"Ask Vic" is published on M-W-F through the regular season.
Kevin from Albuquerque, NM
The Bears bought property in the suburbs and apparently want a domed stadium. I'm a Wisconsin-raised Packers fan but isn't this a sad course of events? One of the old-school, black and blue NFL teams leaving their historic stadium by the lake for a dome in the suburbs? I would have put big money on the Packers, Bears and Steelers never having a domed stadium, but I guess the dollars from hosting March Madness is too much for the Halas family.
It's not just March Madness. It's a Big 10 title game and a whole lot more. All stadiums eventually have to be replaced. As venerable and timeless as Lambeau Field is, I can see the day when it, too, is replaced by a domed stadium. The comforts and economics of it are undeniable.
Cindy from Los Angeles, CA
Vic, I like to have friends over for games, but one of my friends has truly lost perspective. She is angry for three straight hours, ranting about every missed tackle or incompletion. When the Packers are playing well, she rants about all the times in the past when they did not play so well. She screams obscenities at the TV whenever it shows Gutekunst or the defensive coordinator (doesn't matter who it is). What would you say to someone like that in your house?
I wouldn't invite her back.
Adam from Madison, WI
The First Amendment and freedom of the press provide us more freedom than any other amendment. The second? The government could mow us down in a day. Without reporters asking leaders questions, how would we have the access to ask?
How else would we have known Mr. Clean is a cure for Covid?
Conor from Milwaukee, WI
For what it's worth, I almost completely fell asleep during this week's "Aaron Rodgers Tuesday," it was so boring. There's a fine line between asking the right questions and just being a cheerleader for a player. I wanted Pat to ask, "Why did you throw it three straight times, instead of running the ball while the clock ticked away?" I'd have loved a refreshing Vic question; you always had good questions, maintained your integrity and had a great feel for how to ask what you wanted to know. I miss you the most on the pregame radio show.
I remain infamous for once asking Greg Lloyd, "What are your thoughts, if any, on the upcoming season?" I immediately sensed tension among the other media, before Lloyd responded with, "Just to get the hell away from you guys." I always prided myself in my ability to get the truth.
Jesse from Bethlehem, PA
Do you recall many click-bait journalists or media outlets prior to Twitter, or is this all a function of social media's ascension?
We didn't have the platforms to tease stories and drive readership as today's sports writers do. I grew up with the AP Stylebook and it instructed us to use a person's first and last name the first time we referred to them in a story, and only their last name every time after that. In the digital era, something known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) instructs website writers to use the first and last name of a big-name player in every reference to him because that helps bring that story to the top of search engines. The AP Stylebook is about proper form; SEO is about sales. Newspapers sold subscriptions over the phone and by door-to-door canvasing, and they were verified by a sacrosanct publication known as Audit Bureau of Circulation. Websites use algorithms and tricks to inflate their readership claims, and they remain unsubstantiated. For example, a story on the top 50 anything often makes the reader click on "Next" to go from 50 to 49 to 48, etc. Every time you click on "Next" the website gets another visit. It's one story and one reader but with a potential for 50 clicks. It's pure deceit.
Leif from Frederic, WI
The Steelers have had a HOF QB for Tomlin’s entire head coaching career. The Rooneys have scapegoated Arians, LeBeau, Haley, Fichtner and, coming soon, Canada. Do you feel now that father time has caught up to Roethlisberger the (Steelers) finally put some blame at the top?
This year and next will go a long way toward defining Mike Tomlin as a coach, and could even determine his job security. Rebuilding is the bridge in a coach's career and it relies on the ability to transition from one quarterback to another. Bill Belichick is in that bridge stage.
Neil from Cheddar, UK
Thank you, Vic, for demonstrating how click bait works and how disrespectful it can be. Why didn’t Ben retire last year?
He was probably afraid to not be a football player.
Robert from Huntsville, AL
I saw Pittsburgh had almost 11,000 no-shows on Sunday. How many would that have been if they lost 18 games in a row?
The no-shows will increase as the losses mount, and we'll know exactly how many no-shows there'll be because the Steelers are one of only two teams in the league (I believe it's still that way) who announce actual attendance instead of tickets distributed. Why announce tickets distributed? It's the same for every Steelers home game. Hey, tell me something I don't know.
John from Sheboygan, WI
Your comment regarding Big Ben's current situation reminds me of Bart Starr's last year. It's painful.
Tittle's cracked head. Marino lost his last game 62-7. Unitas was losing 35-0 at halftime when he was benched. Jim Kelly left on a cart. I could go on and on. If you don't quit on the game, the game will eventually quit on you.
Maxwell from Milwaukee, WI
How do you "block a toilet seat"?
You sit on it and block its opening. If you had asked my high school coach that question, he would've said, "Maxwell, are you the dumbest (select an ethnicity) in Natrona?" The correct answer is, "Yes, sir." The coach would've loved your answer so much he might've cut practice short.
Scott from Hamlin, NY
Is Za'Darius Smith's injury the fix the run-defense needed?
If you put a weak run defender on the field, the opponent is going to run at him. They won't let you hide him. If you shade to his side, they'll run to the other side. Smith is a terrible liability in run support.
Pat from Collierville, TN
What is the best advice you can give someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer?
Maintain your routine, if possible. I never missed a day of work while I was going through chemo. It became my "Red Badge of Courage," not for others to admire but for me to gain strength. You are in a battle that is very personal. I was blindsided by my first chemo treatment, but it never happened again. Get your game face on. You must stay strong.
John from Austin, TX
Regarding your all-important power rankings: Rams over Bucs, Chargers over Chiefs, Packers over 49ers all make sense. How in the world are the Seahawks (with their arrow pointing straight down) ranked ahead of the Vikings?
Mystiques die hard.
Melonia from Washington
Of the 2021 Ryder Cup players, who would you want to sign your golf cap?
I'm not a fan of autographs. They have to have special meaning to me. There are only two on the wall in my study: Bill Mazeroski and Fred Taylor. Buzz Nutter's is in a box somewhere. Be that as it may, if there's one player from the Ryder Cup I admire it's Viktor Hovland. He conducts himself as a man should. He plays with a smile on his face and joy in his heart. He is a true sportsman.
Renzo from Lima, Peru
Vic, you said of the Lions, “One day their luck will change.” I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Sanders and Calvin Johnson curses. I don’t really buy into all that stuff, but it’s starting to get there. Also, what should the Lions do to fix the situation with Calvin Johnson?
Curses are stories that can create anxiety in a weak-willed team or franchise. As for Johnson, what did he ever win? Lions fans need to turn their focus back to the Bobby Layne/Joe Schmidt days. They are the symbols of Lions greatness. They were tough guys playing for a tough team in a tough town. The Lions need to get back to that.
Todd from Prairie du Chien, WI
Speaking of if, I wonder if Gutekunst and McCarthy ever visited and if so what the content of their conversation was.
Of course they visited. They were GM and head coach in 2018 and Coach McCarthy supported Brian Gutekunst's promotion. I can tell you their conversation went like this: "We've got two years to turn this roster over." They each knew what they were facing.
Brad from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, I know it’s 19 straight, but that was a gut punch. That one was harder than any of them.
Why? This Jaguars team isn't going anywhere. This season is about all of the seasons after this season. There's improvement. They're competitive. Enjoy the small victories.