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It's not a science; allow for wiggle room

The “Tailgate Tour” bus rolls on


Kyle from Spooner, WI

That was quite a wistful story about Bradshaw's last-ever pass. These guys dedicate the majority of their formative years to being football players. How do they cope with such intense sadness at the end of their careers?

If they've saved their money, they enjoy the fruits of it. In some cases, such as Terry Bradshaw's, they go on to even more fulfilling careers. The ones that bother me are the ones that result in bankruptcy and regret. I read a stat recently that claims one out of every six NFL players is bankrupt 12 years after they've finished playing. That's better than it was, but still a disappointment for men who were able to begin their adult lives with such earning power.

Pete from Clarkridge, AR

What in the world is "the crying song" from The Masters?

I hope you have a hanky.

Mike from Waterford, MI

Whose history includes Unitas, the Baltimore Ravens' or the Indianapolis Colts'?

Johnny Unitas asked the Colts to delete him from their history because he never played in Indianapolis. He was such a beautiful football man.

Erik from River Falls, WI

Vic, you often talk about BAP vs. picking for need in the draft. I've heard many teams don't use a strictly vertical draft board, but a combination of horizontal and vertical, meaning that when it's their time to pick, they may have multiple players on their board with the same grade. Do the Packers use this type of philosophy?

You're trying to turn this into a science. It's not a science. Teams target players they want to draft. The Packers will have targets on draft day. Their value board will tell them where those targets fit with all of the other players that'll be available, and that tells the Packers where they need to pick the player they've targeted to adhere to their value line. Nothing is exact. You have to allow for wiggle room, but every team, even the needs pickers, are trying to respect their board's value line. Why? Because where you pick a player could determine how much you're going to pay him over the length of his career. If you overpay once, you'll likely overpay again.

Justin from Dacula, GA

Vic, how are you? Would you mind sharing your opinion about the NBA and lack of interest thereof?

It doesn't interest me. The players are too good and the game is too easy. There's no struggle.

Jim from Tucson, AZ

My hat is off to Mark Murphy. I just can't imagine other owners/presidents going on a bus tour with current/past players just to meet/greet the fans. Vic, are we that special?

I know of no franchise in professional sports that regards its fans with the love and respect the Packers do theirs.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

What was the point years ago in a 12-game season to play six exhibition games? Were the players so woefully out of shape during the offseason they needed all of that time to round into playing condition?

Pete Rozelle would've bristled at the "exhibition games" reference. He insisted on them being referred to as preseason games; that was his little thing. Back then, training camp began shortly after the Fourth of July and it lasted nine weeks with full-pads two-a-days every day. Starters played deep into the preseason games, and I can remember covering a couple of overtime preseason games. Training camp rosters were unlimited and the competition to make the final roster was fiercely intense. It was an endurance test, but when the regular season began, everybody was ready to go.

Curt from York, PA

Vic, please explain further why the old Packers sweep would not work today. If everybody blocks who they are supposed to block, why would it not work?

The three-technique defensive tackle would penetrate into the backfield, cut Kramer and Thurston would trip over Kramer and there would be no alley.

Andrew from Jacksonville, FL

What are your three favorite golf courses to watch on TV?

My three favorite to watch are whatever the two Open courses are, and the Stadium Course at Sawgrass.

Craig from Chicago, IL

I agree with you, the uniform is an important part of a franchise's identity. I miss when the Bucs wore orange and the Rams wore blue and yellow. Boy, those uniforms popped. I read the new Browns uniforms have nine different combinations. Talk about an identity crisis.

And no logo on the helmet.

Dan from Houston, TX

"He thanks you from the bottom of his wallet." Classic line, Vic! I love it.

I'll never understand the venom fans have for Mel Kiper, but it works for him.

Adam from Wausau, WI

The game was smaller back then, and so were we.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

Do you watch soccer at all, Vic? I have been searching for the competitiveness I regularly miss when football season is over. The MLS has begun to fill that void for me; it's pretty fun to watch.

If men dressed in shorts and knee socks broke into my home, turned on my TV to one of those soccer channels, held my eyelids opened and forced me to watch, I'd hold my breath until I died.

Milan from New York, NY

Vic, I see Jim Mutscheller died. I saw "The Greatest Game" on TV. Looking at the photo, I was reminded of going years later to Yankee Stadium to watch the Giants and how terrible the field conditions were, as they were in many stadiums, since they were shared with baseball teams. Hard to believe there weren't more ACLs.

Mutscheller caught the pass that shouldn't have been thrown. That's his claim to fame. I'll also remember Mutscheller as the other guy from Beaver Falls.

Dan from Madison, AL

Your answer to Jake from Franklin, "I'm glad that I did," was very clever. I wonder if passive voice is ever used by Vic?

Vic likes passive voice. Vic is passive.

Willie from Hayward, WI

I think your story about Terry Bradshaw's arm indicates how times have changed. First, in today's environment, would you even be in a position to be on a bus next to the starting QB the day before the game? Secondly, would the player tell you the status of his arm if you were able to get close to him? Third, would the reporter keep his mouth shut or would he scoop the story through some online media source for the world to see? I would expect it was a lot more fun in the old days.

First of all, if I tried to get on a team bus today, men in dark suits would yell out, "Freeze, gopher." Secondly, any player providing injury information to the media would be subject to fine or harsh rebuke or both from the head coach. Thirdly, this reporter didn't quote Bradshaw as saying he couldn't throw at all, but observed he didn't throw at all and reported that fact. Today, Bradshaw's quote would've instantly been published in social media, which would've resulted in further estrangement between the players and the media.

Detmer from Berlin, WI

Phillip Rivers' release looks, uh, weird. It's like all forearm. It works, but how?

He rolls his shoulder. That's where the power is. Nobody rolled their shoulder better than Dan Marino.

Ashley from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Vic, I see all these questions from Packers fans from all over the world in your column, but no love for us Packers backers out here in Central Asia. My question is, apart from the Packers, Steelers and Jaguars, are there any other teams you find yourself rooting for?

I don't root. I watch and enjoy. I don't expect you to understand.

Andy from Cadillac, MI

Vic, the NFL has tried and failed with teams in LA before. It doesn't matter how big the market is if nobody cares enough to go to the games or turn on their televisions. What are they thinking will be different this time around?

They think having a stadium that isn't condemned will make a difference. I'm serious; the press box was condemned the last time I covered a game at the LA Coliseum.

Dirk from Los Gatos, CA

Do you ever get the chance to play golf with some of the Packers legends?

I played golf with Don Horn two years ago. It was a joy spending the afternoon with someone who I remembered from when I was a teenager watching the Packers dominate professional football.

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