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Packers fans will be ready for this day


Hans from Front Royal, VA

Vic, after watching Nick Saban win his third championship at the college level, it made me ask the obvious question: Why is it that most often success at the college level does not translate to the NFL for head coaches? After all, isn't it about being leaders of men, preparation, dedication, etc.?

The answer is simple: In the NFL, you don't recruit, you pick, but first you wait your turn. All of those picks you see go in front of you are players you can recruit if you're a college coach. The bigger the program, the greater the resources and the more likely you are to acquire those players. Very little about college football is equitable. In contrast, the NFL system is built on parity. The weak pick first, the strong pick last. In college football, the strong always seem to get the first pick.

Bart from San Diego, CA

If you ever open your Hall of Fame criteria to include statements made during the course of normal life, I'd like to beat the rush and nominate myself now.

Said the wrong thing, huh? Welcome to the club.

Lance from Rosemount, MN

If I find you on your walk to the pregame radio show, do I get a prize? It would kind of be like finding Waldo, wouldn't it?

I couldn't help but notice on my walk to the radio show that there are several portable-type refreshment stands along the way. I noticed there is a very large one in a refreshment-type area on the fourth floor as I enter the Atrium. If you were to see me at any of those points during my walk, maybe we could chat while enjoying a refreshment.

Richard from San Pedro, NM

You must be kidding, Vic. Go back to the first-score routine for playoff OT? That would give a win to anyone with a great field goal kicker. In essence, the team that wins the coin toss wins the game.

Isn't that what happened on Sunday? One play, game over. The other guys never got the ball. Yeah, I know, it was a touchdown, not a field goal, but it kind of made a mockery of the whole overtime rules-change thing. Too many rules, too many exceptions, too many variables. Make it simpler: true sudden death or play full overtime periods.

Paul from Oxford, NC

"Forced to watch" the BCS title game? Not me. There was a much better alternative sports program on "NFL Network," the 2007 Packer/Giants NFC Championship game. I chose to watch that one, even though I already knew the outcome.

Apparently a lot of people were watching programs other than the BCS title game. It drew the lowest rating in BCS history. Do you think college football will get it now? Probably not. OK, let's turn it up a notch.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Is there a way to have your column sent to my e-mail address each time?

No, but for a small fee I'll call you and read it to you.

Milan from Springfield, OH

What do you think is the biggest advantage the Packers have over the Giants?

Without question, it's the home-field advantage. Packers fans will be ready for this day.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, I enjoyed your interview with Clay Matthews. I especially liked that your questions were very short. That turned the spotlight away from you and onto Matthews. Has this always been your interviewing style?

I've never thought about it, but now that you mention it, yeah, I do like short, to-the-point questions. It's a way of being direct and not giving the person being interviewed time to think of a way to skate around the answer. Ask a direct question and you might get a direct answer. I thought Matthews gave direct answers. I pressed him on how it was that he slipped through the recruiting cracks, and he spoke directly about not having been a very good high school football player and then growing four inches and putting on 45 pounds in his senior year of high school. I found that part of the interview to be most interesting because it painted a picture of the difference size and strength make on the football field. Matthews' intangibles didn't change. The guy that wasn't a very good high school player is the same guy that's a star in the NFL. The difference is four inches and 45 pounds. Football is a game for big, strong, fast guys. The Darren Sproles of the football world are the extreme exceptions to the rule. They have a specific talent that allows them to overcome their lack of size. Don't ever think the men that play in the NFL are in any way, shape or form like the average man on the street. These guys have physical skills that only a few thousand people in the world can match.

Alex from Lebanon, OR

Will the cold weather benefit or hurt the passing game?

Cold weather isn't usually a problem. Wind is the equalizer. The forecast for Sunday is for 8 mph wind, which is nothing at this time of the year.

Randy from Medicine Hat, Alberta

I thought of another former great who became a head coach, Forrest Gregg, who took the Bengals to Super Bowl XVI.


Brad from Los Angeles, CA

You'd mentioned that you covered the Coughlin-coached Jaguars upset win over the 1996 Broncos, a one-seed team. In your opinion, what did Coughlin and the Jaguars do that caught the so heavily favored Broncos off guard? What factored into the upset?

They let them get a two-touchdown lead. The Broncos were on their way to a blowout win when the game turned on a long run by Natrone Means. I think the Broncos were complacent and the early lead fed that complacency. Woody Paige had written a game-day column for the "Denver Post" that mocked the Jaguars by referring to them as "Jagwads," and I think that fed the Broncos' complacency, too. Once you turn that light switch off, it's very difficult to turn it back on, and I think the Broncos turned their switch off after they got that early lead. The Jaguars had scored an upset win in Buffalo in the wild-card round, and they had that team-of-destiny feel about them. The combination of that and the Broncos' complacency resulted in arguably the biggest upset in postseason history.

Brandon from Ellenwood, GA

Vic, can and will the frigid weather have a negative effect on a team that plays outdoors in New York?

No, the Giants are built for cold weather, because they know they'll have to play in it to be a championship team. They have the cold-weather ingredients: a strong-armed quarterback, a big back and a stout defensive front. We could be talking about a postseason classic on Sunday.

R.J. from Effingham, IL

A truly astute and insightful man, Chauncey Gardiner, once said, "As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden." I think he was talking about our pass-rush. What do you think?

I think we need more roots.

Tim from Arlington, TX

When our coaches scout an opponent, how far back in time does that scouting entail?

For the postseason, when you know well in advance who your opponents might be, the quality control guys can pore through a whole season's worth of tape. They can go back to the first week of the season and find some gadget play that was never used again. I promise you, the Packers will be fully prepared for what they'll see on Sunday. Once the ball is kicked off on Sunday, it'll be all about execution, not surprise.

Terry from Dayton, OH

Do you think resting starters can disrupt their rhythm going into the playoffs?

Terry, you're trying to find something to worry about. The Packers have a sensational record under Mike McCarthy in games following bye weeks. It is what it is. The Packers will be ready to play and 70,000-some fans will be in full throat to help the Packers defeat the Giants. There's nothing to do now but wait for the game to begin. These are the times that try men's souls, right? We'll get through it.

James from Louisville, KY

Has the Green Bay front office ever asked the fans to not sell tickets so they can try to stack the fan base?

That's a request that doesn't need to be made in Green Bay. The Giants know what they'll be facing on Sunday. I don't think we'll see much, if any, blue and red in the stands. Lambeau Field is going to throb with support for the home team.

Cory from Milton, ON

Vic, what is a better storyline for the football media: Rodgers vs. Brees or Rodgers vs. Alex Smith?

Rodgers vs. Brees would be the matchup of the year. It's what I want and it's what I expect.

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