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December never gets old

You win with deeds, not words


Rick from Franklin, IN

If the team showed the same mental toughness and resilience as its fans, they wouldn't have won one game. This win-or-else attitude is unbecoming and needs to be checked.

The fans bear no responsibility for the performance of the team, nor is there an expectation for their behavior other than while in attendance at games. In other words, they may express themselves as they wish, and I'll support their right to do it. My concern is for how their expression impacts their lives. I don't want to see a football game so enrage them that it causes angst for their families, or their performance at work suffers. That's why I try to coach fans through the highs and lows of a football season. At the end of the day, football is a game, but life is serious business. Don't let football damage your life.

Chris from Apple Valley, MN

Vic, what do you mean by it needs to get fixed or else? The Packers are not in that desperate mode, yet. We all need to cowboy up and stay the course, believe in Rodgers and McCarthy and we will be just fine. As long as we have No. 12 out there, we always have a chance.

All of that is true, but we are rapidly approaching that point in the season when one game can make the difference. For the Packers to achieve their goals for this season, they need to begin playing their best football soon, or else the season will expire short of the goal.

Adrian from Berwickshire, UK

Regardless of this season's outcome, could the booing in the crowd, scrutiny of his personal life and general negative comments change Aaron Rodgers' opinion of the fans long-term? He might be the best ever; it would be sad if this season drove a wedge between him and the fan base.

There's no chance of that happening. Rodgers is a pro. He gets it.

Peder from Denver, CO

So much drama so far. How excited are you for December?

I'm as excited now as I was for my first December. It never gets old. It's my favorite month of the year, and sometimes it lasts until February.

Alan from Albuquerque, NM

Vic, questions of play calling bring to mind a game when Ditka was coaching the Bears. The offense was sputtering and part way into the game, Ditka grabbed the clipboard in a tantrum and started calling plays. The Bears marched down and scored. I doubt the plays changed, but the execution sure did.

Ditka has the kind of personality to will something to work. He's one of those magical one-name characters, and he was one of my childhood heroes. "Be a Ditka!" That's what they said when I was a kid. It was to say, "Be tough." Be that as it may, it's possible Ditka just got lucky the plays worked when he started calling them.

Orlando from La Puente, CA

Vic, in your opinion, how does what little is left of the season look like?

Part of me thinks this team will get hot and go. Another part of me worries that won't happen. I am truly in watch and wait mode. I accept my responsibility for chronicling the events. You see where I'm going with this? It's what works for me.

Del from Sterling, WI

Are we the wounded animal in the corner that's dangerous, or the vulnerable, injured prey?

The Packers are the engine that's sputtering. Maybe it's a plug or a plug wire that's causing it. It might be something that simple and when it gets fixed, the engine will roar when Coach McCarthy pushes down the gas, because the other parts of the engine appear to be running fine.

Aaron from Appleton, WI

Vic, regarding the 2010 season, it wasn't the Atlanta loss but the Patriots loss; we believed. I was there at the following game against the Giants and you can't imagine how loud the stadium was. I'm not sure we believe right now, but don't you think it's at least partially the team's responsibility to give us something to believe in? It's hard seeing the same issues and hearing the same rhetoric every week.

What can the team do to satisfy you? Make an unnecessary change? Was it the game against the Patriots that changed everything, or is that just a romantic notion that makes for a nice story? What if it was all of the games before the Patriots game, the cumulative of the season, that changed everything? You're begging. Don't do that. Be strong. You'll grow from it.

Joe from Austin, TX

Why don't more fans take comfort in the fact it's not their job to fix the team?

Football touches us in ways we can't rationalize. It makes us irrational.

Isiah from Portland, OR

I am not a fan of trickery, but could you see McCarthy calling a fake punt in order to keep a drive alive and create some momentum?

Isn't that essentially what he did on the first drive of the game? I see no lack of boldness, and I would much rather he challenge his team physically than send a message it needs tricks to win. There is nothing about this team that suggests withdrawal.

Darren from Eau Claire, WI

Vic, I love my Green Bay Packers. It hurts to see them play in a way we are not accustomed. I hope they are able to fix what isn't right. Imagine what would happen if they did and won the Super Bowl? What would your inbox look like then?

The joy would be exaggerated by the struggle. Hard times are preparation for the celebration.

Randal from Appleton, WI

The illegal pick play called on the Packers, ultimately costing them four points, was not, in my mind, an illegal pick. The TV announcers concurred. Your thoughts, Vic?

I thought the game was horribly over-officiated, and it's become a trend in the league, which tells me it's been ordered. There was a period in the second half during which the Bears and Packers were each called for pass interference, and Josh Sitton was flagged for holding. Replay of the violations angered me that a good football game was being needlessly interrupted and disturbed.

John from Peoria, IL

Mike Tomlin unleashed hell in 2009, Jim Fassel pushed in his chips in 2000. I know these professional players are internally motivated, but at the same time this is an emotional game. How will Mike McCarthy respond to the emotional challenge?

Tomlin said the Steelers were going to "unleash hell" in December of 2009. The defending Super Bowl champions then lost their first two games of the month and fell out of playoff contention. Facta, non verba.

Jeff from Cambridge, WI

Vic, is it possible some of the younger players became too complacent after that 6-0 start? These rumors about video games and all make one wonder whether they realized the season requires the fullest effort all season long. Now it seems some of them are trying too hard and this is upsetting the rhythm on the offense.

I don't know anything more about video games than what Cris Collinsworth said on TV, but I can relate this first-hand story to you. Fred Taylor was a late-night, video-game, junk-food addict early in his career, which was marked by injuries that earned him the hurtful nickname of "Fragile Fred." Then he changed his ways. He put down the video game, got a good night's sleep and stopped eating junk food, and what followed were the most productive, injury-free years of Fred's career.

Micah from Murfreesboro, TN

Remember back in 2013 when all seemed lost for the Packers? Then they miraculously won the division in Chicago. There's a lot of football left, Vic.

The season is just beginning.

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