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Super Bowl XXXII an all-time classic


Tom from Melbourne, FL

I want more Landry/Lombardi insight. They seem inexorably linked.

Vic: All right, think about this: What if Tom Landry had been hired to coach the Packers and Vince Lombardi had been hired to coach the Cowboys? How would the two teams' histories be different? Here's another one: What if Lombardi had gotten the Army job, which was the one he really wanted?

William from Jacksonville, FL

You are a Lombardi historian and you've covered Chuck Noll and Tom Coughlin. What are the similarities and differences that each has to Lombardi? How did Lombardi shape their approach to coaching?

Vic: I don't think Coach Lombardi had a big impact on Chuck, but he had a huge impact on Tom. Chuck was off the Paul Brown tree and, frankly, Chuck didn't like being linked to any tree. He was and I'm sure still is his own man. He always did things his way and he shared Coach Lombardi's demand for execution and discipline, but Chuck did it in a very quiet, unassuming way. He wasted few words and in all the time I covered his team, I know of only one pep talk, and it was on a Monday at the start of the week's practices, and it was only a few words that wouldn't have qualified as a pep talk for any other coach, just for Chuck because he didn't give pep talks. Tom admires Coach Lombardi and shaped a lot of his coaching personality in the image of Coach Lombardi's. Tom and I often talked about Coach Lombardi and his Packers teams. We read David Maraniss' book at the same time.

Scott from Las Vegas, NV

Well, Vic, as someone who has been in the golf business for 25 years, you have just proven you know nothing by saying you like Johnny Miller. He is an arrogant know-it-all. He states things as facts that are anything but. His swing comments are often wrong and some defy physics. He is a complete idiot.

Vic: You're calling the man who shot arguably the greatest round of golf in U.S. Open history an idiot? I can understand why you would think I'm an idiot – I have a feeling you think everybody is an idiot – but referring to Miller as such is laughable. In shooting that final-round 63 in the 1973 U.S. Open, Miller passed Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer to win the championship. Are they idiots, too? Who isn't an idiot, Scott?

Shannon from North Little Rock, AR

It blows me away that a person could make a career out of telling us which team needs a quarterback. Duh! What has Kiper really done that is so admirable?

Vic: He made the draft what it is. I'll explain. For the first several years I covered the draft, we sat in a media room and waited for the team's PR guy to come in and tell us who was drafted. Then ESPN came along and started covering the draft, and that helped a lot, and then one day ESPN announced that it was going to cover the draft live and we laughed. How were they going to fill the time, we chuckled? The answer was that they would fill the time with Kiper. That was 30 years or so ago and Kiper is still going strong. He's a star and I admire what he has done for coverage of the draft.

Eric from La Crosse, WI

I don't like lists like the 10 greatest games list because they don't really define what the list is about. This article even starts by saying, "There's not a single, perfect definition that makes a game one of the greatest." Well, pick a definition, so the list actually has some kind of meaning. The best the article does is say, "The game needs to be dramatic, significant and historically meaningful to qualify." I don't even think the games picked meet those criteria. The list has as many wild-card losses from the last 15 years as it has games from the entire Lambeau era. That doesn't sound like consideration for history and significance. Basically, the list is just 10 games the author wants to write about.

Vic: OK, give me your list. Here's a link to's greatest games.

Ted from Kuhn, CA

Whatever happened to the notion that we learn and build character from our setbacks? As a lifelong Packers fan who sat in the south end zone through some dismal seasons, I appreciated the balance of wins and losses in your greatest games video. It's important to remember so that you appreciate seasons like last year's, don't you think?

Vic: An artist has to show dark to be able to show light. The first warm day in spring means more to people in Wisconsin than it does to people in Florida. I think that's what you're saying and I agree.

Jim from Des Peres, MO

The best Super Bowl I have seen is the Packers' loss to Denver. It had everything you need in a storyline. It really was a great game, even though the Packers lost. In Super Bowl terms, perhaps the Pittsburgh/Arizona game equals it.

Vic: Did they let the Broncos score? That game will always be defined by that question. I promise you, if you do a poll of football fans nationally, that game will out-rank in popularity any other Super Bowl in which the Packers have played. It's a classic.

Art from Marshfield, WI

I noticed that a lot of teams used to have stripes on their socks. The uniforms look kind of plain without them. What do you think about teams adding stripes or some type of logo to their socks?

Vic: I'm not big on stripes. I think the reason a lot of teams dropped the stripes from the socks has something to do with the NFL's obsession for socks conformity. The league has been socks nuts for all the years I've covered it. The white part has to be the same height and you have to use tape that matches the color of the sock, etc. I'm not even sure any of that applies anymore because I think all of the teams have gone to a one-piece sock, but in the old days a white sock went over a dress sock, which was the one that had the stripes on it. One guy would wear his white sock higher than another guy and that caused a non-conforming appearance that drove the league's uniform police crazy. Equipment managers were constantly getting calls from the NFL uniform police up in the press box about guys' socks. I think that's what caused a lot of teams to get away from stripes on the socks.

Ryan from Oshkosh, WI

I have been reading some of the remarks into the greatest games ever played and I think it is an appropriate list. When you're talking about a team that has won 13 championships and has spanned the decades, one has to compile games that set winning periods in motion, such as the 1960 Eagles game, Brett Favre's game against the Bengals. I do think, however, that someone at should rank all the championships ever played by the Packers.

Vic: That's a good idea. It'll be a feel-good story; nothing but wins. Hooray! It's nice to be nice.

Sara from Davis, CA

Why isn't supporting and promoting Aaron Rodgers for the Madden cover? The Browns are doing it for Hillis on their website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Vic: What about the curse? Do you really wanna risk it?

Joe from Las Vegas, NV

Vic, I can't let this go. After re-reading several days of posts I'd neglected, I'm inclined to stand up for your sense of humor. Dry, sarcastic and pointed wit is never outdated, even if the columnist is. Welcome to the family.

Vic: Never go against the family.

Earl from Winnipeg, Manitoba

I think for the true Packers fans the greatest games in Packers history was spot on. So, for all the Debbie Downers (hey, Scott), maybe you should compile a list of the greatest losses of all-time. Then we'll see who the real fans are.

Vic: If this lockout goes on much longer, we're gonna start ranking the greatest ties in Packers history.

Jon from Anaheim, CA

How do you feel about fantasy football?

Vic: I think it's a fun thing for fans, but there's one thing about it I don't like: It has tended, in my opinion, to blunt fans' appreciation of the human confrontation and it's reduced the game to a mania for stats. What about the guards? What about the wide-eyed rookie tackle that's battling for his football life? What about the fullback that's taking on Ray Lewis all day? What about that audible to a running play the quarterback made? If football is all about stats, then the Jerry Kramers and Fuzzy Thurstons are meaningless, yet, they were two of the most meaningful players in the game during the "Packers sweep" era. I think we've lost some of that and it bothers me.

Joshua from Key Largo, FL

My team had a loss to the Colts on a Thursday night a couple of years ago that showed they were on the rise, again; if they keep on their current path, I will consider that one of our greatest games. It was a loss but it was close. It takes little football IQ to realize you're not always on the winning side of the great games you have played.

Vic: Losing creates appreciation for hope. Winning makes us intolerant of losing. We all need a little of each to balance us.

Tyler from Guelph, Ontario

What is the difference between litigation and collective bargaining?

Vic: First of all, I'm not an attorney, so you're getting the lay version of this answer. If you submit to mediation of a lawsuit (that's litigation), then the issues of that lawsuit become central to the mediation, and that can cloud or obstruct the focus on negotiating an agreement on a new CBA. In that environment, you're not negotiating an agreement, you're negotiating the settlement of a lawsuit. When you submit to collective bargaining out of court, the entire focus is on the negotiation of an agreement. It is thought to be an environment more conducive to compromise.

Matt from Iron Mountain, MI

They won the Super Bowl three months ago; doesn't that deserve some consideration? If he went to Northwestern, he is a Bears fan and it probably kills him to write about the Packers, more than it killed you to write for the Jags after covering your favorite team for so long. It's pretty obvious from your writing that you hate the Jaguars. He probably wanted the Packers to go 5-5 and his editor told him that was unacceptable. My question is why is this guy still around?

Vic: So, if you're a Yankees fan and you get accepted to Harvard, you should decline because that's where the Red Sox live?

Sal from El Paso, TX

What do you think of Andy Dalton's throwing motion and arm strength?

Vic: He's got a nice, tight, short-stroke motion that promotes accuracy and getting the ball out quickly. It appears to me he would fit best in a "West Coast offense" or on a warm-weather or dome team. He appears to have some arm strength, but I would be concerned about his ability to control the ball in the wind and cold in December and January. I don't think he fits everywhere but I think he'll fit very nicely in the right places. I think he's a good-looking prospect.

Grant from Darlington, WI

I was reading the 1-32 article and noticed the Packers have not drafted anybody with the 31st pick before. Why didn't they have the 31st pick after they lost Super Bowl XXXII, when that pick is given to the loser of the Super Bowl?

Vic: There were only 30 teams in the league in 1998; Cleveland re-entered the league as the 31st team in 1999. The Packers had the 29th pick of the '98 draft and they traded it to Miami to move up to the 19th spot, Miami's original pick, and select Vonnie Holliday. Here's a link to the 1-32 story.

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