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Ask Vic

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Come back refreshed and ready

Posted Nov 9, 2012

Andrew from Jacksonville, FL

Vic, I've decided I agree with you: Get rid of replay review. The official replay review failed the game Thursday night between the Jags and Colts. The controversial calls were too close to call upon review, but the officials still made the wrong decisions. Let's eliminate that extra chance for the officials to blow the calls for the sake of the game.

If I was writing a book about it, the title would be: How Many Times Can We Get It Wrong?

Jake from Los Angeles, CA

Has a team ever, or do you think one ever would, go for an onside kick on the opening kickoff, giving them the ability to start both halves with the ball? Is that even allowed?

I saw a team do it. They didn’t get the ball and the other team went down the field and scored. The Saints did it successfully to start the second half of Super Bowl XLIV.

Benjamin from Fort Wayne, IN

I know you're not a fan of the drab colors in today's NFL, but you gotta admit, the Jaguars looked very good last night. The teal accents really made them pop.

I don’t like the black pants, black socks look. I thought it made them look like they were wearing leotards.

Andrew from Rockford, IL

Everyone is saying Peyton Manning deserves the MVP, but Rodgers has five more TDs and one fewer interception. Peyton has about 50 more yards than A-Rod. What are your thoughts?

If I had an MVP vote, I would remind myself that Tim Tebow took the Broncos to the playoffs and won a playoff game last season. Is what Manning’s doing that stunning? I might be leaning toward Andrew Luck right now. Aaron Rodgers would clearly be on my short list, along with a few other players, including Adrian Peterson.

Ben from Milwaukee, WI

Jimmy Johnson was quoted as saying: “The No. 1 motivator (in the NFL) is fear. Fear of maybe letting down your teammates or being embarrassed or chastised, or fear of losing your job. Where is the fear in Dallas? There is no fear in Dallas. It's a country club where everybody is buddies.” What's your take, Vic?

I’ve been saying for years that fear is what motivates professional football players, and I’m talking about the fear of a bad performance as it relates to job security. All players are afraid of losing their jobs. They’re more afraid of that than they are of losing the game. That’s why the No. 1 goal of every player on the team should be: Do your job. If everybody does their job, the team should win and everybody will have had a good day.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, I've heard football announcers use the term, “He's running downhill.” What does it mean for a back to run downhill?

It means the back is in full flight in a “north-south” direction. Traps and quick-hitting type runs are considered downhill runs. Stretch plays or slow-developing east-west type runs are not considered to be downhill runs.

Jennifer from Centennail, CO

Vic, I love the Packers. I love everything about the team, organization and fan base. You are, perhaps, my favorite part of the Packers. You're an excellent writer. You have great stories and knowledge about football. With that said, I love Notre Dame more. Please stop picking on the Fighting Irish.

I can’t help myself, Jennifer. Notre Dame fans are super sensitive and it’s the bye week and the one thing I know for sure is that Notre Dame fans are always combing the Internet looking for remarks being made about the Irish. Maybe that’s why they call them the Fighting Irish, because they sure do have thin skin and they’re always looking for a fight.

Bill from Morris, IL

As far as age and speed go, what are your thoughts on Darrell Green? I think he is the one player that still had plenty of speed when he finally retired at the age of 42.

Green was a world-class sprinter at Texas A&I. He had a lot of steps to give before he went over the cliff, but all players go over the cliff, even Green.

Andre from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Gee, Vic, I sense quite strongly that you don't have much respect for Notre Dame's win over Pitt, or for that matter, much respect for the Irish. Yeah, I'm that perceptive.

You’re Irish, Andre? Actually, I have more than respect for Notre Dame, I have a lot of affection for them. I grew up in a real-life “Rudy” town. It was a predominantly Catholic mill town and I can still remember the angst in the town when USC homered the Irish in 1964 and cost them the national title. The Pitt-Notre Dame game was always a big deal when I was a kid. The two schools have played a lot of great games and are more connected by their history than people realize. Now they will head into the ACC together and their series should even deepen. As a kid, I liked to play antagonist during Pitt-Notre Dame week. I liked to needle both sides and see them react. Despite the horrendous officiating blunders in last Saturday’s game, I’m glad Notre Dame remained undefeated, and I very much want to see a Notre Dame-Alabama national title rematch. There’s a guy – he wore No. 2, too – down the hall from me that was the hero of that game the last time Notre Dame and Alabama met for the national title. His third-down completion remains one of the greatest plays in college football history. Go Irish!

Kenny from Fairfield, CT

Vic, having all this snow reminds me of how much I love snow games. What was the Ice Bowl like?

I wasn’t there, so I can only imagine how cold it was. Last winter, we had a night when the temperatures dipped below zero. I was standing outside with the dogs and I thought to myself, what must it have been like to play a football game in this kind of cold? I thought about that last Sunday as I watched the Cardinals crowd around the heaters on a 40-degree day. Were the heaters really necessary?

Dave from Cable, WI

I keep hearing from the talking heads about how the Seattle fiasco could affect the Packers’ playoff chances. Not a word from Mike McCarthy. Why?

How would it help him win a football game?

Kevin from Logan, WV

Vic, what gives with these power rankings? I know fans are enthralled with stats, but these power rankings have nothing to do with standings or playoffs. I hope everyone knows this is not the BCS.

In my previous life, I succumbed to fan demands for a power rankings, which I then mocked by referring to them as my “all-important power rankings,” because I can’t imagine anything of less importance. The fans loved them, however, so I kept doing them, and since they were so sensitive to them, I started tweaking fans of certain teams with wild swings of the order. For example, I would challenge a team to win or else, and when they’d lose I’d drop them like a stone and my inbox would explode with angry insults. That’s when I realized the importance of the power rankings is the entertainment the fans provide when they overreact to them, so I dropped in the “asterisk” to tweak them a little more. That’s when ESPN overreacted and that’s when I decided not to have fun anymore.

Ryan from Las Vegas, NV

Hey, how about that Doug Martin?

I liked him at the Senior Bowl. I also liked Vick Ballard at the Senior Bowl, and Melvin Ingram and Kendall Reyes, etc. You know, a lot of the guys that were impressive at last winter’s Senior Bowl are having good rookie years. I’ve always known the Senior Bowl is a good platform for talent evaluation, but I think it’s reached the point that it might be the best platform for evaluating draft talent.

Connor from Islip, NY

If you could choose either a great LT, WR or RB to support your franchise QB, which would you take and why?

It’s the left tackle, not only because of the importance for protecting a quarterback from the defense’s premier pass rusher, but also because the supply of men that can do that is limited. The supply of wide receivers and running backs is much more generous.

A.J. from Kazan, Russia

Hey, Vic, greetings from the only Packers fan in Kazan, Russia. I never send mail like this, but wanted to shoot over a note of encouragement to say I've appreciated reading your stuff over the last two years. Even with your background, you're still able to offer useful and practical perspective with palpable humility. “Ask Vic” helped me think through the rough playoff loss last year. I make an effort to check out Packers.com at least twice a week before bed to read your stuff. As a quick aside, I also thought you would be interested to know I have successfully converted many Russians over here into Packers fans. Although here for business, I recently joined an upstart American football team here for recreation, and have enjoyed hanging with some of the guys watching replays of Packers games at my place with some chili and cornbread while explaining the rules and tactics. These men have a rare but intense love for football and make great sacrifices to play the game. I have also had the opportunity to refer all of them to your column for English practice. Best, from “the other frozen tundra.”

Maybe when the commissioner puts a team in Moscow, we can do a “Packers Everywhere” rally there. Nastrovya!

Robert from Manteca, CA

Vic, what are your thoughts on every sports channel making the Bears look like a Super Bowl caliber team when actually they haven't beaten anyone good. Green Bay dominated them. I don't get it.

I have a feeling you’re a big power rankings guy, and I also think we’ll know within the next 10 days what the proper perspective of the Bears is.

Don from Wojek, NC

The best khaki cloth in the world is made in the U.S. by Mount Vernon Mills. The best tailor in the U.S. is in Fort Knox, KY. The pants will wear and fit perfectly.

That’s a little off topic but, hey, it’s the bye week and Colorado has legalized marijuana, so what the heck? If I may say a few words: Take the weekend off, Packers fans. Give your frayed nerves a rest and do something easy and relaxing. Spend some time with your family. If that doesn’t work for you, spend some time without your family. Either way, come back on Monday refreshed and ready for seven weeks of football that will determine the Packers’ fate for this season. We have a long way to go.

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