Caleb from San Diego, CA
Vic, I’m wondering how John Fox is considered a defensive coach in the league. I remember the 2013 Broncos were known for their record-breaking offense, and the Broncos defense seemed to crumble in the Super Bowl. Can you explain to me what makes John Fox a defense guy?
He’s been defensive coordinator at three stops in his career and a defensive assistant or head coach in a career that has spanned nearly 40 years. Eight college football programs and nine professional football teams thought enough of him to employ him. As head coach at Carolina, he inherited a 1-15 team and turned it into the No. 2 defense in the league in just his first season as head coach, and then took it to the Super Bowl a year later. So, you wanna throw out his body of work and judge Fox solely on what happened in Denver, where he was handed Peyton Manning and expected to score often?
Scott from Raleigh, NC
East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, or Of Mice and Men?
The Moon is Down and The Pastures of Heaven.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
What would you say to Packers fans who are still hurting from seeing Brett Favre wear Vikings purple?
I don’t want to be harsh, because this is a game of the heart, but it’s also professional football and I think it’s time to get over it. The thing about these men that make them the proud competitors we love, must also be forgiven when they’re competing against us. Celebration is at hand; let it go.
Craig from Buffalo, NY
Vic, not long ago you said the best athletes are often linebackers. Where is Clay Matthews in terms of athletic ability that you’ve seen at the position?
He’s an amazingly talented athlete. I understand he was surrounded by great athletes at USC, but his talent might have been misjudged for much of his career there.
Kary from Sheboygan, WI
You weren’t the valedictorian? Salutatorian then?
Will from Murphy, NC
Vic, I’ve seen a lot of columns about which university produces the best players at a certain position. Overall, what school do you feel produces the best players?
In recent years, I think it’s been Alabama. Its power football approach lends itself to producing NFL players.
Jane from Phoenix, AZ
If you could go back in time, would you have chosen a different career path?
I’m lucky I have what I have. Growing up in the baby boom wasn’t as much about choices as it was about finding something that wasn’t already taken. We waited in line for everything. We competed for everything. Just getting a ticket to the Saturday kids matinee was a big deal. Little League teams cut kids because there were too many kids and not enough uniforms. It was like that my whole young life. It was a big deal just to make the varsity high school football team. I remember how devastated kids were when they were told there was no room for them. I wasn’t doctor or lawyer material. Coming out of high school, I had two choices: Go to college to become a newspaper reporter, or go to Vietnam. I picked newspaper reporter. I’m fine with that decision.
Tim from Normal, IL
I like to read the comments section of “Ask Vic” and find it humorous and insightful. How have you been able to keep out the anger and vulgarity that litter other sites?
We have good people in the comments section. They appreciate the right of expression they have been granted and they’re not going to surrender it to abuses of the language.
Bill from Orlando, FL
We are starting to see some distracting player issues. Any concerns?
First of all, and I’ve expressed this opinion several times, I have a tolerance for misconduct because I accept the fact that many of the men I’ve covered during my career as a reporter have come from hardscrabble backgrounds. If you’re looking for hard-edged guys, and this is a hard-edged game, you must accept that you’re not going to find them in charm school. So, there will be issues. I covered a player who lost six friends and family members to gunfire in a one-year period. I covered another player who grew up in a box on the street. There’s a line to draw, but it’s difficult to know where to draw it. I refuse to look down my nose at others’ problems. I’m absolutely sure the system will deal with these players and their issues properly. I refuse to use these players and their issues as entertainment or as a soap-box platform.
Dan from Elk Mound, WI
Can you expand on what you mean by the innocence of Packers fans? I loved the response by the way. It gave me goosebumps.
They’re winsome. They’re the only fans in the league that get goosebumps from seeing a football stadium.
Henry from Placerville, CA
With the changes in technology and rules, is sportswriting now a young man’s game?
If you’re a Twitter person, it probably is. If you like reading a story that’s framed in an artistic way, there’s still room for an old hand on the keyboard. It’s the readers’ choice. If you want me out, just stop reading. The numbers say that’s not happening, and the numbers don’t care if you’re young or old.
Spencer from Rockford, IL
“On the outside, he has space to one side of him and he can use it to defeat blocks. On the inside, the blockers are coming at him from all directions and you can’t avoid them, only defeat them.” While I do agree with your argument for Matthews on the outside, especially since I played both outside and inside linebacker in high school, didn’t we see Matthews defeat those oncoming blockers from the inside? I remember seeing him all over the field from the inside.
Yeah, he did it. He also missed the critical final minutes of the NFC title game. Was that the result of having to take on blockers on the inside? Look, I surrender. All of Packernation wants Matthews to play inside linebacker. This is too big for me to combat, so I am officially proclaiming on this, the eighth day of July in the year 2015, that Clay Matthews is an inside linebacker and the Packers’ quest for a Super Bowl title rests solely on that fact.
Regan from Grant, FL
Vic, will Tom Coughlin be in the Hall of Fame based on what he has accomplished so far, or does he need to add more to his resume?
I would favor his induction. He took an expansion franchise to the AFC title game twice in its first five years of existence, and then he won two Super Bowls with the Giants. The first of those two wins was one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.
Daryl from Springfield, MO
I have only been to two games there and hope to make it three this year, but every time I walked up to the stadium I had goosebumps.
Nobody gets goosebumps like Packers fans. Lambeau Field is the goosebumps capital of the world.
Tom from Bismarck, ND
Vic, I’m sure you were a huge fan of Muhammad Ali and his self-proclaimed greatness. He was a sportswriter’s dream. However, the post-Ali fallout is sickening. Virtually every nickel-and-dime player who wants to be seen or heard proclaims his greatness and we just take it as the norm.
It bothers me, too. It especially bothers me how fans pander to it.
Scott from Appleton, WI
Barring injuries, what position will be the weak spot of the team this year?
OK, Scott, I want you to think this out with me. You’re a reporter covering the Packers and I’ve just asked you the question you’ve asked me. You answer it. So how do you think you’ll be greeted by the men in that position group the next time you go into the locker room? Any go-to guys for you in that group?
Derek from Milwaukee, WI
I went to the Seattle game to open last season. While there, I got a punch to the face from a Seahawks fan. While that was an isolated incident, which team do you think has the kindest, most generous fans, and which team’s fan base is most toxic?
I think we all know what fans are the kindest, and I think most people would agree Philadelphia is a good place to get your butt kicked, but your Seattle story surprises me. I wouldn’t expect that in Seattle. I would expect Seattle to be the most likely place to be handed a piece of sushi or a cup of coffee, but not a punch in the face. Seattle just isn’t a punch-in-the-face kind of town. Did you do something?
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