Sam from St. Paul, MN

Are you surprised by the relative lack of interest in college football here in the Upper Midwest?

I don’t sense a lack of interest in college football up there, but it’s not the equal of the passion for college football in the South. Why? Because the Upper Midwest and the Northeast are the cradle of professional football. The South didn’t have a team other than the Redskins until the mid-’60s. Eventually, the NFL will win in the South, too, because the NFL wins everywhere it goes. The NFL’s first try in Dallas resulted in that team leaving for Hershey, Pa., in midseason. In 1960, the NFL returned to Dallas with more resolve. The Cowboys were born at the height of the Southwest Conference’s popularity. All these years later, the Cowboys are one of the top brands in all of sports and the SWC is gone.

John from Eagan, MN

Vic, color me crazy, but I am looking forward to what the Packers’ color rush uniforms will look like. Am I in the minority?

You are part of a majority that can’t stop thinking about it.

Eric from Scottsdale, AZ

Saw the “30 for 30” special on the USFL. What was your take on spring football?

It was working. It was going to force a merger. Donald Trump quit too soon. He let his partners down.

Margo from Bloomington, IL

Vic, I’m hoping you can settle a disagreement at my house. My husband thinks it’s a total waste of time when I clean the mower after using it. He never cleans it off. Who’s right?

You’re right, Margo. Why change the oil if you don’t clean the deck? If you let that thick, wet grass build up around the wheels, you’re going to get deck rot. Now you got an engine purring like a kitten, but sitting on wheels that are falling off. It’s a tough choice, new lawn mower or new husband. Do you want your deck to rot, Margo?

Ron from Downers Grove, IL

Not so much a question as a comment. It seems to me Gronkowski, for example, the modern day party boy, in the mold of Max McGee and Paul Hornung, is a counter-example for those who don’t think the NFL has any colorful characters. He is a whole lot of colorful, even doing ballet.

Yeah, Gronk is good for the game. I’ve come to warm to him, but I’ll confess to a little edge against him in the beginning, and I’ll explain why. His father moved the kid into a Pittsburgh high school for his senior year, to put him into a more competitive brand of high school football and increase his exposure to college recruiters. It tilted the field, of course, and that bothered me. There was something mercenary about it and I didn’t like it, especially in something as innocent and pure as high school football.

Jon from Omaha, NE

If you are a Broncos fan, it was worth it. Winning the title was worth selling the future. Vic, what makes me cringe, is thinking about all the hiring and firing that is to come for that team. The outcry from the fans, “Why can't we win?” I can hear them now. Some of them will have perspective and will adore their Super Bowl plaques, t-shirts and coffee mugs. Those are the fans, I believe, that write into this column. Keep up the great work, Vic.

After that outcry begins, let me know if you still think it’s worth it.

Matthew from Mount Pleasant, WI

Vic, if we win on Thursday, do you predict more of our fans will approve of the uniforms?

Yeah, but should the Packers lose that game, the blame that will rain down on those uniforms and the NFL for mandating them will turn this column into “Fail Mary, Part II.”

Nicholas from Holtsville, NY

How can I have the best Packers experience at the opening game in Jacksonville?

Go to Jacksonville Beach the day before the game. The bars on First St. will be loaded with Packers fans. Just don’t cross that line onto the boardwalk with a container in your hand, or you won’t have a good time.

Morgan from Fort Collins, CO

So what kept Ken Anderson from being one of the greats?

Joe Greene. By the way, Kenny told me a great story involving Joe and missing the Bengals bus to the airport. One day, I might tell that story in this column.

[Related - Cliff Christl: Kids had their own section for nearly 30 years]

Chris from Marshfield, WI

Vic, are you excited to visit the Vikings new stadium? What makes for a good press box?

A press box is only as good as its elevator. A bad press box with a big, fast elevator is a great press box. A great press box with a small, slow elevator is a bad press box. A great press box with great hot dogs and a big, fast elevator is home, because there’s no place like home.

Tom from La Crosse, WI

If you were a player and could choose your jersey number, what would it be and why?

My number would be 22 and I would ask for long sleeves so I could wipe my bloody nose on them, which is what Bobby Layne did.

Steven from Racine, WI

What is a possibly underrated position group on the Packers that will surprise us? For example, I think the linebackers will be improved.

I think the Packers might have the best group of cornerbacks in the league.

Paul from De Pere, WI

So is Brady the best QB ever?

He’s in my top three.

Jeff from Sun Prairie, WI

Your column yesterday was genius. I don’t know what it was but everything fit into place beautifully. I think the offseason questions far outweigh the questions in the regular season. Keep up the good work.

We dig deeper in the offseason. We scratch places we didn’t know itched.

Brian from Superior, WI

Vic, you missed the boat on having thin skin because of drinking water. Didn’t you see Wisconsin had 12 of the top 20 drunkest cities in the U.S., including Appleton and Green Bay in the top three? The only water involved is from the ice in the glass!

So that’s what’s in those water bottles.

Vincent from Seattle, WA

Vic, are the Jags cursed? For the second straight year, the Jags’ top draft pick suffers a knee injury in OTAs.

Jalen Ramsey underwent microfracture surgery in high school. Why didn’t we know that until now? Come on, Mel.

Mark from Amarillo, TX

Vic, I was viewing the photo spread of Aaron Rodgers published on the site. Something struck me as odd. Rodgers has his thumb on his left hand curled in his palm on almost every throw, and many times has his hand almost balled into a fist. It seems like almost every other quarterback has their non-throwing hand with all the digits completely extended. Has anyone ever asked about it?

I hadn’t noticed it and I don’t recall it being asked, but if it’s intentional I can certainly understand the reason: He doesn’t want to get his fingers broken. I think the question might be: When was he taught to do this? Is this a Jeff Tedford thing? Hey, Spoff, get to the bottom of this, please.

Willie from Hayward, WI

I missed the point of the Bryce Petty reference in “Ask Vic” on Thursday. Why would you want him to play Madden with Tom and Todd?

This column probably isn’t right for you.

Nathan from Phoenix, AZ

Vic, is the size of a playbook an advantage or a disadvantage? If one rookie has to learn a litany of plays that might never even be used, and another rookie has to learn a small core of plays that will be used in every game, who has the advantage?

A playbook is only as good as the men who execute it. Lou Holtz won a national title at Notre Dame with six plays. If a seventh play would’ve lessened the execution of the first six, the seventh play would’ve put the Irish at a disadvantage.

Jon from Appleton, WI

So, have the color rush questions fallen below 25 percent, yet? Oh, wait...

The volume is actually increasing. It’s up to you, folks. I’ll stop when you do.

John from Aldie, VA

What team in the NFC North will be the most challenging this coming season and why?

The Vikings because they are the defending champions. They’re the target.

Lee from Brooklyn, NY

Vic, how does homefield advantage differ from sport to sport? Is it always about noise and atmosphere? I was watching the basketball game last night and the noise didn’t seem to have the same influence it does in football.

I think it’s the same in all sports, not because it lessens the performance of the visiting team, but because it heightens the performance of the home team. Playing at home increases the home team’s comfort level. The home team draws increased energy from its fans and an atmosphere that is orchestrated entirely for the home team’s gain.

Robert from Albuquerque, NM

The media actually is to blame for the players holding back so much these days. They cater to the minority, a very loud minority. They cover controversy in a very loud fashion, which in turn gets the loud minority riled up.

It’s not a minority. If it was a minority, the media wouldn’t bother with it.

Matt from Hartford, WI

I read somewhere that Lombardi changed the Redskins helmets to yellow after moving to Washington. He branded the Packers when he arrived with a “G” logo, rebranded the Redskins logo from the iconic maroon and gold spear to a red and mustard “R” logo. I don’t understand what Lombardi was trying to do? Establish a new identity? Those Redskins uniforms were eerily similar to the Packers and not as classy as the maroon spear.

It’s common for coaches to do that. When Paul Brown founded the Bengals, their uniforms were eerily similar to the Browns. When former Steelers defensive line coach George Perles took the head coaching job at Michigan State, he took the “S” off the left side of the helmet and left it on the right side only. The bottom line is uniform designs, especially those worn in victory, become the identity of everyone associated with them. Lombardi was in the process of turning Washington into Green Bay east.

Darren from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

To me, it matters. I have enough stress during the day. It matters to have a place for respite, to share in something fun/enjoyable with a community of others. How is it most meaningful for you, Vic?

I awaken every morning to an explosion of friendship. Why would I want to sleep in?


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