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When is winning enough?

My last words to 911 operator revealed


Fawaz from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Speaking of the tidal wave of wide receivers, surely Terrell Owens deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He's second only to Jerry Rice in receiving yards and touchdowns. Did his diva status keep him from being a first-ballot choice?

They come and they go, Hobbs. They come and they go.

Niall from Cloghan, Ireland

There's a lot of attention being given to O.J. Simpson's story again lately. I was just wondering, as someone who's only a football fan the last five years or so, where does O.J. rank all time among running backs?

He's in the top 10.

Simon from Zurich, Switzerland

Vic, read your column for years. Please inform early enough when organizing an "Ask Vic Day" at your house. I need to book flights. I couldn't miss that.

There's talk of a new nonstop service between Zurich and Edisto International.

Robert from Portland, ME

When you were in the helicopter, were you thinking you might miss out on Jeff Janis having a breakout season this fall?

My last words to the 911 operator were, "Tell McCarthy to throw the ball to Janis."

Justin from Sherwood, AR

Vic, I don't understand your take on LeBron James' victory speech. You're constantly opining for the good old days when players actually said what they were thinking, before they became so afraid of how fans and media would perceive them. Was the speech graceful? No. Was it honest and personal for James, the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland? Absolutely. Would you rather him say he was just doing his job and was happy to contribute?

It would've been better had he said he just wanted to contribute. Oh, wait, I know! He was in beast mode, right?

Adam from Lancaster, UK

Couldn't there just be straightforward contracts without the shenanigans? Money pushed out. Signing bonuses. Why not (for example) a 5-year, $20 million contract and have a cap that reflects that reality? Does it have to be so complex?

No, it doesn't. When all of the shenanigans are over, what you have is effectively a whole lot of 5-year, $20 million contracts that have to be restructured because of the shenanigans, and that's when the trouble begins.

Dave from Madison, WI

For being the NFL's all-time leading rusher, I can't think of one highlight from Emmitt Smith's career. Words like explosive or dynamic don't come to mind when I hear his name. What were Smith's qualities that led him to be the all-time rusher?

He ran behind his pads better than any running back I have ever seen. To not appreciate what Smith accomplished as a running back is to not understand the fundamental challenge of the position: gain yardage.

Wendell from Porto Alegre, Brazil

The first question ever answered in "Ask Vic" in Green Bay mentioned perspective. Some things never change. Here it is: "Tony from Dubuque, IA. Welcome to Packerland, Vic. I have read the overwhelming endorsements of your column from Jacksonville and I look forward to reading your experienced perspective on all things Packers. How about this softball for starters: What's your take on the team?"

If I was answering that question today, I would say the Packers are a team with star-quality players and a cast of young players on the rise whose ability to address needs will determine the team's fate in 2016. Some things never change.

Dale from Kansas City, MO

Defenses double up on Jordy and play the rest the same way they did last year. Where's the improvement? Our guys didn't get faster over the spring, did they?

You missed it, Dale. You were probably so busy blaming the play-calling you missed the development of young receivers last season. I expect to witness continued development this season. That's what makes a team better.

Stephen from Chicago, IL

Knowing what you know about the life of a coach, head or otherwise, what kind of person would want to choose that lifestyle for themselves and their family?

A leader of men.

Allen from Charlotte, NC

For years, you've made my mornings. I was paralyzed 14 years ago from the chest down. I can't walk at all. My brother recently bought a zero-turn mower that is all hands. I climbed on and mowed for hours. It was the happiest and proudest I've been in a long time. Reading this column every day reminded me how much I needed to mow that lawn.

Our lawns are our gorgeous fields of fire.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, which is more important, running the ball well on offense or stopping the run on defense?

It's difficult to separate the two, but if you can't stop the run, everything is lost. In my mind, run the ball, stop the run should be stop the run, run the ball.

Evan from Rochester, NY

Vic, I'm sorry if I offended you in some way. You haven't answered one of my questions recently and it is slightly upsetting. I know you have a lot on your plate and in your inbox but still. My question is what would you say to your fellow members of the press, like Skip Bayless and Colin Cowherd, who continue to go on air and blast Aaron Rodgers up one side and down the other and say he doesn't elevate the play of others around him, when we all know much differently?

My message wouldn't be to them, it would be to you: If it bothers you, stop listening. We're all entitled to our opinions.

Kyle from Spooner, WI

Who must "The Man" beat to win his one-on-one?

He must beat everyone. He must beat the premier pass rusher bearing down on him, the defensive coordinator disguising coverages to confuse him, the media that doubts him, the fans that boo him, the expectations that dog him and the contract that defines him. "The Man" must be the best player on the field every time he steps foot on that field. Seldom is Aaron Rodgers not the best player on the field. Maybe that's what I'd say to Bayless and Cowherd.

Aaron from Wheeling, IL

Do you ever feel like Packers fans are just spoiled? I think missing the playoffs for a couple of seasons in a row could really bring the fan base back to reality and appreciate the winning seasons so much more.

All teams' fans are spoiled. They're spoiled by the expectations that are being driven by a sense of entitlement, as though they're above losing. There is an inherent lack of appreciation for how difficult it is to win. The Patriots are in the midst of a decade-and-a-half run that has produced four Super Bowl titles. No fans in today's game have been blessed by victory as Patriots fans have, yet, the angst that followed last season's AFC title game loss was intense. When is it ever enough? That's a question every fan needs to answer to achieve the proper perspective. When is it enough?

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