Nathan from Cleveland, OH
Vic, been a regular reader for a year or two now and I just wanted to say the uncorrected fan question was one of the funniest things I have seen in a while. Getting down to more serious business, what is your least favorite uniform currently in use in the league?
It’s the Browns’ uniform, and not so much because I dislike the design, but because a heritage team is wearing it. I think the Browns abandoned their great tradition when they decided to wear that uniform. I don’t see Jim Brown anymore. I don’t see Otto Graham lofting deep passes, or Marion Motley losing his helmet and continuing to run. I don’t hear the thunderous sound of the crowd coming to its feet in old Cleveland Stadium as Eric Metcalf turned the corner on his second punt return for a touchdown vs. the Steelers in 1993. I don’t feel the chill coming off Lake Erie as night fell on a big late-season game with Christmas on the way. That new uniform represents nothing about the Browns I love, or even hate, which is certainly represented by the clinking sound of those bottles hitting the ground in 2001. One of my best friends is running the show in Cleveland now, and if he asks my opinion on the subject, I’ll give it to him: Get rid of those uniforms and put on the all-whites that always have been and always will be the identity of the Cleveland Browns.
Tim from Asheville, NC
Vic, I’d like to learn more about the mechanics of the Packers’ draft room. Who’s in the room? Is there a lot of discussion before each pick? Is it a quiet environment with everyone watching Ted? Are there a lot of people working phones or is there just one phone in the room? Any insight is appreciated.
You’ve got the idea. What’s most important to understand is the people who belong in that room – scouts, coaches, etc. – have spent countless hours in that room discussing what they’ll do on draft day, before they enter that room on draft day. On draft day, what happens in that room has already been planned. Every team goes into its draft room on draft day with a short list of targets. If you’re making surprise picks on draft day, you haven’t done your homework. The movie “Draft Day” is a nice drama, but it’s over the top.
Wayne from Milwaukee, WI
When is the NFL going to make singers sing the “National Anthem” or “America” like it is written? Stop angering us veterans and disrespecting our nation.
I would agree; it’s a victim of too much adaptation and personal expression.
Weston from Genoa City, WI
Do the Packers need to find a chaser or a thumper at inside linebacker?
If Clay Matthews moves to outside linebacker, the Packers will be losing a chaser. I think they need to replace a chaser with a chaser. Barrington and Ryan can thump. Maybe they can chase, too, but to be on the safe side, I’d like to see the Packers find an inside backer that can find the ball forward, backward and sideways. That’s what Matthews did, and that kind of player is a playmaker. Who doesn’t need a playmaker? I think this draft class offers a supply of playmakers.
Jacob from Evanston, IL
Vic, aside from your distaste for the word “that,” are there other words or turns of phrase that bug you? My pet peeve is when people say on accident, as opposed to by accident.
The word notoriety is terribly misused, and TV broadcasters are the worst violators. A player known for his successful play has not achieved notoriety. A player infamous for his misbehavior has achieved notoriety because he is notorious for committing ill acts. Scoring a touchdown is not an ill act.
Jace from Eagle, ID
Vic, you recently answered a question from Coeur d’alene (with the apostrophe), Idaho. I’m a born and bred Packers fan from Idaho. Just curious; have you ever visited this great state?
Where is the capital A? I have never set foot on Idaho soil. If I did, I would want to land in Coeur d’Alene.
Jordan from Ames, IA
Vic, how many teams do you think currently have “The Man”?
“The Man” is defined by the investment and commitment made in him. Ultimately, he will define the term by his performance. Based on investment and commitment, it’s my opinion every team in the league except the Browns, Bills, Broncos, 49ers and Rams have “The Man.”
Saul from Washington, DC
Given Jaylon Smith’s injury situation, would you consider the selection of him as luxury and need meeting?
What’s the need? I don’t know of any teams in need of a season-ending injury. Given the belief Smith won’t be able to play this season, I would consider him a luxury-pick prospect. You’re drafting him for the future and with the belief he’ll make a full recovery from surgery. What must be understood about Smith’s situation is the guy you’re drafting is not the player you evaluated, so you can’t possibly have an accurate grade on him.
Josh from Chicago, IL
Vic, it seems to be a good year for teams picking in the second half of the first round. Do you agree?
Tony Pauline thinks the first fall off is after pick 15. He also thinks there are 35 players in this draft worthy of a first-round selection. Yes, I would agree with your opinion. The second half of the first round will provide a lot of options.
David from Coeur d’Alene, ID
Vic, you owe me an apology. Try putting an apostrophe in the city box and it will be rejected by your computer system. Tell your IT people to fix the problem on your end and I will gladly use the correct punctuation for the name of my hometown!
I certainly do owe you an apology, and I thank you, the IT folks and the missing apostrophe for causing me to know more about Coeur d’Alene than I would’ve otherwise ever known. It’s a beautiful place. It’s prettier than Natrona.
Mathew from Castleton, NY
Has a professional sport ever had to endure the fast-paced changes the NFL has been forced to make? If so, did the sport become more or less popular during these changes?
Baseball experienced a dramatic change when it transitioned from the dead ball era to the live ball era. The sport was coming out of the Black Sox scandal and it needed to become something new. The home run did it.
Chris from Fort Myers, FL
Vic, some tend to think you pontificate, others think you acculturate. Am I being articulate or do we need to adjudicate?
I think you perseverate.
Pete from Perham, MN
Vic, was the XFL the worst attempt at a pro football league you have ever seen?
Yes. I don’t know what the intent of it was. Did they actually think they were going to bully the NFL into a merger with that miserable product? Who created that ridiculous slogan about your father’s football? It immediately alienated all of the fathers who like football. Was it an attempt to market the game to kids who didn’t like their fathers and could afford to buy a ticket? Instead of starting that league, the owners should’ve just donated the money they would lose to charity.
Mike from Abrams, WI
I’m headed to Pittsburgh for a conference in a couple of weeks but will have time to visit my ancestors’ neighborhood, Polish Hill. What attractions do you recommend I visit to capture the essence of the area?
The babushka museum?
Mike from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, what is the marker for measuring how great a GM is?
In my opinion, it’s all about a team being a playoff contender year in and year out.
Benjamin from Plattsmouth, NE
Ketchman, tell me about your time in high school football. What did you learn from playing?
I learned about me. I learned where my courage ended and my cowardice began. It taught me what I had to overcome.