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Why is the trophy named for Lombardi?

Football and life are one and the same


Mark from Walton Hills, OH

Aaron Rodgers will be 32 in December. When do you think the Packers should draft the next quarterback to groom as Aaron's replacement?

You groom every quarterback you draft. If you're talking about targeting a guy in the first round to be Rodgers' heir apparent, as he was Brett Favre's heir apparent, I see no reason to do that now. Rodgers is still in the prime of his career. You'll know when it's time.

Jerry from Des Moines, IA

Vic, in the era of finding "The Man" at QB, do you think Rodgers would fall to 24 now? With all the hype of the position, it's hard to imagine just 10 years ago he fell that far.

It was every bit the era of finding "The Man" back then as it is now. Rodgers is just one of those draft anomalies, just as Tom Brady is. It happens. In Rodgers' case, he fell as the result of a combination of circumstances. Leading the way were the failures of Jeff Tedford quarterbacks Akili Smith, Kyle Boller and Joey Harrington. I had a GM tell me he had shoulder concerns about Rodgers. How about combine 40-time concerns for Brady? Sometimes the same process personnel people celebrate, makes them look foolish. Why would anyone care about the 40 time of a quarterback with Brady's pocket awareness?

Dave from Greenville, WI

Do you think the Packers are interested in Brandon Spikes?

I don't know the answer to your question, but my first instinct is to ask myself these two questions: 1) Do the Packers have a player of Spikes' talents on their roster? 2) Can they draft a player of Spikes' ability? I think the answer to both questions is yes.

Philip from Stubbs, IL

Do you enjoy gardening season? It's just like football season, only you get to eat fresh tomatoes, beets and kale instead of Bears, Lions and Vikings.

Yes. In the garden, growth has its seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.

Rick from Shawano, WI

So you just continue to embarrass yourself?

Yeah, but they pay me for it.

Steve from Bullhead City, AZ

Vic, I was never a Steelers fan, and I grew up watching some of the great modern-day quarterbacks. I just don't get it, four Super Bowls, why doesn't Bradshaw get the respect he deserves?

It's for the same reason all of the old-time quarterbacks – it's even happening to Unitas now – don't get the respect they deserve: Their stats pale in comparison to what today's quarterbacks are doing. The game was very different.

Dale from Sheboygan, WI

Could a team trade cap space for a draft pick? Example: The Raiders had a lot of cap space. They sign Suh and give him a huge signing bonus, and then trade Suh to whatever team he wants. Raiders get a draft pick, and another team gets Suh on a cheap contract. Win, win.

I get it. The Raiders eat Suh's bonus proration in exchange for the pick. I like the way you think, but I don't think the commissioner would like it. What you're proposing is interesting.

Jordan from Appleton, WI

Vic, out of all the games the Packers will play next year, which one would you pick to be the season opener? Personally, I don't care, as long as it's not Seattle.

I'd like to see the Packers open with an AFC opponent, for a change. I don't like these important NFC games being played in Week 1, especially the way September football is being played.

Brian from Lorimor, IA

My questions keep being dodged. If this continues, I will stop following

It could continue.

Preston from Tallahassee, FL

NFL broadcasters Mt. Rushmore? Ray Scott is first to be etched. He broadcast the first ever coast-to-coast game for Dumont. Pat Summerall credited him for teaching him about the craft. He was the first to recognize the difference between radio and television. He's my dad. Enough said.

Packers fans wanna tell me about Ray Scott, and I listen. What I don't say is I was listening to Ray Scott as the voice of Pitt football before he ever called a Packers game. He got his big break in the 1956 Sugar Bowl game between Pitt and Georgia Tech. That was the game that launched his career. I considered him for Mt. Rushmore but I settled on Curt Gowdy because I felt strongly the AFL needed a presence. The AFL's influence on today's NFL is every bit as strong as the NFL's influence on the NFL.

Scott from Saint Charles, IL

Vic, I think you wonder what would have happened if Starr had not scored because maybe the Packers and everyone else would be chasing the Chuck Noll Trophy every year. I don't think that's healthy, Vic.

Pete Rozelle was not going to name the Super Bowl trophy after a coach that was still coaching. It was named for Vince Lombardi because he died. What if Lombardi had lived and coached for another 10 years? George Halas, Wellington Mara and Bert Bell strike me as worthy candidates. Lamar Hunt is certainly a worthy candidate, but it's unlikely the NFL fathers were going to name their trophy after the founder of the AFL, certainly not on the heels of the merger.

Kerry from Margate, NJ

The voice of NFL Films, Harry Kalas, what baseball team did he announce games for?

He did the Phillies with Richie Ashburn. They were a great combination.

Jim from Duluth, GA

Vic, I know you don't like the Masters so much and I agree with your reasoning. I also find it amusing the way you articulate it, so could you humor me and elaborate on it a bit?

I don't like the music. It makes me cry.

James from San Diego, CA

When talking about the teams I love, I often use the term we. What are your thoughts on fans using the term we?

I'm fine with it.

Christian from Copenhagen, Denmark

The Steelers are one of the teams in the league with one of the worst salary cap situations. How can this happen when they run by draft and develop? I don't recall them making much of a splash in free agency over the last five years, and they do not appear to have many players with high cap numbers.

I haven't studied their cap, but I know they did some restructuring to hold that team together following the 2010 season, and restructuring contracts has a lingering effect. I also know the Steelers have long been a team that pays high in salary, to avoid paying high in signing bonus. When you pay high in salary, you are always up against the cap because salary is declared in full in the year it's paid. The good part is you can clear a lot of cap room by cutting a guy.

Coby from Brownwood, TX

If you could travel to any point in the NFL, past or future, would you choose the past for nostalgic reasons, or would you choose the future to see what happens to the sport?

I'd choose the past because I'm not sure I want to see where the game is going, but I love where it's been. I love football as much as I love life. For 43 years, and more, football and life have been one and the same.

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