Jake from Madison, WI

Off what you said on Monday, how do the fans keep you grounded? I’m suspecting it’s more than just getting an angry email from someone who disliked your opinion.

They keep me grounded with their raw emotion for the game. It reminds me of why I do what I do. It’s for them.

Tom from Blue Mounds, WI

Vic, it warms my heart to see the Packers bringing back John Kuhn and Sean Richardson. My heart might explode with warmth if Mariota falls to Green Bay.

I don’t know how this Marcus Mariota thing got started, but it might even be more ridiculous than the Wes Welker thing.

Ron from Versailles, KY

Vic, would you take Carl Davis if he’s still available when the Packers’ first pick comes up?

Who else is available? I would need to know the answer to that question before I could answer it. What if Mariota was available?

Brian from Fond du Lac, WI

Vic, what do you think of Russell Wilson’s comment that he would honestly play two sports? Is he angling for a better negotiation position? I don’t see the Seahawks going for the idea of their franchise QB playing another sport, even part time.

It’s just business.

Mike from Whitefish, MT

Vic, I was sorry to read you’re not sure you enjoy football as much these days. What would commissioner or owner Vic do to try to re-ignite that passion?

It can’t be done. The clock can’t be turned back. The game can’t be made small again.

Tim from Cary, IL

Vic, I sure don’t envy your “Ask Vic” job, but I enjoy your responses. You seem to have a high EI (Emotional Intelligence). Can you point back to a time in your life where you developed that, perhaps in one of your former jobs?

I don’t know exactly what EI is or how to define it, but everything I am emotionally about this game is directly attributable to the Steelers-Raiders games of the 1970s. They forced me to change.

Brendan from Omaha, NE

When talking about Sam Barrington, you mentioned the jury is out on every player all the time. Do you really think that applies to every player?

Even for the best player in the league, Aaron Rodgers, any evidence of a downward turn in his skills will result in scrutiny. Bill Belichick cut Bernie Kosar due to what Belichick called eroding skills. Browns fans went crazy, but Belichick had it right. Kosar’s skills had eroded and he was living off his name and the fans’ love for him.

Kerry from Margate, NJ

Vic, any stories on Terry Hanratty? I always thought he was one of the better backup QBs in the league.

Hanratty was a two-pack-a-day jokester. The writers loved him, plus, he was a local guy who won a national title at Notre Dame. My favorite Hanratty story involves a team flight that was pushing away from the gate. All of a sudden, the plane stopped and was pushed back to the gate. The door opened and into the plane stepped a sports writer who was late for the flight. The first person the writer sees when he steps onto the plane is Chuck Noll staring at him with two bullets for eyes. Hanratty blurts out, “Enjoy your last plane ride.” It even made Noll laugh.

Travis from Blaine, MN

Vic, I’m confused. When the Raiders signed Sean Richardson to a $2.55 million offer sheet, I laughed out loud. But the Packers decided to match the offer. Why would they spend that money on a guy who will be no higher than their fourth-string safety? Are the Packers sending a message to Reggie McKenzie?

It’s not about sending a message. It’s about a commitment to improve special teams.

Alex from Los Angeles, CA

The fullback position is as dead as the two-way player. Wouldn’t Eddie Lacy be at least as effective if not more than Kuhn lead blocking for Starks on some of those lead blocking plays? But please add that I love Kuhn and yell his name every time he touches the ball.

The Packers are trying to keep Lacy fresh by limiting his carries. You want him to block, too? Today’s game is about specialization. Runners run and blockers block.

Duncan from Fort McMurray, AB

I know you want to fix September football, but how about we adapt to it. If the quality isn’t as good, let’s put the less important inter-conference games all in the first four weeks of the season.

I completely agree.

Jake from Westminster, CO

Vic, really appreciate the column. After watching the Masters and learning about the fan experience on the course, it seems like it takes much more effort to attend a golf tournament and for little reward, as you’ll miss out on the other holes or players. I decided I’d rather watch golf on TV. Yet, I was amazed at the masses of spectators. How can some NFL markets (easier sport to watch) struggle with filling stadiums while golf seems packed with spectators? Is it a socio-economic aspect?

I lived a mile from the Stadium Course at Sawgrass, but I almost never went to the tournament because I wanted to see all of the holes, not just one. Golf tournaments are for fans that want to see the golf course more than they want to see the golfing. Golf courses are pretty places to be.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Vic, any chance Barrington’s “it’s my defense” comment rubs Matthews the wrong way?

It’s an edge game. As Tom Coughlin once told me, “I don’t want guys walking around here with smiles on their faces.” Winsome is good for the fans, not for the players.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

What is the best cure for someone with wide receiver fever?

Take two aspirin and run the ball.

Darrell from Goldsboro, NC

Vic, were you aware the Packers really wanted to draft Ray Lewis?

Yeah, and the Steelers wanted to draft Joe Montana with the third-round pick they lost because of John Clayton, but passed on Dan Marino four years later.

Patrick from Minneapolis, MN

Vic, I’m writing a short story that fictionalizes the Packers’ 2014 season. It’s a good exercise in reflection, catharsis and achieved perspective (in that order). Your persona features prominently. Now’s your chance to have an influence on the pen that wields you.

Write it from your heart, not from somebody else’s.

Dan from Novato, CA

How did Mel Kiper get to be such a big name in mock football drafts?

He invented ESPN’s draft coverage. Kiper made the draft what it is today.


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