Vic, this is Robert from Charleston, SC. Hope you’re feeling better. I just wanted to ask how do you think our defensive line is shaping up?

Robert is the Packers fan who wheeled me to a waiting car when I left the hospital in Charleston. Robert, the talent the Packers have collected on their defensive line over the last few years gives me hope that unit will become the equal of the young defensive backfield that has also emerged over the same period of time. When it comes time for me to get the “Big Wheel,” I hope you’re doing the pushing.

Mark from Novato, CA

Vic, what is the general process for creating a team’s playbook in the NFL?

If the head coach is an offensive guy, his team’s playbook is likely a collection of plays, formations and concepts of the head coaches and offensive coordinators for whom he was an assistant. There’s a lot of Paul Hackett, for example, in Mike McCarthy’s playbook. If the head coach is a defensive guy, his team’s playbook is likely that of whatever offensive coordinator the head coach hires.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

I’m honored to be on the “Ask Vic” Mt. Rushmore. Thank you.

I’m having your head chiseled in cheese, limburger.

Tom from Wauwatosa, WI

Coach McCarthy is very fond of up-tempo offense. He has also talked of a fast start to the season in the past. Fast and up-tempo would seem to be a perfect strategy against the Vikings, but first you have Jacksonville, which will likely require an entirely different approach. You mentioned large doses of Eddie Lacy to take pressure off the offensive line and the defense. How do you prepare for both? Thanks, Vic, for helping me appreciate the magnitude of the challenges facing Coach McCarthy. Such drama! It will be fun to watch.

I didn’t say large doses of Eddie Lacy. I referred to a rotation of running backs on what will likely be a hot day. In my 16 years of covering early-season, one-o’clock games in Jacksonville, the cold-weather teams that won those games won the fourth quarter. They endured. If you try to win early in that heat, you run the risk of running out of gas and losing late. I distinctly remember it happening to Seattle and Dallas.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

What accounts for rules changes, society or evolution of the game?

Life and football have always seemed to mirror each other. Is life imitating football or is football imitating life? I’m beginning to get the feeling life is imitating football.

Pat from Port Washington, WI

Vic, I agree with you that pro football has surpassed baseball as the national pastime. Do you have any thoughts on why football has never really managed to catch fire in St. Louis? Even the “Air Coryell” teams with Jim Hart throwing to Mel Gray, Jackie Smith and Terry Metcalf couldn’t seem to hold fan interest, and the Rams are heading back to Los Angeles despite having won the Super Bowl in St. Louis. It still seems to be a baseball town.

You’re right, it’s a baseball town. So are Boston and Cincinnati. The Patriots have been winning for a long time, but what’ll happen if they start to lose? There were a lot of empty seats during lean years in the old bench-seat stadium. Pittsburgh is a football town. Filling seats has always been an uphill battle for the Pirates. Most cities have a base personality that favors one sport, which means marketing is especially important for the other sports in that city.

Michael from Eau Claire, WI

Glad to hear someone still believes in due process. It’s easier to make claims than it is to have actual evidence. I want some evidence to view these rookies! Let’s go get the pads.

Evidence is good. Testimony is better.

P.B. from Minneapolis, MN

Nicely done, Vic. I enjoyed Googling “998 Oaks Ask Vic” and going down the column-history rabbit hole.

I had to cut off a couple of his oaks. I didn’t want to do it. I felt I owed it to him.

Jake from Saint Paul, MN

Vic, I was fishing tonight and got my first noseeum bites. Any home remedies you recommend?

Apply a thick paste of water and meat tenderizer. Relief is immediate.

Denny from Hudson, WI

Wake up, Vic, and tell the truth. There is no way Green Bay wins a Super Bowl with this run defense. They have a rookie nose tackle and rookie middle linebacker. You are a very biased writer.

OK.

Gary from La Crosse, WI

Recently, I saw the movie “Angels in the Outfield.” Forbes Field with the Cathedral of Learning in the background was stunning. Were you ever there?

I spent a large chunk of my childhood in Forbes Field. I only own two autographed pictures. One of them bears Bill Mazeroski’s signature on the leftfield wall of a picture of Forbes Field.

Brad from Delray Beach, FL

Vic, Lovebug removal tip for Packers fans driving to Florida: Dampen dryer sheets and rub the lovebug corpses off. Make sure to rinse off the car after removal.

Dryer sheets are bugs’ No. 1 enemy.

Graham from Green Bay, WI

Who’s on your Mount Rushmore of … you pick the category?

Broken legs: Tim Krumrie, Joe Theismann, Jack Youngblood and Gino Marchetti.

Emma from Ladysmith, WI

Vic, I’m a young fan. What are some things every fan should know to better help them understand the game of football?

The team with the bigger hammer usually wins.

Adam from Lake City, MN

Vic, did you forget about Mark Moseley when giving your Mt. Rushmore of kickers, or did he just not have that long of a tenured career? You’d think the only kicker to be named NFL MVP would have a place.

It was a strike year, but on a team that included John Riggins, Joe Theismann and all of those great offensive linemen (and a pretty good free safety, too), how could the idiot sportswriters that voted for MVP have selected a kicker? A kicker? Really? A kicker?

Eric from St. Louis, MO

When was the last time you rode a bike?

Yesterday. I take my ride every day shortly after completing “Ask Vic.” It’s 12 miles around the beach.

Tal from Ascot, UK

Who are the best defensive backs that couldn’t catch for their lives?

If Carnell Lake could catch, he’d be in the Hall of Fame.

Andrew from Huxley, IA

Our independence has given us many things, including a voice. I am glad you use your voice to share your experiences and have helped many gain perspective, which I think is especially important as we remember how we got here. Happy Fourth of July weekend!

I feel a surge of patriotism every year at this time. There’s something about fireworks on a hot summer night that make me proud to be an American, and I don’t especially like fireworks. I just love being an American. Let’s unite in our love of country this weekend.


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