"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Jerry from Savannah, GA
Vic, Baker Mayfield said the biggest lesson he learned in college was “don’t run from the cops." Is he the type of edgy player you would have enjoyed covering?
I haven't formed an opinion about him, yet. He's certainly confrontational, and that's good, but he's also disruptive, and that can become problematic. I'll judge him by how he plays in big games. When you win the big ones, everything you say and do is right.
Nick from Goose Lake, IA
What do you remember about McKay and the 0-26 Bucs?
I remember Coach Noll avoiding questions about the Bucs the week they were to play the Steelers in 1976. Chuck adhered to his mantra "this is the most important game we'll play this season because it's the next game we'll play," and he would refrain from discussing subjects that would dull his team's focus, but not that week. He was more than willing to talk about anything but the Bucs. Why? Because there was nothing good to say about them. They were horrible. Final score, 42-0. I'm not sure it was a good move for McKay to leave USC. He would've won more national titles. His legend would've grown. He was a sensational coach.
Craig from Cedarburg, WI
With Mike Daniels signing with Detroit for what I understand he was going to make with Green Bay, why didn't the Packers trade him? I understand not wanting to trade him within the division, but look where he ended up.
Picks, not players.
Jeremy from Oceanside, NY
What was the biggest advantage you had writing about the NFL that you would have lost if you were mainly covering a different sport?
I covered a lot of baseball, especially before training camp would open in July. I loved baseball, but the players just weren't as cooperative with the media. I couldn't wait for training camp to begin because that's where the stories were. The competition was open for all to see, writers were encouraged to write about it and the players and coaches were eager to discuss it. The access was wonderful. It wasn't like that during my last few years covering the NFL. In the beginning, I felt welcome. In the end, I felt unnecessary.
Dave from Savage, MN
I love football, but somehow I want the offseason to last a little longer this year. Maybe there is too much bluster for me nowadays. Did you ever not look forward to the football season?
Our involvement in football was/is different. For me, there was no offseason. If you're dreading the start of another season, it might be because football has become too important in your life and it's beginning to wear on you. That's why I advocate fans adopting a more even perspective. There's no reason for fans to feel angst. If the game or the performance of the team is making you unhappy, find something else to do. You'll come back to football and it'll be waiting for your return. Saints fans need to find something else to do. They've lost control of their emotions and more hurt is on the way.
Nate from Sioux City, IA
Branching off the idea of socialism working in the NFL: Isn’t something like this exactly what college football needs; revenue sharing and a draft similar to the NFL?
College football needs standardization and a central ruling body with the teeth to govern, instead of five separate ruling bodies afraid to bite the hand that feeds them.
Aaron from White Hall, AR
Aaron Rodgers on his relationship with Matt LaFleur: "What I can say is that (we) are friends." We won't know how this plays out until the season goes along, but to me a coach and any player shouldn't be viewed as friends. Hearing that just didn't sit right with me, but maybe I see things differently. I'm a Jaguars fan, so it really doesn't affect me. Just wanted your thoughts.
Times have changed. Mike Singletary tried to be Vince Lombardi; it didn't work.
Jack from Jacksonville, FL
What do you think of Jalen Ramsey showing up in a Brinks truck for training camp? Would the old Tom Coughlin have tolerated such antics?
Coach Coughlin put up with more than you might think, it's just it wasn't as openly dramatic as Ramsey's training camp arrival. The better you are, the more you're tolerated; it's always been that way. Ernie Holmes tried to shoot down a police helicopter. Ramsey can be overly dramatic. So can Antonio Brown. He arrived at training camp in a balloon. It's kind of the way things are with today's players. The truth is on the tape. When the tape says Ramsey isn't worth an armored truck, or if and when he becomes a distraction with which the team can no longer live, Tom Coughlin's tolerance will have expired.
Sam from Olathe, KS
Maybe letting each team negotiate its own TV deal might not be so bad. Living in Kansas, I might actually see the Packers play on TV more often. Why is it good to have the league be in control of TV?
If the Bears were permitted to cut their own TV deal, I would expect them to slowly pull away from the rest of the NFC North. Since fan followings are built on winning, theirs would grow and their competition's would decline. I think you know the rest.
Kyle from Los Angeles, CA
If you were still covering the Packers, what would you be watching the first few practices of training camp to get a feel for where the team was heading under a rookie head coach?
I don't think today's training camps offer much in the way of feel for a team. They're too watered down. September is the new preseason.
Steve from Phoenix, AZ
Personally, I suspect this Rodgers play-calling thing is largely a media driven issue rather than a real controversy, from the coach's and the QB's perspective. As a reporter, with access to players and coaches, how would you seek to get at the truth. Who would you talk to and what questions would you ask?
A good reporter has sources he trusts. There are always leaks, but their identity is never revealed.
Samuel from Jacksonville, FL
Do you still have the same hunger to consume football, or has that diminished with time?
I have the same old hunger on game day, but not on the other days. The hype bores me. The Steelers and Raiders were no hype. They truly hated each other.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
If you could change only one play, or outcome thereof, which would it be? I would have liked to see Julius Peppers not tell Morgan Burnett to get down when he had an open field in Seattle.
The two obvious plays are the Starr sneak and the "Immaculate Reception." How would the Packers and Steelers franchises be different today had Starr been stopped and Franco Harris not caught that deflection? The Lombardi legend? Would Lambeau Field still possess the same allure? Would the Steelers still have gone on their magical run?
Adam from Madison, WI
My favorite part of your column is dropping names of the old guys and reading about them. Not much on Sidney Thornton other than being a second-round pick and playing six years in the NFL. There must be another story about someone who would ice their good ankle.
Sidney was acting on the advice of a witch doctor from his native Louisiana. Sid was a funny guy. He was infamous for being late to practice and he was taxing Coach Noll's patience when Sid fumbled four times in a season opener, the final fumble having been returned for the game-losing touchdown when the Steelers were in kill-the-clock mode. After the game, Coach Noll was asked about Sid's performance. "Sidney has many problems and they are great," Noll deadpanned, causing reporters to giggle. Noll was then asked what he was going to do about Sidney's fumbling. "What are they doing in Iran?" Noll said as he made a chopping motion on his hand. The room exploded with laughter. Thank you, Sidney, for one of the memorable moments in my sports writing career.
Cindy from Los Angeles, CA
Your descriptions of attending live games are so visceral they make me want to go, but nosebleed tickets these days are upwards of $200 or more, depending on the stadium. I'm not convinced that from that high up I would be able to see anyone's bloody nose or get the color pop of the uniforms. Sitting closer runs over $600 per ticket. Do you think it's worth the cost to experience the game like that?
No. The NFL's greatest failure is its inability to control ticket prices. The league has betrayed the largest segment of its fan base.
Aaron from St. Paul, MN
The Packers cut Daniels, while the Vikings worked hard to keep Rudolph. Do the Packers still have their sights on the future or is this not comparable?
It's not comparable. The Vikings wanted to keep Rudolph; the Packers wanted to replace Daniels. I've long felt Daniels was playing out of position with the Packers. I don't think he's a natural 3-4 end; I think he's a pure 4-3 tackle. It's one of the reasons I really respect what Mike did with the Packers. I think he played out of position and still played well. I think he could flourish in the Lions' scheme.