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Would the Packers have beaten the Patriots?

Football has been a constant joy in my life


Matt from Al Udeid AB, Qatar

Vic, as someone that loves the drama of the game, how do you rate this Super Bowl?

It's one of the top Super Bowls. I wouldn't put it in the category of the Giants' two wins over the Patriots, or the James Harrison game, but the fourth quarter was sensational.

David from Bloomington, IN

Pete Carroll's play call sealed the Patriots' win in the Super Bowl, but Brady wants to recognize Butler as having made the decisive play. I think the players see it your way.

The play call surprised me. I think everyone figured the Seahawks would give the ball to their best player, Marshawn Lynch. Be that as it may, if Russell Wilson completes that pass, the Seahawks would be praised for their aggressiveness. We can't have it both ways.

Stephen from Bismarck, ND

Vic, I am a Vikings fan, but I really appreciate your fascinating and well-written perspective on a variety of NFL issues. I am, however, also a Peyton Manning fan, and I am a little bit puzzled by some of the things you've written about him. With all due respect to Tom Brady, who is an all-time great, I think the media as a whole is often quite unfair in their coverage of Manning. Where would you rank him personally amongst the greats?

He's the greatest regular-season quarterback in history.

Catherine from Jacksonville, FL

Sadly, I had to retire my "Ask Vic" coffee cup today; the decal is starting to peel. I brought it home from work, washed it out (by hand) and put it in the cabinet. So now you are enshrined. We still miss you.

I recently had reason to clean out the coffee mugs cabinet – how do we accumulate so many coffee mugs? – and when I got to the "Ask Vic" mug, I sat down with it, looked at the words on it and the memories washed over me. Football has been a constant joy in my life.

Chris from Mancos, CO

Vic, is a nose tackle more important to stopping the run or a quality ILB?

What good is eating blocks if you don't have someone to make the tackle?

Tyler from Cedar Falls, IA

Do you think Brady will retire?

I can't imagine why he would retire. He's got a chance to win five Super Bowls. If he does, he's No. 1 in my book. Move over, Johnny.

Tom from West Bend, WI

What some call being an avid fan sometimes strikes me as mental illness.

I needed a laugh.

Seth from Olathe, KS

Do you think Green Bay would have beaten New England?

That's the what-if game I won't play. I have too much respect for the teams that get to the big game to take anything away from them. The Patriots got it done at crunch time; I respect them for that.

Karl from Albuquerque, NM

How does Ted Thompson avoid all the personality issues that seem to be bringing down the likes of Cleveland right now?

The Packers work at it. They do their homework on the draft prospects. They don't just time them, they interview them and they do background checks, and they hold to their values. Teams have a responsibility for the people they bring into their communities. The Packers are vigilant about their responsibility.

Patrick from New York, NY

Let's say we're adding teams to the playoffs. Do you favor adding one team per conference and eliminating the first-round bye for the No. 2 seed, or adding two teams per conference and eliminating all byes, or something else?

I say add two teams per conference and get rid of the byes. The NFL's postseason product is so good that more is better than less.

Bryan from Springfield, VA

Vic, after Rodgers told us to R-E-L-A-X, I did just that by refraining from reading your column until today. I also avoided most of the media hype after the NFC Championship game. Sometimes the supply-demand relationship between the fans and the media is our own doing. I've achieved a better perspective and I'm glad to be back.

That sounds a little extreme, but it sounds as though it worked for you.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

So the Falcons are being investigated for pumping crowd noise into the stadium. I can't remember which stadium you were in where you said the noise that was pumped into the stadium was killing you, but do you think there are a lot of stadiums in the NFL that pump in noise? And do you think they will investigate other stadiums for pumping in noise?

What are we going to call this, Noisegate? We've got too many investigations going on. The NFL is beginning to acquire an identity for misconduct and I don't like it.

Luke from Toronto, Ontario

Vic, does a team's perceived needs come into play when they create their big board?

It shouldn't. A value board should be a ranking of players by talent only. Teams know what their needs are and they know to where they must move to address their needs without surrendering value.

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