Glenn from Muskego, WI
Vic, Terry from Blacksburg, VA, had Johnny U, you had Bobby Layne, and I had Joe Kapp. Any memories or stories about Joe Kapp?
Best scar I’ve ever seen. I would’ve killed for that scar.
Terry from Junction City, WI
What is your day like the first day of training camp? Where are you and what do you do?
I’m along the sideline at Ray Nitschke Field, watching practice for those events that might be newsworthy. It’s no different than any other training camp practice, or even an OTA practice, but it has a distinctly different feel to it. The first practice of training camp for me is an acknowledgment that another season has arrived and I have committed the next six months of my life to it. I would never quit in the middle of the season. That never-quit mentality was embedded in me when I was in high school. Quitters were vilified and humiliated. They suffered a terrible loss of esteem. Once you start this, you must see it through to a conclusion. At some point on Saturday morning, I’ll look around, soak in the feeling and ask myself the big question: How many more?
Zack from Boca Raton, FL
Vic, when did players first start making money playing football and how did it change the game?
This is from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website: “The date was November 12, 1892, a day that would forever be etched in sports history, although no one involved that day could possibly have recognized the importance of the occasion. It was the day that the Allegheny Athletic Association football team defeated the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. The game in itself was not a momentous event. But one of the circumstances of the game did make it a never-to-be-forgotten moment in sports history – one of the AAA players, William (Pudge) Heffelfinger, was openly paid $500 to play the game. Thus pro football made its debut more than 100 years ago in comparatively obscure surroundings that could not possibly have provided the slightest clue to the world-wide popularity the sport would be destined to enjoy, particularly in the waning decades of pro football’s first century.” How did money change the game? It made football real life.
Brady from Melbourne, Australia
Vic, I’m among those who think Jordy Nelson is among the most underrated players in the NFL. When people speak of the best receivers, you hear of Megatron, Green, Bryant, etc., but not often enough do you see Nelson’s name included, which I believe it should be. Do you agree? Who else would you say is underrated?
He’s a wonderful receiver. He’s one of the best boundary receivers I’ve ever covered. Here’s the problem: What teams don’t have a great receiver? Think about all of the outstanding receivers in the league: Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Crabtree, Antonio Brown, Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker, the ones you mentioned, and on and on. How about Josh Gordon? That’s a big loss for Cleveland. How about Randall Cobb? Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones, Andre Johnson and on and on. The game is loaded with underrated receivers because the game is loaded with receivers, and that’s why Jordy Nelson is underrated. Get the big guys early; their supply is limited. You can find your receivers later.
Brett from Green Bay, WI
Vic, I hope you had a good time last night. I wasn’t at “Ask Vic Day,” so could you please give me some highlights?
Dinner was outstanding. Mark Murphy spoke and answered questions. I asked the first question and immediately asked him what it’ll take to bring Brett Favre back to Lambeau Field. Hey, I try to be helpful. Murphy never flinched; he answered the question fully and left little doubt it’ll happen and that the wheels are already turning in that direction. Murphy added that when you consider the state of the franchise when Favre joined the team, he could arguably be considered the greatest player in Packers history. I followed with an “Ask Vic Live.” The questions were fantastic. Then we all went up to the North Balcony, sat under a cloudless sky and watched on the south end zone video board the Packers’ 2013 highlight film, “Next Man Up.” It was followed by the Vince Lombardi “A Football Life” documentary. Not only were there no clouds, there were no bugs. They didn’t dare ruin such a wonderful night. I’ve seen the Lombardi documentary several times, but I’ve never enjoyed it as much or watched it as intently as I did last night. It was magical watching the Lombardi documentary from high above the field he made famous. It was a magical night because of the people that attended. They didn’t come to take, they came to give. As the sun set and stars began to fill the sky, there was an unmistakable feeling that this was a night we would always remember.
Jeremy from Johnson City, TN
With the Packers being in such demand for tickets … why doesn’t the franchise add more seats?
Mark Murphy informed us last night that the downsizing of FedEx Field makes Lambeau Field the second-largest stadium in the league, behind MetLife Stadium. Green Bay, by far the smallest market in the league, has the second-largest stadium in the league, behind New York. Think about that.
Sam from Sparta, WI
If your son scored the winning touchdown, would you smile in the press box?
I’d smile, but nothing more. We need to examine this subject more. We haven’t completely beaten it to death. It’s on the ground and bloody, but I can still see it breathing. Next!
Lance from Chicago, IL
If you were a head coach of an NFL team, what type of coaching style would you use? How effective would that style work in today’s league?
If you’re talking about personality, I’d be as I am in this column. You have to be true to what you are or your players will see through you and dismiss you as a phony. Be demanding but supportive. That would be my coaching personality. If you’re talking about operations, I would clearly want to be in a draft-and-develop system. I would favor young players. In terms of on-the-field style, I would favor a strong running game. If you can’t run the ball, you can’t be physical, and I don’t want to coach a team that isn’t physical.
Michael from Twin Falls, ID
Vic, I love football, and sometimes I really enjoy reading your columns, but sometimes I think you are a little too hard on your readers. It really disturbs me and makes me want to stop reading your columns. I know, you won’t be offended.
Who are the readers? Are you really Michael from Twin Falls? Or could you be Mary from Twin Falls? We don’t require ID to participate in this column. Be anybody you want. If it disturbs you that my response to your question might offend you, then be somebody you aren’t. What I would ask is that you provide your real hometown; readers enjoy seeing the Packers’ reach. “Ask Vic” is “Seinfeld,” and its readers are Elaine, George, Kramer, etc., which is to say characters in the story. “Ask Vic” is about entertainment. This isn’t reality TV. I’m the only real person here. If you wanna take a shot at me, go ahead. I can take it. If you can’t take it, be someone else.
Tom from Schaumburg, IL
Vic, I absolutely loved your response to the ’57 Chevy question. That sequence from “My Cousin Vinny” is one of my favorites of all time. You actually made a grown man giggle.
What does it matter whether that truck is a ’57 or a ’58? Why do we obsess on such unimportant stuff?
Mike from Elm Grove, WI
Can the rest of this week before training camp be appreciate what we have week? Our biggest offseason concern as fans has been when we’re going to retire our (future) Hall of Fame QB’s number.
The rest of this week is officially it’s here, just watch week. Stop worrying about where Ha Ha might fit and how Julius Peppers will be used and whether or not the Packers are strong enough at inside linebacker. All we have to do is watch and we’ll have our answers. It’s go time.
Chuck from Peachland, BC
Vic, regarding renaming Potts Avenue after McCarthy, don’t you think your reporter might have told us who Potts was, what he accomplished, whether he has any family in the area and what they think of it? Potts might have been a more worthy person than McCarthy.
I see what you mean. Critical information is missing from Spofford’s story. I’ve told him to get to the bottom of the ’57 Chevy story first. As soon as he’s done with that, I’ll have him investigate Potts.
Chris from Dallas, WI
Do you think we need a be kind to Vic, he’s fragile week?
No, last Friday was payday. That’s all the kindness I need. Football been bery, bery good to me.
Rick from Appleton, WI
Vic, a lot of fans of the Packers feel the Lambeau Leap is unique among post-touchdown celebrations. I share that feeling because I think it’s uniquely interactive with the fans. It’s as if the player joins the home crowd and cheers with them briefly. What’s your opinion of it? Are we just being homers?
I’m fine with it for one big reason: It’s a joyous celebration. It’s not something sinister. It doesn’t taunt anyone. It’s a happy moment. Instead of the player feigning anger by standing in the end zone and scowling at the crowd as he pulls down his chinstrap, the player leaps joyously into the crowd. It’s winsome.
Gary from Kingsburg, CA
Do you sense the same quiet confidence I sense in this team, its draft, coaches and starters?
I don’t have a sense about this team, yet. I’ll get that over the next several weeks. What I do have is a sense for what its fans are feeling, and I sense anxiety. I sense this fan base has fingered this season as a win-it-all season. I think they have an expectation that can only be satisfied by winning the Super Bowl, and I think they know what a daunting task that is and that’s why they’re anxious. Am I right?
Ben from Madison, WI
Does the increased emphasis on illegal contact and defensive holding calls favor zone coverage? Doesn’t zone coverage invite more big hits over the middle?
When I read about the emphasis, I thought to myself: They don’t get it. What I mean by that is the more open space you create, the more you invite the big hit. You’re right, defensive coordinators will likely play more zone coverage, and that’ll create more open space in the secondary and invite more run-up collisions. It’s the exact opposite of what I think should be done to promote player safety. I favor a rule that would result in defenders running back, instead of up.
Chad from Kenosha, WI
“I was interviewing a young man who had been hit in the head with a javelin. He struggled to speak. So did I.” Just about the funniest thing I have ever read from you. Keep up the good work and keep us smiling.
I’m going to take the blame on this; I failed to convey my message. The incident to which I was referring involved a young man who had suffered a permanent head injury that caused him to lose much of his ability to speak. It was an incident that resulted in the javelin being discontinued in a lot of track-and-field competitions. I wasn’t aware of his speech difficulties until the interview began, and it shook me that I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I found myself scribbling notes just to hide my embarrassment. It’s one of those moments you never forget. It’s one of those moments that shapes you as a reporter. All of a sudden, no cheering in the press box was no problem.
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