Jay from Merrill, WI
When a person faces a personal failure, it knocks you down. The Packers need to pick themselves up, dust off and seek their redemption. We all fail at one point or another. It is how we redeem ourselves in our own eyes that matters. What do you think?
A lot has to happen before we can begin seeking redemption. We’ve got the combine, the draft, free agency, offseason conditioning, OTAs, the dead zone, training camp, the preseason and preseason II, better known as September, before we can focus on redemption. We probably all need to slow down a little right now and find something that’ll allow us to turn the page. I’ve always used the Senior Bowl to help me turn the page, but I’m not in Mobile this week because the Packers were in the conference title game, so I’m counting on Tony Pauline to help me taste the shrimp, so to speak. I’ll be doing Senior Bowl updates with Tony this week. Maybe they can help you turn the page.
Brian from Prague, Czech Republic
The overtime rule made sense in the past, but with the new rules favoring offense, combined with the fatigue of the defense, losing the toss is still a death sentence. College football has a nearly perfect system. It’s fast, exciting and fair. Why doesn’t the NFL utilize this process?
If the Packers had won, would you still dislike the current overtime system? I don’t like the college football overtime system for a number of reasons. I don’t like a game that ended 20-20 in regulation to go in the books as 76-75 after overtime. I think the college system is contrived and lacks a real football feel to it because field position isn’t an issue. It’s a glorified scrimmage. The NFL system is fine the way it is. It rewards defense.
Fabian from Munich, Germany
Which three free agents would GM Ketchman prioritize to re-sign during the offseason? I would pick Cobb, Bulaga and Williams.
You want to keep all of your people, but that’s not possible in the salary cap system, so who you keep depends on who you can’t replace. The big guys are usually the most difficult to replace.
Lukas from Greven, Germany
Here come the “fire everyone” messages again.
It’s how many of us grieve. They transfer their pain to someone else.
Bob from Universal, IN
I see this team going 14-2 next season on their schedule. Do you think that’s overly optimistic?
You’ve turned too many pages. Maybe that’s how you grieve. Whatever it takes.
Jon from Bath, England
Was 2014 a successful season for the Packers?
Each fan must answer that question for themselves. Did the 2014 season provide you with more happiness than sadness? If the answer is yes, then it was a successful season. Those that require a Super Bowl title to achieve happiness are doomed to sadness. A season must be about more than the Super Bowl. Memories define my happiness. They make me rich.
Owen from Portland, OR
You said it’s common for fans to blame losses on the strategy and not the playing. That may be true, but it’s hard to argue that the Seahawks played a better game than the Packers did, therefore, I think it’s difficult not to blame strategy. You can talk about crunch time all you want, but this game should not have come down to the end.
You’re wrong. You’re absolutely, flat out wrong and so are all of the people in my inbox that are trying to replay the game so the Packers could avoid the final 3:52 of regulation. You can’t do it because when you change one circumstance you must change all circumstances. Those blowout wins in the middle of the season were an aberration. That’s not NFL football. The NFL is about winning at crunch time. It’s about making the plays that decide the game when it’s now or never. In my mind, the goal of the first three quarters is to put yourself into position to win. The Packers did, and that’s why I have no problem with anything the Packers did for the first 56 minutes and eight seconds of the game.
Cameron from Fort Worth, TX
Vic, I know Coach McCarthy always says the past is the past and you’ve got to move on, especially when it comes to playoff loses, but I don’t see this one being easy to move past. It’s still hard for me to sleep knowing what opportunities were missed with this loss. Do you think the team is going to use this as motivation for next year, or are they going to keep up the demeanor that you have to move on?
Every year is a new year and every team is a new team. You can’t use what happened in 2014 as motivation in 2015. Was the “Fail Mary” motivation on Sunday? No! The Super Bowl was the motivation. Motivation comes from reaching ahead, not behind. This team will change in the offseason and, as it changes, the 2014 Packers will fade into the past and become a memory that’ll be replaced by new players, new schemes, a new schedule and new challenges. In time, we will all move on. The human spirit in all of us will so command us.
Mic from Grenfield, CA
The NFL has found the Patriots used underinflated footballs during its game with the Colts. This is just the latest instance of the Patriots purposely violating NFL rules to gain an advantage over their opponent. If the NFL has any courage and integrity, it should declare the AFC championship game a forfeit, award the win to the Colts and send the Colts to the Super Bowl. Anything less is a disgrace to football and all who play by the rules.
I covered a Steelers-Raiders game in Oakland in 1973. We dubbed it the “Dirty Tricks Game” because the Raiders repeatedly sent “doctored” footballs into the game. On one occasion, Ray Mansfield leaned on the football and it went flat. On another occasion, the ball was covered in Vaseline. Other times, dirty words were written on the ball. In those days, the process for providing footballs was much different; it wasn’t nearly as secure. I remember how much fun we all had writing the story and finding ways to use the word expletive to hint at what was written on the balls. Times have changed. Football has become a witch hunt. It’s become crime and punishment, instead of mischief and laughter. I don’t know what the deal is with “Deflategate,” though I’m sure I won’t be spared the details over the next several days. What I will say about it is this: Let’s get the truth; let’s find out if this is the work of a serial cheater. I have no doubt the commissioner will take it from there.
Robert from Madison, WI
Vic, have you gotten a chance to talk to Tony, yet, about the incoming linebacker class? I’m interested to get his take on this one.
Tony is going to focus on the linebackers in today’s practices.
Sam from Golden, CO
Vic, I first started reading your column last summer during the preseason. I must say, I’ve felt more involved as a fan than I ever have reading all of the questions you get and answers you give. Ultimately, that made this loss hurt even worse, as I, too, firmly believed this was the year for a Super Bowl victory. The insight I’ve gained and the respect I’ve come to have for this fan base and for the team, though, are invaluable. I may feel terrible still, but the support of you and the fan base makes it a little more bearable, and for that I thank you.
The greatest loss would’ve been to not have the experience. That’s where I disagree with Josh Sitton. Hey, we all signed up for this, right? We knew there would be losses, and we knew they would hurt. We all accepted that risk, right? The NFL guarantees one thing: You will lose. There’s no guarantee that you’ll win, but you will lose. Something monumental happened on Sunday, and it will remain fresh in our minds for likely the rest of our lives. That’s a bad thing? It’s bad to have spent three hours of your life on something you’ll never forget? I wish the outcome had been different, but I have no regrets.
Tom from West Bend, WI
It’s just a game.
That’s all it is. It’s just a game.
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