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Super Bowl XLV flag flies over Lambeau Field


Thomas from Manitowoc, WI

As a Packers fan I'm happy we won the Super Bowl, but I think it's time for the Packers to stop enjoying that win and get right for the season like everyone else is. We are the defending champ. Let's start acting like it.

The coaches have been getting ready for the season, Thomas. One more week and the celebration ends. Following next Thursday's ring ceremony, the page will have been turned.

Mike from Verona, WI

That picture shown yesterday for old-timers was from the 1952 season. I believe it was the Dallas Texans; they were playing at City Stadium in November of that year. A very nice piece of history. The Texans later became the Colts, through some strangeness.

The Texans were moved to Hershey, Pa., in the middle of the 1952 season, due to severe financial losses. Dallas wasn't ready for pro football in '52, but it would be the next time around, when the Cowboys opened for business in 1960. For the '53 season, the Texans were awarded to a Baltimore group, headed by Carroll Rosenbloom, who moved the team to Baltimore and renamed it the Colts. The picture of that game between the Packers and the Texans, which appeared in yesterday's "Ask Vic" column, is one of the many photographic treasures available to us at I am truly grateful that the Packers have recorded their history as diligently and as artistically as they have.

Dan from Bethesda, MD

Vic, really enjoy your column. The game has become more pass-heavy, but though it provides more excitement for viewers, it seems like a lot of these passes are short passes, almost laterals. It's like teams are using receivers as running backs, expecting them to pick up the yardage. Do you think the excitement level drops when these plays are used over and over?

You're talking about check-down passes. A quarterback throws to his check-down receiver, often a running back or fullback, as a last resort. It's a way of not forcing the ball downfield. If a quarterback shows a tendency to check the ball down too often, he's known as a "Check-down Charlie." Yeah, it's boring, but it's part of being an efficient quarterback that understands the need to avoid sacks and interceptions.

Josh from Harrisburg, PA

To quote the great Vic Ketchman, "The league would never allow it. It wants a passing game because that's what attracts the casual fan; it's what drives the TV ratings." I have read your work for many years and remember you commenting on something like this before or after the Ravens-Steelers game, and that game had the highest TV ratings of any other divisional round in 15 years. One would think the league would push for balance because, like mom used to say, too much of one thing is bad for you.

People don't watch the Steelers and Ravens because they wanna see the running game, they watch those two teams because they know they're going to "kill" each other. I think you would agree with that. Violence sells.

Evan from Baltimore, MD

I voted for "Iron Mike" and I'm only 23. Sure, I remember watching the 1997 Super Bowl, but once I (researched) the Hall of Famer, how could I not vote for him?

I'm proud of you.

Joe from Charlotte, NC

Hi, Vic. Enjoy your columns and videos. What happened to the zone-blocking video that appeared on Wednesday but had no video and is no longer listed? I really wanted to see that.

There was a small glitch: You couldn't see it. Since we didn't want to turn "Video Ask Vic" into "Audio Ask Vic," we decided to take it down until it can be fixed. The guy who does that is getting married today, so we won't bother him until he gets back. He'll fix it then and we'll re-post it.

Garrett from New Knoxville, OH

What is the difference between a nose guard and a nose tackle?

Nothing; it's just terminology that is the result of the number of men in the front. A nose guard is the defensive lineman that plays over the center in a five-man front. It includes two ends and two tackles. A nose tackle is the defensive lineman that plays over the center in a three-man front. It includes two ends. In the days of six-man fronts, there were two ends, two tackles and two guards on the defensive line. The middle linebacker was referred to as a center and he lined up opposite the offense's center, but a yard off the ball. The last nose guard I can remember is Granville Liggins, who starred as a nose guard in Oklahoma's 52 defense. Liggins is one of the best college football players I have ever seen and he went on to an outstanding career in the CFL, but he was just too small to play defensive tackle in the NFL. They said he was six-foot, 235 pounds, but I doubt that was accurate.

Marty from Gilbert, AZ

Hey, Scott is back. Hi, Scott.

Don't pick on Scott. He's a great guy.

Nick from Menomonie, WI

Why are you so dismissive of statistics? Statistics are everything; they are the only objective measure of a player that we have. It is so silly to me when people say, "Roethlisberger may not put up great numbers, but all he does is win." If he doesn't put up great numbers, then he's not the reason they are winning (see the Steelers 3-1 start to last season). You sarcastically say who needs championships when you can have stats? I say, exactly. Give me the player that puts up gaudy numbers any day over the player that happens to play on a team that wins a lot of championships. Great statistics over a sustained period of time will yield championships. Grit, determination and heart don't win games; touchdowns and yards do.

This is a joke, right? I mean, the guy threw for 3,200 yards and 17 touchdowns in 12 games and finished fifth in the league in passer rating and those aren't good stats? Do you remember his 503-yard game against the Packers? He's done whatever has been asked of him. When he was a rookie on a ball-control team, they asked him to convert third down and get it done at crunch time, and he did. In recent years, he's gotten into shootouts and his record in those types of games is pretty good. I'm shocked by some of the things you've written: Grit, determination and heart don't win games? Statistics are everything? Football is a wonderful game of human confrontation and I fear you're missing that part of it, Nick. I think you're so focused on stats that you've lost touch with the real beauty of the game. I want you to read about the "Ice Bowl." I want you to find video of it. Most of all, I want you to put yourself in that game and in those temperatures and feel what it must've been like. What would you have done if you were Bart Starr? Would you have put it all on your back on the one-yard line, or would you have said, "Your call, coach. My stats are good enough"? Feel it, Nick. The stats will lie to you, but your heart won't.

Rick from Palm Desert, CA

Can you rank the stadiums?

Yeah, but there's one in which I have yet to cover a game, the one in Arizona. I'll do a column and put stadiums in categories, but I don't wanna do the 1-10 thing because there are some stadiums I'm in a lot more than others and that couldn't help but prejudice my opinion of them.

Keith from Annawan, IL

I totally agree with you when you say the old-timers are the backbone of pro football. These great players would be even greater if they would have had what is available to the players of today. Can you tell me if there is any place a person can find some old footage of some of the great players of yesterday? Thanks, I really enjoy your column.

It's really difficult to find information of any kind on the old-timers. The founding fathers did a wonderful job of advancing the game, but they didn't do a very good job of recording its history. Here's an example: Jim Thorpe is one of the greatest players in the history of the game, but the only statistical information we have from his career is that he played in 52 games, passed for four touchdowns, rushed for six touchdowns, kicked four field goals and three extra points, a total of 51 points. We're not even sure how credible that information is. There are wonderful stories of Thorpe demanding the football on the next play after having been tackled hard, and then punishing the guy who dared tackle him. There's a story of Dwight D. Eisenhower conspiring with another Army player to try to knock Thorpe out of the game. Thorpe turned a tiny Indian school into a college football powerhouse. We have the scores and the stories, but little else. Sometimes you just have to imagine for yourself what it must've been like when Thorpe was thundering down the field. What must it have been like to play in a game so violent that 19 players died in the 1905 season? Honestly, I think that if I had to play in a game back then without a facemask, I would've turned the helmet around and cut holes in it for my eyes.

Kathleen from Enfield, CT

My son has been a Packers fan his whole life. He hopes to attend a game one day with his dad, another huge Packers fan. He just turned 17 and made Eagle Scout. I would like very much to purchase a Packers flag in honor of his achievement. Is this possible and how much is it? If possible, one that flew over the field.

I'm assuming you mean your son just turned 17 and made Eagle Scout, not his father. A flag certainly would make a wonderful gift, especially one that flew over Lambeau Field. A flag, not Lambeau Field, of course, may be purchased through the Packers Pro Shop.

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