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It's the Giants; does it really matter?


Trevor from Oxford, MS

I think I'm more confused about the overtime rules in the postseason now than ever. The league just doesn't want a field goal to win the game.

Bingo! Touchdown trumps all.

Jesse from Elk Mound, WI

There were two plays over the weekend that had me scratching my head. The Lions were awarded the football after a Drew Brees fumble but a fumble that seemingly was going for a touchdown, but because a whistle was blown, there was no taking the ball in for six. Ben Roethlisberger threw a backward pass that was recovered by the Broncos, but the whistle had blown making it an unchallengeable play. The NFL competition committee needs to take a long, hard look at the review system because right now there are flaws, it's obvious. Let's get these calls right. Any thoughts?

Every time the competition committee takes a long, hard look, we get more rules, which leads to more mistakes, which leads to more confusion, which leads to more long, hard looks. Before there was a challenge system, the incomplete pass ruling in the Broncos game would've stood and the defense would've turned its focus to the next play, instead of a big production that blunted the defense's focus and resulted in nothing more than what we had in the first place, an incomplete pass. The comedy of it all was that John Fox decided not to challenge because he would've won it. There's the flaw in the system: Winning the challenge wasn't worth the challenge.

Shawn from Bowler, WI

Do you think the head ref should give a postgame conference as well? I mean, we expect coaches and players to answer for calls and plays, why not the refs?

By the time the game was over, I had heard enough from Ron Winter. I didn't need a press conference. I find myself longing for the day when Fred Swearingen walked to the middle of the field, turned, paused and put his arms up.

Greg from Danbury, CT

There it is. The one team we did not want to see at Lambeau in January will be our guests this Sunday. How sweet is this?

Who would you rather play? The Saints? The 49ers? The four remaining NFC playoff teams are all hot and to get to the Super Bowl the Packers will have to beat two of the other three. Does the order really matter? Just win, baby.

Alex from Shorewood, WI

As you previously mentioned, and as I'm sure we're all aware, there is a strong movement to get a team moved out to Los Angeles. My question is why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Dating back to 1946, L.A. has been the home to the Rams, Chargers and Raiders and each has subsequently left for one reason or another. Is there really a good enough market in L.A. to sustain an NFL team?

Good enough market? Eleven million people is a pretty good market. The Chargers were in Los Angeles for only one season and until they could find a market of their own, which they did in San Diego the following season. The Rams and Raiders each left Los Angeles for the same reason: stadium problems. That has always been the issue in Los Angeles, which has steadfastly refused to direct tax money to construction of a new stadium. When a new stadium is built in Los Angeles, then we'll find out if Los Angeles will support an NFL team; I think we're going to find out if it'll support two NFL teams.

Todd from Fitchburg, WI

What challenge do you think will be the biggest for the Packers against the Giants?

Beating the Giants will begin with protecting Aaron Rodgers.

John from New York, NY

The Giants have a ferocious pass-rush. What are your thoughts for the Packers to handle that pass-rush on Sunday?

The Packers will have to win the one-on-ones up front, and the ball will have to come out of Aaron Rodgers' hand quickly. That's the combination that works against a team with premier pass-rushers. The Falcons did not win the one-on-ones up front. They got whipped at the point of attack in short-yardage and that's why the Giants won the game.

Carl from Mansfield, OH

I just read a quote from Jason Pierre-Paul. He guaranteed a win at Green Bay on Sunday. Do statements like that have any impact on members of the Packers?

No. Players think in terms of what they have to do to execute their responsibility. They don't think in terms of are we going to win or are we going to lose. Coaches worry about winning or losing, players worry about doing their jobs because they know that's all they can do and it's what they must do for the team to win. The impact of Pierre-Paul's guarantee is that he has saddled himself with extra responsibility. Instead of only being responsible for doing his job, he's now also responsible for winning. If you're looking for impact, that's it.

Lucas from Clinton, IA

Who keeps the revenue from playoff games? Does the NFL share it with both teams participating or does the home team keep it?

The NFL keeps all playoff ticket revenue. The home team keeps ancillary revenues, such as concessions and parking. The NFL pays expenses.

Jeff from Allen, TX

If we lose in this postseason, it's going to be your fault. Just kidding, but my question is: Are you superstitious?

I'm not superstitious and I'm neither stupid enough nor vain enough to think I have any impact on the outcome of a football game. I am an observer; that's all. I just watch.

Tom from Freeport, IL

Why aren't cameras mounted above goal posts to verify if extra points and three-pointers are inside the uprights?

How did we ever survive Don Chandler's kick?

Bart from San Diego, CA

I read with admiration the comments Ted Thompson made with regards to the McKenzie hiring by the Raiders. How refreshing to hear people with class and integrity for a change. Most impressive. What traits impress you most about Mr. Thompson?

Intelligence and discipline; they appear to be one and the same. I love a person who has the intelligence to choose his words and the discipline to remain silent. Silence is such an impressive quality. I've never heard Thompson defend himself or his decisions. He lets the results speak for him.

Cory from Milton, ON

Would you prefer to watch a playoff game in a dome or outside?

I prefer to sit in a warm press box and watch players and fans brave the elements. I have great appreciation and sensitivity for cold-weather football.

Nathan from Littlefield, TX

What's your favorite Steinbeck book?

"The Moon Is Down."

Ben from Dover, NH

Vic, what does a city or team have to do to host the Super Bowl? Would there be a possibility Green Bay could host one? If not, is it because weather is a factor?

Yeah, the weather would be a factor, but even if Lambeau Field was a dome, Green Bay wouldn't be a viable candidate to host a Super Bowl. Hotel rooms and flights are the big things. You have to have an airport that has the flights to handle huge volume and you have to have the hotel rooms to house all of those people. Jacksonville had to bring cruise ships into town to handle the crush of humanity.

Tom from Bloomfield Hills, MI

I read Coach McCarthy's interviews, listen to his press conferences, etc. I know he keeps a lot of things close to the vest. He is uncommunicative when he feels he needs to be, to protect the team. You don't hear a lot of rah-rah, but every once in a while he'll say something that sends a chill up my spine: "We're nobody's underdog," or "Be the hunter, not the hunted," or "We don't play scared." Do those words impact his team the way they do me?

He has a way of providing perspective. I've noticed that, too. He has a feel for what might be on his players' minds that might become an obstacle to winning, and he heads it off by providing the proper mindset. Don't be fooled by the press conferences. Coach McCarthy can talk with the best of them.

Mike from North Aurora, IL

If you could interview any three people from the history of the NFL, who would you choose and why?

I'd want Lombardi's opinion on today's game. I'd want Unitas to tell me about the game when he played it. I'd want Rozelle's opinion on the future of professional football.

Belto from Canton, NC

I missed one game on the first week of playoffs but I think everyone did. The Steelers were missing linemen, a safety and Ben was limping around, but does that make what Green Bay did last year all that much special; 16 on IR and never missed a beat?

I got all four; Mark Murphy can confirm it. As for the 2010 Packers, if I had covered them, I think I'd be telling you it was the best coaching job I had ever witnessed.

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