Marc from Hartford, VT
Vic, I’m not saying the drive from Vermont to Canton wasn’t lovely, or the enshrinement of Kevin and Brett wasn’t good, I’m just saying they could have got some better paint.
Somebody made a mistake. Once the mistake was made, the decision to cancel the game was clinched. This is the player-safety era. Imagine the uproar had the game been played and a player blew out a knee or ankle on that paint.
Dennis from Las Vegas, NV
Vic, considering how ugly and painful Favre’s leaving Green Bay was, we fans have to remember we want to be entertained. The way Favre’s career ended was so much more entertaining than if he would have just ridden off into the sunset from Green Bay. Time does seem to heal some wounds.
It did fill a void in the summer of 2008. Dead Zone? Not that summer.
John from Belle Plaine, MN
Vic, with the 2016 Hall of Fame class now inducted, people are already looking toward the next class. Are there any people who are eligible you feel are locks for the Hall of Fame?
I think LaDainian Tomlinson tops the list of candidates.
Rick from San Ramon, CA
How common is it to see a fight during training camp?
Once upon a time, it was nearly a daily occurrence. I can remember some legendary fights. Hardy Nickerson took on a big offensive lineman, which earned Nickerson the nickname “Foolhardy.” Starting a fight at training camp was a common way for longshots to get attention. I remember an undrafted linebacker named Jim Rosecrans picking an Oklahoma fight that was the lede in the story of every reporter who covered training camp. Rosecrans was thought to hang on until final cuts on the strength of the publicity he gained from that fight. These days, fights aren’t common. It’s because the drills that created fights – the Oklahoma, goal-line and the seemingly endless nine-on-sevens – are largely a thing of the past. The Packers’ half-line drills are a version of the old-fashioned nine-on-sevens, and if there’s a drill in today’s camp that’ll cause a stir, the half-line is that drill. The fatigue and familiarity of two-a-days also contributed to the irritability that produced training camp fights, and two-a-days are gone forever.
Paul from Oxford, NC
Other than natural disappointment, how does the cancellation of a game affect players’ psyche and routine?
I don’t see either of that as a big deal. In my opinion, the big deal is a young player might’ve emerged last night as the next Jayrone Elliott or Vic So’oto. There will be one fewer game for that to happen now.
Oscar from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, why are many fans anxious to regain the NFC North title? I think winning the division championship is secondary to getting into the playoffs and then winning the conference. What are your thoughts?
If you want to play at home in the playoffs, winning the division title is the way to do it. Also, in divisions with true regional rivalry, a title is meaningful. There are bragging rights and regional pride that accompany an NFC North title.
Marty from Grafton, WI
Vic, does Ken Stabler belong in the Hall of Fame? Tell me a story about Stabler.
I think he belongs. What gets forgotten about Stabler is he would’ve been the hero of the “Immaculate Reception” game had the “Immaculate Reception” not occurred. Stabler came off the bench to score what would’ve been the winning touchdown. Had the Raiders won that game, John Madden would’ve been faced with a huge quarterback decision to make for the AFC title game against Miami. I think Madden would’ve gone with Stabler, and I think the Raiders would’ve beaten Miami and then the Redskins in Super Bowl VII, and Stabler would’ve been a first-ballot selection to the Hall of Fame.
Sam from St. Charles, IL
Vic, good thing the field paint held up in the “Ice Bowl” game.
It was one of my first thoughts: What if the “Ice Bowl” had occurred during the player-safety era? Would they have played the game? That field was not safe. I think it’s more reason to respect and revere what the men who made pro football popular endured. The popularity of pro football was not built on safe. Because the game now is as popular as it is, it can be made safer to play.
Adam from Oshkosh, WI
Vic, please share your best memory of Brett Favre and Tony Dungy, especially Dungy. He was always my favorite non-Packers coach.
I only covered a few of Favre’s games. One of them was his first-ever start in 1992. He was very good that day against an up-and-coming Steelers defense that was only two years from “Blitzburgh” fame. I also covered a furious Favre rally to win in Jacksonville. He was sensational that night. My best Tony Dungy story is from the day he was hired to be a coach. I was hanging out in Woody Widenhofer’s dorm room. Woody kept walking to the window and looking out back. I asked about it and he said Tony Dungy was hanging out in the back of the dormitory. “Why doesn’t he just come in here?” I asked. Woody explained he was waiting for Coach Noll to wake up from his nap, so he could talk to him about hiring Tony for a position known today as a quality control coach. Well, Coach Noll woke up, Woody talked to him about Tony and then Tony met with Noll and Tony was hired. That’s how Dungy’s Hall of Fame coaching career began.
Jake from Franklin, WI
I understand it was just an extra preseason game, so it isn’t a huge deal, but do you remember any game just being straight up canceled?
I remember it raining so hard – there was lightning, too – in the third quarter of the 1976 College All-Star Game that everybody left and nobody came back, ever. I also remember the frightening sound of those bottles hitting the turf in Cleveland, and both teams being made to come back onto the field for a few kneel downs to finish the game, which invited another barrage of bottle throwing. If ever a game should’ve been canceled or suspended, that’s the one. There was not nearly enough concern for anybody’s safety. That wouldn’t happen today.
John from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, the generational change is well underway. We have moved on from your reflections of a long and interesting life to Game of Thrones references. As an older person, I will continue to read and enjoy, but you will be missed.
I don’t even know what it is.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
Which group will make the biggest improvement from last year: offense, defense or special teams?
It better be offense or this won’t be the kind of season we expect it to be. Have we forgotten the Packers offense’s league rankings last year? The offense was 23rd overall, 25th in passing. That’s unthinkable for a team with the best quarterback in the game. I expect a top 10 passing attack.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
Vic, have you become at all winsome over your time in Green Bay?
I sensed some changes, but I think they stayed in Green Bay when I left.
Noah from Brisbane, Australia
When it’s all said and done, who will go down as the better player, Favre or Rodgers?
That’ll depend on what happens in the remaining years of Aaron Rodgers’ career. I don’t think he’s anywhere near the end of it.
Andrew from Los Angeles, CA
I like Vic, but there’s no need to preserve his office, ala the Lombardi exhibit. Put the brooms and mops back in there and let’s keep this thing rolling.
I left the last “thing” in that office. They’ll never find it, which means a part of me will remain in Lambeau Field forever.
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