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Merry Christmas! Wait and we'll have our answer

The tackling dummy was the symbol of the game


Aaron from Campbellsport, WI

Vic, how about a guaranteed football game on Christmas every year? What do you think, Vic?

You mean, like the longest game ever played? You don't forget that kind of Christmas. Football defines this time of the year. Merry Christmas!

Keith from Jacksonville, FL

The league wants more yards and points, but at the same time they want it safer. I was dreaming that every time I'd bite my piece of cake it would instantaneously replenish itself.

Offense is the soft side of the ball. When you favor offense, you favor yards, points and safety. Merry Christmas!

Joshua from Cable, WI

Vic, McCarthy and Rodgers might not sit next to you on the plane, but I do feel like they are talking to us. From Rodgers saying he is registered to vote in Wisconsin to McCarthy talking about the importance of family. Maybe I'm wrong but I can't see Bill Belichick getting a little choked up talking about missing his brother's wedding because of football. The kind of honesty McCarthy brings to his conferences and interviews speaks to me a lot more than "we're on to Arizona."

I desperately hope the quarterback and the coach read your words. They are beyond meaningfulness. Fans want to know all of this means as much to the men they cheer as it does to those that cheer. Show them what's inside you. Let them see who you really are. If I could have one request granted by the men I cover, that would be it. Merry Christmas!

Colin from Lansdale, PA

I couldn't agree more with Austin from Denver. That press conference was awesome.

The truth is the pure defense. Merry Christmas!

Craig from El Dorado, CA

Vic, I'm the guy that loves catching punks steal Christmas lights and beat them until the snow is red.

The kids in Natrona are pretty tough, coach. Merry Christmas!

James from New York, NY

Merry Christmas, Vic.

Merry Christmas, James.

Jake from Phoenix, AZ

Vic, where do visiting teams hold their practices before game day? Does the home team provide a location? Or does the visiting team have to secure a location?

I don't know what the rule is now, but when I started covering the NFL, the home team was required to provide a practice facility for the visiting team the day before the game. That field was usually the one on which the game would be played, largely because that's where the visitors' equipment was taken when the plane landed. The last practice I can remember covering on the road the day before the game was at Shea Stadium in 1983. That was until this year, when the Packers practiced on a high school field in Denver the day before the game. They're going to practice in Arizona tomorrow. Merry Christmas!

Thomas from Park Falls, WI

Vic, in your heart and mostly your brain, do you really think this version of the Green Bay Packers is going to go into Arizona and pull off a win?

I see no reason to speculate. All we have to do is wait for the game to be played and we'll have our answer. This is the game that's going to tell us everything we need to know about where this team is heading into the game that'll likely decide the NFC North title. Why guess? Just wait two more days. Merry Christmas!

Steve from Lubbock, TX

"Allow the quarterback to spike the ball at any time." We don't even know what a catch or a fumble or an arm moving forward in a passing motion are. How are we going to know what a spike is?

It would be no different than a pass, except you wouldn't have to throw it to anyone. The defensive lineman that forced it would be credited with a "spike," which would become a stat the equal of a sack. I acknowledge a lot of my ideas are way out there, but feel free to dig me up and tell me if this one doesn't happen. Merry Christmas!

Matt from Fort Collins, CO

Vic, your football ideology is very refreshing; I wish more fans could understand the deeper meaning behind the game. Was there always the vast sea of bandwagoners with little knowledge of the game and their team, or can you remember a time when the average fan understood the beauty and depth of the game on a deeper level? I love your style, man. Don't change a thing.

Once upon a time, every football practice field housed an apparatus that included a tackling dummy connected to a thick rope that ran up and over a pulley, and then down to a slab of cement that was formed from hardening in a bucket. Underneath the dummy, as it hung from the apparatus, was rutted dirt. If someone stood back and studied the apparatus for 10 seconds, they likely knew all there was to know about football. I don't think that's true today. Merry Christmas!

Austan from Spooner, WI

So, what did you guys do with the lights? I mean, could you bring an armload to the pawn shop and get enough cents for a Clark bar or something? Merry Christmas!

Being the kind, honest but mischievous child I was, I would put the lights back on the porch of the house from which the lights were, let's say, examined for imperfection, if yinz know what I mean. Merry Christmas!

Jeannie from Rockford, IL

I so enjoy reading this column every day on my lunch. In the spirit of the upcoming new year, have you ever considered having the Packers Pro Shop make a desk calendar of "Ask Vicisms"?

A sporting goods store in Jacksonville did that one year, except they put them on coffee mugs. Wait, I'll go out to the kitchen and get one. It says: "It's football, you will get hurt," and "Go back to your video game. You have no feel for real football," and "My inbox is a place of great anger." Here's one of my favorites: "Were the aliens here while I was gone?" I did an in-game blog back then, and Jaguars fans had a habit of leaving games at halftime while I went to get a hot dog, so I began accusing aliens of abducting fans at halftime. The store said they sold a lot of the mugs, but they only cost $10, so there wasn't a lot of profit in them. We did a second-edition mug, but somebody complained the words were peeling off the mugs when you put them in the dishwasher, so we stopped having them made real quick. I have a first-edition mug and, of course, a thing. Memories make us rich. Merry Christmas!

Ellen from Beloit, WI

ESPN isn't saying much good about the Packers: Rodgers and McCarthy at odds, ice cold Aaron. I remember the last Super Bowl winning year wasn't pretty, but they got high praise for next man up. What makes it so different when we are still winning? I see a team playing to a level they need to in order to win.

They were getting high praise in 2011. How'd that work? High praise is overrated. Winning isn't. Merry Christmas!

Tom from Bismarck, ND

Vic, I sense a melancholy tone to your writing this holiday season. Perhaps a longing for more family and friends around you, instead of sweaty football players? Well, I for one don't like this kinder and gentler Vic. We play for keeps around here and winning this game might be more important than anything else, including peace on earth. Let's play some football.

I know, I'm getting soft. Merry Christmas!

Frank from Prosper, TX

Has your brain rusted from all the rain? The Cardinals did not steel a title from Pottstown, they stole it from the Pottsville Maroons.

Pottstown, Pottsville, does it really matter, Frank? I've always gotten them confused. Merry Christmas!

Kevin from Eureka, IL

Vic, do you ever get sick of reading about complaints? Or can you make like a duck and let them run off your back?

They're beginning to chafe me. Merry Christmas!

Ron from Wauzeka, WI

I've been a Packers fan 52 years, since age 10. On the farm at Richland Center, the neighbor kid and I watched the games on the floor in front of his TV. Then we went to the yard and played football in the autumn leaves. We wrestled to see who got to be the Packers and who had to be the Vikings. I am going to be 10 again and just enjoy the Packers. Thanks for helping me do this. Merry Christmas!

Pass it on to your grandchildren. Take the video game from their hands. Roll around on the floor with them. Let them be the Packers. Let them feel what it's like to be the Packers. Merry Christmas!

Mark from Vincennes, IN

The NFC East and AFC South? Next year looks promising.

Not exactly Koufax and Drysdale, is it? Merry Christmas!

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