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Packers are the target in NFC North

Football returns to Green Bay this week


Bill from Casper, WY

Green Bay, San Francisco, Dallas, Pittsburgh have all built dynasties at different times. The Packers are the only publicly owned franchise, whereas the other organizations that built dynasties are privately owned. Does the type of ownership structure have any inherent advantage/disadvantage over the other, or does it all boil down to having a good GM with sufficient leeway to run the football operations as he sees fit?

The only difference I see between the teams I've covered is the Packers are more transparent because they're publicly owned.

David from Franklin, TN

Vic, with regard to the team's profits and revenue sharing, how is it determined what revenue stays with the organization and what is split with the rest of the league?

Most revenue is shared. Merchandise is an example of one revenue that is and isn't shared. If a licensed vendor sells Packers merchandise, the revenue is shared by the league's 32 teams. If the Packers sell that jersey, the revenue is not shared.

Lex from Wisconsin Dells, WI

What specific talents would make Bart Starr better suited for today's game?

He didn't have a classic seven-step-drop arm. He would've been perfect in a three-step or five-step game, which is what the West Coast offense is. Bart's football acumen and his ability to manage a game would've made him a perfect dink-and-dunk quarterback, which is essentially what he was on the final drive of the Ice Bowl. Given the protections the quarterback has today, Bart would've thrived in this game. He would've put up huge numbers; he would've been the perfect ball distributor.

Richard from Erie, PA

Vic, the following is a quote from "USA Today" on what is plaguing each NFL team heading into the season, this being the Packers: "Are they over their NFC Championship Game meltdown in Seattle? New team, new season, yada, yada. But if the Packers want to vie for a Super Bowl berth from the safety of Lambeau Field, they can't afford an early-season hangover." Is that really the Packers' biggest issue?

You could say that about any team and its pursuit of homefield advantage. In my mind, the Packers' biggest issue is developing depth at cornerback. They need the first two picks to provide an immediate contribution.

Kurt from Sheboygan, WI

Vic, I see that two of Sterling Sharpe's fellow receivers from his draft class (Michael Irvin, Tim Brown) have made it to the Hall of Fame. Had Sharpe's career not have ended so abruptly, do you think he, too, would have ended up in Canton?

He probably would've, and I hope Cliff Christl reads this and communicates it to his colleagues on the selection committee, because the Hall of Fame is becoming the Hall of Fame of Wide Receivers.

Scott from Portland, OR

I can't wait to hear your response. What about rotating all the linebackers inside and out, including Julius Peppers?

Why do that?

Dale from Kettering, OH

One of my first supervisors told me about being a copy boy at the "Cleveland Plain Dealer," where there was a big table with eight old guys around it who knew everything in the world. It gave me a picture of the way things worked in the newspaper business in one short sentence.

That table was known as "The Rim," and the eight old guys were editors, each of whom performed a specific function. One of them was the dreaded headline writer, who angered many a reporter by putting an inflammatory headline on an otherwise carefully worded story, the headline causing the reporter trouble among the subjects he had to interview on his beat. "Honestly, I didn't write the headline, coach." Copy passed from editor to editor until it made its way around the table and was deemed ready for publication.

Caleb from San Diego, CA

I would really love for you to write a book. The explanation you gave of the general overview of how it would go was great. Is this something you are seriously considering?

I consider "Ask Vic" to be my book. Each installment is another chapter, so to speak.

Matt from Waukesha, WI

"I live for the few months of the year in Green Bay I can wear light clothing." I'm sure most of Wisconsin residents agree. Packers season gets us through to January, hopefully February, and then we all hunker down until we can feel the sun again.

That's a perfect description of life in Green Bay. There's Packers season, and then there's suspended animation until we feel the sun again, which lets us know Packers season is here again. That's where we are this week.

Pat from Austin, TX

In the '60s, I attended a practice at Milwaukee County Stadium and the players wore different numbers than their gameday jerseys. Was that a common practice, and what was the purpose?

I don't know the answer to your question. What I can tell you is the Steelers didn't wear numbers on their practice jerseys when Chuck Noll was their coach. It was said he wanted his coaches to know players by their movements, but I can tell you coaches were paranoid back then about spies from other teams. I always believed that was a big part of not wearing numbers on the practice jerseys. Maybe that's the answer to your question.

Scotty from Chicago, IL

Vic, do you prefer one player returning kicks and punts?

If you have one guy who can do both, it's a big advantage, both in terms of what you save on your roster and in the trust you place in one man to secure the ball.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

Looking forward to my first "Ask Vic Day."

It's on Wednesday. You'll never forget it.

Chris from Petaluma, CA

Vic, is the preseason starting a lot later than normal? If so, why?

Blame it on Labor Day.

Greylorn from Cochise, AZ

No question, just a thank you. I both value and enjoy your insights. You've become addictive.

I'm addicted to writing this column. It starts my day. I love reading and writing. I love sharing opinions. I depend on my inbox to entertain and inform me. I wouldn't know what to do without it.

Alex from La Crosse, WI

How fluent is Mike McCarthy in Pittsburghese?

I detect a hint of sahside, which is a particular version of the language. I speak norside. Jano wah I mean?

Mitchell from Houston, TX

Vic, how excited are you for the Steelers preseason game?

I can't waidon it. I'm gowen to go to Primanti's fer a big sammitch. Then I'm gowen to ride da Mon incline up to Mt. Worshington and looky arahnd. Then I'm gowen to walk arahnd dahntahn.

Tom from Mount Horeb, WI

When did the league move the goalposts to the back of the end zone? What made them decide to do it?

It happened in 1974 and it's a rare example of the NFL following college football's lead. On the goal line, they were in the way; they were a hazard and an obstruction. Also, by moving the goalposts back 10 yards, kickers wouldn't be kicking from the other side of the 50. In the low-scoring and conservative '70's, there were too many field goals and not enough touchdowns.

Richard from Saratoga Springs, NY

The Packers have a target on their backs for every other team in the division. Do franchises develop their teams with the idea of attacking a perennial division champ?

Absolutely they do. The Packers are the target of the other three teams in the NFC North. I think the other three coaches would agree they can't win the division if they can't beat the Packers. That's one of the reasons repeating as division champions is impressive.

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