"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, how did you deal with arrogant, condescending athletes you interviewed?
You may not like dealing with them, but their importance to the team you're covering make them integral to the stories you write. You deal with them respectfully and professionally. They play a tough game. It can fray their nerves and charge their emotions. I think that needs to be taken into account. I didn't ask questions looking for PR answers. Arrogance and condescension make good quotes. They are the kind of raw, honest emotion that bring words to life.
Brandon from Milwaukee, WI
Do you think a career in sports writing is easier or harder than it was when you started?
The Internet has made it easier to become a sports writer, but more difficult to make it a career. I see a lot of hobby writers and part-timers. The day of full-time reporters with medical plans and pension funds is largely gone.
Darren from Alice Springs, Australia
It seems to me the NFL game that made itself our nation’s most popular sport continues to change (less violence, more instant replay), yet, it remains ever popular. Why do you believe this is the case?
TV made football popular and it continues to drive its popularity. Football and TV are the perfect marriage of sport and media. Pete Rozelle saw its potential and negotiated a leaguewide contract with CBS nearly 60 years ago, and the structure of that agreement remains the template for how the game is presented today. The quality and wealth of today's TV productions are beyond anything Pete could've envisioned, but the concept is the same.
Jon from Omaha, NE
Let me preface this by saying, do not stop writing to us until you are on your death bed. That being said, why do you continue to write?
I enjoy writing and I enjoy reading the questions. The combination helps me enjoy football.
Dan from Green Bay, WI
Vic, I found your comments on Andy Reid interesting and enlightening. Please share your thoughts on Marty Schottenheimer. What, in your opinion, kept him from reaching the pinnacle.
There was "The Drive," Earnest Byner's fumble, the lack of a star quarterback in Kansas City, Marlon McCree's goof in San Diego. Schottenheimer was a great coach whose teams seemed to always find a way to lose in the postseason. Bad luck or bad coaching? He's often criticized for having been too conservative, but his Browns and Chargers teams had explosive pass offenses. I always considered Schottenheimer to be a leader of men and an astute judge of talent and how to use it. Be that as it may, his teams didn't finish, and that falls on the coach.
Jared from Rigby, ID
Vic, if you were a defensive coordinator, how would you game plan for Rodgers? How would that differ from how you would plan for Favre?
How do you wish to die?
Todd from Brookfield, WI
Vic, do you have kids? Either way, how do you simultaneously teach them grit and compassion? Bart Starr is the model, yet, in youth sports the compassion part seems to be missing. I think cues are coming from professional sports and many other places. I hope the kids are going to be alright.
The ability to be hard on yourself and soft on others is an endearing personality, and Starr is its shining example. You teach by setting the example, and that's the parents' responsibility, not sports'.
Dave from Madison, WI
Watching video of player interviews, I notice reporters often laugh too hard at players' comments that aren't that funny. Did you ever laugh too hard?
I'm sure I did. Whatever it takes.
Scott from Hamlin, NY
Sean McDermott said he needed three years to turn the Bills around. It's year three but with a second-year QB. What should I expect from the Bills?
I think it's fair to expect them to become a playoff contender.
Samuel from Jacksonville, FL
Outside of football, what did you like and dislike about each of your three cities?
In Pittsburgh, I loved the view from Mt. Washington and disliked the traffic. In Jacksonville, I loved the beach and disliked the pizza. In Green Bay, I loved the nearness of everything and hated the cold.
Kevin from Destin, FL
Vic, I read a report Todd Gurley won’t be the bellcow going forward. Are the Rams already feeling the ill effects of that massive contract they gave him?
Big contracts are often a curse. They should be avoided as long as possible.