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When do you defer your choice?


Matt from Rothschild, WI

Based on the comments, I guess that's the thanks you get for doing a ladies day. Do you regret doing a ladies day?

I absolutely do not regret doing a ladies' day; I plan to do more. I got great questions; I really mean that. I just wanted to use a headline that would announce that this was a ladies' day "Ask Vic," so I decided to play off the Art Linkletter line.

Amanda from Kenosha, WI

If it's called a touchdown, then why do the refs hold their arms up to signal it? Shouldn't they hold them down and to their side?

I guess it's because men made the rules.

Annie from Wausau, WI

Have there ever been talks within the Packers organization about the possibility of incorporating a mascot into the home games? I would imagine a cheese wheel as an appropriate costume.

Gee, I hope that doesn't happen. The idea of a cheese wheel representing a franchise defined by Vince Lombardi just doesn't fit.

Ian from Jones, UK

I am intrigued by the coin-toss options. In what sort of conditions would a team elect to defer? If Team A defers and Team B chooses to receive, is the direction of the kickoff pre-determined? If Team A defers and Team B chooses to defend a goal, which team kicks off? Thanks for a very interesting and informative column, by the way.

It never ceases to amaze me how fans don't get this coin toss thing. It's real simple: I pick, you pick. All you have to remember is not to be redundant. For example, don't elect to kick off after your opponent has elected to receive. It's already been decided you'll kick off. Elect to do something else. When would you elect to defer? When you want to receive the second-half kickoff, or when your offense stinks and your defense doesn't. For example, if I was the coach of the 2000 Ravens, which had a great defense and a stinky offense, I would probably elect to defer my choice with the idea that my defense would force a three-and-out and my offense would get good enough field position to move into field goal range. Wind might also be a factor, if it was really, really strong. By electing to defer, you guarantee that you would have the wind at your back in the fourth quarter, if you wish, because you could elect to defend the goal that puts the wind in your face to start the third quarter. That would likely cause you to kick off twice, but if the wind at your back in the fourth quarter is that important, it might be worth it. We're talking about a potential game-deciding kick. Overall, I think the decision to kick, receive or defer isn't nearly as important as fans think it is. You have to do something. What does it matter what you do? It'll all balance out. Just make sure you never kick to the clock, if you know what I mean.

Chuck from Fort Atkinson, WI

Could you place a player on the practice squad, pay him a big weekly salary and hide him there? As a free agent, maybe he would be happy there. I'm thinking of Harrell.

You can pay him as much as you want, as long as you can fit it under your salary cap, but you can't hide him. He's free to sign with any team in the league. Practice-squad players count against the cap. You can pay 'em as much as you want, but it has to be salary only; no signing bonuses, no amortization. You must pay him the minimum: $5,700 a week; that's $96,900 over 17 weeks. If you wanna pay him more, go ahead.

Brian from Sioux Falls, SD

Not that I am trying to start an argument with you (I am definitely a fan of the column), but you said "when the Packers' colors were selected, I have no doubt Curly Lambeau did it." Didn't the Packers change from blue and yellow to green and yellow after Lambeau left the team?

The Packers' media guide displays a white jersey worn during the World War II years that incorporated green into the uniform in the form of green numbers. Lambeau owned the team at the time and it is the first use of the color green in the Packers uniform. The next coach, Gene Ronzani, said "We are the Green Bay Packers," and he made green the major color in the Packers' color scheme in 1950, the year after Lambeau left the team. I don't know; I was just a gleam in my parents' eyes in 1950. What I can tell you is that Vince Lombardi didn't pick the colors, as so many fans wanna believe.

Mary from Hesperia, MI

Vic, love your column. I've learned a lot from reading it every day. My question is this: Did you expect such an uproar when you chose to title your column, "Women say the darndest things?"

It never crossed my mind.

Travis from West Bend, WI

When I started watching football, the dominant defense was the 4-3. Now it's the 3-4 and the Packers play mainly nickel. Do you foresee a time when teams play primarily dime, as the passing grows?

More teams still play the 4-3 than teams that play the 3-4. I think the 3-4 count is at 14. Travis, when teams start playing dime primarily, that's when teams will start pounding the ball again. Go ahead, make my day. Please, play dime, because I love to see teams pound the ball. That's my kind of football, baby. When defenses get so light in the pants that they invite the run, everybody will start runnin' it.

Chris from Coral Springs, FL

Vic, what is the worst team you have ever covered and which is the best?

The worst team I ever covered is the 1995, expansion Jaguars, and they were great. They were a bunch of guys trying to reclaim their careers, and they played their hearts out every week. They were also led by a former Packers quarterback, Mark Brunell, who played at one of the highest levels that season of any quarterback I've ever covered. The best team I ever covered is the 1978 Steelers. It is one of the greatest teams of all time. They won one of those all-time-greatest-team computer series years ago, but I don't buy into that stuff. I just know they were very, very good and I was very, very fortunate to have covered them.

Bob from Fargo, ND

Do you ever read the comments section in your columns? Ha, you did an entire "Ask Vic" for women and you still get called sexist. That's great stuff, I tell ya.

Yeah, I read them. I wanna know what the readers think. I respect what the reader thinks and wanna give him and her what they seek because this column is for them. Do I lose sleep? No.

O.J. from Austin, TX

In your opinion, where does Aaron Rodgers rank among the NFL's elite quarterbacks, in terms of having the it factor (pocket presence, read progressions, ability to scramble, arm strength, accuracy/touch and team leadership)?

I think he's the best quarterback in the game. I think he proved that last season and now it's time to prove it again.

Zach from Washington, DC

Vic, aside from the season-opener against the Saints, which game are you most looking forward to this year and why?

It's the Christmas night game against the Bears. I'm starting to get a feel for living here.

Mark from Yucaipa, CA

Just watched your latest video. You're looking smooth. Keep 'em coming.

The video editor cut out the best part. At the end of the video, I grabbed the chef's right hand and held it, you know, like in the movie "Rocky," and said, "In the Packers' team dining room, with chef, Leo Dominguez." They cut it out. I thought it was cool. The chef has a big right hand.

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