"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Barry from Hayward, WI
Vic, what are the signs fans should look for that it's time for their Hall of Fame quarterback to move on to the next stage in life?
Turning the dial forward is a conscious decision a good franchise makes when it knows the time to move on has arrived. The Patriots did that this year with Tom Brady. In the Patriots' case, there were no signs. In the case of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, we have the first sign: The Packers just drafted Rodgers' replacement. The only issue is when that switch will be made. Such is football and such is life. Change is inevitable. I think the question now is: Can Rodgers and the Packers co-exist in a holding pattern? I'm not big on delaying the inevitable. I prefer the way the Patriots have done it.
Gregory from Wisconsin
If there's any impression you've left with me more than anything else, it is the importance of big-game performances. Can there be any big games without fans in attendance to create the exciting atmosphere?
No. If this is to be a season of empty seats, it will have been a meaningless exercise. A part of me thinks we need to take a year off from football and re-dedicate ourselves to personal fulfillment. We've lived vicariously for so long we might've forgotten how to live.
Kevin from Lake Forest, IL
Will Tom Coughlin make it into the Hall of Fame?
He should and I think he will, but his most recent stint with the Jaguars won't help his cause and could delay his election. Knowing when and how to retire is a gift. Coach Noll, of course, knew how to do it. Cast no shadows.
Sal from Austin, TX
Would you please post the audio or a link to the clip when you performed that loungey, crooner number you performed on jaguars.com? It's good stuff, Vic.
Are you talking about the music in and out of the breaks of my radio show? That wasn't me, that was Tony Bennett singing "Mood Indigo." I selected that piece to help calm callers and listeners to my Monday evening show. I think it worked. Opinions go well with "Mood Indigo."
Howard from Homestead, FL
I hear what you’re saying about the league promoting the quarterback to promote parity. But isn’t it having the opposite effect? With more importance placed on the quarterback position, it seems like there are more blowouts because one team’s quarterback has no chance of keeping up with the other.
I think it's working and I think it's genius. It dovetails perfectly with the player safety movement and I think it could create a supply at the position that might make quarterbacks more affordable. The league is good at guarding and promoting the game. Pete Rozelle would be proud of its direction.
Andrew from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, I'm sorry sharing your opinion on your own website will cause people to be so nasty to you. However, so many of us treasure your perspective. The passages you've written that move me and end up saved on my phone and revisited many times are almost never about the X's and O's: Mean Joe carrying Coach Noll's casket, Jonas Salk refusing to patent "sunshine," the family on the beach spreading a loved one's ashes. We come to your column because we all belong to the fraternity of football, but we stayed even when you moved websites (twice) and no longer cover our team, because you make us think. How many of us have learned more about Jonas Salk or Kent State or the impacts the GI Bill can have on a family's future? How many of us decided to get some perspective and self-control and not yell at the TV and embarrass ourselves in front of our families over a sport that's meant to be entertainment? Your words matter to us. I plead you not let some bad apples take that away. And to the bad apples, learn to listen and consider a different perspective than your own. Our country needs it more than ever.
Thank you for those very kind words.
Don from Milwaukee, WI
Do you know of an NFL center who, however briefly, ended up playing one of the tackle spots?
I don't. Dave Widell, 6-7, 303, is the only center I covered who was big enough to move outside, but he didn't do it while I was covering him. Mike Webster (6-1) and Dermontti Dawson (6-2) are the best centers I covered, and though they were certainly strong enough to play tackle, they didn't have the length to get to the pass-rushers' bodies. Center is still a position for short people, especially on a team that wants to run the ball and drive block on short-yardage plays. Pad level matters when you want to move the line of scrimmage. Jim Ringo was 6-1.
Dave from Savage, MN
Have you been watching any of the old game replays -- baseball, basketball, football? Have any been especially enjoyable for you?
Yeah, I've watched them and from time to time I've been struck by what I've forgotten or might not have fully appreciated. I recently watched a feature on the Steelers-Colts 2005 playoff game. Wow! The finish was even wilder the second time around. The Polamalu non-interception? What was Pete Morelli thinking? This has been a spring of reflection. It's had its moments.
Patrick from Indianapolis, IN
A reader asked you, "How does LaFleur get/keep the respect of Rodgers in year two?" You answered, "That's no longer an issue. The Love pick changed everything. Just win, baby." I'm not sure I understood your response.
It's Coach LaFleur's team now. He doesn't require respect, only compliance. It's his way or the highway.
Alex from Jacksonville, FL
How good would Mark Brunell have been in today’s game?
He'd be as good now as he was in his era. Mark wasn't ahead of his time. He was perfect for the era in which he played. He was one of the first New Age quarterbacks. Mark's problem was the knee injury he sustained in the 1997 preseason. It robbed him of his running ability and, therefore, that which made him special.
Ken from Mount Horeb, WI
Vic, do you mind that I copied your brilliant answer to Jeff from Appleton to my Facebook timeline? I gave you full attribution. I got my degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin when the debate was on whether journalists could be objective or should just be open about their political leanings and let the reader decide. After graduation, I just went to work in a factory. I knew the game was rigged.
I worked in a factory. I prefer the rigged game.
Benjamin from Burlington, VT
To continue the "Vic as GM" strategy line of questioning, what would be your strategy to keep the thunder and lightning running back combo together past this year for the Packers?
Thunder is here to stay for awhile. I'd try to negotiate a new contract with lightning. If I failed to reach an agreement, I'd take the compensatory pick consideration and find new lightning. It's a game of replacement.
Tony from West Milwaukee, WI
I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this, but I have been asked to say a few words at my cousin's funeral next week, and I was wondering if you could give me some advice.
What would he enjoy hearing you say?
Jack from Middleton, WI
What would a young Jim Brown do in the current league?
Come off the field on third down.
John from Indianapolis, IN
You have a platform, Vic. When are you going to get off the sidelines, stand up on your hind legs and loudly proclaim what's right? Do you want your epitaph to be "Journalist for Sale?"
I don't think that's fair.