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It's all about tonight; nothing else matters

Super Bowl I "Ask Vic Halftime" would've been interesting


Jason from Menomonee Falls, WI

Could "New England Packer fan" possibly be referring to Belichick's ability to scheme players, not plays?

I don't know to what he or she was referring, but Bill Belichick is a master at scheming personnel.

Ben from Hudson, WI

Vic, you mentioned getting an L.A. stadium will greatly increase the salary cap. Since that revenue is shared among all teams, the increased salary cap won't benefit any single team, correct? All teams will have the same caliber of players they currently have under the current salary cap, but they all will be paid more, correct?

That's not correct. The revenue isn't fully shared, but the salary cap cost it creates is.

Andy from Tomahawk, WI

I heard that in the 2017 draft compensatory picks can be traded. How will this affect the draft and subsequently not re-signing players?

It'll favor draft-and-develop because it'll give teams with a net loss in free agency more flexibility for replacing those players in the draft.

Dick from Oceanside, CA

I'm not at all surprised to see that you like yourself. This is because you are a disingenuous narcissist. Once the season is over, I will be writing Mark Murphy with the suggestion that he fire you.

I understand.

Joe from Madison, WI

I'm wondering, do you think if the Packers play the fast, up-tempo game they want to play, it could wear down Arizona's defense and give Green Bay the edge?

That would not be my expectation, but it would seem everyone else favors that kind of strategy, so I must be wrong.

Chad from Madison, WI

Vic, the forecast on Sunday is for high temperatures below zero. Make sure you fill up your tank before heading off to Arizona.

I just looked at the forecast; you're right. The thought of returning in the middle of the night to an ice cube with a steering wheel makes me wanna cry. Last week, I sat in the car with the engine running for 15 minutes, and it still wouldn't melt the ice and snow on my windshield.

Ken from Baltimore, MD

Vic, I'm starting to understand more and more the whole players, not plays concept, however, as a scientist, I have to delve deeper and look at the extremes. In my scientific mind, there must be some gradient. Can you clarify for me? I enjoy the column.

I have a scientific experiment you can conduct. I believe it will provide the information you need to fully understand the players, not plays concept. Hit yourself with a hammer. Then ask yourself: Do I want to do that again?

Mark from Lomira, WI

You were spot on last week, saying the home teams have a big advantage in the playoffs. Oops, they all lost. What are your great words of wisdom this week?

I picked the Packers to win last week. Does anything else really matter?

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Take the ball or defer this week?

I don't think wind will be an issue, so I say defer.

Tony from San Diego, CA

Vic, I just watched a video with some media men talking about the Packers, and one of the gentlemen brought up a game I am too young to remember. It was the 1996 AFC divisional playoff game between Jacksonville and Denver. I believe you covered this game, correct? What do you remember most about this game?

I remember the Broncos scored twice very quickly. They missed the extra-point try following the first touchdown, and then went for two and failed to convert after the second touchdown, which made the score 12-0. The Jaguars lived by the pass that season, but couldn't throw against the Broncos. The Broncos were dominating on both sides of the ball. Then, almost as a means of surrender, the Jaguars turned to the run and Natrone Means ripped off a big gain and everything instantly changed. The Jaguars could run and pass, and the Broncos couldn't do either. The Jaguars began to dominate. I've never seen one running play change a game as that running play seemed to do. I also remember Woody Paige referring to the Jaguars as Jagwads in the morning newspaper, and it became a rallying cry for the Jaguars, and I remember a middle-of-the-night pep rally back in Jacksonville. Memories make us rich, and my football memories make me one of the richest men in the world.

Wess from Waynesville, NC

So after some deliberation, I'm pretty sure I got a thing from my grandparents for Christmas. It's even more puzzling in person. Have you found an actual use for the thing yet?

No, but I own a home for which I hang a key under the steps that lead to a door for entering the home. I think I'm going to put a key on the thing and hang it under the steps. It's either that or put it some place I won't remember so I'll always have it when I don't need it.

Bob from Beaver Dam, WI

We weren't prepared for their speed in the last meeting. How do you prepare for speed?

You think faster. You process information more quickly, which allows you to increase your pace of play. The Packers will have to be sharper in every aspect of their play. It begins with decision–making.

Roger from Auburn, CA

Vic, it sure doesn't seem like any of the experts are giving much of a chance to the Packers to upset the Cardinals. Can you recall any examples of a team getting whipped badly near the playoffs, but coming back a few weeks later to beat the same team?

I'm sure there are several examples. One that comes to mind is the Steelers' 2005 playoffs win in Indianapolis. The Colts thumped the Steelers in the RCA Dome on a Monday night late in the season. It was an embarrassing loss for the Steelers, who weren't prepared for the noise. When they went back to the RCA Dome for the playoffs, they were prepared for the noise: They brought their fans.

Richard from Bursa, Turkey

Vic, what memories did watching "The Lost Game" bring back to you?

I watched it on a TV at the pep rally. I said to Wayne Larrivee, "My memory's pretty good because I remember being upset the Packers weren't winning big enough, quickly enough." I wanted the Packers to win big and leave no doubt as to what league was superior. That didn't happen in the first half. The final score allowed the NFL to claim dominance, but I didn't feel it in my heart. The danger signs were many. One of them was a significant ratings win by NBC over CBS, which was the dominant TV network back then. The message was: More viewers are watching the Chiefs than the Packers. Don Weiss was Pete Rozelle's right-hand man through the first several Super Bowls. In his final months, as Don was writing a book entitled "The Making of the Super Bowl," he talked to me about Rozelle's worry as the two left Los Angeles after the game. Rozelle saw it coming. He knew it was time to merge.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

Have you ever tried to become a seer and analyze which coaches would have been Hall of Fame if they had a QB?

I don't have to be a seer to do that. Immediately, Marty Schottenheimer's name comes to mind. If Schottenheimer had a Hall of Fame quarterback in Kansas City, the Chiefs would've won multiple Super Bowls.

Mike from Des Plaines, IL

Vic, did you catch the replay of Super Bowl I on Friday night? Being in my 30's, this was the first time I was able to watch the game. There is something mesmerizing about the style and pace of the game.

It was more deliberate. You could see the blocking forming. Jim Taylor's touchdown run is the perfect example. Seeing Nos. 63 and 64 lead Taylor around left end made my heart smile. It was a beautiful game, and it still is a beautiful game. All of the generations that have played this wonderful sport deserve equal doses of respect.

Herb from Palm Desert, CA

I'm curious what you think of the Super Bowl I re-broadcast. What do you think the inbox of "Ask Vic Halftime" would have looked like back on that day? The heavily-favored Packers were only up by four and the Chiefs had missed a field goal attempt, which would have made it a one-point game.

If today's fans were watching that game, "Ask Vic Halftime" would've looked something like this: "Fire Lombardi! His play-calling is predictable. My wife knows what play the Packers are going to run. This is an embarrassment to the NFL." Seriously, I wonder what the fans back then would've written to "Ask Vic Halftime." Would they have been as critical of the Packers' play as today's fans are? I wonder what I'm going to get tonight. Let's make a vow: "I promise to control myself tonight as I watch the game." I promise you, I will enjoy this game, whatever its outcome, because it's a pleasure to cover postseason football. It's all about tonight. Just win one game. That Chargers game back in October is meaningless now. The home division losses are unimportant; those teams are all done playing. Nothing matters but what happens tonight. If the Packers win, I believe they will host the NFC title game. Here we go.

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