Tina from Marquette, MI

Could you try to be a little more kind? We just like football. We don’t need grammar lessons from you (who often breaks grammatical rules). We don’t need your derision. We really just want to talk football. You aren’t an athlete. You are not Joe Greene. Neither are we. Can you get past that? Life is too short (and yours shorter than most) to be tight. As Aaron said, R-E-L-A-X. You’ll feel better.

Tina, you’re right. I think we need a “Nice Vic Day,” so I am officially proclaiming this column (trumpets blare) “Nice Vic Day.” Welcome, everybody, to “Nice Vic.”

Matt from Minocqua, WI

Vic, you said “He was sending you a message. Did you get it?” in reference to Aaron's comment about being a Wisconsinite. I know what I took from it. Would love to hear what you took from it.

The message is, “We’re in this together.” It made me feel good to have asked a question that produced an answer that made so many other people feel good. It’s good to be good.

Toby from Newington, CT

Is your first article for the Packers available online? I’d like to read it. You’ve given me new perspective and enjoyment from the game. Sorry I didn’t start reading you sooner.

Don’t feel bad. I’m just happy we’ve finally found each other. I went back and read my “Ask Vic Introduction” column, which appeared on Feb. 18, 2011. It brought tears of joy to my eyes.

Joe from Clio, MI

Is the prospect of moving one or two teams to Los Angeles more about the stadium or the market?

I think it’s more about the stadium because it’ll cost so much money to build, it’ll require revenue from two teams to justify. But I could be wrong. If I am, could somebody please correct me, in a nice way, of course? I’m very sensitive.

Dave from Lafayette, NY

Vic, how did your high school coach primarily use his wing backs?

He used them to execute a nasty double-team block called “post and turn.” The tackle would stand the end up, and the wing back, who set at an angle and pointed his head directly at the poor end’s knee, would crab the poor end’s outside knee. Sometimes the end would cry out. It always made me sad to hear him in pain. I blamed myself for causing it.

Emily from Reading, PA

Has there ever been a player who came into the NFL never having playing football in college?

Eric Swann didn’t play college football. He was a first-round pick of the Cardinals, though Swann never played college football. That was a very nice thing for the Cardinals to do. Maybe more teams should be that nice. Cookie Gilchrist never played college football. I covered a player named Carlton Haselrig, who didn’t play college football. He was a great college wrestler and possibly the most naturally gifted offensive lineman I’ve ever covered. I’m sorry if that offends you, Tony (Boselli). I don’t mean to be mean. I loved the “Rig.” He was a really cool guy, but then he drove up the steps of the Pittsburgh Theological Institute and he was never the same again.

Joshua from Boston, MA

Thanks for a great column. Much as I love learning about football from you, the answers in which you wax poetic (like about old Mile High) are the best. I Googled pictures. It was great!

I remember the bus pulling up outside the visitors’ locker room for a playoff game in 1977. That was the “Orange Crush” year. The visitors’ locker room was housed in the free-standing end zone, which housed a statue of a big, white horse. Somebody had painted part of the horse orange. It was an “Oh, my” moment.

Joey from Columbus, OH

Sooooo, I see you finally answered a question on Jeff Janis, even though I’ve written to you about six times about him. When is his electric speed and stick-um hands gonna be showcased other than on special teams? He’s going to be a star in this league, and I’m seriously starting to doubt he’s going to stick around for his star power to stay a Packer.

I’m nominating you to be president of the Jeff Janis fan club. I hope you win, and thank you for your questions and guidance. I should listen to the readers more often. I’m going to become a kinder, gentler person. I promise.

Jake from Grand Marais, MN

Vic, I was reading the Rams are playing the Macarena in practice to get ready for Lambeau. It dug up a repressed memory of mine in which my fourth grade teacher used to make our class do the Packerena. Great song, by the way.

I get it. That’s cool. Maybe we should all do the Packerena.

Steve from Jefferson, WI

Helping the runner is another never-call penalty. What are your top three fouls that frequently occur but are not flagged in the NFL?

It’s awfully early on a Saturday morning for me to put on my thinking cap, but the helping-the-runner thing bothers me because so many men are pushing on the runner I’m afraid he’s going to explode. Seriously, I think this is becoming a dangerous situation. They’re treating the runner as though he’s the ball. This is also a rule that’s a perfect example of how the rulebook has become confusing. I’m offering my writing services to the league to assist in re-writing the rulebook. I want to be more helpful.

Stephen from Liverpool, Nova Scotia

Vic, my wife’s maiden name is Goldberg and her brother was named after a former football player named Marshall Goldberg, who I believe played for Pitt. Can you tell me more about this football player?

He played for the Cardinals and starred during the World War II years. The NFL struggled to field a product during the war years. There are two trains of thought on Goldberg’s Hall of Fame candidacy: 1) He should be in the Hall of Fame for what he did to promote professional football during a time when most of the football talent was fighting the war and the game was at its weakest. 2) He should not be in the Hall of Fame because he starred at a time when most of the football talent was fighting the war and the league was at its weakest. Can’t we just be nice to everyone? Cliff Christl favors No. 2. Sometimes Cliff can be mean.

Steve from Madtown, WI

Vic, everyone is focusing on Aaron Rodgers and rightfully so, but after reading your columns and listening to Larry McCarren’s podcasts with Coach McCarthy, it seems one of the under-appreciated stories is the development of Mike McCarthy. Are we now watching a master coach? His attention to detail and innovation and organization is impressive.

Coach McCarthy is as good as any coach I have ever covered, but he will always be No. 2 to Coach Noll, and I have no doubt Coach McCarthy feels the same way. We both grew up learning from Coach Noll.

Robert from Saginaw, MI

What period of history do you like to read about? I love the Civil War and I’m currently reading an 800-page book titled “To Antietam Creek.”

A boy changes when he reads “The Red Badge of Courage.” It’s the first time in his life he looks inside himself. It began my fascination for the Civil War.

Cheryl from Marathon, WI

Vic, what would you think about simplifying the replay process? Rather than saying certain plays are not reviewable, allow each team to have two challenges per game (keeping the third if the first two are successful) and letting the coach challenge anything on any given play.

I hate to cut you short, but I have some odds and ends to do around the house. I favor having a panel of fans in the replay booth. Let them decide what the call should be. Then everybody will be happy.

John from Superior, WI

You said yourself the defense was the best part of the team at the end of last year and I concur. So why is everyone so surprised at how well they’re playing now?

It makes the fans unhappy when the other team scores, and that causes the fans to react out of hurt and disappointment, and they often direct their frustration at Coach Capers. Maybe we should have a meet and greet. We’re all in this together, right?

 

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