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Real fans can't stop being fans

Bengals will be playing to join the league’s upper crust


Dan from Fort Leonard Wood, MO

To me, the role of the fan is to support the team, follow the team and, most importantly, love your team. What are your thoughts?

I don't see being a fan as requiring a role. I see it as something involuntary because your heart won't allow you to not be a fan. All of that other stuff comes with being a fan.

Matt from Raleigh, NC

Vic, I read your column every day at lunch and now I love that you're doing the "Ask Vic Extra!" for when the day slows down. I had a question related to Aaron Rodgers' passing numbers. When James Jones reached for the pylon and a touchback was called, did Rodgers get credit for the yards gained on that play prior to the touchback?

Rodgers got the yards but lost the touchdown, which means he also lost points off his passer rating.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, when you were discussing the Trent Richardson trade, you used the term amortization. Can you explain amortization in simpler terms?

When a player is paid a signing bonus, the amount of that bonus is divided by the years of the contract and the dollar amount from that division is assigned to each year of the team's salary cap that the contract is in force. The Browns paid Richardson a $13.3 million signing bonus in 2012, on a four-year contract. The proration or amortization of that signing bonus on the Browns' salary cap is about $3.3 million a year. When a player is traded, that proration or amortization accelerates; it becomes dead money, so named because the money is on the cap but the player is off the roster. As a result of when Richardson was traded, Richardson will be a $6.67 million dead-money hit on the Browns' cap in 2014. They have the cap room to house that hit, and they can make the point that they've extinguished his salary from their cap so it's a wash in '14, but I see dead money as pure waste.

Mike from Altona, Manitoba

Vic, what was the very first thought in your mind when you heard of the Richardson trade? Mine was Johnny Manziel.

I'm still trying to see what everyone else sees in Manziel. I see a bubble-screen college quarterback.

Cody from Billings, MT

Vic, what is your opinion of T.J. Yeldon?

Yeldon and Todd Gurley are exceptional backs. They remind me of Fred Taylor when he was a draw runner at Florida.

Mike from Florence, KY

Packers fans in Wisconsin enjoy a luxury no other team has: no TV blackouts because all home games are sellouts. When was the last Packers game blacked out?

Several teams' fans enjoy that luxury, Mike. I'm going to assume the last Packers game to be blacked out was on Dec. 3, 1972, against the Lions.

Thomas from Milwaukee, WI

Would it be a stretch to call the Bengals a top 10 team in the league?

Not if they win on Sunday. They'll be playing to become part of the NFL's upper crust.

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