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This is the worst day in 'Ask Vic' history

New approach to hamstrings: Eat a bacon cheeseburger and go play


Steve from Fergus Falls, MN

Vic, what do you think about the new hat pitchers are wearing in MLB to protect their heads? I like the look.

It truly is the worst hat I've ever seen. I'd rather risk being injured than put that thing on my head.

David from Chuluota, FL

What was Bradshaw's weakness?

He either couldn't or wouldn't check it down.

Mike from Stillwater, MN

Vic, what is your take on college athletes or young professional athletes these days with tattoos all over their arms/body?

This is the expression generation. It feels a powerful need to adorn itself for the purpose of attracting attention or sending a message or both. I'm not sure what that design was on Michelle Wie's left leg. It's some kind of tape she said makes her leg feel better, but she also said she thought it looked cool. I thought it looked like Maryland's football helmet. Hey, she won. As Coach Noll was fond of saying, when you win, everything you say and do is right. Tattoos on winners look great. Tattoos on losers look silly. Just win, baby.

David from Janesville, WI

Vic, I appreciate the insight on the human confrontation element of the game. I've never played football, but some months back I remember seeing a photo on packers.com that made an impression on me. It was a close-up side view of either a short-yardage play or a goal-line stand in which the Packers were defending. From the TV screen, you just see two lines of men, but this photo was from the sideline at ground level. It appears to be taken moments before the snap, and what struck me were the eyes. These men were looking each other in the eye, waiting for something as simple as the movement of the ball to trigger their personal human confrontation. Each knew they were going to try to exert their will on the other, and in violent fashion. If a sideline photo showed that much more than a TV screen, I can't imagine what it must be like to actually be one of the combatants. It is indeed a tough game for tough guys.

What you have described is the essence of the game.

Jay from New Haven, IN

Can you give me an example of what makes the Redskins' name derogatory?

I have no doubt you can figure it out without my help. Today's column represents the worst day in "Ask Vic" history. As I pored through today's questions, I wanted to stop and call in sick. My inbox was dominated by anger and a kind of ugliness of opinion that made me feel bad. Emotions about the Redskins issue are over the top. I am genuinely distraught from what I've read.

Erik from Stockholm, Sweden

We haven't heard a lot about Casey Hayward during the offseason. Is this good or bad news?

It's bad news because it means you haven't been reading packers.com. He had an injury-free spring, intercepted an Aaron Rodgers pass in one open-to-the-media practice, and appears to have recovered fully from last year's hamstring injury.

Greg from Conway, AR

Vic, in the world of running, the experts already have stated that stretching is no longer recommended. They recommend warming up by jogging and running.

It makes sense to me. It's been my experience that when I stretch things, they become misshapen. From where I sit, the more the Packers stretched, the more they injured their hamstrings. Maybe they should try not stretching and see what happens. Eat a bacon cheeseburger, chase it down with a milk shake and go play. Whatever it takes.

Richard from Saratoga Springs, NY

Vic, between now and training camp, do the players and coaches get in some R and R, or are they around the Packers facility?

This is vacation time, and they use every day available to them, right up to training camp, to bond with their families before they have to say goodbye to their families for the next six months.

Gabe from Twin Lakes, WI

Hey, Lefty, how can Johnathan Franklin sign with a different team when he wasn't medically cleared to play with the Packers?

Every team has its own tolerances.

Shawn from Troy, NY

What is your opinion on the GPS system the Packers are using to try and cut down on injuries during practices?

Eat a bacon cheeseburger, chase it down with a milkshake, put on the GPS and go play. Whatever it takes.

James from Fond du Lac, WI

How come guys like pkrdug can call me (blank) today and not be kicked off?

There are over 2,000 comments at the bottom of yesterday's "Ask Vic." I can't read them all. I'll go back and look at yesterday's column for the comment to which you are referring. This is truly the saddest day in "Ask Vic" history. Anger, insensitivity, political name-calling, tattle-telling abound.

Alex from Wilson, WI

When all is said and done, do you see Aaron Rodgers retiring as the greatest quarterback of all time?

I think there's a strong chance he'll be in the discussion. I think he would have to win at least one more Super Bowl to challenge Joe Montana and Tom Brady for second place. In my book, Johnny Unitas will always be No. 1 because he invented the game.

Justin from Delavan, WI

So, talent wise and as a physical specimen, is Richard Rodgers on a similar level to Finley? A suitable replacement in the future?

He doesn't remind me of Jermichael Finley. Finley played high; Rodgers plays along the ground. Rodgers is thick in the lower body, which is a trait I love in a tight end because he needs to be able to absorb punishing hits in the deep seam. I said he reminds me a little of Antonio Gates. On second thought, Rodgers reminds me more of Keith Jackson. He has a similar body type.

Josh from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, I was reading Spofford’s article about Hyde and I am starting to get confused. Is there a real possibility Hyde takes the starting safety job? All the talk has been about Hyde, but I thought that, as a first-round pick, Ha Ha would be given the first look. I mean, first-round picks are supposed to be immediate contributors, right? What are your thoughts?

Micah Hyde will go to training camp as the starter at his position. You're confused? How many times before the draft did I write in this column that Hyde would likely be moved to safety? Ha Ha was the best player available. He'll get his chance to compete for the job, but the need at safety wasn't nearly as desperate as most believed.

Edwin from Woodland Hills, CA

You need another vacation my friend. No Denver in the playoffs? They were clearly the best AFC team last year and improved this offseason. Easily best team in the weak AFC, by far.

I guess I'm wrong again. No need to play the season and find out. It's been decided.

Wendell from Elk Mound, WI

I've asked questions numerous times but never get a response. An avid Packers fan for 60 years. Not once in the past have you ever answered any of my questions, yet, you'll give some know it all or some Vikings fan nitwit your full attention. How many times do we have to read some babble about soccer, khakis, baseball, golf or brain-numbing topic that's not related to the Packers or the NFL? For crying out loud, stay true to sports writing about those two things, please. Lastly, I doubt this will make it to your "Ask Vic" either.

Congratulations! You made it.

Chris from Liberty, TX

Vic, you can go back in time and cover any five-year span in NFL history, prior to the 1960s. Where (or when) would you go, and why?

I'd go back to the '50s. I'd like to see Bobby Layne, Otto Graham and Johnny Unitas play. I have a faint recollection of watching the 1958 title game with my father and grandfather. I'd like to cover those guys. I'd like to interview Art Donovan. The players back then loved to talk to the media, and they were great interviews.

Jason from Austin, TX

Do you think it's relatively easy for coaches and players to block out the fans and the media when they're getting scrutinized over everything they say and do?

Fans and media can become distractions and it's not easy to block them out. It requires a strong routine and a sharp focus on their jobs to numb themselves to public opinion. I think that's especially true of coaches and quarterbacks. I think the ones that are most effective at dealing with public opinion are the ones that enjoy it. If it bothers you, you've got a problem.

Tony from Las Vegas, NV

I've read about the troubled relationship between Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll. I've even seen Bradshaw talk about it, but it was always around the edges and never mentioning specifics about their problems. Can you please give your insight as to what the true story was about the Bradshaw/Noll relationship?

One wanted love, the other one didn't know how to give it. It made for a winning combination because this is not a game of love. I wrote a story in the summer of 1979 about the Bradshaw-Noll relationship. The story won a state writing award, primarily because Bradshaw grabbed his guitar and broke into loud song as I was doing the interview, which was conducted in Bradshaw's training camp dormitory room. It was directly across the hall from Noll's room. Bradshaw noted that Noll was napping, which he always did between practices. Bradshaw's door was open when he broke into song, and he laughed. Strained coach-quarterback relationships were common back then. Staubach and Landry were at odds during the Cowboys' two-quarterback days; Staubach asked to be traded. Otto Graham told me he had to be restrained from going after Paul Brown on the sideline after Brown pulled Graham from a game and then commented to a coach loud enough for Graham to hear, "At least we have someone in there now who has the guts to stay in the pocket." Starr had his moment with Lombardi, right? Elway and Reeves were at odds. Van Brocklin was naturally confrontational. This is not a game of love. Yesteryear's fans understood that. I don't think today's fans get it. They want peace and harmony. In football?

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