Owen from Tampa, FL

It’s pretty remarkable to think about how differently these two Super Bowl teams were built. The Panthers are almost completely draft-and-develop, aside from a few small acquisitions (Cotchery, Oher). On the other hand, the Broncos have signed more big-name free agents than anyone else in the last few years. Manning, Sanders, Ware, Talib and Ward are all talents that are rarely found in free agency. They’ve even changed coaches since their Super Bowl appearance two years ago. I guess the moral of the story is just win, baby.

You can do it this way or you can do it that way, but I prefer the Panthers’ way because I like their future better than the Broncos’. The Panthers took care of their future, and the future is now taking care of the present.

Don from Albuquerque, NM

Henry Hunter mania is here! I still think it was coaching insanity not to get Janis more involved earlier in the season. Shouldn’t coaches find ways to utilize a player’s elite skills despite his limitations?

Maybe they did.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Vic, expectations were very high for the Packers’ 2015 season. Then we lost Jordy and had all the offensive line injuries. Is there still good reasons to hope big for next season?

As long as a team has “The Man,” a good roster to support him, a healthy salary cap and a full complement of draft picks, there is always hope for next season.

Sergio from San Jose, CA

Vic, what do you think about Rodney Harrison saying he would take out Cam?

I didn’t hear him say it, but it would be an example of the culture that needs to be changed.

Keith from Greendale, WI

Vic, do you think fans take football too seriously these days?

There’s nothing wrong with being passionate about a hobby or leisure activity, as long as it’s kept in perspective. If a loss worsens your life, you’re taking football too seriously. Let’s celebrate the Super Bowl, not bemoan it.

Bernie from Chesterfield, VA

Vic, is it possible to blow up your cap for one year in an effort to win it all, but then bring it back in line the following years?

Years? Yeah, but I’m not willing to give up years of entertainment for one year of potential joy. That’s not a formula for franchise health or fan satisfaction, especially if you don’t achieve joy in that one year.

Eric from Appleton, WI

Vic, if you could pick any football player’s career, who would you choose and why?

I’d love to say Joe Namath, but I lack the personality to enjoy the life he led. Bart Starr is my answer, because I would love to trot to the sideline prior to the biggest play in franchise history, look Coach Lombardi in the eye and say, “This is what we’re going to run.” It is the most courageous call in football history.

Nick from Seattle, WA

Vic, would a versatile, pass-catching running back fit into the Packers’ offensive scheme? I really like Kenyan Drake as a potential draft prospect for the Packers.

You’re describing a complementary or change-of-pace back, which is what James Starks has been to Eddie Lacy. If Starks is allowed to leave in free agency, the Packers will need a replacement. Drake would be a candidate.

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, I remember a time when players were drafted and had to ride the bench for a few years before they even touched the field. Seems like teams want these fresh-out-of-college players to produce right away. Is there any truth or insight to that statement?

It’s difficult to commit a big chunk of your salary cap to players who don’t contribute. In the salary cap era, you have to be willing to let players leave, as the Packers allowed Tramon Williams and Davon House to leave in free agency last year, and that demands rookies such as Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins to be immediate contributors. The cap runs your team.

Jim from Wauwatosa, WI

Last year, when the Broncos let John Fox go, you said “maybe they got tired of winning.” Now that Denver is playing in the Super Bowl, what are your thoughts on this matter?

Players, not plays.

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

Vic, are you familiar with the concept behind Gallup’s “Strengthfinder” book that says to be your best you have to focus more on continuing to improve your strengths instead of trying to correct your weaknesses? Do you think that philosophy could be applied to draft strategy?

I am not familiar with that book. My book, as it would pertain to the draft, would be about value. Always seek value in the draft. I think that’s the key. Now and then, you’ll hit a home run buying a pair of dress pants, but don’t pass up a good pair of khakis at a bargain price. Khakis give your closet depth and versatility.

Nathan from Phoenix, AZ

Vic, I’m 26 and don’t know much about Pete Rozelle, but you make him sound like a true leader. How do you think he would have fared in today’s NFL with such a high level of pressure and expectation from fans and media?

Pete guided the NFL through the most pressure-packed and critical years of its existence. He took two leagues of owners that hated each other and bonded them into a group of men dedicated to leaguethink. Today’s challenges are tame compared to what Pete faced.

Mike from Sussex, WI

Not like we’ll ever see it happen, just because of the age the player would be, but is there technically a rule against a player deciding to play in the NFL after being voted into the Hall of Fame?

No, and that’s why we need the five-year waiting rule. We need to make sure he’s truly retired, so he doesn’t come back and stain his career. I wish Joe Gibbs had not returned to coaching.

Dick from Oceanside, CA

No one wants your Super Bowl prediction and score. Why don’t you just go back to Pittsburgh, or wherever you came from?

OK.

Ryan from Baileys Harbor, WI

Vic, is there cheering allowed in your personal press box? I imagine you in a recliner, feet up, with a bowl of popcorn. What’s the game-time snack?

There is no cheering in my “press box.” I like to watch without interruption. Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll fire up the grill –  old-fashioned charcoal and lighter fluid; I love the way it lights up the second time you put the juice on it – and cook some burgers for a pregame meal. I’ll putz around outside at halftime. I enjoy an adult beverage of a quiet nature during the game. I hope everyone in the “Ask Vic” family will enjoy the big game in their own special way.


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