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One more stand would've done it

Nobody knows what a catch is


William from Black Earth, WI

Vic, with everything on the line, how in the world was there no one covering Larry Fitzgerald on the big play in overtime? Should the NFL overtime rules be changed to allow an entire period to elapse (an entire fifth period), to give both teams the opportunity to fully prove they could earn the victory? The overtime rule now is not fair, but I suppose I wouldn't say that had the Cardinals not scored a touchdown first and we did. But the coin toss ends up determining the winner in this game and it just isn't indicative of the best team. I, along with many who were devastated we lost, think the Packers were the better team.

You've got a lot going on there, but much of it is indicative of my inbox today, so it'll give me a chance to touch on a lot of subjects. First of all, Fitzgerald got open due to a broken coverage. I suspect a defender left Fitzgerald alone on the left side when Carson Palmer ran to his right. It happens. Secondly, the NFL overtime rules have been changed and I consider them to be more than fair. Had the Packers held the Cardinals to a field goal, the game would've continued. In my opinion, a team moving 80 yards in three plays deserves to claim victory. I agree with you that had the Packers accomplished that feat, you would not be complaining about the overtime rules. As for the we're-the-better-team thing, I think you're being grossly unfair to what the Cardinals did at crunch time. From the 10:53 mark of the fourth quarter until the game was over, the Cardinals scored 16 points, gained 166 yards, held the ball nearly seven minutes longer than the Packers, executed a four-and-out on defense and allowed just three completions, two of which were Hail Mary passes to Jeff Janis. Hail Mary is a play with a low degree of success. I think we need to acknowledge our good fortune and thank fate for the proud and entertaining finish to the season it gifted us.

Ryan from Columbia, MO

Sorry, Vic, I just couldn't resist needling you. I appreciate the education.

As I've written, the thing I love most about "Ask Vic" is it can take a punch, and it's not afraid to throw a punch. It's tough-guy fun and I love it.

Evan from Oshkosh, WI

Why not kick to the clock? Do all NFL stadiums face the same way?

Yes, they do. In a manner of speaking, the "clocks" are all at the wind end of the stadium. Google "kick to the clock." Read on it. Learn about the coin-toss options. Revel in the history lesson it provides.

Greg from Neenah, WI

Maybe I missed it, but has anyone asked Mike McCarthy whether he considered going for the two-point conversion after the tying Hail Mary? Playing for OT is obviously the safest thing to do, but being on the road, Rodgers' OT record and what happened in Seattle last year, I would have been OK with the decision to put the outcome on one play from Aaron Rodgers and my offense, rather than the flip of a coin.

It's a question that should've been asked. I accept blame for not asking it. I think it's a viable option because at some point in what's left of the game, you have to make a play to win. Why not make it now? If I was a coach who had already won five Super Bowls and was beloved by the fans, I would seriously consider going for two points in that circumstance. Why five Super Bowls and beloved by the fans? Because if you don't get the two points, the fans are going to run a coach of lesser acclaim out of town. My inbox is full of fans who believe the Packers should've gone for two. Sure they do. We're with you win or tie, coach.

Steve from Birmingham, England

Well, Vic, I guess if memories make you rich, you are a rich man, indeed. Once again, I felt deflated at the end of the game, but get to move on to the next part of the season. What do you do in this down time between the playoff loss and the draft season?

I watch the other games. Yesterday's games were entertaining and I think the two title games are matchups that'll define and distinguish this season. I see a Cardinals-Patriots Super Bowl. I see the Cardinals winning it all, and I'd like that to happen. The Bidwill family has been good for the game. They've endured a lot of losing to get to this point. They have a beautiful stadium in a beautiful area of the country. I think their time has arrived.

Gary from Reno, NV

A certain evanalyst three weeks ago said the Packers wouldn't win in the postseason because of stagnant offense. The same evanalyst said a defensive meltdown cost Aaron Rodgers a trip to the NFC championship game. Why can't we all just give a great team some credit where credit is due?

If that's what you want, then turn off the TV and do it. Don't seek validation. You know what you saw, just as I know what I saw on Saturday night. We each saw a depleted football team execute a beautiful game plan and nearly win a game in which the Packers were on the road and out-manned. At the 10:53 mark, leading 13-10, I thought the Packers were going to win. They needed to make one more stand. I credit Carson Palmer for playing his best when the lights were brightest. That's what wins championships. A lot of my readers want to find a way to avoid crunch time, but it can't be done. Eventually, a team must win at crunch time to win it all.

Colin from Ludlow, UK

Wow! Have you ever seen such a great loss? Only one set of fans has a great year. For the other 31 of us, I can't imagine ever enjoying getting knocked out of the season as much. Any better losses you can recall, Vic?

Sometimes I feel like one of Pavlov's dogs. On most Mondays, I open my inbox and I either get punched in the face or cursed. This morning, after the most heartbreaking loss of the season, I opened my inbox to hugs and kisses. I love Packers fans. I don't know that I'll ever understand them, but I do love them. Mary Lucinda Saunders Dorsett and The Blonde are lovely people.

Luke from San Diego, CA

In reference to the play Coach McCarthy challenged, I am more confused now than ever about a catch. From my understanding of how the rule works, an individual has to complete the catch through the ground. Even if Fitzgerald did have possession at one point during the catch, the catch is considered a process and he did not complete the process. That's my point of view as a logical thinker. Can you explain the play, your opinion, and the ruling from the officials/replay booth?

I can't. I don't know what a catch is. I've done this for 44 years and I have to wait for the officials to tell me a pass has been caught. I had a better understanding of the Immaculate Reception when it happened than I do of a simple checkdown reception today. I had written in my third-quarter running story Fitzgerald had caught the pass. When Coach McCarthy challenged and I saw the replay, I deleted what I wrote and began writing Coach McCarthy had won the challenge. There was no explanation by Referee Clete Blakeman. If Blakeman had come out from under the hood and said he didn't know what a catch was, it would've made more sense. I don't think anybody knows what a catch is. We're all just guessing. Football is a wonderful game, but the NFL has completely ruined this aspect of it. In my opinion, this has to be the No. 1 goal of this year's owners meetings: Define what a catch is so we all know it without being told.

Robert from St. Paul, MN

A lot of Vikings fans could really use some "Ask Vic" style advice on having perspective about football. You'd think the Packers knocked them from the playoffs, the way they are cheering the loss to the Cardinals.

Good! Rivalries are a necessary part of football. In my opinion, the Vikings are the Packers' true rival, as it stands right now, and I think it's going to stand that way for a long time. The Packers are built to last and so are the Vikings. This rivalry is just starting to get good.

Vincent from Seattle, WA

How is Randall Cobb doing? It was reported he was released from the hospital, but that is all that was reported.

Coach McCarthy will meet with the media at 5 p.m. CT today. I'm sure he'll update Cobb's condition. Stay tuned to today, on what is officially exit day for the players and, by and large, farewell to the 2015 season.

Dan from Fountain Hills, AZ

Let's see. We've been wondering about Abbrederis and Janis since Nov 1. We've been told it's a coaching decision and those receivers are not ready. Janis, seven receptions for 145 yards, two touchdowns. Abbrederis, four for 55. Players, not plays. Put the right players in! Sometimes we know best. And I will never change!

They did put them in.

Anthony from Baraboo, WI

I have to say, before Saturday night, I had never enjoyed a game the Packers didn't win. You helped me cope through the pain that was last year's loss, and you helped me actually enjoy watching a game the Packers lost this year.

Light a candle or curse the darkness? My favorite priest graced us with those words on Saturday. I need more candles.

Spencer from Harbor City, CA

My life is a little richer because of the effort from the Packers on Saturday. I'll always remember this game, and I will not tarnish my memory of it by trying to analyze it, either. My only analysis is it was a wonderfully brutal game. Thank you, Vic, and the rest of the Packers organization for another great season. What will be your schedule now the season is over?

At the end of this week, I'm going to my home in South Carolina, where I will remain through the offseason. "Ask Vic Extra" ends today, but "Ask Vic" will continue daily through the offseason, and that includes "Ask Vic Saturday." It's a long way to Tipperary, but we know the way.

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