Colton from Verona, WI
We’ve discussed the player safety era, rule changes that are moving at an alarming pace, and the expansion of the league into other continents. We are enduring the ketchup and mustard rush of color in jerseys. Now we are going to stream games over social media and potentially expand the playoffs in the future. I accept that growth of the league is invariably a good thing, but I think there has to be a balancing drive to maintain what makes this league so great to begin with.
Competition, which includes confrontation, is what made pro football great, and it’s still doing it. The competitive spirit that drives football’s popularity has never been stronger.
Eric from Mequon, WI
Vic, do you agree or disagree with Roger Goodell’s assessment about playoff expansion?
I’d like to see the playoffs expanded to eight teams in each conference, and byes eliminated. I like good football and the postseason is the best football. More is good.
Joe from Las Vegas, NV
I refuse to rely on an official to bring me joy over a call. I’ll rejoice in a phenomenal play as it happens, and endure the replay.
That’s the smart play.
Ben from Indianapolis, IN
Vic, I always thought a defensive player picking off the football on fourth down was ridiculous. I mean, they have been taught since Pop Warner to knock the ball down in said scenario. I started to think about incentives in players’ contracts. Do those incentives cause players to try for stat-padding instead of win-clinching on occasion?
If a player did that, the locker room would become a chilly place for him. It’s about team. These guys play to win. To that end, if I was the owner of a team and one of my players fell short of an interceptions incentive because he knocked a ball down on fourth down instead of intercepting it, I’d pay him the incentive. Team play should be promoted and rewarded.
Nick from Prescott, WI
Vic, I noticed you use a lot of contractions in your writing. My English professor always said contractions are for talking and quoting those who are talking; not writing your own thoughts. He also stated most sports writers write at a third-grade level to keep the interest of the masses. Who is right on both accounts? We are all trying to get better as commenters.
Those who can, do.
Bryson from Junction City, KS
What do you think the Packers need to finally get over the hump? They have been so close every year.
They needed one more play in Seattle. That was the year. The Packers were the best team in the league; there’s no doubt in my mind. If they had made one more play, you wouldn’t be asking your question.
Andrew from Fort Collins, CO
I know you aren’t a fan of veteran players acting as mentors to young players, but if the Packers drafted Noah Spence, do you think the presence of a true professional like Julius Peppers would help him get his act together?
You’re not being fair to Spence. He got his act together. He had a terrible problem and he overcame it and reclaimed his life and his football career. What does that say about his character? That kind of inner strength attracts me to him. Football is not the toughest thing Noah Spence has done in his life. If you’re looking for players that can defeat adversity, Spence is your guy.
James from New Richmond, WI
Vic, with the NFL and their constant thirst for more money, I am finding myself losing more and more interest in the game I’ve grown so fond of. Forcing teams to wear the color rush uniforms and broadcasting via Twitter just to gain viewers is another knife in the back. How can I keep the fire and passion for this beautiful sport and look past the endless greed the NFL possesses?
You want the game to stop growing. That won’t happen. No business chooses to stop growing. Growth protects pro football’s future.
Renee from Reno, NV
Vic, my husband reads your column for his daily dose of football and literary wit. No offense, but I’m a bit worried about the future of your column in, say, 20 years. Are you training a prodigy or accepting applications?
I’m not concerned about the column after I die, because I’ll be dead.
Joe from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, if you could pick any era to play football in, what years and what position?
Left tackle now.
Garrett from Saint Paul, MN
Vic, while reading about the NFL’s agreement with Twitter to offer 10 games via Internet feed, I learned color rush uniforms will be mandatory for Thursday night games. With your strong opinions about jerseys representing a team’s identity, how do you feel about this new rule as it pertains to the Packers?
It’s only one game; it won’t threaten the Packers’ identity. I like the color rush uniforms. I think they provide a cool visual experience. I think they bring flash and dash to middle-of-the-week blahs. I hope the Packers elect to wear all green or all yellow. I think a rush of color would do us all some good.
Matt from Waunakee, WI
Vic, I found the “Rock Report” interesting. According to Larry, the Packers executed five chop blocks in 10 games. Your thoughts?
I liked the video, too. I’m trying to get all the information I can on the subject. I’ve gone to several different sites for explanations, and the information has been inconsistent, except they all agree interpretation will be the key to making the call.
Alden from Boston, MA
Vic, huge fan, long-time reader but first question. We have three fourth-round picks. Is that where we rebuild the offensive line? What are your thoughts?
The middle rounds are a good place to find interior linemen. Yeah, I would expect the Packers to attempt to stock their shelves with some jars for the future. This is said to be a good draft for offensive linemen and the Packers have extra picks.
John from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, just a note on your new career. When my parents moved to Ponte Vedra in 2001, my father went to work on the grounds crew at the TPC course. He and another older gentleman filled divots with a sand/fertilizer mixture. He got up in the morning, got to see the dawn over the course and, maybe his favorite, got a free breakfast. He was 78. If you can do it, enjoy it!
I’ve always been attracted to fields of green grass. I love to sit and watch the grass grow at Lambeau Field. A beautiful baseball field on a summer day always beckoned. Golf courses are the ultimate field of green grass. We’ll see if my legs agree when I wake up tomorrow morning.
Daniel from Charles Town, WV
Vic, would you confirm or deny that Jared Cook is the biggest risk we’ve ever taken in free agency during the Rodgers era?
Contractually, I think Julius Peppers was a much greater risk. He was a 12-year veteran making a position switch. It’s not a risk I would’ve taken. The Packers knew what they were doing.
Nick from State College, PA
How does a fan gain a better appreciation for players he didn’t get to watch play? For example, I’ve seen documentaries on the ’70s Steelers and ’85 Bears. I know they were great players but I don’t get a sense of feel for their skill and what they were like from just a couple of highlights, snippets and stats. Any suggestions?
Google (jointly) Terry Bradshaw Turkey Jones, George Atkinson Lynn Swann, Mel Blount Cliff Branch, Glen Edwards John Gilliam. I think you’ll get a feel.
Jerry from Ventura, CA
Vic, I love the “Prospect Primers.” I was thinking how awesome it would be to go to the Vic vault and show the “Prospect Primers” of current Packers. Any chance you could incorporate this? People would love it.
Datone Jones, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis and Brett Hundley were featured in “Primers.” Mike Spofford found Ha Ha’s, Adams' and Abbrederis' “Primers” in the vault.
Brian from West Lakeland Township, MN
What practice squad player makes the biggest impact this coming season?
Matt Rotheram’s size intrigues me. I’ll say Rotheram.
Redd from Duluth, MN
Gate, Gate Gate. I assume you know the facts of the actual Watergate story, yet, you never accuse Woodward and Bernstein of creating a divisive attitude in this country. Interesting; why is that?
The truth must never be blamed. It is the pure defense. It shall set us free. I’m saddened by your disdain for it.
Adam from Green Bay, WI
How did simply spiking a ball after a touchdown become the spectacle it is now? Is there any way to get back to that?
Homer Jones is the most underrated and underappreciated player in sports history. He did what every player before him wanted to do. In the process, he gave birth to a culture that will not be denied.
Dan from Waupun, WI
Why can the NCAA have three stations cover one game? Do they make more money? That was a great game; too bad one team had to lose.
First of all, I don’t like having to hunt through a thousand channels to find something as big as a national title game. The ratings would’ve been a lot higher had the game been on network TV. My frustration came to a head on Saturday night, when I found myself watching the Villanova-Oklahoma game on a new creation called “Team Stream.” I didn’t know what it was, so I was befuddled by the constant focus on Oklahoma, despite them losing by 40 points. I even wondered if I was watching some kind of computerized game. I didn’t get it. “This is the worst thing in the history of the world,” I muttered to myself at one point. Eventually, I figured it out, and then I used the TV guide to find the real broadcast. I yield to progress, but this was not progress. I’d hate to be the guy who came up with this idea.
Bill from Melbourne, FL
Is there a rule stating answers to questions must always be one paragraph?
There’s no rule. I try to keep my answers short, but sometimes my heart gets in the way.