"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the regular season.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, after looking at the Packers' new roster, what do you discern about the team, its focus and its direction?
The Packers' roster is dramatically improved from this time a year ago and I believe the team's arrow is pointing up, but I know nothing of its focus because there was nothing in the preseason that would speak of it. No problem, because we only have to wait until Thursday to find out about that focus. Thursday night, the baloney stops, but I won't say baloney.
Kale from London, Canada
I tried to find the "Ask Vic" but I couldn't. I remember you warning us about Andrew Luck coming out of college, not about his ability but his commitment/love of the game. He obviously played through a lot, and seven years isn't a flash in the pan, but do you remember how exactly you felt about him back then?
I don't remember the column but I vaguely remember writing Luck was a player who would have options. He's a Stanford grad whose father is at the top of administrative athletics. This is not a guy who had to milk the game for everything he could get out of it. He's someone who could leave the money on the table. Good for him and good for every player who used his college scholarship to put himself into that position. The Hall of Hanging On is also a sad football place.
Mark from Sheboygan, WI
All the best during the coming storm. Hope everything comes out all right!
Thanks to everyone who've sent their well wishes. My intent is to publish on Wednesday and Friday of this week, but the weather could change those plans. Power outage is likely. So, if there's no column, that'll likely be the reason.
Randy from Medicine Hat, AB
Years ago, legendary Black Hawks hockey player Stan Mikita was quoted after a playoff series loss: "I can't break a stick over a man's head one minute and shake his hand the next." I always marveled at football players going full bore with each other and then shaking hands or high-fiving at game's end. Was there glad-handing at the end of the 1975 AFC final?
I don't remember any. What's more telling is I don't remember any of those guys exchanging pleasantries in retirement. Swann and Atkinson never did a cutesy beer commercial. I think the Steelers and Raiders of the 1970's, many of whom are sadly gone, will dislike each other forever. No hype. They really did hate each other. It's the most real thing I ever covered.
Christopher from Hagerstown, MD
Vic, would you please put the last shovel of dirt on this Carli Lloyd nonsense?
Football players can be kickers but kickers aren't football players. George Blanda, Lou Groza, etc. were football players who kicked. A part of me would like to see kicking eliminated from football. Get rid of the goal posts, the whole bit. I think having to convert a fourth-and-one would be more exciting than seeing a kick decide a football game. I've just never been a special teams guy. There's something about it that seems to cheapen the game. Line up and play! No kicking!
Jon from Jacksonville, FL
The regular season is finally here! What do you think is more important for the Jags defense to regain that '17 magic, having Josh Allen or Nick Foles?
What happened in 2017 was a fluke, so forget about recapturing that '17 magic. Focus on a team with a proven quarterback and defense. If Foles and the Jags defense play to expectations, the Jaguars will be playoff contenders. It's not Allen or Foles, it's Allen and Foles, just as it was Brackens and Brunell.
Ryan from Morris, MN
I'm a smoker (I know it's bad; I'm trying to quit). I was wondering if you ever covered any players who used (tobacco).
The facing board that separated the locker stalls in the Steelers' Three Rivers Stadium locker room had mounted on it big bowl-type ash trays. You moved a lever and the butts and ashes fell into the bowl. I remember players chain-smoking on team flights. A certain linebacker would always sprint off the field when the first half ended. He wanted to get to the locker room and light up a Tareyton. I think one of the reasons Coach Noll didn't give pep talks is because he hated having to breathe in all of that smoke in the locker room. Those Steelers teams trained on cigarettes and cheeseburgers, and then kicked the you know what out of teams on Sundays. They didn't have to live healthy to do what they did.
Zach from Virginia Beach, VA
I'm sure I'm not the only one curious about your "deceived" answer in regards to Luck and the Colts. What did you mean? Do you think Luck knew he was going to retire and should have announced sooner?
That wasn't Luck's responsibility, but it was the Colts' responsibility if, in fact, they knew this would happen. Hey, if you want your fans to be loyal to you, you have to be loyal to them. When the injury talk started again in OTAs, I remember thinking to myself "he should retire." My suspicion is a franchise famous for deception deceived its fans for the purpose of selling season tickets. I'll be interested to see what the fallout from this will be.
Mark from Ventura, CA
Will Vic's power rankings start on Wednesday before the season opener between the Bears and Packers game?
Yes, I intend to publish my all-important power rankings this Wednesday.
Keith from Springfield, MO
Win or lose, I can't wait to see the player I think is the most talented QB to ever play the game go against great defenses in Chicago and Minnesota. Wanting to write a report postgame. What should I need to know to convert from fan to press?
I doubt you can make the conversion.
Pat from Seneca, SC
I want to send a pizza to your house before the start of Thursday's game.
Dorian is expected to arrive here on Thursday. Even if you could find a pizza shop that would answer the phone, they'd probably hang up on you when you said you'd like to order a pizza to be delivered.
John from Salisbury, MD
What were the popular sentiments shared by football insiders, players and writers the morning after the Colts' famous midnight departure from Baltimore? I live in Maryland and it's pretty apparent the anger still runs deep with that generation of fans. I was wondering if there were folks that saw the Colts actions as understandable. Love the blog!
One of my best friends is Vito Stellino, who will forever be famous for covering the Colts' middle-of-the-night escape. Vito got a tip earlier in the day, and he sat in the cold and dark outside the Colts' Owings Mills training facility as he watched the Mayflower moving vans drive away with Baltimore's heart and soul. The 15 moving trucks took different routes to Indianapolis to avoid being delayed by Maryland state police until the state legislature could pass the eminent domain bill. How's that for deception? It was disgraceful. I'll never forgive it.
Dave from Chippewa Falls, WI
The Packers are flashing the stadium lights after touchdowns. They tried the fog horn. Guys taunt and then don't understand why they get penalized for taunting. Coaches don't ask too much of their star players (like playing or practicing). The league panders to the networks that want controversy and personalities more than competition and teamwork. The voices in the league and the media are more interested in self-promotion than the actual quality of the competition. I've been saying for the last several years the NFL is turning into the NBA. Can you explain to me where I'm wrong?
I don't know, I just wanted a free hot dog and a seat in an air-conditioned or heated press box so I could watch all of this in peace and quiet. It's all very entertaining.
Kirsten from Madison, WI
Vic, I finally found a benefit of the preseason games! We're season ticket holders, but with kids in elementary school and with the Packers playing so many night games, we rarely get to go to games as a family. But school hadn't started for us, so last Thursday night we all went together. It was great! Like "Family Night" but better because there's an actual game. Not a solid enough reason to maintain the current preseason schedule, but I don't think we should discount the joy of families getting to share the Packers game experience. It was pretty great.
Are you the von Trapps? Are you going to sing now?
John from Green Bay, WI
Please tell us your best Turk story.
I was interviewing Tony Dungy in the hallway of the second floor of the Steelers' training camp dormitory. Tony had just been traded to the 49ers. As I was interviewing him, the Steelers' Turk, legendary scout Bill Nunn, knocked on the door of veteran kicker Roy Gerela. When Gerela answered the door, Nunn said, "Roy, Coach Noll wants to see you, and bring your playbook." Tony saw the look on my face and smiled. "They really do say that," I said. Tony nodded his head.
Dave from Savage, MN
SI published 100 photos from the NFL through the years. Really good stuff. Do you have a favorite photo?
I have two: Y.A. Tittle's cracked head (the story behind the photo is as good as the photo) and Joe Greene carrying in his arms an unconscious Lynn Swann from the field in the 1975 AFC title game. I'm ashamed to say I have an attraction to violence. I'm not well-adjusted.
Linda from Waukesha, WI
Do you prefer the Packers coaching staff wearing gray pants on the sideline as was done under McCarthy’s direction, or navy blue directed by LaFleur?
Real men wear khaki.
Allan from Guatemala City, Guatemala
Vic, when is help officially not on the way?
It's official. The teams have been picked. The season is about to begin. The baloney stops on Thursday. No more talk about what you're going to do. It's time to do it.