Neil from Hickam AFB, HI

Hey, Vic, my friend brought up a good point since the old refs will be back this week. He thinks we'll possibly see the elite teams break out this week, since precision offenses can have better timing, considering that defenders may not get away with so much rough play downfield. What's your view on how the game might change with the old refs back on the field?

I think the game will be officiated more competently, but that won’t change one thing: My inbox on Monday will be jammed with complaints about the officiating.

Alex from Rush City, MN

Now that the NFL and NFLRA have finally reached an agreement, thankfully, what happens to the replacements?

I guess they go back to the leagues from which they came, but the lives of a few of those replacement officials have changed forever. I’m talking about the couple of guys that were directly involved in the final-play call. If I was one of those guys, the first thing I’d do is write a book, real fast like. I’m sure I could find a publisher that would assist my efforts.

Jonas from Tromso, Norway

I understand there wasn't conclusive evidence of the interception in the replay, but I still don't get why they couldn't call the offensive pass interference on the replay. Is there a rule that states this or did they just miss it?

Pass interference is not reviewable, but it is commentable and blameable.

Paul from De Pere, WI

From where I sit, I like what I have seen so far with the Packers turning the page approach. Does it look the same way from up close?

From where I sit, Coach McCarthy made a concentrated effort yesterday to bring the curtain down on Monday night. His team is facing a critical recovery game this Sunday against another NFC opponent, and you don’t want to lose too many NFC games because they go directly to the tiebreakers. I think it would be a good idea for all of us to make a concentrated effort to bring the curtain down on Monday night, too.

Nate from West Lafayette, IN

I know this may sound dumb, but I think the Packers should run it about 20 times. Our offensive line really isn't built for run, but it's working 'cause everyone is playing pass first. What do you think, Vic?

I think the Saints are last in the league in run defense. I think that’s an engraved invitation to run the ball, dominate time of possession and keep Drew Brees off the field.

Shay from Hattiesburg, MS

Imagine this: Seattle and Green Bay meeting in the playoffs. The media would go crazy. It's definitely a possibility.

Shay, it was one of the first thoughts I had when I finished my writing on the plane and had a chance to think more deeply on the subject. I immediately remembered how the Immaculate Reception triggered the most intense rivalry I have ever witnessed. Monday night’s game could do the same thing for two teams that already have some playoff history behind them. I like the way you think.

Andy from Appleton, WI

How big a part do you think Monday night's game had in pushing the NFL toward reconciliation with the regular refs?

Back in the preseason, I had heard whispers that Week 3-Week 4 was a sensible jumping off point. Remember, this wasn’t a strike, it was a lockout, and at some point the league had to open their doors or run the risk of too much damage being done to the season. The Monday night fiasco was obviously a catalyst to an agreement, but I genuinely believe we were headed there, with or without Monday night.

Eldon from Westfield, IN

I don't think Jennings should've batted the ball down, but I wanted to understand something: Had he knocked it down, would time have expired, meaning game over, meaning Packers win?

It was fourth down, but I believe time had expired or was about to expire as the ball was falling toward the crowd of players in the end zone so, yes, it was going to be the last play of the game, unless there was a foul on the defense. A game can’t end on a foul by the defense, but it can end on a foul by the offense.

Cody from Hartford, SD

I read the practice update Mike put up yesterday, and he said virtually every member of the Packers roster was practicing on Wednesday, but he never mentioned Davon House in his report. Is Davon House practicing yet?

His participation in practice on Wednesday was limited.

Joanna from Aloha, OR

Vic, while I do not believe the call was fair, I have accepted it and moved on as a Packers fan; however, I have a nine-year-old who was crying and is still very upset about this. How do I, as a parent, explain something so upsetting and unexplainable?

All kids go through this kind of thing. When I was nine years old, it was the ’60 Pirates. Every time they lost a game, it was the end of the world, and then they hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series to beat the Yankees, and I forgot about all the games they lost. Don’t get too involved or worry too much about his despair. If the Packers win on Sunday, all will be right with his world. Sports are made for kids to experience winning and losing. They’re a great life’s teacher because their lessons are lasting but their effects are temporary. Now, if your son was 19, I would tell you to talk to him about re-ordering his priorities. Nine-year-olds shouldn’t have priorities. Let him feel all of the joy and all of the pain winning and losing an athletic event offers. It’s important that he learns to deal with each.

George from New Paltz, NY

Hi, Vic, the other day I sent you a question regarding wide receiver over-reactions to bad calls. Your response in short was you don't know what a reception is anymore. After the Monday night debacle, do you think you know more now what a reception might be? Has that play clarified things for you or are you more confused than ever? I sure know now what a simultaneous catch is and isn't, but I didn't want to learn it this way.

I think there’s a bias toward offense in today’s game that was a big part of the problem in the ruling of catch on Monday night. I think we’re looking for ways to reward offense and penalize defense.

Eric from N. Amherst, WI

Vic, how did the Raiders handle the loss after the Immaculate Reception, and how did they perform the following week?

There was no next week; that was a playoff game. They got on their airplane, went home and spoke very little about it. In time, they voiced their opinions, but mostly in playful ways. Frenchy Fuqua was the guy that seized the postgame moment. He said he was going to seal the truth in an envelope, the contents of which would be revealed upon his death. Frenchy then hit the banquet circuit and brought that envelope with him everywhere he went. That envelope made him a lot of money. It was a different game back then. The players were different, the coaches were different, the media was different and the fans were different.

Chris from Horicon, WI

We were wondering what kind of modification do NFL teams get in the airplanes they take on road games. Do they just charter a typical plane that will haul other passengers any other day of the week?

Yes.

Dan from East Grand Rapids, MI

Just wondering, why didn't the Packers take a safety with 48 seconds left? Then you could potentially pin the Seahawks down on the 20-yard line with no time outs, instead of the Green Bay 45.

They couldn’t use that strategy because the score would’ve been 12-9 and the Seahawks would’ve only needed to kick a field goal to send the game into overtime. Also, the 20-yard line is not the normal starting point following a free kick. Something closer to the 30-40 would be more realistic. I figured this would be the hot topic in “Ask Vic” this week, because it would’ve gone directly to the decision to go for two points. Had the Packers kicked the extra point to take a 13-7 lead, then there’s no doubt in my mind they would’ve taken the safety and used the free-kick strategy. The final-play controversy, however, made everything else non-topical. It ruined a pretty good game.

Jay from Fairport, NY

What do you see McMillian's ultimate role being with this team? Do you think he can develop into a staple of the defense? I like what I have seen from him so far.

There’s no ceiling to his role. He’s starting to look like a real steal with the 133rd overall pick.

Heather from Bear Creek, NC

“I have been wounded but not yet slain. I shall lie here and bleed awhile. Then I shall rise and fight again. The title of champion may from time to time fall to others more than ourselves. But the heart, the spirit, and the soul of champions remains in Green Bay.” – Vince Lombardi. We have bled and now it’s time to fight. Bring on the Saints.

All right, it’s Thursday, it’s time to calm down and put all of this in perspective. No one has been wounded, no one is bleeding, no one has been crowned champion. This was a Week 3 game that left the Packers only a game behind the Bears and the Vikings. The entire free world agrees the Packers were wronged; the league has gone on record as saying the Packers should’ve won the game. The Packers have moved on, the replacement officials are gone, and it’s time for the fans to move on, too.

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