Kamen from Bethel, CT
Vic, to be clear, the Supreme Court doesn't design the law, just interprets it. Whether or not sports gambling is moral or ethical is inconsequential to the question of the federal ban's constitutionality.
The Supreme Court is the conscience and ultimate authority with final say on all legal matters in this country. They passed the buck on this one.
Martin from Tisovec, Slovakia
Vic, I was thinking about last season. To piggyback on the discussion from last year's draft, how would you compare Kevin King and T.J. Watt?
Watt was the better player last season. That was obvious. King will have a chance to become the better player this season.
Tom from Vista, CA
Vic, how does a young reporter gauge the line between overly intrusive and letting readers know something important? When does a young reporter become seasoned?
Young reporters need to pay their dues, just as young players do. Paying their dues for young reporters means standing by their stories, regardless of how unpopular they are.
Tom from Appleton, WI
In evaluating a draft prospect, what's more important, technique or raw talent?
In my opinion, a first-round pick should look good in the shower. In other words, he should have the physical ability to improve his play. Often, guys with great technique have maxed out; they don't get any better. Scouts tend to favor physical upside; coaches tend to favor great technique. That's always been the rub between scouts and coaches, and I favor the scouts' view when it comes to prospect evaluation.
Jim from Maple Grove, MN
Vic, did you ever cover a great Packers team while you were in Green Bay? If so, what made the team great? If not, what was missing for greatness?
I don't think it's possible for a salary cap era team to be considered great, relative to the great teams of the pre-cap era. Simply put, teams in the salary cap era can't employ as many great players on their rosters as the great teams of the pre-cap era did. As I've written, in the salary cap era it would be Taylor or Hornung, not both; it would be Gregg or Ringo, not both; it would be Nitschke or Robinson, not both. The 2014 Packers were a complete football team. They had it all, relative to the salary cap era in which they played. Oh, but for those last four minutes.
Joshua from Philadelphia, PA
Vic, you've encountered and interacted with an incredible amount of people. You tell stories of these interactions and the lasting impressions they've had on you. Do you still maintain strong relationships with any of these people?
I was in Jacksonville this past weekend for a member-guest golf tournament at Sawgrass Country Club. I was fortunate to have a surprise meeting with Tony Boselli in the grill room. It felt wonderful to see an old friend whose words filled so many of my stories. I love the old guys.
Dave from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, old Mountaineer Field in Morgantown is my favorite Stadium of all time, too! So many great memories for me as a Mountaineer fan. It was the ultimate small, old-bowl stadium. Tony Dorsett called it a “Snake Pit.” Were you at the 1975 Pitt vs. WVU game when West Virginia kicker Bill McKenzie beat Pitt with a 38-yard field goal with four seconds on the clock? That is my fondest memory of that grand old stadium.
I remember it well. Bobby Bowden said it might've been the biggest win of his career because without that win he doubts he would've gotten the Florida State job.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, will Aaron Rodgers get his fairy tale ending with the Packers?
Those kinds of endings are few and far between. I covered Dan Marino's last game, a 62-7 loss in the playoffs. Terry Bradshaw's fairy tale ending was an elbow injury that left him to wobble two touchdown passes before leaving the field forever. Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl in his final game, but his performance was so poor it was difficult to watch and hardly fairy tale like. Brett Favre's fairy tale ending was a trade and controversy that left half of the fan base that loved him angry at him. Joe Namath finished on creaky knees in Los Angeles, across the country from where his fairy tale began. The worst final act, however, belongs to Johnny Unitas. I covered it in 1973 when, back in his hometown, where his fairy tale began on a Pittsburgh sandlot, he was benched at halftime in a blowout. It was painful to watch Unitas stumble into retirement wearing lightning bolts on his helmet instead of the Colts horseshoes he made famous.
Mark from New London, WI
Is the value of the pass rusher on the verge of declining? With the short passes, mobile quarterbacks and offensive linemen rules, it seems like the ability to mitigate a premium pass rusher is easier than beating a shutdown cover corner.
Rushing the passer has never been more important, because the sooner the quarterback is forced to throw the ball, the less likely it is he'll throw the ball deep and make a big play. Pass defense begins with rushing the passer. First you rush, then you cover.
Leif from Frederic, WI
Vic, with the draft behind the Steelers and not committing an early pick to the running back position, what do you think the Steelers do about Le'Veon Bell? Do you think the lack of a high draft pick gives him leverage?
The Steelers need to turn to James Conner and the power running game. The Steelers need to become the Steelers again.
Chad from Troy, MI
Vic, with all states now permitted to allow sports gambling, will this be good or bad for the sport, and why?
Gambling would destroy football, just as it once destroyed college basketball. Why? Because gambling corrupts.
David from Danville, CA
Which book gave the most compelling insiders portrayal of its respective sport, Ball Four by Jim Bouton or Instant Replay by Jerry Kramer?
Bouton's description of Yogi Berra scratching himself over a table of cold cuts is the most realistic portrayal of a postgame locker room in sportswriting history.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
What did you like most about the three teams you covered?
I liked the Steelers' toughness. They played football their way. They imposed their will on their opponents and it made for great writing because the players believed in it, reveled in it and loved to talk about it. The Steelers teams I covered had a personality like no other teams I've covered. The Jaguars were new and searching for an identity. They quickly found it. They were the anti-Steelers, and I liked that about my new team because it created a great contrast between the two stages of my sportswriting career and made for writing I enjoyed. The Packers were new in a completely different way. The team from the smallest market in the NFL was in no way mom and pop. The Packers are the epitome of corporate efficiency. Covering them involved formal guidelines and I came to appreciate the manner in which the Packers operated. It helped me get a feel for the new NFL, which is to say a more antiseptic approach to covering the league.