Eric from Runaway Bay, TX

Vic, some places around here have started replacing the ground-up tires with ground-up cork. This is supposed to reduce the heat coming up off the turf.

That’s a good idea, but does the cork get in your shoes as the rubber pellets did? When I came off the Field Turf field, I always had to empty the pellets from my shoes.

Bob from Cortez, CO

When I was a kid in the sixties, at the end of the season we knew who the team would be next year. A team’s constant rollover of players benefits from having a column like yours. It helps us identify with each year’s new team. Thanks for the good work.

You’re right, times have changed dramatically. Free agency and the salary cap have done that. Chuck Noll saw it coming. He said one of the reasons he retired from coaching is because he didn’t want to work in a system that had a graduating class every year, meaning he didn’t want to train players only to lose them. This is why I refer to today’s game as a game of replacement. To truly know the team you follow, you must follow it through the offseason.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, I understand why Lawrence Taylor made left tackle the second-most important player on offense, since it was the left tackle’s job to keep Taylor away from the quarterback, but considering the fact there are so few defensive players with Taylor’s talent, is left offensive tackle still as important as it was when Taylor played?

If you have a weak spot at left tackle, the defense will find a way to expose it. They’ll throw everything they have at it. Taylor put a target on the left tackle.

Chuck from Sun Prairie, WI

I am one Packers fan glad Jonathan lives in California and you are not eating grits in the South. Here’s hoping you continue answering questions and providing insight for as long as it makes you happy.

When did we become so sensitive? I think it was in 1995.

Gan from New York, NY

Does a blocked field goal attempt returned for a touchdown give the defense two points under the new rules?

No, it’s still six.

Mike from Pickerington, OH

If the Browns had won or even made it to a Super Bowl or two over the last 50 years, do you think they would have kept their base uniforms?

Yes, I do. Changing uniforms is a way of changing your identity, and when your identity is for winning, you don’t want to change. I always thought the Browns’ base white uniforms looked like pajamas – they wore them most because they wore them at home – but Paul Brown and Otto Graham won a lot of titles in those uniforms, and that’s what made them look good. It wasn’t until the Browns started losing that the uniforms started looking bad. Just win, baby.

John from Elm Grove, WI

Vic, it’s strange to think one misspelled word could dictate the entire tone of your inbox the other day. Have you ever published a story with legitimately incorrect information; i.e., you owed a redaction?

I’ve never had to write a redaction.

Jordan from Ames, IA

Yesterday you stated the Packers have the best roster and have said Aaron is the best quarterback. Am I overstating it when I say the Super Bowl is a sure thing?

Coach Noll had a wonderfully glib sense of humor. If a reporter began a question with the words “am I overstating it,” Coach Noll would quickly answer, “yes”. Think about it. Whenever somebody begins a question with the words “am I overstating it,” or “is it an exaggeration to say,” the answer is almost always yes.

Robert from Janesville, WI

With OTAs being voluntary, why is so much attention placed on who was in attendance? Reporters trying to sell papers?

It’s reporters doing their job. Coaches think OTAs are important, so being in attendance must be important.

Douglas from Louisville, KY

You may have spoken on this before, but how do you feel about players like Marshawn Lynch not giving the media legitimate answers?

By not talking to reporters, a player gives you a legitimate look at his emotions and his unwillingness to communicate with the fans. I just want the truth. If you hate me, tell me.

Mark from Winfield, IL

Vic, I’ve followed with interest your descriptions of sports you don’t like (soccer) and do like (golf – still getting my head around that one). I caught a couple of college lacrosse games last weekend leading up to the national championship and found them to be very entertaining. You’ve referenced Jim Brown as the best lacrosse player in history, but what are your thoughts on the game of lacrosse?

I don’t have thoughts on it. I’ve never watched it; I have no interest in it. I’m not trying to be disrespectful. It’s just that I don’t need to look for other sports to entertain me. I have football year round. During the season, it’s pretty much all I have. During the offseason, I try to blend it with a sport called life.

Dan from Rice Lake, WI

Best uniform of all time? Penn State road. All white with a single blue stripe. Just rock ’em.

It looked a lot better before they got that stain on it.

Brian from Fond du Lac, WI

Vic, if you miss an extra point and it’s intercepted, can that be returned for two points?

I don’t know.

Luvas from Atlanta, GA

Vic, what is your proudest moment from the days when you played football?

It was the first time I ever played in a varsity game, and the film study that followed. The coach called my name and I thought somebody was playing a joke on me. I was supposed to replace the wingback and I was to be the target of a pass. When I ran onto the field, the left halfback thought I was to replace him and began running off the field, so I brought the play into the huddle and then played left halfback, which meant I had to pass-protect against the biggest, toughest player on the defense. He came at me unblocked, and the coward inside me knew immediately what I had to do, go low. In the Monday film session, when we got to that play, I was scared to watch, but there it was; I cut him like a tree. The room erupted and the coach said, “Welcome to the varsity, Ketchman.” That’s my proudest moment.

Jon from Warsaw, WI

Vic, which would hurt less, a root canal or watching a two-hour soccer match?

I once fell asleep during a root canal. When I’m channel surfing and I get to the soccer stations, I close my eyes and hold down the button until I think I’m past them.

Bob from Racine, WI

I see where Damarious Randall is not yet signed. Can he participate in OTAs without signing a contract?

Teams sign an agreement with unsigned draft choices, that the team will negotiate in good faith should the player become injured in OTAs while unsigned.

Mark from Third Lake, IL

If the defense gains possession on a failed PAT and they advance the ball but then fumble and the original PAT team then recovers it, can they then advance it to score points? If so, is it always two points or is it based on the original try?

Again, I don’t know, and that’s why I’m posting these questions. My inbox is loaded with these hypotheticals, and I guarantee the coaches don’t know the answers either. That’s another reason I think this rule change is going to have impact.

Dan from West Des Moines, IA

Hey, just wanted to say love the column. I read it every day when I’m on break/lunch. My question is that it seems more and more people from other countries are writing into the column. Is this because the NFL has started having games overseas, or are people all over the world football fans in general?

It’s because the Packers have international appeal. I’m blessed to be writing for a team with a fan base the size of the Packers’.

Ryan from Beverly Hills, CA

Vic, if you get thousands of questions a day, why do you answer so many of the questions from Brett from Green Bay?

It’s because Brett asks short, direct questions. Get the point? The shorter the question, the more I can answer.

Rusty from Lebanon, MO

You need to ban Hack from Columbia, SC. I have no idea why he’s getting all negative about Richard Rodgers not developing. Rodgers contributed to our offense a lot. He made big-time catches in big-time moments. He’s going to keep on improving and someone needs to tell Hack to relax and it’s going to be alright.

I haven’t banned anyone recently, so, he’s banned. I didn’t wanna do it. I felt I owed it to him.

Nick from Los Angeles, CA

Vic, you have two choices for WR for a new team. Do you take Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith, or Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb?

I recently had a three-way text exchange with Keenan and Jimmy. I’ve always known how to push Keenan’s buttons, so I asked: Swann and Stallworth, or Smith and McCardell? Keenan texted back: What do you think? I said: I think I’m a very lucky man. Now I have Nelson and Cobb.


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