James from St. Petersburg, FL

Vicbow rides a bike? Did you run into those Spandex-wearing bike Nazis crossing over the bridge?

I don’t cross a bridge, but a man wearing official racing gear passed me on the causeway recently. I thought I might’ve mistakenly ridden into the Tour de France. He was wearing racing gloves and shoes, and the word “Garmin” was written across his rear end. He was serious about riding his bike; you’d have to be to wear that stuff on a 90-degree day. I thought to myself, “It can’t be fun wearing that stuff on a day like this. When did we go nuts?” If anybody ever sees me riding a bike with the word “Garmin” written across my rear end, run me over.

Zach from Burnsville, MN

Vic, I know this is beating a dead horse, but the bike story is touching. We are not to assume anything, especially the worst. I believe the bike was moved to the side of the road for safety. A Good Samaritan found the bike and held onto it for a year after tirelessly searching for the owner. Upon being disheartened, the Good Samaritan decided to donate the bike to a good cause, a child-focused charity for bikes. Upon receiving the bike, a little boy rides the bike religiously, as he now owns something that is truly his. He rides this bike down Lombardi Ave. toward the Don Hutson Center for training camp. The boy is chosen by his favorite player to have his bike used in the sacred ceremony. The boy ages to manhood to be drafted by the Packers and lead them to a Super Bowl.

That’s a cool story. Let’s do a multiple choice on the fate of the bike: a) It was thrown off a bridge. b) It was stripped and sold for parts. c) It was ridden, abandoned, found and re-purposed by an inventor. d) It became part of a drug deal. e) It’s lying in the weeds and rusting, waiting to be found. f) Its true fate will become known to us later.

Adam from Offaly, Ireland

Vic, with the Packers having five preseason games this season, how many games do you expect the regular starters to play?

I would expect the “starters” to play one or none series in the first preseason game, a quarter of games two and three, a half or three quarters of game four, and not at all in game five.

Hall of Fame Game impacts planning

Matthew from Mount Pleasant, WI

Vic, if you were still writing for Jacksonville, what questions would their fans be asking about the opener?

How many wide receivers will the Jaguars keep? Will Gus Bradley open up the offense this year? Will the Jaguars blitz more this year?

Phil from Las Vegas, NV

Vic, you mentioned Gino Marchetti would be on your Mt. Rushmore of broken legs. I enjoy reading about the older players but I have to admit I didn’t know too much about him until I read an article in the most recent Sports Illustrated. Forty-three unofficial sacks in one season when they played only 12 games a year and didn’t pass often!

It wasn’t an official stat back then. Assistant coaches and PR guys inflated sack totals just as tackle stats are often inflated in today’s game. Marchetti was a great player. You didn’t need stats to know that; all you had to do was watch him play. His fame was driven to a higher level by one picture, of him sitting in a gurney along the sideline, still in uniform, his broken leg covered by a blanket as he watched his Colts rally to win the 1958 NFL title game. Every great player needs a defining postseason moment. That was Marchetti’s.

Chuck from Santa Ana, CA

Two great memories from Forbes Field: Went to my only game there solely to see Hank Aaron (I grew up in Milwaukee). He hit two over the leftfield wall! I went to night school for three years at Pitt to get an MBA. You could see the field from the library in the Cathedral of Learning; really was a great sight.

I saw my first pro sports game of any kind at Forbes Field. It was a Pirates-Phillies game. My father took me to the game and we sat in the bleacher seats (50 cents a ticket). I was so excited. What I didn’t know was the two teams were completing a suspended game as we entered the ballpark; I thought we were late for the start. It wasn’t more than a few seconds after I sat down that Ted Kluszewski – I loved his cutoff shirts – hit a walk-off home run to win the suspended game. Everybody cheered, the teams left the field and the fans left their seats to get concessions before the second game began. I was stunned. I turned to my father and said, “It’s over? That’s all?”

Darren from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Vic, it seems covering sports as a career would take you from the leisure time with family the others of us enjoy. Is there anything you feel you have missed in life working during those times?

You accept that when you’re a sportswriter. Everybody else’s leisure time is your work time. My sons’ birthdays are during the football season. I missed a lot of them. Wedding invitations? They always seemed to be for Saturdays when I was covering road games. Wives get tired of going to weddings alone. My sports department had a rule: No vacations during football season. I’m not complaining, and neither did my family. With apologies to Jack Lambert: If I had to do it all over again, I’d be a sportswriter, and you damn well better believe I’d cover the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Green Bay Packers.

Adam from Pittsburgh, PA

Vic, should Packers fans traveling to Jacksonville avoid getting to the stadium too early so they can stay out of the sun?

They should arrive early and enjoy a unique tailgating experience: You don’t have to start a fire. Just put your hot dog in your hand and hold it in the sun.

Warren from Lutz, FL

Vic, my dad used to spray Pam on the front of the car during lovebug season. Makes it a little easier to clean them off.

It’s also a good tailgating technique for cooking hamburgers at Jaguars games.

Matt from Mukwonago, WI

Vic, in regards to your line that your’re getting the feeling life is imitating football, can you give me 2-3 recent examples?

We’ve become obsessed with hydration, and the bigger football players get, the bigger we get.

Margo from Bloomington, IL

Vic, I’m beyond honored to be nominated for a spot on the “Ask Vic” Mt. Rushmore! Do you think I can get a raise at work as a result?

I don’t know, Margo.

Jim from Tucson, AZ

One should never hate. It requires an effort. Indifference stings much more than hate. I’d bet the farm Coach McCarthy prepares with respect, rather than hate. It’s much more effective. Am I wrong?

Hate is a distraction.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Does the helicopter ride mean no more press box hot dogs?

I think I’ve eaten my last press box hot dog.

John from Austin, TX

Pete Gogolak isn’t on the Mount Rushmore of kickers? His kicking stats may not be spectacular, but he may be one of the most significant kickers (or even players) in history. Didn’t his signing with the Giants trigger the war between the leagues that eventually led to the merger?

Gogolak would be a candidate for a Mt. Rushmore of players that changed the game, even though he was a kicker. A kicker? Really? A kicker?

John from Las Vegas, NV

Happy Fourth of July, Vic! What is it you enjoy most about the holiday?

It’s purely American and it’s purely for happy reasons. So is Thanksgiving. They’re my two favorite holidays. We have a Memorial Day and a Veterans Day to honor those who’ve defended this country and allowed us the freedoms we enjoy. Independence Day, in my mind, isn’t about war, it’s about birth. It’s just the happy birthday of the greatest nation on Earth. Everybody is happy today. The beach is packed with people and everybody is happy. Why are we so happy? Because we know how blessed we are to live in freedom and prosperity.

 

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