"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Daniel from Richmond, TX
Your comment about the Bears stadium being undersized got me thinking. Considering the Packers sell out every single home game, did they miss out on adding more seats and selling more season tickets while Rodgers was still the QB?
They did add a lot of seats during the Rodgers era. The south end zone expansion was a major project that greatly increased revenues. You want more? What do you do when Rodgers isn't your quarterback and winning has been replaced by losing? One seat too many can devastate a season ticket base. One seat too many results in churn. Churn is the worst thing that can happen to a franchise because revenue becomes unpredictable.
Jack from Middleton, WI
Were there any notable factors that prompted Jim Brown's retirement?
Art Modell drew a line in the sand between Brown's football career and acting career. Brown chose acting. I don't think the Packers have drawn a line between Aaron Rodgers' football career and his game-show-host career.
Adam from Wausau, WI
The government is offering a free course called “Life Skills University." What would you recommend as the top five skills taught to every person?
1) How to discipline spending, 2) How to discipline eating habits, 3) Fundamental finance and investing, 4) How to interact with others, 5) Critical thinking.
Tom from Mt. Juliet, TN
Vic, with Wimbledon starting this week, do you watch any of the tennis?
Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King is the only tennis match I've ever watched.
Jack from Lincoln, NE
Do you pay any attention to the Tour de France?
Jerry from Grantsburg, WI
Vic, could you explain how the fullback position went from a premier position to relative obscurity? I understand the emphasis on the passing game changed everything, but why did halfback become the lead rushing position?
Don't think position, think function. Today's feature back (or running back, as he's known) is the fullback of the '60's and '70's. Specialization gave us a formation that includes a runner and a blocker. Why did we distinguish the two? It's because of what Ron Erhardt told Merrill Hoge when Hoge complained he wasn't getting enough carries: "OK, so when I want to gain 3.8 yards I'll give the ball to you and when I want to gain 4.5 yards I'll give it to Barry Foster." Today's game is highly specialized. We've got pass blockers who can't run block, pass rushers who can't run support, shutdown corners who won't get their knees dirty, wide receivers who live on the boundary, and inside linebackers who come off the field on passing downs. That's how the game has evolved.
Morgan from Little Chute, WI
Are you saying a team's commitment to a nice stadium equates to its will to win?
As revenue streams increase, everything about a franchise tends to improve.
Jerry from Columbus, MO
With the contracts of Rodgers and Adams winding down, are either of the players sign-and-trade candidates?
That wouldn't be my expectation. I'm looking at this from a big picture standpoint. I'm getting the sense the Packers are on the verge of a seismic shift in the identity and fortunes of the franchise. This has become bigger than the players who are defining it.
John from Lansdale, PA
It seems one majorly overlooked factor in a player's long-term success is their domestic situation. It is no coincidence Aaron Rodgers became dissatisfied around the same time as his engagement to a California woman who dislikes football. Carson Wentz was a frequent Instagrammer at 2:30 a.m. celebrating special moments with his wife and little miracle while he tanked for the birds on Sundays. How do teams factor this into their personnel decisions?
You can't remove these guys from life. I remember Coach Noll telling me the original reason for putting the home team in a hotel the night before a game was to get the players away from middle-of-the-night feedings and get them a good night's sleep. What are you going to do all of the other days and nights of the year? Pro football is and always has been a game of replacement. Careers are short. Injuries happen. So does burnout. Bradshaw suffered burnout following his fourth Super Bowl win. He played on for a few years but he wasn't the same. We're waiting for a resolution to the Rodgers saga, but I've already accepted what I believe is inevitable: change.
Geoff from Janesville, WI
Of the equipment and uniforms a player uses, what is considered his to keep?
Technically, everything a player wears is property of the team.
Taylor from Fargo, ND
I never realized how sprawled out the Jaguars stadium is. Some quick measurements showed TIAA Bank Field having about 260 feet between the last row and the start of the field. In comparison, Lambeau Field and Solider Field were both around 160 feet.
That's what I meant by the stadium's yawn. It's a college stadium jazzed up with club seats for the NFL. I have wonderful memories of it, but it was never state of the art and it needs to be replaced for Jacksonville to become the flagship NFL franchise I believe it can be.
Roberto from Amelia Island, FL
Since we are in the dead zone, I wanted to ask you something. The early 1980’s Pitt football teams always fascinated me. Anyway, I was really curious of your opinion on something. If Jackie Sherrill would have stayed at Pitt for 25 years and never left, where do you think this program would be now? Would they have won several national championships? Would it be a true blue-blood program now like a Penn State or Ohio State? Would possibly it have ended up in the Big Ten?
In my lifetime, Pitt has only put a big-time emphasis on football once, which was the Majors/Sherrill era, which resulted in a national title and Heisman Trophy in 1976 and consecutive second-ranked teams in the Sherrill era. The '80 team is one of the most talented teams in college football history: Dan Marino, Hugh Green, Rickey Jackson, Randy MacMillan, Tim Lewis, Bill Maas, Carlton Williamson, Jimbo Covert, Russ Grimm, Mark May and more. I don't think Pitt was ever comfortable with the headlines that often accompany that kind of emphasis on football. Pitt has always been a school more comfortable with Jonas Salk than Jock Sutherland and Pop Warner, who combined produced eight national titles for the school. Sherrill's demands were not sustainable at Pitt. Coach Majors used Pitt and the talent in Western Pa. to win a national title and get the job he always wanted, Tennessee. Sherrill wanted to use Pitt the same way to get the Alabama job, but it didn't work out that way. Pitt's biggest mistake was rejecting Joe Paterno's eastern conference idea. Pitt elected to remain an independent in football and a member of the Big East in basketball. That decision embittered Paterno and caused him to drop Pitt from the schedule. Pitt has never recovered. What if Pitt had joined Paterno's eastern conference? Would Penn State be in the Big 10 today? Would Paterno have taken Pitt with him? Paterno's eastern conference idea would've delivered a lot of eyeballs to TV. I can paint a scenario that would include Notre Dame and make Paterno's conference bigger than the Big 10. We'll never know.
Josh from Severna Park, MD
Vic, I just finished reading a wonderful interview on SI.com with R. Jay Soward. I remember when the Jags picked him there was some confusion about why, but also excitement for being another great receiver for Brunell. Instead, there was so much disappointment with him and his off-the-field troubles. I’m glad he’s been able to overcome his addiction issues. Do you have any recollections of him?
I remember a scene from his rookie season. In the postgame locker room, Soward was holding a long facing board from his locker stall as he walked up to the Jaguars' PR guy and said, "What should I do with this?" It was a strange scene. I pretty much knew at that point this wasn't going to end well.
Jack from Middleton, WI
Please describe Mike Webster with words I haven't yet read.
Mike was a wonderful man whose life was defined and devastated by a game that meant too much to him.
Rich from Grand Rapids, MI
How much can a new special teams coach really affect a team's performance? I know, players, not plays, but there are only so many ways 10 guys and a kicker can run down the field, especially under the new rules.
All strategies succeed if executed. Teaching and talent are the keys.
Roger from Chesterton, IN
If you could know the truth to one football mystery, what would it be?
What play would Lombardi have called?
Dan from Toledo, OH
Vic, I am a self-professed Aaron Rodgers fan, but the recent take by "SI" that if Brady and Rodgers switched places Brady would have no Super Bowls and Rodgers would have several is ridiculous to me.
It's disrespectful of Mike McCarthy, who out-coached Bill Belichick in 2010 and '14.