Keith from Yorktown, VA
Why left tackle and why now?
Left tackle is the second-most important position in football, and the position’s ranks are thinner than the supply of quarterbacks left tackles protect. Why is it that way? As the emphasis on rushing the passer increases, the game is finding more great athletes who can do it than it can find big, agile and athletic men who can stop it.
Chris from Houston, TX
Vic, my father and I hate it when we see players dancing after scoring touchdowns. Why do players act so different now when they score, compared to years ago?
Our culture condones it. We are the celebration generation. Once upon a time, it was considered showboating, and our culture considered it to be an ill act. Coaches didn’t like it and showboating was punished in the court of public opinion. Slowly, that opinion began to change. Homer Jones spiked the ball, Joe Namath wore white shoes, and an era of self-expression in professional football was launched. Now it’s rewarded in the court of endorsement reward. Good and quiet is dignified. Good and loud is celebrated. It’s not them, it’s us.
Barry from Skokie, IL
Vic, I knew a very successful high school baseball coach who insisted on mowing the grass on his ball field, even though he didn’t have to. There was something beautiful about that.
The game comes to us from the ground up. The ground is its foundation. When I walk into a press box, the first thing I do is look at the field. It’s always been that way. I’ll amuse myself with the line from the movie Gettysburg: “This is good ground.” Some years ago, I took my lawnmower to the repair shop. On the wall hung an ad for a lawnmower company, with a picture of Brett Favre and the slogan, “Live to mow.” I think it’s one of the best advertising slogans I’ve ever seen. I live to mow. I’ve lived to mow since I was a kid and grass-cutting was my weekly chore. I cut grass every Saturday morning, and I revel in a new lawnmower as though it was a new car. I think my love of football and a nice lawn were linked at a young age. Why do fans obsess with the condition of the turf? It’s because the field is part of the game. In my study, I have a swatch of artificial turf from Three Rivers Stadium. What were we thinking?
Obie from Louisville, KY
Brett Favre shared a story recently that he didn’t know what a nickel or dime defense was until his second year in the NFL. Usually, feigning intelligence doesn’t lead to anything good, but has faking it ever given you anything good?
Sportswriting is the only thing in my life I haven’t had to fake. I can’t build or fix anything, and one summer in a sintering plant let me know how tough I’m not. I was born to eat free hot dogs, watch a game and tell people what I saw. I’m so fortunate to have been born in a country that rewards such meaningless activity.
Ryan from Denver, CO
Vic, my girlfriend journalist, she hates football. Hates when I’m on my phone reading your “Ask Vic,” and I keep correcting her on the usage of that. I’m going to miss her.
It’s for the best. She wasn’t good for you.
Patrick from Burlington, IL
I was reading the comments to Mark Murphy’s recent article, and one person said we need to beware overexposure, even in the United States. I find it hard to believe football could be overexposed in our country. Isn’t it already the most exposed sport? Isn’t that why the league is looking to expand internationally?
My dad predicted overexposure would kill professional football. That was back in the ’60s. I think he was just angry I watched so much of it. In my opinion, the NFL could play a game every night of the week, and TV would want more. Football is America and America is football. One of the reasons I support expansion internationally is American football might become the greatest tool for westernizing the world since the “Big Mac.” Maybe the NFL can give us world peace. If that’s an exaggeration, this isn’t: Professional football is vital to the quality of life in America. Ask yourself what your life would be without it.
Jake from Muncie, IN
Which color rush jersey did you like the best? I loved the Rams’ all-yellow.
I like them all, but I think an all-green with yellow highlights Packers model would be the best. I hear people say, “What would Vince Lombardi think?” In my opinion, if Lombardi believed high fashion would grow the game, he’d be all for it. Hey, who invented the G?
Bob from Yemassee, SC
How did you like Cherokee Plantation?
I loved it. The course is magnificent and I felt honored to walk its grounds. I was one of two caddies in a foursome that included Jeff Sluman. It was a delight to watch him play. He took dead aim at every corner of the fairway, every pin. He never hit a shot that wouldn’t have been the best shot I ever hit. This was my first attempt at caddying, and on the first hole I got nervous when one of the golfers asked me, “What do you see?” I looked at his putt and said, “One ball out left and hit it.” I sneaked a look at Sluman. He smiled and nodded his approval. He knew.
Jeff from Eveleth, MN
Vic, who wins the Masters?
Devin from Woodland Hills, CA
Leonard Floyd is listed as one of the top OLB prospects for 3-4 defenses. What are your thoughts on him? I just imagine him getting pushed around at the next level with that lanky frame.
He reminds me of Dee Ford. One trick pony? Yeah, but everybody needs someone who can do that one trick, and teams are willing to over-draft that guy to find that guy. You gotta pick ’em to find ’em.
Herb from Palm Desert, CA
Vic, if the Packers play a Thursday night game this season, will you wear khaki on khaki?
Yes, I will. I’ll call it color hush.
Greg from Ann Arbor, MI
This is in response to Nick from Prescott. I’m an English teacher, and his professor’s dead wrong about contractions. As with so many things in life, it’s all about context. What are you writing, and what kind of voice are you cultivating? Who are your readers, and what do they expect? Fusty adherence to inflexible rules will only produce fusty, inflexible prose. Let your context be your guide.
I’m a contractions kind of guy.
Steven from Milwaukee, WI
This time of year, are mock drafters really making changes based on new information, or are they just shaking things up to keep us draft nerds lapping up every new iteration?
They don’t have a clue, and I think we know that but our love of the mystery that is the draft drives our need for names linked to the team we love. Just give me another name. They do.
Garrett from New Berlin, WI
What have you learned from working with Mike, Larry and Cliff?
In Mike Spofford, I see myself as a young reporter, obsessing on the minute details of the team I cover. It’s how you grow old in this business. Mike is a very good reporter. Larry McCarren knows what he sees as he sees it. When I want confirmation of what I think I saw, I go to Larry. Sometimes I don’t get confirmation. That’s why I go to Larry. Cliff Christl has taught me what it is to love something enough to dedicate a major chunk of your life to the preservation of that thing. In this case, it’s football history, which has been horribly abused by a game and its fans that lack regard for how we got here. Packers.com has a top staff of contributors, and it’ll continue to grow.
Dylan from Amery, WI
Can we get some more homework today? Looking up those hits yesterday was fun.
They are four of the most vicious attacks I’ve ever seen on a football field, and only one of them was even penalized. In today’s game, I think all four would result in suspensions; at the least, huge fines.
Dave from Brookfield, WI
I found out about the unremarkable creation known as “Team Stream” during the Wisconsin-Duke final last year. I couldn’t help the frustration boiling as every comment the announcers made pertained to Duke. I don’t like the idea of biased commentary for any sport. It feels like brainwashing.
It’s insulting. Is that what the TV execs think we want? I really hope they’re wrong.
Tal from Ascot, UK
When will the player safety era end and what will take its place?
It’ll never end. One day, someone will make a movie called Bruise.
Richard from Madison, WI
Aaron Rodgers will be able to financially afford to go out on top. Did Johnny Unitas play for the Chargers because he still needed the money?
Yes. Unitas struggled through financial difficulties, but he never complained about it. He was the ultimate in dignity to his dying day.
Daryl from Spirngfield, MO
Remember when Glover Quinn batted down the ball instead of intercepting it?
Yeah, he batted down right into Mike Thomas’ hands. Just win, baby. It’s the ultimate justification.