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Ask Vic

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Arctic blast for playoff game?

Posted Jan 5, 2012


Dan from Ewa Beach, HI

You have no problem with the “Lambeau Leap” but you take exception to Grant's two-second snow angel? I love your wit and sarcasm but this double standard does not make sense. What makes a small, spur-of-the-moment snow angel so bad?

OK, I give. The NFL should allow players to make snow angels.

Ioana from Orlando, FL

When did “system quarterback” became a pox on the quarterback? Of course there’s a system.

The term “system quarterback” was created to define quarterbacks that played in run-and-shoot types of pass-offenses in college football. It was a way of saying the guy didn’t have the arm to play outside that system. Then we started applying the term inappropriately to every quarterback that played in a system that was uniquely successful. That’s incorrect usage because if a quarterback in a uniquely successful system can make all of the throws, he’s not restricted to that system; he can play in any system. A “system quarterback” is a guy whose skills are limited to the system in which he plays.

Scott from Wausau, WI

It's been suggested and I've considered Matt Flynn going to Indianapolis, using the draft to get players. I like it, but would the Colts do that to Manning?

The Colts are in a really interesting situation. Peyton Manning is due a $28 million bonus on March 8. Trading doesn’t begin until March 13, so the Colts would have to pay Manning $28 million or lose him without being able to trade him. If they’re not going to keep him, they need to negotiate a deal that would move back the bonus date so as to create a window of opportunity to trade him. Manning, of course, would risk losing some leverage in that deal, so he’d have to have control in where he goes and what his new contract is worth for him to agree to move the date back. Talk about needing to be creative? If the Colts can pull it off, and most doubt that it can be done, they could execute a blockbuster scenario that would provide for their long-term future.

Tim from Denver, CO

I know the CBA limits padded practices for the regular season. Are there the same kind of restrictions in the postseason?

Teams are limited to one padded practice per week in the postseason.

Hill from Northridge, CA

Who are some of your favorite sportswriters?

I always loved reading Jim Murray. His column on having lost his best friend, his eyesight, is my favorite.

“So my best friend left me, at least temporarily, in a twilight world where it's always eight o'clock on a summer night. He stole away like a thief in the night and he took a lot with him. But not everything. He left a lot of memories. He couldn't take those with him. He just took the future with him and the present. He couldn't take the past.”

Paul from Salem, WI

If my tally is correct, John from Grand Rapids is the third inductee into the “Ask Vic Hall of Fame.” If I wanted to visit the Hall of Fame some time, maybe stroll around the Jacksonville wing for a bit, where would I find it?

Hey, I just induct them. The rest is up to them.

Karl from Portland, OR

I've been thinking about the frozen tundra and home-field advantage. How much time does the team spend practicing outdoors versus indoor training and meetings these days?

Mike McCarthy took his team outside yesterday and this is what he said about the practice: “It’s about as good a practice as I can remember having at this time of year.” That’s really good news, because I saw a weather forecast for the weekend of the divisional-round playoff game and it was, to say the least, daunting. The forecast for that weekend is for an arctic blast to descend on the upper Midwest. By the way, the term “frozen tundra” is redundant. A tundra is frozen.

Dan from Minneapolis, MN

How can Packers position coaches be allowed to interview during a Super Bowl run? Everyone knows a job interview takes prep, a mindset, and then there is usually a lot of hand-wringing after the fact.

It’s professional football and it’s an occupation. You can’t deny men the chance to improve their lot in life. Having coaches interview for jobs at this point in the season is something successful teams have to overcome. It’s part of the challenge. I think the NFL system for dealing with this situation is far superior to the problem college football faces. Head coaches routinely leave for new jobs before their teams even play their bowl games.

Herb from Palm Desert, CA

If the two teams ranked last in defense, New England and Green Bay, meet in the Super Bowl, we might declare the old adage “defense wins championships” dead. However, if the highest-ranked defenses from each conference, Pittsburgh and San Francisco, meet, we can continue to value great defenses. Your thoughts?

I think that’s fair. By the way, how about West Virginia hitting the 70 plateau last night in the Orange Bowl? Is 100 points next? Wee!

Dustin from Dell Rapids, SD

Vic, you called the Lions “young” when their average age at the beginning of the year was one of the oldest in the league, whereas the Packers were second-youngest.

The average age of a team’s roster is meaningless because it’s often shaped by the bottom half or by stop-gap players. A team is only as young or old as the ages of its star players, the team’s core players. The Lions’ star players are Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew and Ndamukong Suh, and they are all young.

Tim from Menomonee Falls, WI

I was very impressed with Mike Tomlin and what he said and the way he said it after the Super Bowl last year. He didn't offer or accept any excuses as to why the Steelers lost, but kept congratulating the Packers and recognizing them for what they did to win.

That’s how a leader of men reacts to disappointment. He takes the high road, which is exactly what Mike McCarthy did following the loss in Kansas City.

Tony from Minneapolis, MN

If Matt Flynn leaves in free agency as an unrestricted free agent, will the Packers receive a compensatory draft pick in the 2012 draft or in the 2013 draft?

The Packers would be eligible for compensation in the 2013 draft.

Eric from Tampa, FL

Where do you think the next expansion team for the NFL is going to come from?

I don’t see foresee NFL expansion. I think 32 teams make for an orderly eight-division system, and I think it’s more important that the league find the right fits for all of its teams. The league wants a team, probably two, in Los Angeles. That’s the next order of business in shaping the league. When that’s done, I think we’ll see some kind of shift to London, so the league might test the international waters.

Steffen from Copenhagen, Denmark

I can tell you the reason we won the Super Bowl last February. My brother and I traveled from Copenhagen to Lambeau Field in the fall of 2004 to watch a “Monday Night Football” game against the Titans and I purchased a pair of Packers trucker balls in the Packers Pro Shop. At the beginning of last season, I bought my first car and ceremonially hung my Packers trucker balls in the rear view mirror for good luck.

I’m glad you finally got to use them.

Loftur from Columbus, OH

Do you see any similarities between Matt Flynn and Rob Johnson?

One game got Rob $25 million and it got the Jaguars Fred Taylor. Flynn is likely to get a whole lot more than that, and I’d like to think the Packers could find a way to get a “Fred.”

Steve from Hazelwood, MO

What do you define as the modern era?

There are two applications of it: 1.) Beginning with the Colts’ overtime win in the 1958 NFL title game, “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” 2.) Beginning with the merger of the AFL and NFL. I’ll accept either.

William from Jacksonville, FL

So if the NFL gets smart and adopts your “Celebration Circle” concept, should they go with a national corporate sponsor or let the teams bid it out locally? We could be talking big dollars with this one.

Now you’re talkin’. Hey, it’s professional football, it’s about the money, right? I’d go with two celebration circles, one on the home bench side of the field and one on the visitors’ side of the field. The circle on the visitors’ side would be nationally sponsored and the sponsorship money would be shared equally by the league’s 32 teams; the circle on the home side of the field would be sold locally by the home team, which would keep all of the revenue. I mean, if we’re gonna do this, then let’s make some money from it, huh? Why give away snow angels for free?

John from Duluth, MN

You're forced to read any book not about football. What is it?

Anything written by Steinbeck.

Logan from Mukwonago, WI

Which NFC team do you think has the most momentum going into the playoffs?

The Saints are scorching hot. All of the NFC teams are on a roll, with the exception of the Lions, but they were pretty hot coming into Green Bay last week. The AFC field is not hot. Three of the six lost their final game of the regular season and the Steelers have been absolutely crushed by injuries and the sort. The Patriots and Ravens are the only hot teams in the AFC.

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