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Good fans know a good game


Zach from Manistique, MI

Do you think it's possible the Packers drafted two tight ends because Finley's injury or recovery is worse than expected?

If I was hooked up to a lie detector machine and dangled from one of the light towers at Lambeau Field and threatened to be dropped if I told a lie, and then I was asked if I believe the Packers draft according to best available player and I said yes, would you then believe me? What will it take?

Bill from Poncha Springs, CO

I enjoy your column. It's a significant positive change from what we have had in the past. My question is from what two points do you measure to get the length of a player's arms and hands. I have tried different things and I think I have the hand measurement but the arm measurement eludes me.

For arm length, they had always put a tape at the crease in the shoulder and ran the tape to the end of the hand (fingertip). This year, for the first time, they're doing total wingspan, fingertip to fingertip. Hand size is determined by the distance from the tip of the little finger to the tip of the thumb on a player's extended right hand, unless he has a deformity on that hand.

Steve from Green Bay, WI

It seems like a lot of injuries were caused by field surfaces. I think if Woodson had laid out like he did over natural turf, the soil below would have been able to absorb his impact and not leave him with a broken bone. Also, on Driver's ankle, wouldn't grass have turned with his foot? Tony Romo even got broken by a collision with the turf at Texas Stadium. This seems like something that should be discussed, or is it a non-issue?

The effort to improve artificial surfaces has been constant. I do agree with you, however, that the hardness of the turf is a contributor to injuries. The old-timers played on much softer surfaces and that's one of the reasons their game appears to have been played at a slower pace. Do you remember the rain game between the Dolphins and the Steelers a few years ago? Was that played at a fast pace? You know, I can remember watching a lot of those kinds of games when I was a kid. We loved mud-bath games. So when's the last time you saw one of those? We've got these guys playing on beautifully manicured fields, and that's nice, but is there any chance the tracks have become too hard and fast? I think they have, indoors and out. I think there should be an effort to provide more give to the field. It would take away some of the concussions that are caused by the ground.

Brandon from Jacksonville, FL

What is your opinion on how the QB class shook out in this year's draft? Which picks intrigued you and which left you scratching your head?

All quarterback picks are intriguing; it's the nature of the position because quarterback is the position that defines eras in team history. The selection of Blaine Gabbert was one of the few that didn't leave me scratching my head. Cam Newton is a marvelous athlete but first overall pick? That's scary. Jake Locker ahead of Gabbert? We'll see. Christian Ponder a top-12 pick? I don't think anybody expected that. Ryan Mallett falling to the third round? That's the biggest head-scratcher of all. That's a lot of arm to last that long. The consecutive selections of Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick made a lot of sense, but I think Kaepernick's arm probably fits better in Cincinnati than Dalton's does and Dalton's game might fit better in San Francisco than it would in Cincinnati. The Ricky Stanzi pick in the fifth round by Kansas City is intriguing; it has a nice look to it. Here's the one I like the most: Nathan Enderle in the fifth round by the Bears. Enderle began last season with top-pick potential. I don't know what happened for him to fall that far, but that's a big man with a lot of arm and command of offense to last into the fifth round.

Mitch from Milwaukee, WI

Yesterday you gave the breakdown of positions and the numbers they are able to wear. It said DL 60-79, (90-99 if 60-79 are not available). How is B.J. Raji able to wear 90? I know that we are not occupying 60-79.

When Raji was assigned 90 for his rookie camp, it's likely that all of the other numbers were also assigned and didn't become available until players were released. In that case, a player is permitted to keep the number he was originally assigned.

Marty from Gilbert, AZ

Some of us do like the videos. Not only do they contain some interesting stuff, they are humorous to watch. After all, more reps should only make you better, so you should do more. They are like watching the first practice of the year.


James from Eau Claire, WI

Who are some of the sleeper teams that you could see being strong for the next few years?

I think the Lions' sleeper cover has been blown. I'm gonna keep an eye on the Bills. If the Cardinals can do something to fix their quarterback situation, everything else would seem to be in place. The 49ers have major break-out potential.

Alice from Roseville, MN

Years from now, after Brett Favre finally retires, do you think he will be remembered solely as a Packer and not as a Viking?


Rene from La Habra, CA

Most fans would argue that a high-scoring game is most exciting but, last season, the most exciting regular-season game for me was when the Packers shut out the Jets to win 9-0. You seem like a defensive guy; would you agree?

I love a good, hard-hitting defensive game. Is it a low-scoring game because the offenses are playing poorly, or is it a low-scoring game because the defenses are making great plays? Is it a low-scoring game because the offenses are committing penalty after penalty, or is it a low-scoring game because the defenses are winning the battle of the hitting? I think you understand what I'm saying. I enjoy any game, regardless of the score, if it is expertly played. I didn't think the Packers-Cardinals playoff game was expertly played by the two defenses; therefore, too many of the points scored in that game were the result of a lack of resistance and I didn't enjoy that. Good fans know a good game when they see one. They don't need a certain amount of points to appreciate a game. The casual fan, however, does need points to remain interested, and this is a business that is driven by TV ratings, and TV ratings are driven by the casual fan, which represents the greatest segment of the fan base. Be that as it may, a 9-0 game every once in awhile is refreshing.

David from Manchester, CT

I know you hear this a lot but your column has been great medicine for one of the worst post-football season withdrawals I've ever had. I often hear football experts and draftniks say that this guy projects to a right or left guard or a left or right tackle or a center position. What are the requirements or characteristics that make a guy suitable or unsuitable for a particular position on the offensive line?

Left tackles must be accomplished pass-blockers because they're usually going to draw the defense's premier pass-rusher. Right tackles can be more run-blocking types, since most teams tend to run to their right. Right guards are more in the way of maulers and drive-blockers because the ball will likely be run in their direction and push off the ball is required on that side. Left guards need to be more mobile types because on a run to the right, you might want to pull your left guard out ahead of the play and he needs the speed to get out in front of that play. Centers are left guards that can think and snap the ball; you'd like them to have enough mobility to engage a linebacker in space.

Pete from Wonewoc, WI

I'm sorry that it is impossible for people who don't like your videos to not watch your videos and thus request that you change them or stop doing them. Is there some technology out there that a person could download (for free, of course) in order to keep himself/herself from clicking on the play button for the video? Then those people who might actually get a kick out of the videos could still watch them and those who can't stand them won't have to avoid I know it's asking a lot for you to do research on this, but I fear for the well-being of those poor souls out there who are ready to swear off video watching and quite possibly altogether.

That's a great idea. I'll get IT to work on some kind of electronic shock device that people that don't wanna see "Video Ask Vic" can install. That way, a guy like Marcus will get a jolt when he attempts to click on "Video Ask Vic." It would please me to do that for him.

Evan from Baltimore, MD

These goofy posters that say they hate your "Video Ask Vic" are missing the point entirely. It's worth watching just to see the locations and staff at Lambeau Field. It makes me really miss living in Wisconsin.

What about me? Do I make you miss living in Wisconsin?

Mike from Washington, DC

I'm a Green Bay fan and I enjoyed every moment of Favre's career. I find it hard to think he is not top 10 all-time on your list, simply for the fact that he holds every major passing record in the books. Please explain.

If it's about passing stats, then I have to take Starr out of the top 10. Do you really want me to do that? It's about everything. You weigh stats and championships and great moments, etc. Brett Favre was a great quarterback. I love his durability. I love his verve for the game and his flair for the dramatic. If this had been a few years ago, I probably would've had him in my top 10, though I can't imagine who I would've taken out. Take out Marino? That would've drawn a similar reaction. Recent seasons haven't helped Favre's cause: the overtime interception in the fourth-and-26 game, his performance in the 2007 season playoff loss to the Giants and the interception in the 2009 NFC title game. It would've also helped had he been the MVP of his Super Bowl win. If you're asking me, however, if I think Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game, the answer is a resounding yes.

Terry from Fond du Lac, WI

Loved your QB list; how about a coaches list? You have been around football for many years. I know most people would pick Lombardi, Noll, Belichick. What about the other ones?

Yeah, I can do that.

Jordan from Riverside, CA

I loved your list of all-time great quarterbacks. Our top three were exactly the same and, in fact, switch Brady and Staubach and you have my top 10 list. Great stuff.

Oh, Jordan, there are some people who are going to be angry with you.

Patrick from Groton, CT

I get the impression you are a hard-nosed, football-is-a-business guy. When did you turn from happy-go-lucky fan to business-first football analyst?

My heart is light; nothing has changed. I love football now as I did when I was a kid. I just try to avoid displays. I try to show my love for the game in my writing, and I sincerely hope I have succeeded at that, but I don't like the outward display that is popular these days. I don't like the modern-day bravado. It's just not me. I have always considered football to be a noble game played by men of great strength and dignity. As I grew up covering the game, I was fortunate to be able to observe the pioneers of the game. I saw them carry themselves with reserve and calm. Most of all, I saw that they were sportsmen and I decided that's what I wanted to be. Inside, my heart is pounding, but I don't like to show it outwardly. I think it's very important not to offend someone with a display that might be counter to their interests and emotions.

Mike from Wonder Lake, IL

I'm not sure how much of it is the little-guy syndrome that most Packers fans seem to have, but a lot of us feel that our team is overlooked by mainstream media. For example, during the draft every single year, ESPN covers the Cowboys and most of the East Coast teams much more than the Packers, and even though the Packers won the Super Bowl, there really didn't seem to be much talk about it; the focus shifted immediately to the lockout. Am I way off base here or do you think the Packers are a bit of an afterthought when it comes to the national media?

I got this same question in Jacksonville, over and over. Yeah, it's a small-market thing. Jacksonville has neither the market nor the tradition or fan base, so if the Jaguars aren't winning, they're going to be largely ignored. The Packers are hardly ignored. This is a premier franchise that, frankly, is treated with more respect and more kindly than any other franchise in the league, maybe more kindly than any franchise in all of sports. Do the Packers get as much national coverage as the big-market teams? Probably not, for the obvious reason that this is not a big media market. Do the Packers get friendly media coverage that paints Lambeau Field as the football equivalent of "The House that Ruth Built" and at all times celebrates the Packers' tradition? Absolutely.

Al from Eagle, CO

Like Donald Trump, ignore your critics; keep the videos coming. Would love to see player interviews.

Al, nobody would like to see player interviews more than I would.

Garrett from New Knoxville, OH

You ranked all those quarterbacks of all-time and started at 10. Where is Favre, 11, 12, other?

If it had been a top 12, Favre and Troy Aikman would've been in it.

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