Lloyd in Baton Rouge, La., writes: I really don't know why I'm sending this link, but I am. Please check it out.
Pat Yasinskas: Lloyd, thank you for sharing this with all of the NFC South readers. I saw the headline on my RSS reader earlier, but didn’t read this outstanding and touching story by my friend Jeff Duncan until just now. This is the story of Alex Yoncak, a passionate Saints fan, who sounds like he was a great man. Alex passed away in a car crash not long ago. I grew up pretty close to where Alex lived in Pennsylvania, but did not know him. I wish I had. If you’re a fan of the Saints, a fan of any team or just a human being, I urge you to read Duncan’s story about Alex.
JM in Charlotte writes: Can Panthers fans expect to go into next season with the roster that's currently in place? Do you expect them to make changes at any positions?
PY: It’s a little late in the game for them to be making any major changes. The draft is over and there’s not much left in free agency. The Panthers have to play the hand they’ve dealt themselves. General manager Marty Hurney and John Fox have known for several years it was going to be like this, so don’t say the entire youth movement has been forced on them by owner Jerry Richardson.
Patrick in Norfolk, Va., writes: What sense would it make to have a Super Bowl in New York, Tampa, or Miami? Tampa and Miami have both had Super Bowls in the last five years. New York is cold and has enough income. Why not have it in cities that haven't in a while, like: Atlanta, Minnesota, Houston, Kansas City, Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, Tennessee, or Carolina; or at a completely neutral site, like Las Vegas or Hawaii?
PY: Hey, I’m with you on Las Vegas or Hawaii. Seriously, though, your question opens several cans of worms. Traditionally, the NFL has played the Super Bowl in warm weather cities. There have been a few cold-weather hosts, but they’ve been cities with domes. New York presents a whole different issue -- an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather climate. That presents challenges not only for the game, but also for the week leading into the game, which is very big for fans and corporate folks. I sense the 2014 Super Bowl will go to New York and the message that sends is basically, “build a new stadium (with lots of luxury boxes) and we’ll give you a Super Bowl." The California cities aren’t going to get a game unless they get a new stadium. But, once you’ve given New York a Super Bowl, how do you tell Tennessee or Carolina, two places with very nice existing stadiums, that their weather is too cold to host a Super Bowl?
Rob in Fort Mill, S.C., writes: If the lockout does in fact happen next year, are the owners obligated to pay the salaries of the players during the lockout?
PY: No, the players wouldn’t be paid.
Will in Indianapolis writes: Sabby Piscitelli was a huge disappointment at safety in his first couple of years. Do you see him getting any better this year, or do you think it's about time Tampa gave up on him and started Sean Jones this year from Philly?
Pat Yasinskas: No doubt Piscitelli struggled last year, but so did the entire Tampa Bay team. The Bucs brought in Sean Jones as an alternative, but they still have Piscitelli and the coaches are hoping he can play up to his potential. Getting some more help from the pass rush could make Piscitelli look better. If he doesn’t, Jones can win the job.