coming into the NFL. The injury he suffered, much like that of Tavian Banks, was tragic and I've often wondered where their journey has taken them since.
I can't speak of what they're doing now, but I can tell you this: Tom Donahoe told me the Steelers loved Cheever and wanted to pick him in the 1996 draft. Cheever could've become Dermontti Dawson's replacement. Fate is the ultimate drafter.
Kelvin from Kenilworth, UK
Greetings from the UK, home of golf and other questionable influences on the world. Do you think Gardner Minshew's progression to either a franchise quarterback or just another backup quarterback could determine more than just winning seasons for Jacksonville but could, in fact, impact the future of the franchise in Jacksonville?
That's too much to lay on Minshew but it's not too much to lay on the Jaguars. The team must come out of this draft-advantaged situation with "The Man," or the franchise will flounder and that, of course, could render it vulnerable.
Ben from El Paso, TX
Thank you for the appointment to be the "Ask Vic" commissioner of fairness to women. During times of crisis and social upheaval we need to be hearing as many different voices and perspectives as possible. Female voices are often ignored. Female contributions to and leadership roles in social movements are often minimized. Are your female readers even asking questions? If not, what are we doing to alienate female voices? Or, are our female community members on the front lines while we sit back safely pontificating and engaging in esoteric dialogue? I am doing my best to listen to the female voices in my other social spheres. However, the continued absence of female voices in this space at this moment has my attention.
Alex from Jacksonville, FL
Is there a receiver in today’s game that is similar and comparable to Jimmy Smith and his skill set?
Jimmy had big speed. Michael Thomas, Keenan Allen and JuJu Smith-Schuster are big bodies who make big plays down the field, as Jimmy did, but they don't have Jimmy's speed.
Rafael from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I saw in social media both the 49ers and Washington shared posts supporting the #blacklivesmatter movement. Do you believe it to be genuine or is it just a publicity stunt? I thought it was cynical and hypocritical.
It's never too late to believe all men are created equal.
Ian from Texas
Your reply to William from England made me sad. I have read you for many years and respect your views on football and on other life matters. You can be fair and pragmatic and I have always laughed when others are angry at your replies, wondering what right they have when all you do is share your views for free and often in a fair and reasonable manner. However, William wrote a fair question and even caveated it at the beginning to try and make it land softly. The fact you felt it was condescending shows a fragility I have not seen before. You were as nasty to him as those you criticize and demonstrated an attitude that does not augur well for America; when the intelligent ones are not prepared to look at themselves honestly, but instead choose to blame others. There's lots of blame to go around but let's not say slavery and all of America's other faults are 100 percent the fault of the Europeans. The tone and content of your reply was offensive, as I am a Brit who now lives in the USA. Maybe you feel I should go back home where I belong. I may not bother reading you again, which is a shame. Why did you choose to publicly insult one of your readers? You have a platform so why be nasty?
Let's take it up a notch. Not only did your country help plant the seed of slavery, it emptied its prisons on us. Prisoners in England awaiting execution were granted freedom if they agreed to join the Virginia company. As a result, our country was largely settled by the nefarious. I didn't open this can of worms, William did.
Barry from Hayward, WI
Vic, when do you think we'll get back to normal again?
When was normal? In 1970 at Kent State? In gas lines in the mid and late '70's? During 16 percent interest rates in the early '80's, the stock market crash in '87, 9-11, the financial crisis of 2008? I have to go back to the summer of 1960, when I was a nine-year-old kid who put his ballglove on the handlebars of his bike every morning and pedaled to the ballfield. The Pirates were in first place and Bob Prince's voice could be heard from the front porches of every neighborhood in Pittsburgh. I thought life would always be like that, but then we began assassinating our leaders and life since then has never been as it was in the summer of '60. Mazeroski hit that home run and that was the end of normal for me. We'll beat the virus, but there will always be something else.