Bruce from Alexandria, VA
I was absolutely shocked to hear booing coming from the crowd at Lambeau. Have our fans forgotten what it means to support their team? During times of struggle is when our support should be at its highest. It’s all fun and games when we are winning and it all looks easy, but the reality is we are in a fight and that type of behavior is demoralizing, even for professionals. I am saddened we have become so selfish and thoughtless. This team can still get it together and fix these woes. Can the fans do the same? As you say, help is not on the way.
I blame it on expectations. They’ve created frustration that is now causing embarrassment for the most supportive fan base in football. It’s a terrible shame, and it’s why I rail so much on the subject of expectations and their unintended consequences. I feel the same way about this higher standard issue. We need to come off that, too, because it’s causing an unfair standard for the players. You can’t always will yourself to make winning happen. Sometimes the pursuit of it has to be long and painful. That’s when patience must prevail. I think it’s time for the most supportive fan base in football to lower its expectations and act more humbly. It’ll help ease frustration and provide the patience this team needs as it tries to fix whatever’s wrong.
Arohit from Walsall, England
Vic, it’s amazing that in the space of a month we’ve gone from talking about the Packers going undefeated, to whether they will reach the playoffs.
One of my favorite coaches, Johnny Majors, was fond of saying it’s a short trip from the penthouse to the outhouse. It’s a short trip back, too. It can happen for this team. Belief and patience are required.
Pat from Collierville, TN
I was not able to see the game yesterday, but looking at the boxscore it seems the passing offense is not getting down the field. If you take out each receiver’s longest catch, they only average about two yards per catch. This seems to be the problem, not getting yards after the catch. Have you noticed this?
Yes, that’s the problem, and I think everyone knows it. Watch how your opponents attack you. They’ll tell you what’s wrong. Load the box to stop the run against Aaron Rodgers and a pass offense that was once unstoppable? I think we all know what that means.
Chris from Green Bay, WI
A simple question but I’m sure not an easy question to answer. What is wrong with the Packers and what do they have to do to fix it? Is it Aaron Rodgers? Is it our receivers not producing good routes and catches? Is it the play-calling and play-caller? We all knew there would be a day the Lions would beat the Packers at Lambeau. It should have been with a rookie quarterback under center after Aaron’s retirement party 10 years from now.
The problem is a lack of explosiveness in the passing game. It’s the coaches’ problem to fix. They’ll do it. How they do it is the intrigue to this season.
Brenda from Waurika, OK
Vic, I heard a lot of fans trying to boost our teams’ confidence by booing them. I found that more embarrassing than the way the Packers were playing. What’s your opinion of a team’s fans booing their own team?
Cheers turn to boos and boos turn quickly back to cheers, and all is right with the world again, except something is lost: innocence. Booing is an act of betrayal, and betrayal is terribly hurtful. Did we forget about a man playing on one leg and nearly leading the Packers to the Super Bowl? Shouldn’t that act of courage and dedication buy a few hours of forgiveness? We need to check ourselves.
Nick from Toronto, Canada
Much respect to Aaron for calling out the fans who made those comments during the moment of silence. That is perspective.
It would’ve been easy to have brushed off the question. Most of us were behind the press box glass and didn’t hear anything. Instead, Aaron Rodgers volunteered a full and heartfelt response to the question. Clearly, what he heard disturbed him. I like that. It’s good to know the leader of this team is a man of social conscience.
Nathan from Dubuque, IA
Vic, I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of maybe one issue that has been plaguing the Packers. Although I don’t think it’s one thing, I think the loss of Jordy Nelson has been a bigger impact than we thought. Maybe it’s time to play more Perillo, Abbrederis and Janis and see what some hardly used, hungry players can do?
The young receivers on this team, which includes Davante Adams, Richard Rodgers and Ty Montgomery, will likely determine the fate of this team.
Andrew from Jacksonville, FL
The throat lumps are the reason I love this column (and continued reading daily after you left Jacksonville). Sometimes your words and stories, or your readers’, so perfectly capture what I love about football and give me that feeling, but often it’s the ones about life – Jonas Salk giving sunshine away for free, Mean Joe Greene carrying his coach to his final resting place, the family on the beach spreading their loved one’s ashes – that really make me pause. Thank you for cultivating a place where all of us in the fraternity of football can talk about and gain perspective for our love of football and life.
We need each other now more than ever.
Jessi from Sterling, KS
Packers fans love to quote Lombardi. However, they seem to always focus on winning quotes. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love to see their team win? But that’s not why I love football or the Packers. As much as we humans like to think we control all, we don’t. I think we have some conditional fan support going on. If this is how some Packers fans are about the team, I don’t think I’d like being a family member, spouse or friend on those conditions.
Packers fans are not conditional in their support. What happened yesterday is a result of the misery of the moment. I can forgive it, but shouldn’t we be stronger than to be overwhelmed by the moment?
Nicola from Orlando, FL
Vic, how do you feel about your job? Do you really believe you can impartially judge those who pay your salary?
Actually, that’s a question you need to answer. If you have any doubt about my integrity as a reporter, you should never again read anything that bears my name.
Darrell from Cedar Park, TX
Do you think that little pocket on all the coaches’ sleeves would be a perfect place to keep the thing?
Not really. The thing should be put in a drawer somewhere so you have it when you don’t need it. You know, I don’t like those coats with the pockets on the sleeves. Actually, it’s not the coat I dislike, it’s the fact everybody is wearing it. I turn on a college game and both sidelines are wearing that coat. I turn on an NFL game … same thing. That’s a little too close for my taste. I’d like to see each team have its own distinctive sideline gear. I get the sponsorship-money thing, but what’s the cost of uniformity? It’s dull and lacks personality. Every day, at least twice a day, I walk through a door at Lambeau Field that, just inside the door, a picture hangs of Coach Lombardi. He’s wearing a fedora that’s covered in some kind of clear wrap to protect it from the rain. It was Lombardi’s hat. He bought it. Halas had a different kind of hat. I miss that.
Carter from Cross Plains, WI
Your response to the man with polio from the ’50s tells me a great deal about you. You are a good man with the right perspective.
Every classroom had a kid with crutches in it. You don’t forget that kind of fear.
Tim from Denver, CO
Do you really send a thing to the readers you say you’re going to send a thing to, or is that just a thing?
I’m gonna send you a thing.
Adam from Niagara, WI
Vic, I think a campaign to “Light up Green Bay” for the team when they return home would be an awesome idea.
I’m all for it. I’d love to see this team return from Minnesota next Sunday to porch lights celebrating a victory. We need something good to happen. First, we have to believe it will.
Carl from Mansfield, OH
Vic, I hope the players heard the boos on Sunday at Lambeau Field. I think the winsome fans are getting tired of this kind of performance. Worst Packers performance I have seen since the 1970s.
I’m going to be here all week, Carl. It’s going to be a tough week, but we’ll get through it.
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