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I'm picking Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks

Assigning blame doesn't help teams win


Jon from Bath, England

What's the narrative going to be for Sunday's game?

It's going to be a clash between a great defense and a great quarterback. I don't think Russell Wilson will have the success against the Patriots secondary that he had against the Broncos last year. The Patriots have to stop the run and throw the ball to win. The Seahawks have to run the ball and stop Tom Brady to win.

Pete from Gunnison, UT

I was just wondering what young Vic thought about the first Super Bowl.

It was a huge game because it was a confrontation between the upstart AFL and the old-guard NFL. It was perfect for the times in which it was played. The AFL was rebellion; the NFL was the establishment. It was more than a game, it was a metaphor for the confrontation American culture was experiencing.

Harry from Rochester, NY

Who's your pick to win the Super Bowl?

I favor Seattle. I think Marshawn Lynch will be the MVP.

Matt from Sun Prairie, WI

I understand that players and fans think differently, but do you really think the players won't be thinking of that last game at all when they play Seattle this coming season? Once the ball is kicked off, will it literally just be another game for them?

Once the ball is kicked off, the players will be thinking about one thing and one thing only, doing their job. I continue to be amazed at how fans don't get that. They just don't seem to understand that this is a job for these players. Before they can "root" for the team, they've got to "root" for themselves. They'll talk to the media about the previous season's game, but during their preparation and during the game their focus will be completely on what they have to do to be the best football player they can be.

Brad from Gallatin, TN

Vic, what's your fascination with Brett from Green Bay? How does he get so many questions answered?

I like his questions. I've used them so often that I would think by now other readers would get the hint: Ask short, to-the-point questions. I'm not looking for long diatribes followed by "Your thoughts?" This is "Ask Vic," not "Tell Vic," and Brett does it as it should be done.

Dan from Saint Peters, MO

Vic, what major changes to the game should we expect to see this offseason?

I think the playoff field will be expanded. I think we're also nearing some forward guidance on Los Angeles and London.

Egan from Memphis, TN

I know Ted Thompson's philosophy is to draft and develop players, and I am all for that, but Thompson did sign a few players last year that had a great impact, Peppers and Guion. Do you think there's any chance of Thompson finding another free agent this year or focusing completely on the draft?

I think he's open to signing free agents, but I think his priority will be to sign his own free agents. The bargain guys, such as Letroy Guion, will always be a target for teams such as the Packers, which is to say teams that protect the health of their salary cap.

Travis from Fresno, CA

You say $7,200 like it wasn't a lot, but wasn't gas like nine cents a gallon back then?

You might want to check the gas prices during the gas-shortage years of the mid-1970's. Cars were gas-guzzlers with big tanks. My salary didn't go far at the pumps back then, if you could even get to the pumps.

Duane from Newnan, GA

If the Packers had made that one play and faced the Patriots this weekend, do you think playing earlier in the year would give the Patriots an edge?

Yes, I do, just as I think it gave the Giants an edge in the 2011 playoffs.

Ron from Chicago, IL

Vic, my personal feeling on the whole media access issue is mixed. On the one hand, I understand you guys need the players talking in order to write stories, and the NFL wants the stories written in order to generate interest and, eventually, revenue. At the same time, the media is a for-profit enterprise. I prefer the media to be invisible and just have the stories appear. I don't like it when members of the media make the story about their own troubles doing their job. It just smacks of whining. Most people sometimes have hindrances getting their jobs done, but in the end, everyone manages.

So you want the media to be a non-profit corporation that provides you with sterilized information. Wouldn't that be TASS? Here's what I think: I think you don't like the media because you want the media to tell you what you think, instead of what the media thinks.

James from Wausau, WI

BAP controversy is back again.

It's the gift that keeps on giving all year long. It has brought great minds to frustration attempting to understand and embrace its simple logic.

Greg from Conway, AR

Vic, your comment, "They were one play from the Super Bowl," could be assigned to any one of approximately 10 opportunities to salt the game away. The Packers' motto next year, for the coaches and players should be, "Tighten up the lapses."

If I was to create a motto, and I don't think it's necessary, that motto would be, "Make the play."

Tom from Blaine, WA

Have you ever seen the movie Gettysburg? "To be a good soldier, you must love the army. To be a good commander, you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love." The coach can't care as deeply as the fans.

The coach must be committed solely to success. He can't be thinking of avenging fourth-and-26 or any of that other emotional stuff that defines the fans' experience. Most of all, he can't act as a fan following defeat. When the game is over, the coach's focus turns solely to what will help his team win the next game, and assigning blame usually doesn't help teams win.

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