Rick from Albuquerque, NM
What advantages do owners think they gain by firing coaches so quickly? They must know that it takes a few years to get the right sorts of players and coaches for the way they want to play the game.
I’ve never done a study on this but, if I did, I bet I would find a correlation between teams that tend to fire coaches quickly and teams that need to sell tickets. I’ve been saying this for a long time: Teams such as the Packers, which is to say teams that are sold out every year and have season-ticket waiting lists, are at a huge advantage over teams that have to concern themselves with ticket sales because teams such as the Packers never have to make a decision based on anything but football. Teams that have to sell tickets often make decisions based on what will help sell tickets, and when you do that, the fans are running your team. That’s why Packers fans are so important to this franchise. As far as I’m concerned, their passion for the Packers and their loyalty to the franchise have enabled the success the franchise has enjoyed.
Edward from Jacksonville, FL
You can't make statistical comparisons between QBs of today and yesteryear; I think that's obvious. I'm curious how the statistics relate. What would be a benchmark season for a quarterback in the 1970s? Today it seems to be to complete 60 percent of one's passes and have a 2-1 TD-INT ratio, at minimum, and 3,500-plus passing yards.
The 1970s are split into two periods, the pre-1978 rules changes period and the post-1978 rules changes period. The difference is profound. Bob Griese won back-to-back Super Bowls and played in three in a row in the early to mid-’70s. In ’73, which was the height of the Dolphins’ dominance, Griese completed 53.2 percent of his passes for 1,422 yards, 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In that season’s Super Bowl, Griese completed six of seven passes for 73 yards in the Dolphins’ domination of the Vikings. Efficiency was the name of Griese’s game; most quarterbacks, and that includes the good ones, threw nearly as many interceptions as they did touchdown passes in that era. In ’79, after the league had gone to a 16-game season, Terry Bradshaw completed 54.9 percent of his passes for 3,724 yards, 26 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. Bradshaw won his fourth Super Bowl that season and was selected Super Bowl MVP for the second consecutive year. That’s when the game began to change into the game we watch today. The rules changes of ’78 changed everything.
Jim from New Paltz, NY
After doing all of your laundry, you realize the dryer gremlin has eaten one of your socks and you are left with a sock without a partner. What becomes of that sock? Does it get instantly retired and relieved of its duty, or does it wait in the wings in hopes that a sock from an identical pair gets eaten so it can once again be part of the active rotation?
First of all, I would never allow that to happen to one of my socks. There would be an immediate search-and-rescue mission until the sock was found. Dress socks tend to wear out evenly and expire at the same time. Athletic socks, however, are a different story. One sock can become misshapen more quickly than the other, and that’s when the good one goes to the back of the drawer and waits for another athletic sock to pass, at which point the two widow socks are joined for the remaining days of their lives. I have a black athletic sock in the back of my sock drawer waiting for a mate. It can get lonely back there.
Marina from Alexandria, VA
In your opinion, what are the mental, physical and emotional qualities that need to define a championship-caliber team? Do you think these Packers can be that special team that can win two or three more championships going into the future?
Physical—Big, strong and fast. Emotional—Prone to anger. Mental—Know where the stadium is. Yes, I think the Packers can become a special team that wins multiple Super Bowls, especially if they can add to their roster big, strong and fast players that are prone to anger and can be taught how to get to Lambeau Field.
Brian from Colorado Springs, CO
Do you think the best team in college football for a given year could hang with or even beat the worst team in the NFL in the same given year?
No, they’d have trouble getting a first down.
Paul from College Station, TX
For the 2012 draft, what draft picks do the Packers have?
The trades are unreported so we don’t know what the Packers got for the Quinn Johnson and Caleb Schlauderaff trades; they were, of course, conditional. If the Packers don’t announce what picks they have, we won’t know until the league provides its round-by-round master list, which is released in the days before the draft.
Jeff from Topeka, KS
Can you explain to me the zone-blocking scheme the Packers use? Does zone blocking mean Green Bay does not run trap plays, etc.? Also, does this affect the type of lineman the Packers would want to draft?
Zone blocking is a walling up technique. The back runs to daylight. Trap plays are in the playbook, but the Packers are not a trapping team. Teams that trap and pull their linemen put a premium on mobility; they want linemen that can move. Linemen that can move but are still big enough and strong enough to pass block are difficult to find.
Lucy from Appleton, WI
Aaron Rodgers is a Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP and may get the league MVP honors soon. He's extremely accurate, has the ability to throw the football into some of the tiniest windows and doesn't often throw interceptions. Yet, in three career postseasons, he's gone 0-1 in two of them. Is it just coincidence or is he prone to nerves – gets tight in the playoffs?
The loss to Arizona was his fault? He was tight in the win in Atlanta and on that third-and-10 pass in last season’s Super Bowl? Yeah, he missed a couple of throws against the Giants, but there were a lot of dropped passes, too. We’re still looking for someone to blame for the loss to the Giants, and that’s a mistake. It’s time to accept what happened and move on. The Giants played a great game. The calls went against them and they were still able to win. They went on the road and won where no visiting team had won since October of 2010. I think it’s time we give the Giants their due.
Luis from Costa Rica, WI
Vic, from Super Bowl XLV, what would you say was the most important key play, the fumble or the pass on third and 10?
I think the fumble that Clay Matthews forced was the key play in the game. It came at the tipping point in the game. The Steelers were on the move and the game was in the balance when Matthews forced the fumble.
Paul from De Pere, WI
Which is more important, picking the right players or coaching them up?
I think the gap between a good player and a bad player is too great to expect coaching to eliminate it. I think picking the right players is the single-most important act in the development of a football team.
Les from Wawautosa, WI
Regarding Clarence Peaks, my cards were Steve Thurlow and Angela Coia. It seemed that every pack of cards had at least one of those two players in it. That's all we had. Even the major newspapers didn't cover them like they do now. Am I showing my age?
Yeah, you are, and you’re showing mine, too, because I know exactly what you mean. Before Pete Rozelle authored the first leaguewide TV contract, most of the league’s fans only saw the road games of their local teams. All home games, of course, were blacked out. We were fortunate in Pittsburgh that the Steelers and Baltimore Colts were partners in a TV contract, so we’d always have at least one game on TV in a weekend. In the other cities, half of the season’s Sundays were without football on TV.
Gary from Chippewa Falls, WI
Do the Patriots win as many games every year if the AFC was as strong as the NFC?
Huh? The Colts and Steelers weren’t good teams during the Patriots’ run? From the 2000 season through the ’08 season, the AFC won seven of the nine Super Bowls played. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the AFC was the better conference during that period. The 2006 Bears? Gimme a break. If the Patriots had been in the NFC, they probably would’ve won more Super Bowls.
Jeff from Fort Thomas, KY
I enjoy your “Ask Vic” column very much and this question may not be worthy, but would the NFL ever hold the Super Bowl in Hawaii?
I think it’s a very good question. Why not Hawaii? It certainly has the hotel rooms for it. It would certainly be a popular destination. One of the things I’d like about it is that the time difference would allow the game to be shown at prime time on the East Coast, but a portion of the game would be played in daylight. One of the all-time great Super Bowl visuals is from Super Bowl XIV, which was played in the Rose Bowl. You’ve no doubt seen the glimmering card display in that Super Bowl. It was planned so that the sun would be at a certain point when the card display was executed; no sun, no glimmering cards. I’d like to see a portion of the Super Bowl played in sunshine again. The distance between Hawaii and most major markets in the U.S. has always been an issue, but I think it’s something that can be overcome. I think Aloha Stadium is probably the biggest obstacle. It only seats 50,000 and I doubt that it’s up to Super Bowl standards.
Justin from Christchurch, New Zealand
I'm wanting to throw a Super Bowl Monday (for us) party, as it's a public holiday here in New Zealand and the game's on at lunch time. What are the traditional food, drink and snacks?
I’m gonna guess that hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, beer and pop lead the way, but I don’t think you have to hold to a standard. My wife will make a regular dinner to be eaten at halftime, because she knows I won’t watch halftime but it’s the only thing she wants to see. I already know what’ll happen on Sunday. I’ll be watching the game with the dog that likes me, she’ll be in the kitchen getting dinner ready, and every 10 minutes she’ll ask, “Is Tom winning?”
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