"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Garrett from Spring, TX
As a former print journalist, what do you think of the gradual extinction of newspapers and how does the prominence of electronic media change the way news is presented and interpreted?
Printing presses cost millions of dollars. Libel insurance, the rising cost of newsprint, employee health benefits, circulation costs and declining advertising made survival nearly impossible for small-town newspapers with a social conscience and commitment to serve the communities in which they published. Their investment was so great they weighed every word they published because one careless reference could invite a lawsuit that would close the newspaper's doors. These were good and trusted news outlets that, in many cases, dated back to the start of the industrial revolution and whose volumes had been committed to microfilm in their communities' libraries. They recorded history for all of the people who would live in those small towns. In the best of times, they were marginally profitable. They were the property of men who were more dedicated to a free voice than they were to making a buck. They were America at its most virtuous and idealistic. "Ask Vic?" I bought a laptop for $300, an LLC for $125, a domain name for $12, pay Weebly.com $19 a month and work off my phone's hotspot. My investment and risk are minimal and my readership exceeds that of most small-town newspapers. I'll let you take it from there.
Benjamin from Vestal, NY
What do you remember of Doug Williams?
I covered a game early in his career when he was mocked for throwing the ball away on fourth down to stop the clock. Late in his career, he won a Super Bowl and became one of the most respected minds in professional football.
Kevin from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, I just moved my family from Jacksonville to North Carolina for a job. How did you feel about moving around the country for jobs? I know I will miss the Jaguars and my season tickets.
If I had lived in one place and covered one team, I wouldn't be who I am. Jacksonville was the crossroads of my life. It's where I chose to grow.
Jack from Port Washington, WI
Rashan Gary didn't do much this year. Where do you see him being next season?
A scout told me the knock on Gary is he doesn't love football. I'm at a loss to forecast his future until I see some love. I'll know it when I see it. It has the unmistakable look of desperation.
Chris from Virginia Beach, VA
It's ludicrous to suggest Mike McCarthy was fired because of a Pittsburgh accent.
Maybe they'll understand him better if he beats dem in da playoffs, jano.
Raymond of Jacksonville, FL
When the Jaguars attendance began to decrease after the fast start the team experienced in the late '90s, many said we would have to wait to develop a loyal and deep fan base until the young people who grew up with the team reached an age they would be buying tickets. The problem with that is young people remember only the many recent years of the team being inept. My son has attended the games for years on my dime; he recently said he would not pay his own money to watch the constant losing. The team's dreadful past decade has lost a generation of potential fans.
Losing fires the steel. It's been hardened. Just win, baby.
Sandy from Fruit Cove, FL
Vicbow, watching Patrick Reed win in Mexico left a sour taste in my mouth. Is there a less likeable guy in the history of professional golf?
Forgiveness begins with an apology.
Duff from Longmont, CO
I had an incredible chance encounter with Marv Levy last fall. At 94, he had the wit and mind of a 34-year-old. Do you have a favorite coach Levy story?
As the new head coach of the Chiefs in 1978, Levy inherited a team with a terrible defense and lacking talent at quarterback and receiver, but was deep at running back. Levy installed the Wing T and the Chiefs shortened games, were No. 2 in the league in rushing and achieved respectability. Yeah, that's the same coach who ran the K-Gun in Buffalo. Don't scheme schemes, scheme personnel.
Greg from Danbury, CT
“Carlisle vs. Army” often recounted how Jim Thorpe was applauded by opposing teams' fans for particularly excellent feats on the field. I can’t think of a single instance of that happening in America within the last 50 years.
I trace the mania to be No. 1 in my lifetime back to "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." I think those words changed us.
Joe from Milwaukee, WI
If "Ask Vic" was an in-person question and answer event, how do you think the questions would differ from what you receive in your inbox today?
Tone of voice wouldn't be a problem in that format. It can get lost in the printed word and that's why it's not a good idea to write as you would speak. The printed word is subject to literal interpretation. Face to face? I'd welcome it.
Noor from Jakarta, Indonesia
Vic, SF attacked the Packers pass-rushers. How should the Packers have countered it?
If they had an outside linebacker who was better against the run than either of the Smith Bros., then you take one of the Smiths out and shade the strong safety to the other one's side of the field. The Packers' problem, I suspect, was they didn't have a better run-defender to put into the game. I have no doubt the Packers will address this issue in the offseason by giving the Smith Bros. the help they need against the run, either schematically or with personnel (or both), so the Smiths can continue to do what they do best.
Don from Imnaha, OR
There have been quite a few placekickers for the Packers who were quite good. Where would you rate Crosby?
Mason Crosby is the only Packers kicker I covered. Crosby is the second-best kicker I covered in my career. Gary Anderson is the best.
Douglas from Binghamton, NY
I thought the Steelers in the '70's were thought to have been using steroids in a significant way? I was born in the '80's so I have no frame of reference for that perception, but do you think that type of cheating is different than what the Patriots or the Astros have been accused?
It wasn't cheating because steroids weren't forbidden. They were new and widely considered a miracle drug for their ability to aid recovery from injury. Steroids helped save Rocky Bleier's career by healing the shrapnel wound Bleier sustained in Vietnam. It wasn't until the late '70's we became suspicious steroids were being used in a negative way. A rookie named Steve Courson came to training camp with a body the size and cut of which none of us had ever seen. Courson whipped Joe Greene in that summer's Oklahoma drill and that's when steroids became an issue for me. The NFL didn't begin testing for steroids and policing their usage until 10 years later.
Mark from Verona, WI
I look at mock drafts from time to time. This year appears not many big guys are potentially going in round one, which tells me there could be a decent big man available for the Packers.
Mock drafts tend to not pick the big guys because they're not sexy picks. The real draft picks big guys because they're the smart pick and you gotta get the big guys early. Take a look at last year's first round.
Nathan from New York, NY
Do Joe Burrow's small hands make him a bad fit for cold-weather teams like Cincinnati?
It's called soap-dishing; the ball slips from the grasp of a small-handed quarterback on a cold or wet day. Dan Marino has small hands and he had some monster games in cold weather in a cold-weather division. Why wasn't soap-dishing a problem for Marino? Because he held the ball high and tight to his ear. Burrow has a similarly textbook delivery. It's the under-and-up guys who lose the ball on a cold day.
Mike from North Hudson, WI
What interest will you have in watching the combine? If you were the Packers GM, what would be your main focus?
By now, Brian Gutekunst has identified his draft targets. His main focus will be on interviewing those players.
David from Capitol Heights, MD
Why do you think people cheat?
We cheat because we fear defeat, and we've created that fear in athletic competition by our intolerance for defeat. If you lose, you'll be fired. It's the mania to be No. 1. Teach your children how to lose with graciousness, acceptance and patience, but without losing their spirit for victory. With defeat comes humility, and humility is an honorable quality. Victory without honor is meaningless.