"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Mike from Somerset, WI
Vic, the flurry of coaching changes is something I am not used to. I didn’t expect Joe Whitt and James Campen to leave with the change in head coach. Do you have any memories of Joe or James?
I met Campen during the lockout in the spring of 2011. I was doing features on the assistant coaches and it gave me a chance to meet them and learn about them. I remember very quickly identifying Campen as a classic rough-and-ready offensive line coach. They have always been favorite interviews of mine, going back to the days of Dan "Bad Rad" Radakovich, who was a mad scientist of sorts among line coaches. "Bad Rad" once pulled into a driveway of the row homes neighborhood where he lived, walked into the house, set up his movie projector and began watching film when he noticed a woman and a boy standing next to him. He realized he was in the wrong house. Whitt is a coach I believe is headed for a head job. He comes from a college coaching family and I can see Whitt as a head coach in college football. I think he'd be a lights-out recruiter. Joe has strong leadership qualities.
Bret from Hertel, WI
Stay warm. It's -21 with -50 wind chill. What was the coldest game you covered?
I don't have that information in front of me, but I'm immediately reminded of the playoff game against the 49ers in January of 2014. The next morning is when I nearly died at the gas pump. I can also remember a game in Cincinnati in 1977. It was so cold a water pipe burst in the Riverfront Stadium press box.
Samuel from Jacksonville, FL
Here's some perspective for you. Today, I put a sweater on and walked along the beaches of Jacksonville. Green Bay is at -20 degrees.
Here's some perspective for you. Each of the last three years, hurricanes have caused mass evacuations along the southeast coast. As Coach Noll said, how do you wish to die?
Dan from Waupun, WI
Is it true? Will the NFL be on the Hallmark channel in 2019? Wow, the NFL is soft. I guess change is good.
Get ready for the Replay Review channel. Viewers will be able to call in and argue the wrong call was made. Ratings will be out of sight.
Mike from Fort Wayne, IN
Vic, do you have any memories of a player action in a high-drama, crunch-time moment that didn't seem to fit the moment? Montana's comment about seeing John Candy in the stands comes to mind.
I remember Terry Bradshaw calling time out because Mike Webster had gas.
Paul from Cumming, GA
I compared the team stats from the AFC championship game and Super Bowl LI; they are extremely similar. What stuck out to me in both cases was the sheer number of plays the Patriots ran compared to their opponents. New England ran 90-plus offensive snaps in both contests. Is this the manifestation of the Chip Kelly style of offense in the NFL, running scads of short, relatively safe plays that wear a defense down to the point of being ineffective at crunch time?
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, what unique problems surface when a fan base has a perpetually winning, playoff-bound, Super Bowl team?
It believes it's above losing. No one is above losing. Vic to fans: There's no guarantee you'll win, but I guarantee you will lose. Just wait for it.
Steve from Chardon, OH
It's going to happen, but what do you think about nationwide legalized gambling on sports?
It will happen and it will be the end of sports as an honorable and somewhat innocent pastime.
Josh from Athens, GA
Vic, Tommy Nobis' daughter was recently interviewed by the AP about their life and his CTE. After telling some family stories, I thought she ended with a beautiful quote: "Football was my father's life, the air he breathed and therefore the air we breathed. It brought discipline and recklessness, self-worth and depression, strength and weakness, determination and fear, teamwork and destruction of relationships, competition and dissension, friendships and loneliness, strategy and brutal honesty, entertainment and subsistence. In the end, it brought humility in every sense of the word."
I remember walking into the press box elevator at the Georgia Dome and seeing Nobis. I smiled, he didn't. I thought to myself, "I'm on an elevator with the great Tommy Nobis." I also remember that elevator bearing a display of football cards of former Falcons. One of the cards was of Jim "Cannonball" Butler in a Steelers uniform. I always looked for that card when I'd get on that elevator, because it reminded me of one of my favorite football moments. I was a kid in the Pitt Stadium stands when Butler ran onto the field late for a punt play. He ran behind the center, who snapped the ball and hit Butler on the butt in full stride. The stadium exploded with laughter. I think of these things on winter days. They warm me. Nobis, Butler, the elevator and the Georgia Dome are all gone now. My memories of them remain.
Grif from Lancaster, PA
Vic, do you like having a week off in between the conference championship games and Super Bowl? I would prefer not to have a week off and it seems the Super Bowl is popular enough it doesn't need an extra week of promotion. Do you ever see a scenario when there is not a week off before the Super Bowl?
It happened during a strike year, or something like that. I don't see it being scheduled to happen that way because that week of promotion is actually a week of sales. If I was commissioner, I would propose killing the Pro Bowl and replacing it with a futures game. I think young unknowns would play hard and TV ratings would be high.
Dave from Madison, WI
This isn’t a criticism, just an observation. I went to a Bucks game a couple of weeks ago and it was a non-stop sensory experience. Every timeout was filled with activity to keep the fans engaged. Piped-in music and a constant light show during the game. They even have a “student” section to give it that college feel. It caused me to reminisce about going to Badgers football games as a kid in the '70’s, before every game was televised. No TV timeouts. When there was a change of possession, the defense ran off, the offense ran on and they played. I remember the first televised football game I went to. I couldn’t believe how slow it felt. There was no flow.
The cheerleading by stadium PA announcers bothers me the most about today's stadium experience. What's next, a therapist to console fans when the home team is losing? Would we laugh if the "Cannonball" Butler play happened today?
Cliff from Washington, DC
Vic, I just wanted to say thank you for what you do. This blog is a relic of what the Internet was supposed to be. If the powers that be ever take away our websites, I hope they'll allow blogs like these to keep on chuggin'.
The Internet is the greatest vehicle for exercising our right of free speech in our country's history. Free speech comes with risks. Reject the bad, embrace the good.
Bob from Vicenza, Italy
Vic, what is your view on the state of electronic journalism? It is almost impossible to get through an article on most sites without running into errors one never would have seen in printed articles. Thank you for your effort to not be one of those sites!
You can take the ink-stained wretch out of the newspaper business, but you can't take the newspaper business out of the ink-stained wretch. When I was a very young reporter, an editor tore into me one day for using a split infinitive. I apologized and acted as though I knew what a split infinitive is. "To boldly go is a split infinitive, Ketchman" the editor said. Memories make us rich.
Ethan from Ontario, Canada
I bet you’re happy to be pumping gas somewhere other than Green Bay today. But jokes aside, what is your score prediction for the Super Bowl and why?
Rams 42, Patriots 41. I think the Rams are the better team. I also believe the Chiefs are a better team than the Patriots.
Karl from Albuquerque, NM
Does Vic think the NFL actually likes it when there is referee controversy?
They don't like it, they love it. Fans filing a lawsuit against the league because a penalty wasn't called makes the league giggle with joy. It's more proof America can't live without football. We've lost our minds and the NFL says thank you.