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Rufus Dawes, "The Man" and Kate Smith on July 4th

Posted Jul 4, 2013

Let's all take a break and come to balance


Simon from Mountain View, CA

I saw an article today ranking the top 10 coaches in Packers history. The Packers have had 14 coaches in their history. These lists are getting ridiculous and I’ve had enough. Somebody call me when training camp starts.

The Packers only have five head coaches with winning records. That really is ridiculous.

John from Port Edwards, WI

Do you know what the Iron Brigade (from WI) did at Gettysburg?

Led by Rufus Dawes, Dawes and the Iron Brigade were every bit the heroes of the North’s win at Gettysburg as Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine were. The Iron Brigade scored an important victory on day one of the three-day battle, on a day when the North was greatly outnumbered and the South was on the verge of victory. On day two, Dawes helped hold the high ground when Sickles disobeyed orders and advanced.

Robert Sheboygan, WI

Do you think George Allen would make it in today’s game of younger players over the older types he preferred?

The game was every bit a young man’s game in the 1970’s as it is today. When Allen finally ran out of draft picks to trade, the Redskins had hit the end of the line and had little to show for it but a Garo Yepremian folly that was the highlight of the Redskins’ performance in Super Bowl VII. In my opinion, Allen was fortunate to have coached a team in the NFC, which wasn’t nearly the equal of the AFC, which was loaded with great young talent. Had the Redskins been in the AFC, the Redskins might not have even made it into the playoffs. Trading draft picks to get old is not how you do it today, and it wasn’t how you did it back then, either.

Loftur from Reykjavik, Iceland

I would’ve liked to see how Greg Cook’s career would have been if not for the torn rotator cuff.

He was another one of the great young quarterbacks in the AFC. Had he not suffered that arm injury, it’s likely the Steelers wouldn’t have won all of those Super Bowls.

Eric from Raleigh, NC

Vic, what would Roger Goodell have to do in order to put an NFL team in Europe? Does he have absolute power, or is the NFL somewhat of a democracy?

He would have to prove to the owners that they would make a lot of money by having a team in Europe. That would work.

Tony from Saint Paul, MN

When I was a kid, even though I was a Packers fan, I always enjoyed watching the Houston Oilers because Earl Campbell was such an amazing player. I was in awe watching him carry the ball. Did you ever get to interview him?

I interviewed him on several occasions, and I always enjoyed the banter. Earl was always a friendly guy. He didn’t say much, but what he said always seemed to fit the mood of the game. He’s one of my favorite players and he was one of the stars of one of the most memorable games I’ve ever covered, even though it wasn’t a particularly memorable game from a scoreboard standpoint. It was memorable to me for the ferociousness with which it was played, and for the sound those pompons made as they swooshed in unison in the Astrodome that day. I’ll never forget Luv Ya Blue.

Marcis from Riga, Latvia

I came to USA in the summer of 1992 from just liberated former Latvian republic of USSR to study in a small University of Concordia in Mequon, WI, just 20 minutes driving distance from Milwaukee. First thing my host family did was it took me to a preseason football game then played in Milwaukee baseball stadium. My host father briefed me on the main rules and we went to the game. First comment I made then was that I did not like the Packers uniforms. That year I saw Mr. 4 to enter a contest in the second half following an injury to starter Don Majkowski, and to proceed to lead the team to a come-from-behind victory. The following week, Sept 20, 1992, Favre made his first NFL start, a day that would eventually lead to a streak of consecutive starts that would exceed that of all quarterbacks throughout NFL history, a streak I have watched almost entirely. After graduation I returned to my home in Latvia. Now, more than 20 years after my arrival in USA, I wear Packers uniforms to many sports events at home, and every time I do, I remember my host father with a smile on my face. I follow your articles on Packers.com regularly, trying to learn about the history of the game, the part of the game I love, that I had no chance to learn about while growing up. I have caught myself quoting your best lines to my wife. It is a game of replacement, so that day will come, so my wife is right.

Life is a game of replacement, Marcis. My goal is to see as many games as I can before I’m replaced.

Kyler from Anderson, CA

Hey, everybody, let’s not forget about, in my opinion, one of the greatest numbers of all time, 21.

Charles Woodson or John Hadl?

Shalom from Austin, TX

What would you rather have a great running back or a great offensive line?

If I’m running the ball, a great running back. If I’m passing the ball, a great offensive line.

Jeff from Drapper, UT

Vic, Mr. Rooney said he thought Pittsburgh would be a great place to host the NFL Draft. So why not rotate to a new NFL city every year? It would almost be like an All Star weekend, since the Pro Bowl is a joke. It would bring big attention to smaller-market teams that would never have a chance of hosting the Super Bowl.

I never thought much about this, but it’s an idea worth exploring.

Paul from Madison, WI

Do you think “The Man” can be anyone other than the quarterback? For example, could Adrian Peterson be considered “The Man” for the Vikings?

Only “The Man” can be “The Man.” It’s his title, his distinction and his mandate. If you don’t have “The Man,” all the Adrian Petersons in the world can’t get it done for you; not in today’s game.

Tom from Indianapolis, IN

I understand your feelings about kickers and punters in the Hall of Fame, but what about a guy like Adam Vinatieri? He certainly has shown a knack for getting it done in crunch time.

Build an exhibit for kickers and punters. Create a special section of the Hall of Fame for them. Give them their own Hall of Fame. I’m OK with any or all of that, but I won’t support keeping out great players that popularized or changed the game so an eight-plays-a-game guy can be immortalized. A lot of great men sacrificed much of their futures for this game. They now walk with a limp, or worse. Kickers and punters never had to make that sacrifice, unless they played a full-time position, as Lou Groza and Jerry Kramer did. Kramer made arguably the most famous block in NFL history? Do we keep him out to enshrine a punter? Hines Ward spent a career de-cleating Ed Reed. He turned the hunter into the hunted and eventually forced a rule change, but he’ll be marginal to make it into the Hall of Fame. Do we keep him out to enshrine a kicker? Fred Taylor is the most talented running back I’ve ever covered. Nobody had his size and speed, but he played on a low-profile team, whereas Vinatieri was on a team that provided him with a lot of highlight moments. Find a way to immortalize kickers and punters without denying the game’s warriors, and I’ll be all for it, but I get questions every day asking me when Kramer is going to be elected to the Hall of Fame, and the way to do it isn’t by enshrining kickers and punters.

Alan from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, the Packers have had 20-plus consecutive years of superb quarterback play, and three of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the position. Some franchises have never had one. Do you think most of us realize how incredibly lucky we’ve been and how spoiled we’ve become?

Most fans, the ones that see the big picture, get it and appreciate how blessed they’ve been. The others, the ones that lack self-control, see only their immediate disappointment.

Nick from Denver, CO

Vic, 36-12, four playoff wins and a Super Bowl are great and very consistent, but I think Jared’s point is that when you have “The Man” you should win Super Bowls. We call Rodgers the best, would draft him No. 1, compare him to Brady and Montana, but do we put him in a position to win a Super Bowl every year? Windows are made to be opened and closed, the time is now.

Come to balance, Nick.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

Hey, Vic, what’s the difference in a quarterback having a strong arm vs. having enough arm strength?

It’s the difference between Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.

Brian from Frisco, TX

From the Spectrum, here’s Kate Smith singing God Bless America before a Flyers game in 1976.

It’s not from the Red Army game, but it’s a good way to end this column on July 4th. Happy Independence Day, everybody.

 

 
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