Sara from Cincinnati, OH

I’m starting to lose interest in the NFL. I will still watch Packers games but I didn’t watch the Super Bowl or the draft this year. Ray Rice’s original suspension for abusing his fiancé was less than what Tom Brady got. Why hasn’t the league sent down a punishment to Goodell for his mishandling of the Ray Rice case?

I appreciate your position. Yes, the Ray Rice and Greg Hardy incidents are disturbing. It’s also become disturbing for me that this column is being dominated by these topics. I find myself having to comment on them daily, and punishing the commissioner for not handling them to our satisfaction isn’t the answer. If ever there’s an example of a culture in need of change, this is it. I think the commissioner has done a credible job of changing the culture of on-the-field behavior, now he needs to change the culture of off-the-field behavior, and punishment isn’t the solution. The solution is avoidance. We need to identify trouble before it comes into the league.

Rick from San Ramon, CA

Vic, if you had to lose a Super Bowl, what quarterback would you choose, Marino, Tarkenton or Kelly?

They are three great quarterbacks and they are 0-8 combined in Super Bowls, which is proof even winners lose.

Jerry from Wausau, WI

Vic, what, if any, rules changes or upgrades would you like to see come out of the owners’ meetings this week?

What I’d like to see happen at the owners meetings is a wildcat movement to fix what’s really wrong in this league, instead of dedicating so much energy to silly stuff, such as what to do about the extra point. I’d like to see an owner stand up and challenge all of the owners to make sure we have no more Deflategates, Spygates, Bountygates, Noisegates and Headsetgates. Institutional control comes from the top. It begins in that room full of owners.

Mitch from Braymer, MO

Do you think Aaron Rodgers is a Hall Of Fame quarterback?

He’s in. It’s now just a matter of how much more he puts in his bio.

Mike from Plover, WI

Loved your answer to Lisa about teaching her six-year-old to love the game. Friday night high school football games, live and in person, are the best. The way you described it was perfect and made me remember what I love most about football. A true football fan will love the game at all levels.

I fell in love with the game wanting to be like the kids playing for my high school. I idolized them. They were stars in my hometown. It’s the little things I remember from then that give me my warmest feelings about the game. I lived for the day in August when the schedule went into the store-front windows. It meant football was back. I remember the first frosty Saturday morning, when I reached outside the door and brought the newspaper into the house so I could read about all of the games played on Friday night, when the glows in the sky defined where they were playing football up and down my river valley. I remember the unique smell of the newspaper on a cold morning. It smelled like football. We must never lose high school football. It’s football at its purest.

Scott from Crystal Lake, IL

Vic, if you are familiar at all with Carl Jung and his theory of finding the inner child and the symbolism behind our dreams, I encourage you to try and find your inner child if you find something that is troubling you as you reach old age. Meditate, go as far back as you can, and try to imagine that child. Offer him your hand. Support him if he is struggling. You may not find a child, you may have to meet its guardian first, or you at an older age, somebody who developed a defense to protect the hurt child and ensure it wouldn’t happen again. Seeing your inner child and reconnecting with it is a beautiful, harmonious and insightful experience.

I see him. He’s crying out to me. “Vic, save me, Vic.” I have ignored him too long. I will help him.

Stewart from Newport News, VA

Do you think the Packers can get past physical teams like Seattle and San Francisco? They’ve ended our season for a few years now. Why do we struggle against teams like them?

I didn’t see any struggle for the first 56 minutes and eight seconds of that game in Seattle. From where I sat, the Packers were dominating. They were winning up front and they were making plays. They stood toe-to-toe with the Seahawks on the Seahawks’ turf and the Packers were winning. One play was the difference. Pick a play, any play. Change it and I’m not answering your question. That game wasn’t about not being physical enough. It was simply about one play. The Packers are as physical as any team. Eddie Lacy and the commitment to a running game changed all of that.

Josh from Glendale, WI

What potential issues could evolve from allowing the referees to manage the entire ball condition throughout the game? Why allow any team any discretion? Just give them one more task.

Well, we’d need more officials. We’ll need a head ballsman on each side of the field. Their jobs would be to protect the balls.

Eric from Ft. Worth, TX

I am very disappointed in the media coverage of Deflategate. I feel as if some reporters will always fall on the players’ side to ensure they get info or interviews from the players. Common sense tells us a deflated ball is easier to grip. So why do I have reporters trying to shove legalese down my throat and tell me it’s common sense?

Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe penned what I consider to be the best piece on Deflategate. I’ve seen others I like, but I’m seeing way too many pieces that are rationalizing misbehavior. Maybe it’s a result of what our culture has become.

Taylor from Hull, IA

Why do you think the media and the populace in general feel steroid use is more of a cheating issue than Deflategate? Steroids give one person on one side of the ball an edge, while deflating a football gives the entire offense an edge. This seems like it would cause a greater impact on the game.

I consider PED usage to be the ultimate in cheating, and the impact of PEDs is a threat to the game, especially as it pertains to player safety. My position on tampering with the football goes beyond cheating. I consider it to be desecration. The ball is the chalice on the altar of football. Bodies change, rules change, the game changes, but the ball stays the same. It’s “The Duke.” It’s football’s equivalent of 90 feet between bases. In a game that changes itself too often, something must remain the same. Something must be inviolable. Can we at least get the ball right?

Ben from El Paso, TX

Who are your top five quarterbacks of all time?

Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Tom Brady and Otto Graham are my top four; they’re solid. It’s number five where I begin to waver. If he gets one more Super Bowl win, it might be the guy I’m covering. I’ve never seen a more talented quarterback.

Jordan from Ames, IA

Vic, your answer yesterday gave me chills. How can such a violent game be so beautiful?

Violence is noble when it is exchanged respectfully.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Have the new rules sped up baseball?

I watched the Pirates and Cubs on Sunday. It was a cleanly played game. It wasn’t real exciting, but it had its moments. Baseball needs a rule that forbids batters from taking two strikes down the middle before they begin swinging the bat. I’m being facetious, of course, but the amount of time spent on wasted pitches is killing the action. When the ball is in play, players do amazing things. I’m seeing diving catches and dramatic throws and slides. Running, catching, throwing are good; standing and watching is bad, and there’s far too much of it in a baseball game. Baseball has to do something to get these guys swinging and putting the ball in play more quickly and more often.

Nicholas from Somerset, NJ

Vic, do you like a punishing tackler or a consistent tackler?

They don’t have to be exclusive of each other.

Theo from Northfield, MN

Some people have already projected the Packers as Super Bowl favorites. Do you think it’s too early to predict the Super Bowl matchup?

I don’t do that stuff but I think it’s fine for fans to do it. It’s what the offseason is for, making predictions and acquiring hope for what’s ahead. The one thing I don’t like about writing for a team website is I have to be careful about predictions or someone will childishly attempt to use my words against the team I’m covering. If I was writing on my own personal site, nobody would care, but this is the Packers’ official site and that makes it a target of the media wanting to create a controversy for their gain. It happened to me with the asterisk. Here’s what I’ll say: I expect the Packers to be in the hunt. I have a high opinion of this football team.


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