Brianne from Atlanta, GA
Vic, I like the way your writing is straight to the point and never wishy-washy. I’d like to know if you are ever afraid you could accidentally say something to get you in trouble, since we seem to be living in an overly sensitive world nowadays.
The answer is emphatically yes.
Phil from Las Vegas, NV
Vic, I was watching the Raiders play the Dolphins in a 1974 playoff game and I think I heard the announcer say the NFL didn’t seed teams by their records, but by what would be the most intriguing game. Did I hear him correctly?
That’s not how teams were seeded. They were seeded on a division rotation basis. I believe the West had homefield advantage in ’74, which is the reason the Raiders hosted the Dolphins and Steelers. The Central had homefield advantage in 1972, which is the reason the Dolphins played the AFC title game in Pittsburgh. The wild-card team was the fourth team in the playoffs and it couldn’t play a home game. The formula was changed in 1975, when teams began being seeded according to their record and a tie-breaking process.
Grant from Dubuque, IA
Vic, I just watched “Rudy” for the first time. Can you suggest any other football movies worth watching?
Football has never lent itself to movie-making, as baseball and boxing have. “Rudy” is OK; it’s a good kids movie. I took my sons to see it; they were young. On the way home, the youngest one asked where Notre Dame was, and began asking curious questions. I could tell the movie hit home with him. A couple of weeks later, an autographed picture of Lou Holtz arrived in our mail box. There’s something about the Notre Dame magic that gets into a young boy’s soul.
J.M. from Ottawa, Ontario
Who were the five best quarterbacks in the 1960s and where would you put Bart Starr in that list?
1) Unitas, 2) Starr, 3) Namath, 4) Jurgensen, 5) Dawson.
Alex from Myrtle Beach, SC
Matt Rotheram seems like the type of player the Packers would love to develop. What do you see as his upside? Does he make the 53-man roster?
You’re too far out ahead of the story. He’s an undrafted player with impressive size, and he played in an outstanding rushing offense. That’s where it is right now.
Scotty from Chicago, IL
Vic, what was Forbes Field like to watch a game?
It was terrible. It was worse than Wrigley Field. It made County Stadium look like it was made for football. One entire side of the field at Forbes Field was without seats. If you were sitting behind home plate, you had to watch the game through a screen. The angles made the poles an obstacle for nearly all the seats that were under cover, but if you were sitting in front of the poles, you were too low to see through the bodies along the sideline. That’s what it was like for pro football in the old days. It was a second-class citizen to baseball.
Teg from San Luis Obispo, CA
Do you see November on the schedule this year as the “big push,” as Lombardi used to say?
The Packers will play five times in November, and three of those games are against the other three teams in the NFC North. Three games are on the road, including games in Denver and Carolina, two teams expected to be in the playoff hunt. November could very well define the season.
Brian from Yakima, WA
What started the violence in the Raiders and Steelers games back in the ’70s?
It’s a little-known fact Raiders tight end Bob Moore was injured in a melee outside the Raiders’ hotel the night before the “Immaculate Reception” game. A pep rally had turned into what was described as a riot. Maybe that’s what started the hate.
James from Philadelphia, PA
Do you think the Lombardi sweep will ever be reinstated in the playbook again?
I don’t know what’s in the playbook, but the “Packers Sweep” is a slow-developing play in a penetrate-and-disrupt game; that’s why it’s not suited for today’s game. What if the league outlaws three- and four-point stances? That could change things.
Eric from Lancaster, CA
Vic, are you concerned that wearing Packers garb during video segments will give people the perception you are not going to be completely unbiased in your coverage of the team?
You’ll see no change in my writing style. My hope is the reader will use that as his gauge.
Nic from Milwaukee, WI
I recently watched the 1975 AFC title game, and it didn’t disappoint. The game was certainly more violent, and based on field position (no one would punt from the opponent’s 30-yard line in today’s game), but what really stuck out to me were the advertisements: new car batteries that no longer required maintenance. You used to have to add water to your car battery?
Yeah, and it was common to carry fuses in the glove compartment because you never knew when they’d blow.
Wayne from Williamsburg, VA
I’ve watched film of the Colts vs. Giants 1958 title game and was very impressed by the business-like approach to the game on the field by both defense and offense. If a player scored, he simply dropped the ball and walked off the field. A tackler simply got up and walked back to the defensive huddle. At what point did hot-dogging become so acceptable in the NFL?
When Homer Jones spiked the ball.
Tom from Bismarck, ND
Imagine never hearing John Facenda or, heaven forbid, Ray Scott. And Lindsey Nelson, Bob Prince, Jack Buck. Who were your favorites, Vic?
Prince was the most deliciously irreverent person I have ever known. He gave irreverence charm. I did a video with Bud Selig a couple of years ago. While off camera, the commissioner and I engaged in story-telling. At the mere mention of Prince’s name, a smile came to the commissioner’s face.
Troy from Mason City, IA
Each decade has one team that stands out more than others: the ’60s Packers, ’70s Steelers, ’80s 49ers, ’90s Cowboys, ’00s Patriots. Which team defines this decade and is there an ultimate matchup regardless of decade you would love to see?
It’s still wide open for this decade. I think the Seahawks have a slim lead, but the Packers can overtake the Seahawks by winning another Super Bowl. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could match those teams in a teams-of-the-decade playoffs?
Alan from Jackpot, NV
The anger directed toward you in this section almost makes me ill. It isn’t decent and it certainly isn’t the way I was brought up to act to anyone. I don’t know how you do it, but just know there are many of us out there who are on your side.
An artist can’t show light if he can’t show dark.
Steve from Saukville, WI
Curiosity finally got the best of me and I looked up the word sintering. Sinter plants agglomerate iron ore (dust) with other fine materials at high temperature, to create a product that can be used in a blast furnace. The final product, a sinter, is a small, irregular nodule of iron mixed with small amounts of other minerals. The process is called sintering. What was your job and why does this haunt you to this day?
I swept up the dust. It doesn’t haunt me. It gives me appreciation for having earned a living without working.
Isaac from Nashville, TN
Vic, I’ve often heard Coach Belichick’s defensive philosophy described as “taking away what you do best.” If you had to come up with a similarly brief summation of Coach Capers’ philosophy, what would it be?
Don’t give up the big play.
HAVE A QUESTION FOR VIC?