Fischer from Manassas, VA

My question is about the roughness call against Ha Ha in the second quarter when he hit Gordon along the sideline. Gordon’s left foot was in bounds and the right had not yet stepped out at contact. In my mind, this should have been a legal hit. Are the defensive players supposed to assume he is out because he seems to be going that way?

Pretty much. Officials have been instructed to error on the side of caution, and the players know the officials are looking for reasons to throw flags for unnecessary roughness. The sideline has become the league’s favorite place for sending its change-the-culture message. Once upon a time, the boundary was a place where a defender could punish a ball carrier. That’s the culture the league wants to eliminate.

Brian from Albertville, AL

What is your favorite thing to eat while in South Carolina?

Shrimp and grits.

John from Sun Prairie, WI

I was reading through Cliff’s column and came across an interesting thought some fans probably need to hear. Asked about his team’s offensive struggles, Lombardi snapped, “I don’t give a damn about statistics, as long as we win.”

Nothing has changed.

Mike from Toluca Lake, CA

After watching this week’s “What You Might Have Missed” and reviewing the performance of Datone Jones during the game-saving goal line stand, I think it’s becoming obvious Datone has made a jump thus far this season. Do you agree?

I agree, and that’s exactly what’s supposed to happen in the draft-and-develop philosophy. I remember Tony Pauline telling me at the Senior Bowl Jones could play in a two-gapping system, but the Packers would have to be patient with him. The Packers have been patient, and Tony was right.

Brian from Sheboygan, WI

Vic, I’ve noticed either you’ve been avoiding questions on Eddie Lacy or people haven’t asked. I see a bounce back on the horizon for our star. What do you think?

I haven’t ignored the subject. I’ve answered several questions on the subject, and even made it the topic of “Video Ask Vic.”

Nathan from Tiffin, OH

Vic, for all those fans that want to find something to worry about, maybe they just need to be reminded the Packers have never lost on their bye week.

Is that reason to worry or to not worry?

Ryan from Tempe, AZ

I saw linemen in two-point stances during UCLA vs Cal. The end is near.

Within 10 years.

Scott from Milwaukee, WI

Team rivalries only exist for fans and the media in today’s game. I believe the players union and free agency are the reason. Do you agree?

I agree rivalries exist mainly for fans and media, but not for the reasons you’ve cited. No. 1, geographical rivalries don’t have meaning for players who are from faraway places. No. 2, players are consumed with the thought of doing their job – that’s how they keep their job – and that means every game is a rivalry. The kind of rivalry you’re describing is about emotions. That stuff is for the fans and media.

Andy from Tomahawk, WI

Give me the goal line stand, the game-winning drive, nail-biting anticipation, a field goal squeaking in with no time left on the clock, a Hail Marry, the roar of a packed bar when seconds earlier you could hear a pin drop. Give me drama, Vic! Am I crazy?

Courage isn’t crazy.

Jim from Wind Lake, WI

My introduction to the poem “If” by Kipling was as a boy watching NFL Films. Was that your introduction, too?

Yes, it was my introduction to the poem. It’s a famous NFL Films production from the 1960s. Ed Sabol was an artist. He helped make pro football romantic, which is exactly what Pete Rozelle wanted Sabol to do. Sabol turned something as simple as the spiral of a football into ballet. He made mud melancholy and turned blood into football’s red badge of courage. Productions such as the one NFL Films did on “If” popularized the game. Look at the mark it left on me. That’s my NFL. You can have the stats and the fantasy standings. Give me the “heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: Hold on!”

Nick from Dayton, NV

Vic, do you think the Packers not having Lacy healthy along with Adams is keeping the offense from hitting its stride and performing like we’re used to?

Yes, I do. I believe strongly in the concept of pound and bomb. Eddie Lacy is the Packers’ pounder. Davante Adams is expected to be that boundary receiver that stretches the field horizontally and vertically. When they return, the field will open for Aaron Rodgers.

Dean from Winthrop, WA

Vic, you mentioned you were amazed the NFL has managed to soften the game without losing popularity. Personally, I find the injuries are potentially very damaging to my enthusiasm for the game. It bothers me more and more when these highly trained and generally good human beings suffer serious, often life-changing injuries. I don’t watch the game for the gladiator aspect. Am I in the minority?

Once upon a time, yes. The league hopes you’re the new majority. You are a representative of the culture change the league is trying to create. You’re the future of the game.

Andy from Clive, IA

This past Tuesday, Pittsburgh city council proclaimed the day as “Mike McCarthy Day.” Has winsome spread to Western Pa.?

I wouldn’t describe the place of my birth as winsome. We are proud of our football heritage and the men who’ve achieved stardom in it. The game means more to us because we invented it.

Jeff from Belvidere, IL

I never wash my jersey if the Packers win. I just fold it and save it for the next week. But after a 6-0 start, it could stand to be a little cleaner. Do you think it’s safe to wash it this week during the bye?

No. I’d wait until the Packers are playing a team you’re absolutely sure the Packers will beat, such as the Chargers.

Wayne from Bellevue, NE

What makes a team become hot? What makes a team have rainy days?

A team gets hot when all of the pieces are in place and playing its best football. The reverse is true of a team going cold.


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