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Time to come back to reality; get ready for training camp


Jacob from Sun Prairie, WI

Vic, you spelled a word wrong. Lede is not a component of the English language. Do you now owe us a retraction?

No, because it's newswriting terminology for the lead paragraph of a story.

Jarle from Stokmarknes, Norway

Your talk about the mysterious schedule-maker got me interested in how the schedule actually is set up. Can you tell me anything about Val Pinchbeck?

He was a schedule-making genius before geniuses used computers. He understood the need to create good theater.

Craig from Brookfield, WI

What a great week! I tried to watch and read it all but have a bit to go. Did I miss it, or were Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy missing from the celebration?

They were there, but they stepped into the background so the spotlight could shine on the Ron Wolf/Mike Holmgren era that produced Brett Favre.

Reed from Eau Claire, WI

This weekend I watched a show about Lyle Alzado and was blown away by the intensity and candidness of the man. I had no idea about the violence of the 1970's. In fact, a rule was created because Alzado attempted to beat a man with a helmet. Did you ever have a chance to interview him? What do you remember of a great player who has unfortunately become an afterthought of the NFL for his admission to the use of steroids (even though steroids were not banned during his years in the NFL)?

He was a joy to interview. He once referred to an offensive tackle named Pete Rostosky as a "Polish sausage maker."

Brian from Louisville, KY

If Aaron Rodgers maintains his level of play and, fingers crossed, wins (another) Super Bowl before he retires, does he get the same pomp and circumstance Brett Favre received, or was this grand gesture to sooth the savage hearts and make peace?

The Favre celebration was about a man who touched the hearts of a fan base for resurrecting what they love and saving it from extinction. It wasn't just about winning. It was about drama. It was about a fairy tale that came to life.

Tyler from Appleton, WI

The bad taste is gone! As that chapter has now drawn to a close, what are you most looking forward to in this next chapter (season) with the Packers?

It's time to get real again. It's time for training camp. I don't need to look any farther ahead.

Garrett from Saint Paul, MN

Vic, I know you aren't a Packers fan, but your continuous fascination with this organization and respect you hold for it, and for us as fans, doesn't go unrecognized, so I just wanted to say thanks.

That's very nice of you to say, and I love this fan base and its passion for football, but I wish it would be more secure in who and what it is, and didn't require as much reassurance. This constant "yes, you are the greatest" routine is not real attractive.

Brian from Kansas City, MO

Vic, I don't think you've talked about the Open Championship yet.

It was magnificent; some of the best golf I have ever seen. I thought Jordan Spieth was going to win. For those of you who like stats, Zach Johnson was 60th in driving distance and 40th in greens in regulation, but he won the tournament because he found a way to get it done. His grit was fantastic.

Peggy from Bloomer, WI

Vic, I was lucky enough to be in the stadium Saturday for Brett Favre's return to Green Bay. We were reminded more than once how Ron Wolf took a huge risk to get Brett. Can you think of a situation in football that produced the same legendary results?

I sure can: Drew Brees. He was a bigger risk. The Saints signed him to a big free-agent contract shortly after Brees had major shoulder surgery, and the Saints never even worked him out. He saved a franchise and a region of the country from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.

Tom from Appleton, WI

Have you ever seen a place with an inferiority complex as big as the one here? It completely confounds me as a lifelong Packers fan. It's as though, even with all the history here, Packers fans can't bring themselves to believe they belong. What does this come from and have you ever seen it anywhere else?

It's not an inferiority complex, it's that the identity of this region is overwhelmingly invested in the Packers. The No. 1 question in my inbox is: Is there any franchise that could've done what we did on Saturday? The answer is no. Let's leave it at that. Let's be secure in this fan base's place at the top of professional sports.

Chris from Veghel, The Netherlands

Vic, it would appear an opportunity for an expanded playoff schedule might come to fruition by slashing meaningless preseason games. The winds of change are in the air and this appears to be the perfect time to install it. Have you and Mark Murphy been talking?

The winds of change are not in the air. During the financial report press conference on Monday, Mark said the Packers were continuing to explore the concept of variable pricing. I asked him if it was meaningful for franchises that were sold out on a season-ticket basis, since the bottom line remains the same. His answer was that it might be meaningful for season ticket-holders because a more affordably priced preseason ticket would help ticket-holders sell their preseason tickets. I like that answer. Cutting preseason games isn't the solution because too much revenue would be lost. Variable pricing might be the answer, especially for teams with waiting lists for season tickets. Preseason games could become an affordable way for fans on waiting lists to experience gameday.

Ernie from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, you wrote, "Had I not come here, my career would have never been complete." Taking you at your word and believing you, I think that's the best thing you've ever said on here. I know a lot of people give you a hard time for not being a Packers fan, and honestly it bothers me. Thank you for the great job you do for us Packers fans, and forgive us at times; the goosebumps go to our heads.

I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it, but it bothers me that all I have to do is tell Packers fans how great they are and it's "the best thing" I've ever said. That's just not me and it's not what I want this column to be. We've gone too gaga on ourselves. At some point on Saturday we stopped celebrating Favre and began celebrating ourselves. Please, let's stop this. Football is not meant to be this mushy.

Kyle from Black Earth, WI

What do you make of the report that the Packers are interested in Reggie Wayne?

Didn't they say the Packers were interested in Wes Welker, too?

Jeff from Bismarck, ND

Hey, Vikings, I don't think your billion-dollar building will give anyone goosebumps. What say you, Vic?

No. 1, you're banned for "What say you?" No. 2, I'm banning use of the word goosebumps. It's wimpy and it's really beginning to bother me.

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