Chad from Monroe, MI

Why do so many season-ticket holders give up their seats, even to the big games? I can’t believe how many opposing teams fans are in the seats sometimes. Also, the fans were dead this weekend. Wake up Lambeau and make some noise for your team.

Blame the Internet. It’s allowed ticket holders to become ticket vendors.

Adam from Wausau, WI

Vic, what’s your take on Jamari Lattimore?

He passes the eye test. He’s one of those guys that the first time you see him, you ask, “Who dat?” That’s scout talk. He’s got length and athletic ability, and those are prime qualities in today’s style of game. He also has toughness. He’s a Miami guy from a hard background that forged resilience and resolve. I remember interviewing Jamari on the day in 2011 when he learned he had made the team. It was one of those training camp moments I like to remember.

Mez from Janesville, WI

Vic, I posed one of the “few” questions you got about Jim Schwartz calling that timeout and I take a little offense to you claiming that to be overly sensitive. I think Schwartz has created a persona that lends itself to scrutiny. His team is completely undisciplined and widely regarded as dirty. So, yes, he may experience more backlash for things he does, but he deserves it. Let me guess, here comes a line about him having an edge or being a tough guy in a tough game, right?

You’re a good learner.

Dan from Houston, TX

Vic, the Packers offense is fifth in rushing, fourth in passing, third in total yardage and third in scoring. Even so, the eye test is saying there is more to be seen. Are we already seeing look out, or is there another level for this offense?

Look out is for December. As Potter Stewart said, you’ll know it when you see it.

David from Maribor, Slovenia

I know it’s not winsome of me, but every time I see a team running up the score, I find myself rooting for their QB to get injured; like the Pats and Saints keep doing with Brady and Brees still playing late in fourth when they are up 30 points. I am very happy the Packers don’t suffer from this madness and know where the safest place for Rodgers is in those situations, on the bench.

Rob Gronkowski probably agrees with you.

Dylan from State College, PA

Vic, so I hate to talk about baseball on here, but I just watched the Cardinals beat the Pirates to get to the conference championship. They show the postgame locker room and the Cardinals are celebrating like crazy. From what I can remember, the Packers, and most NFL teams, rarely celebrate too much after a division playoff game. Basically, do you see a different mentality in baseball and football? Is it key to keep focus in football as opposed to baseball?

Football has always had a more guarded and disciplined personality than baseball, and I think that’s largely a result of the difference in the number of games each sport plays. When you play 162 times a season, you get plenty of practice at dealing with victory and defeat. You don’t have to guard against getting too high in victory or too low in defeat because you’ll have a chance tomorrow to reverse your fortunes. In football, a team can win it all with three wins. The Cardinals had to win 90-some games just to get to the playoffs and they had to win three times against the Pirates just to get to the next series. They’ll have to win eight more times to win it all. The football mentality is that the next game is the single most important game of the season because it’s the next game. The baseball mentality is it’s a long season and focus changes daily. That’s something I love about baseball: Repetition is a great teacher. I think repetition makes true baseball fans better behaved and more capable of conducting themselves with sportsmanship in victory and in defeat. The big-game nature of football tends to make us a little too intense.

Mark from McMinnville, OR

“The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man’s proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation.” Was Steinbeck a football fan?

I don’t know, but I’m sure he was a fan of human confrontation.

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, Coach Jerry Kill of the Minnesota Gophers has suffered five seizures on game days since he was hired as Gophers coach. What’s your view of the university’s decision to continue supporting Kill as the team’s head coach?

I think it’s wonderful. It’s what I would expect of an esteemed institution of higher learning.

Tom from Dripping Springs, TX

I just sent you an email that will probably come across as obnoxious and argumentative, and I’m sorry for that. I have to tell you, as someone who bleeds Green and Gold and whose father-son banquet circa 1961 or thereabouts featured Bart Starr, your presence in the Packers organization has done more to improve my enjoyment of the Packers and the game than anything since that time way back when I got to shake the hand of “The Man” himself. Thank you for that.

This is gonna be a doozy, isn’t it?

Tom from Dripping Springs, TX

Vic, all this talk about player safety makes me wanna puke. This is all about protecting the league and the owners from lawsuits. Except that you work for both, you would surely agree with me, or not?

What’s the alternative, don’t protect the league and its owners from lawsuits? Let’s not get too winsome.

Alan from Wirral, UK

Vic, your comments on Peyton Manning got me thinking: Is he the face of statistics for the casual fan? He’s loved above all others by the media, but has eight one-and-done postseasons. Just win when it matters, baby.

Peyton Manning is the face of today’s game. He has defined the NFL for two decades. In some ways, he created today’s game and its fascination for stats and the move into a heightened passing era, which was driven by the “major point of emphasis” of 2004, which was triggered by Bill Polian. This is Manning’s game and this is his league. The story of the NFL cannot be told without telling the story of Peyton Manning. I don’t know if he’s the greatest quarterback that ever lived, but Manning might be the most important player in NFL history because no player has driven the game’s popularity and its revenue as Manning has.

DE Datone Jones

Tom from London, England

Can you please give me your assessment of Datone Jones? He’s just been ranked as one of the five most disappointing rookies on nfl.com and I was only yesterday thinking about his total anonymity.

He’s learning, and I think it’s unfair to be that harsh on a rookie just four games into his career. If you want to know the degree to which this game has become entertainment, consider this: Twenty years ago, it would’ve been considered unfair and unduly harsh for a newspaper reporter to have offered such an assessment of a rookie player just four games into his career. In this case, the NFL’s own website is doing it. That should be a real head-scratcher for an old ink-stained wretch such as myself, but I got into the team website business from the start, and I quickly learned why sports leagues and teams were investing in team and league sites. It’s because media is another platform from which teams and leagues can profit. So why not cover themselves? That means giving fans what they want and, in today’s game, that means giving fans an endless list of rankings. It’s all entertainment for the fans and it has to be regarded as such. Bust this week, star next week. That’s the kind of knee-jerk analysis today’s fans want.

Hal from Syracuse, NY

I think before the NFL puts a team in Europe, there should be a team in Los Angeles.

There will be.

Adam from Long Beach, CA

Has it been your experience that a team that suffers multiple minor injuries at the beginning of the season ends up mostly healthy by the end, or do those injuries tend to emerge again come Week 14?

It’s been my experience that teams that can weather the storm of injuries early get healthy late and that makes them a hot team for the playoffs.

John from La Crosse, WI

We all know the players and owners make far more money than any average person, yet, there is all this talk about going to Europe to build more teams, thus, more money. I think it’s about greed at this point. Thoughts? By the way, I am one fan that is quickly losing interest because of things like this.

It’s also about something else: growing the game. Football is getting tagged as an excessively dangerous sport. Joe Paterno warned about this a long, long time ago in a speech to the Maxwell Club. He said that if we didn’t clean up our game, we would lose kids to soccer. Nobody believed him. If you watched the “Frontline” documentary, I think you should be able to appreciate the intent to grow the game internationally. Fear of injury is going to cause a pullback in this country. If the game doesn’t grow its boundaries, it will shrink.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Vic, my wife watched the documentary and proclaimed our six-year-old will never play football. That makes me sad.

Paterno warned us. I think we’re getting it now.

Larry from Sidney, Australia

I don’t care for the Lions or Jim Schwartz, especially from years past, but his decision made sense and I give him credit for trying every last ditch way to pull out a win, which is his and every head coach’s job. You take the time out since the Packers have to punt on fourth down. Then you hope to get a return for a touchdown. Follow that with an onside kick and recovery and then throw the “Hail Mary” for a touchdown and extra point to win the game. When they didn’t return the punt for a touchdown, it was time to take a knee and end the game. Make sense?

Yeah, it does, and that’s what scares me.


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