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Rivalries are either historical or personal

Allow yourself to appreciate a really good football game


Ron from Mesquite, NV

Vic, love your columns and your videos. In your "Final Thoughts" videos, you do a segment of "The Packers win if …" How do you feel about this statement: "The Packers win if Eddie Lacy has more rushing yards than Marshawn Lynch"?

You stole my line.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

St. Louis and Seattle both have strong defenses, yet, the game ended 34-31. What's your take on that?

It's September. It's the real preseason, the one that counts. Identities won't begin to be forged until Halloween. The football season has begun and everyone is excited, but the real football season is still off in the distance.

Owen from Kiel, WI

Vic, when I was a newborn in the early '90s, my parents, like many other parents here in northeast, Wis., put my name on the season ticket waiting list. When the time comes, I will put my child's name on the list, too. Are there any other traditions similar to this for other teams?


Ben from De Pere, WI

Every time I walk into Lambeau Field and see those bleachers, I get goosebumps. I have been to some exciting games, but I have never been more excited to go to a game than I am for this one. Let's show Seattle what real fan noise is.

And let's show Seattle we won't sell our tickets to you. I'm going to be watching that very closely. I wanna see THAT tradition.

Brian from Fond du Lac, WI

"The revenge thing doesn't work; players just don't think that way." I see. So we're supposed to just ignore all the players taking the revenge angle to heart in their interviews? One might get the impression that more do than don't use revenge as a motivator. I guess that makes you a liar, or ignorant, but to be around players for so many years and still remain ignorant takes a profound delusional effort. With you, though, that does not shock me.

Brian, I think you broke your one-day record for questions to "Ask Vic" yesterday. Don't let this game get to you, Brian. We're gonna need you in December.

Jordan from Nevada, IA

Vic, I don't buy that the players don't want revenge. These guys are too competitive to not remember the last meeting.

Of course, they remember it. Who was Richard Sherman trying to kid? What they're trying to tell you when they deny emotion for what's happened in the past between these two teams is that dwelling on the past is a distraction. If they spend their time thinking of the past, they'll waste time that should be spent preparing to do their job this Sunday. Players seek a mental and emotional comfort zone that lets them know they're ready to play. I send that "do your job" message over and over but the fan isn't getting it. Those in this business who have jobs to perform must be focused on those jobs. For example, I can't write and cheer at the same time. It's OK to be a fan. One day I hope to attend a game and allow my emotions to control me, but that day's not here, yet, and it's not here for the players, either. It's easy to see Coach McCarthy delivered that message early this week. He has his team focused on one thing and one thing only, doing its job. Dwelling on the past isn't that job; it's a distraction.

Mike from Somerset, WI

Vic, I am not sure you fully understand why Packers fans love Lambeau so much. Lambeau Field on gameday is a fall version of small-town festivals held across small towns in Wisconsin in the summer. It's a collective group of people who have a love for football and celebrations. Something is lost in people when they enter a big city, but it's present in small towns across Wisconsin. Lambeau Field is the meeting point of the people from small towns that are the heart of Wisconsin.

I thought I was the romantic in this column; I was wrong. I agree with everything you've written. I have often referred to the Packers as the team of the small town. It also hit me this summer, on the night of the Brett Favre induction, that Lambeau Field is this franchise's real attraction. I genuinely believe the Packers could have a Lambeau Field Day every summer, and just open the stadium for people to sit in it and watch the sprinklers water the field, and the place would fill up. The decision to renovate Lambeau Field is the second smartest decision in the franchise's history. I think we all know what the No. 1 decision is.

Mike from Palm Bay, FL

Vic, I always love your thoughts on the game but I have to disagree with you as far as this game hasn't been in the minds of the players. Revenge is human nature and I believe every player on the team last year has been looking forward to this game.

It's been a tug of war all week. The fans say it's about revenge; the players say it isn't. It's the No. 1 storyline, but when the ball gets kicked off on Sunday, none of that will matter, and that's why the revenge motive serves no useful purpose.

Adam from Toronto, Ontario

If we were to win this game against the Seahawks but were to miss the playoffs, would we still have exacted our revenge?

Chuck Noll was fond saying you can't get back, only get even. That game last January is gone; the outcome can never be changed. They did to you what you were trying to do to them. I really don't understand the vitriol Packers fans are feeling for the Seahawks. Was it the Seahawks' duty to roll over and play dead? If everyone will calm down, we might see a really good football game this Sunday we can appreciate more fully than useless emotions would otherwise prevent.

Mau from Tamarindo, Costa Rica

So, how do rivalries come to be? Is it entirely on the fans and media? Don't coaches and players play a role in this?

What kind of rivalry do you want? Packers-Bears is the result of history and tradition. Steelers-Raiders was personal. It's one or the other. Right now, Packers-Seahawks doesn't have enough history, and I don't see anything personal. I just see fans upset they lost.

Nathanael from Prague, Czech Republic

Vic, why do you hate it that offenses have found out passing is better than running. As a reporter, wouldn't you enjoy such a great breakthrough?

I like the field-position game. I like the slow, methodical taking of territory. Passing the football has become a dink-and-dunk event. I don't like that. I like the ball run between the tackles, forcing the defense to commit more defenders to run support, and then the play-action fake used to throw the ball deep. That's my kind of football: pound and bomb.

Ted from Pittsford, NY

Vic, I can't play football because of a bone problem, but I love it more than anything and I am a diehard cheesehead. I'm a senior now, and my school's football team just hired me to be their writer. Thanks for all you've taught me in this column.

I am so proud of you. Watch, listen and write. This great game is going to reward you with memories and a feel for human confrontation you otherwise would've never known.

Jacob from Mayville, ND

Vic, I understand why the Seattle game is hyped by the media. What I don't understand is why some fans still insist on dwelling on that one game. Can we turn the page?

If we don't turn the page, we're going to keep reading the same words.

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