James from New York, NY

Who was the first player to celebrate in a way similar to how they do today? Did it begin with the spike?

Yes, it was Homer Jones.

Matthew from Honey Brook, PA

Vic, it seems like “The Man” is making framework for drama for many teams. Have you ever witnessed such a wild start to a season, in reference to the position?

Tony Romo is out, now Ben Roethlisberger is probably out, and there will be more stars of the game sidelined by injury. Injury is the No. 1 story in the NFL. It was No. 1 in the preseason, and it is early in the regular season, too. This is the state of the game in 2015. The more we attempt to protect the players, the more games they miss due to injury. I don’t have stats on that opinion; that’s just my perception. Yet, injuries are something fans never consider in the offseason when they create depth charts and crown teams mythical champions. I got questions in the offseason asking me how many catches I thought Jordy Nelson would make in 2015. What if I had said none? Imagine the uproar. I don’t know how the league can reduce injuries without radically changing the game. I think we just have to accept the inevitability of injury, and that makes it more important than ever for fans to be in control of their emotions, so they can battle the frustration that accompanies the loss of the one player every team in the league can’t afford to lose.

Brian from Kingston, NY

Vic, watching football these past few weeks has been pretty frustrating as a fan. It feels like every single play there’s a penalty flag thrown, and about 10 percent of the time the flag is picked up and no foul is attributed. I just want to see teams play football, not a flag-throwing contest. When is this going to be fixed?

I’ll consider your question rhetorical. Yes, there are too many stoppages in the action. The flow of the game has been lost, and replay review is a major culprit. We have become slaves to replay. We use it to officiate the game. We use it to analyze the game. I saw a long, sustained, uninterrupted opening drive on Sunday. It was wonderful. We need more of them.

David from Prophetstown, IL

Vic, there seem to be a ton of lopsided games so far this year. What gives? Are some teams simply more prepared and conditioned than others?

It’s common early in the season; it’s been that way forever. When one player or one phase of a team is naturally dominant, opponents will struggle early in the season to cope with that player or phase. That’ll level as the season progresses, as players and teams improve their play. I’m wondering if someone is going to learn how to block Aaron Donald. I don’t want to say something I’ll regret later, but if this keeps up, I’m gonna say it. Every scout that said he was too small should stop and ask himself: What was I thinking? The guy won every major award in college, and dominated at the Senior Bowl and at the scouting combine. The Rams deserve a major pat on the back for this one.

James from Brooklyn, NY

I just read an article that claims it is unfair for the offense to lose possession when a runner fumbles it out of the end zone. The NFL’s Dean Blandino is apparently going to look into this. What do you think?

It’s the harshest rule in the books, and it’s particularly harshest, in my opinion, when it involves the pylon. A player reaches the ball out to touch the pylon, which would be a touchdown, but if the ball begins to move in his hand and he loses control of it as he’s touching the ball to the pylon, it’s a touchback. The offense might have just driven the ball the length of the field, but the ball now belongs to the defense at its 20. It’s loss of possession and a 20-yard penalty against the offense. I would favor changing this rule; I have for a long time. If anything, give the ball to the defense at its 1-yard line.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

Who is the coolest quarterback of all time, in his ability to remain calm in the pocket and not take heat?

Tom Brady and Dan Marino are the best I’ve seen.

Eric from Mequon, WI

How cool would it be if the NFC North and homefield advantage came down to the Vikings at Green Bay game on Jan. 3?

The way the Vikings are playing is no surprise to me. I saw this coming late last season. Mike Zimmer is a good man and he’s an outstanding coach. He has the Vikings playing great defense. This is my rivalry. This is the one I like.

Mike from Las Vegas, NV

With tonight’s game upon us, could you explain to our younger readers how significant halftime highlights were on Monday Night Football back in the ’70s? Boy, how times have changed.

Times have changed because Howard Cosell made halftime highlights so popular, now we’re inundated with them. By the time last night’s game began, there was no highlight from any game played yesterday afternoon I hadn’t see enough times to never want to see it again as long as I live. I can remember from Week 1 having seen the highlight of Travis Kelce’s punch-the-ball touchdown celebration so many times that I had to look away when they showed it again. If there’s one thing in America we don’t need, it’s another football highlights show.

Seth from Kenosha, WI

Have you ever heard of the field catching fire like it did in St. Louis?

How about the Jaguars mascot’s head catching fire? The guy inside that head suffered severe burns. Pyrotechnics indoors? Really? Have we lost our minds? Are we that desperate for entertainment?

Bryce from Iron Mountain, MI

We better be careful, Vic. The Chiefs will obviously be coming into Lambeau looking to get revenge for Super Bowl I.

The Chiefs will be coming into Lambeau Field knowing they have what it takes to win against a great quarterback. They have a powerful pass rush and running game. That’s the formula. Knock him off the spot and keep him on the bench. So, everybody, let’s get ready for some football, because I think we’re gonna really see some tonight.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

If you had to paint a painting that represents the Green Bay Packers, what would it look like?

It would be a picture of Lambeau Field, filled with fans wearing green and gold. All the faces would be happy faces, and some of them would be famous faces: Vince Lombardi, Curly Lambeau, Bart Starr, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, etc. Did I paint a good picture?

Dale from Sheboygan, WI

Three weeks in and we still don’t know much about this league.

You’re right, yet, my inbox is full of fans trying to rush to judgment. The landscape of the league changes weekly. A team can dominate all season, but one injury can make that team ordinary. We need to remember this next March and April, when everybody is panicked to address need. Are you sure you know what those needs will be. The Cowboys and Steelers have need at quarterback. Who saw that coming?

 

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