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Inbox: It's what sets this franchise apart from the rest

You never know what the Packers will do until that card is turned in on draft night

Former Packers DE/LB Aaron Kampman during the 2019 Tailgate Tour.
Former Packers DE/LB Aaron Kampman during the 2019 Tailgate Tour.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, it appears this week New Orleans and several other cities had big parties to honor Inbox's 12th birthday (at least, I assume that's the reason). You do anything special to celebrate? Lunch at your favorite Mexican restaurant? Use Spoff's chair as a footrest? Down a frosty root beer while typing Inbox?

I enjoyed a cold (root) beer and (an untouched) slice of king cake. It was a good day.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

There is no story until there is a story. When will there be a story? When all is said and done, more will be said than done.

When there's a story to be told, my friend. We could've harped on every possible Aaron Rodgers scenario the past two weeks. Would that have led to more clicks? Indubitably. But would it have accomplished anything? Probably not. I can't wait to talk about the Packers' future with you all in (hopefully) the not-so-distant future. But I'm also not going to dump an ICEE down your back and tell you it's snowing. We'll be here once a decision is made. Until then, we wait patiently. That approach might go against every human tendency but I feel it's the most responsible way to handle it.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

What are the top snowiest games in Lambeau history?

Everyone knows about the Snow Bowl game vs. Tampa Bay in 1985 and the Packers' 2008 playoff win over Seattle, but one of my personal favorites is Green Bay's 22-21 win over Atlanta in December 2013. It was cold (nine degrees) and snowing at Lambeau, but Matt Flynn still threw for 258 yards and Eddie Lacy added 65 rushing yards and a touchdown. In his second-to-last NFL game, Johnny Jolly recovered a Mike Neal forced fumble at the Atlanta 21 in the fourth quarter to set up Flynn's game-winning touchdown pass to Andrew Quarless. One week later, Flynn and Lacy combined to lead Green Bay to its greatest second-half comeback in a win over Dallas. That was a December run to remember and too often forgotten.

Tracy from Cashton, WI

Thoughts on draft picks? Seems like we will have some holes to fill this year wondering where they might start?

You never know what the Packers will do until that card is turned in on draft night, but defensive front (seven) and secondary (five) have been the spots where Green Bay has drafted the most first-rounders over the past 12 years. So, that's your safest bet if past is prologue. Realistically, though, we have to see how the boards fall into place after the combine and pro days before pontificating on who might be available at No. 15.

Mary Ann from Black Mountain, NC

I enjoy every word written about the character of Aaron Jones. And Packers players participating in Tailgate Tours and other community events points to a very special culture on the team and in the community. As contracts are written and restructured, talent is obviously essential. But how important is to management that the player is a man of character and fits the Packers' culture?

It's a vital part of a process. NFL locker rooms are full of many unique individuals with different life experiences and perspectives, but the tie that binds in Green Bay are the ideals upon which this organization is built – respect and integrity. And nobody represents that better than Jones. The Tailgate Tour should be a lot of fun this year with a collection of high-character men. It's a special deal and what sets this franchise apart from the rest.

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

Derek from E.C., see you on April 11 at the Lismore for the Packers Tailgating Tour! This is something I look forward to every year, seeing the Packers travel the state and stopping in unique places. Love the stories that come from the Tailgate Tour. Wes, when are you or Mike going to join the tailgate tour?

When you have the likes of Jones, Eddie Lacy and Elgton Jenkins involved, you don't need Spiff and Biff.

Scott from Sauk City, WI

For Dustin, we went down to the draft when it was in. Chicago, and it was fun. We didn't even go anywhere near the stage. Like Wes said, the NFL makes it a whole big spectacle. We got to see some Super Bowl rings, some other generic items from Canton, and it was all free. The best part was just people watching. Bret Bielema was walking around and sat down to do an interview that we got to watch from nearby. It was fun. If you're that close, stop down for a couple hours.

See? Don't just take it from me.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. From the viewpoint of an attending journalist, what improvements should be made to the upcoming NFL scouting combine? Thanks.

I don't have many gripes with it. I commend the NFL for the improvements it's made over the past decade with the combine. The schedule is more efficient, and I feel the league utilizes the Indiana Convention Center to its fullest potential, including how media interviews are arranged. My one criticism is the league's attempt to turn the combine into a TV event. I understand there's nothing going on right now, but I'm not sure how much juice can be squeezed from this rock. Large-scale events are cool, but not everything on the NFL calendar has to be a week-long celebration of football.

George from North Mankato, MN

I saw a former ESPN president feels the NFL should make the Super Bowl a pay-per-view event because they are leaving a potential windfall on the table. Do you think we will come to a time when this becomes a reality or are the broadcast rights for the Super Bowl too important to the networks to keep TV revenues sky high?

I've heard a lot of criticisms of the Super Bowl over the years but the NFL not making enough money off it isn't one of them. The network TV formula works. The Super Bowl should forever be a free, over-the-air telecast available to anyone in this great country.

Bob from Emmaus, PA

Sorry about the math, but do you think the total joy for the winning team in the Super Bowl exceeds the sadness and disappointment of the rest of the league that did not win. Even the wining team knows that their team will change next year with coaches and players moving on.

I do, because of what it means to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. The energy and enthusiasm of that achievement in unparalleled. For me, one of the lasting images of Super Bowl LVII will be Chad Henne, beer in hand, announcing his retirement after Kansas City's victory. That's the storybook ending every player covets.

The Green Bay Packers kicked off the first day of the 'Empower' leadership event for Northeast Wisconsin middle school students at Lambeau Field on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

Does the fanbase actually matter in producing championships for teams? So, let's say you take a friendly fanbase like the Packers or a villainous one like the Eagles – does that impact the draft composition of how players perform on the field and who the organization brings in? Whether from the players, coaches, or culture of the organization?

It might, but at the end of the day, fans will support winners. Just look at that Jacksonville playoff game this year. Green Bay is special in that these fans wrap their arms around this team and these players, win or lose. As long as you play hard every Sunday, Packers fans will stick with you through thick and thin. At least, that's my experience.

Terry from Elroy, WI

Didn't the Packers have a quarterback in the late '70s or in the '80s who wore uniform No. 2? (Robbie Bosco comes to mind for some reason.)

Others have worn No. 2, including Tim Couch during the 2004 preseason, but it only counts in team annals if that player appeared with the Packers in a regular-season game.

Mutt from: Blaine, MN

Everyone wants to use the chip in the ball for things like first downs and touchdowns, but where is the chip actually at? Are there multiple chips? If so, are they at the tips? If so, what if the ball is sideways? The ball only needs to touch the line for first downs or touchdowns. I see possibilities fraught with calamity.

How do they do it with the hawk-eye system in tennis? Are there chips scattered throughout the ball or does laser technology determine where the ball comes into contact with the line? It's 2023 and we're talking about one of the most successful sport leagues in the world. Let's innovate.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas, can we please make the first question for Rodgers when he gets back be, was Simon and Garfunkel "Sound of Silence" at the top of your alarm playlist during darkness retreat? I get a kick of imagining Rodgers waking up to "hello darkness my old friend…"

Removing the humor from your submission, there is a good question in there. I wonder if music was permitted. I know he's a big Bon Iver fan. Justin Vernon's vocals would get me through at least a day and a half. Fun fact: Vernon wrote most of "For Emma, Forever Ago" (2007) while in insolation in the western part of Wisconsin.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

You have just emerged from a four-day darkness retreat. Aside from personal hygiene matters, what is the first thing you do upon your return to the light?

Check my phone…which probably defeats the purpose.

Jim from Eau Claire, WI

Wes, if the Packers re-sign any of the players whose contracts were voided on Monday, do they recoup the dead cap hit?

No. That dead money is on the books now. Any player who re-signs would be on a completely new deal.

Charles from Blairsville, GA

Do the Packers have a large inventory of shoe sizes for the players? With all the different sizes and wear and tear on the fields they play on, are the shoes repaired or are the players given new shoes when needed?

The Packers have an equipment room filled to the ceiling with cleats. If needed, Red Batty and his staff do repairs. But it's not unusual for players to have a dozen pairs of cleats in their footlocker at the end of a season. That's why locker-room cleanout day often resembles a Payless shoe store.

Dave from Waterford, OH

I don't care for the college proposal of keeping the clock running after an incomplete pass. Change the rules to keep the clock running after a first down. Those post-first down clock interruptions are typically 8-10 seconds of stoppages. Add those 25-30 clock stoppages, or more, and the game is prolonged by 4-5 minutes, maybe more. Then, halftime in college is 20 minutes long versus 12 in the pros. Make it 15 and you shave another five minutes. That's 10 minutes off with just those two changes.

I think it's a great idea, especially at the FBS level. I'd like Spoff to tackle this question next week. He watches much more college football than I do. I'd be curious to hear his thoughts on the matter. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill.

Bill from Clive, IA

The discussion on USFL players has me wondering... is there a players union for those guys, or are they all independent contractors? And how do base salaries compare between the NFL and XFL/USFL? Can guys like G-Mo make a decent living there?

It's decent but pales in comparison to an NFL paystub. XFL players get a minimum of $5,000 per week if they're on the game-day roster and a $1,000 bonus for each player on the winning team, though some players earn more than that. USFL players receive $5,350 per active game.

Augustus from Eureka, CA

Wes, how big of a crew comes with you to the combine? Do you ever want to look at Larry and say: "Might as well ride along with us…(Heck), everybody else is"?

Ha. It would be the other way around. It's usually, me, Spoff, the incomparable Tyler Gajewski and one of our video guys hopping into a truck and driving down. This year, it's Nick "Knack" McGahan.

Steven from Colorado Springs, CO

In reference to the out of bounds punt placement, I remember hearing during a game that there's another referee on the other side of field down by where the kick was and the two of triangulate (math in the II?) the place where the ball went out of bounds. If you watch the placement referee, you'll see he's looking at something away from him. It was something like that and it was a long time ago, so, to quote Wes, "I could be wrong."

Oh, I understand how it works. I just don't know how it works. Does that make sense? But if those two officials can figure out, that's fine by me. Now, let's talk about defensive holding in the final two minutes of a Super Bowl.

Johnny from Salt Lake City, UT

Wes, I'm almost out of questions this offseason. What are your favorite items to order at the 1919 Kitchen & Tap?

The elote salad, when it's in-season. Otherwise, you can never go wrong with the Wisco Burger.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

Espresso machine? Wisconsonites are soft! Spoken from a Floridian who passes on my two-mile daily run when the temperature dips below 50 degrees!

We cling to our little victories in these parts.

Dave from Middletown, CT

Weston, what have you started? From "proof is in the pudding" (albeit that wasn't your quip) to "chomping" and now "one in the same." From my vantage point, I think you're testing us readers to see how many caught the preposition "in" used instead of the conjunction "and" (thanks for the Conjunction Junction hint). That must of been it – giving us an abject lesson. Well, for all intensive purposes, we know what you meant.

I do what I can.

Scott from Muir Beach, CA

Did you know that, for every II column I read, I ignore the title and try to pick out your response from the various comments that eventually becomes the subtitle? I'm, like, 0 for seven years. You most probably didn't know that.

That surprises me to hear. I figured I was more predictable than that.

H.R. from Henderson, NV

The combination of answers in yesterday's Inbox of the right community and the reference to Schoolhouse Rock had me singing the preamble. That's how I learned it when I was a kid; Saturday mornings, eating cereal, parked in front of the TV. To have that memory come up while reading the Inbox was both weird and awesome. "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union" couldn't be more right for the inbox, the community, the Packers. GPG.

Ask Vic/Insider Inbox: Weird and Awesome since 2011. Have a great Thursday, everyone.

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