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Come out throwing or running?

Overreaction is just part of being a fan


Robert from Albany, NY

Vic, what are you looking forward to most about the upcoming Packers vs. Lions game? What will you be looking for?

I'm looking forward to the final score. It's about winning now. We'll spend a good portion of next week reviewing the game and measuring the Packers' performance, but this isn't preseason anymore. There's only one goal now and it's not player evaluation. Just win, baby.

Randy from Aurora, CO

Vic, I live in Colorado and the fans here are very much the same. The Broncos are 2-0, but with some you'd think they were 0-2. Do you find you have to prepare yourself for the onslaught each Monday with the Packers fans' swings of emotion? Or have you seen it so much you know what to expect?

I know what to expect: overreaction, whether it's to a win or a loss. That's the fun of being a fan, getting excited about games, and there are only 16 of them. If the team loses, my inbox will blame the coaches and those few players who unfortunately were featured in the defeat. If the team wins, joy will cause fans to expect even greater heights. If the team wins often enough, I will invariably begin getting emails from fans asking where the team fits among the great teams in history. It's the way it is and I perceive my role in all of this to be someone who might use the truth as a leveler of sorts. I like the fans. They're the backbone of all of this.

Brent from Waunakee, WI

Vic, what role, if any, do you think performance enhancing drugs are having on the current social problems plaguing the NFL?

Steroid rage? I don't like presuming guilt, but I'd be lying if I said I haven't suspected for a long time players are finding ways to deceive the NFL's testing procedures. It's time to say it out loud: I believe PEDs are a problem. I applaud the league's and the players union's agreement on a new drug policy. I hope it reaches far enough.

Bret from Oconto Falls, WI

Vic, I got a kicking lesson from Jan Stenerud after a game. Do you have any other stories of players making the fan experience special?

The first autograph I ever got was from Buzz Nutter. I didn't even know who he was, so I asked my dad and he told me. "Is that really his name?" I asked. I still have the autograph, so it must've been special.

Erik from Portsmouth, VA

Vic, I'd like to share my thoughts with you about the game last night. The Falcons walloped the Bucs to the tune of a 56-14 score. Is that what the NFL wants to see? I was actually really excited for the Bucs when they scored that pick-six.

It's not that big of a deal. These things happen. Not all games are good. We can deal with this. Sometimes it's good to just turn the channel. Are we really going to blame the NFL for giving us a bad game? My inbox is incredulous. How could this happen? It ruined my night. Well, it didn't ruin my night. When it got to 21-0, I was relieved that I didn't have to watch any more of it.

Travis from Chicago, IL

Come out throwing or running on Sunday?

I believe in balance. I like to come out and pound a little, to see what the other guys have in the tank. I don't need to score right away. Pound the middle a little, throw it into the right flat, then throw it into the left flat, then try one deep. Let 'em know they're going to have to play the whole field. Once that message has been sent, it's time to go to work. I trust my defense to help support my slow, methodical approach. Wouldn't I be a great coach? How many "Fire Ketchman" emails would come into my inbox? Seriously, come out throwing or running? This is an attack league. I expect the Packers to come out throwing, then mix in some run.

Corey from Abilene, TX

Vic, why do you keep answering questions that have been dragged out and beat over and over? I'm tired of it and I'm starting to lose interest in your column. Can this be "No Scheme Talk Week?"

No, it must always be "Scheme Talk Week." I will have a scheme for you when next we meet, Richard Sherman.

Patty from Spooner, WI

Should the Packers hire counselors to be part of the players' structure to help them with social issues? Most of the players come from college to a professional job in which they can't show weakness. This clouds judgment in the home for some.

Teams have long employed counselors and supported counseling for their players. I know of players back in the '70s that saw counselors on a regular basis. Everybody is looking for solutions to this problem, and that includes in mainstream society, too. I can tell you this: A significant portion of these players come from backgrounds we can't understand. Maybe we need to begin with understanding.

Jim from Brooklyn, NY

Vic, what do you think would happen if someone said something like, "He's a Polish sausage maker?" nowadays? would run a banner headline about it, and there would be outrage that Lyle Alzado stereotyped an ethnic group as being sausage makers. By the way, Pete Rostosky played the game of his life. Seriously, though, we've evolved. That was then, this is now. I like to laugh and I miss those carefree days, but we're more sensitive to these things now and maybe that's for the good.

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