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Chortling Vikings fan mocks Lambeau Field

Posted May 22, 2014

Stretch play is today’s version of the Packer sweep


Bob from Minneapolis, MN

Hey, Vic, would you like to come write for a quality NFL team that will be hosting a Super Bowl? We have heat, unlike the high school stadium you’re at now. Can Packers fans even think of a Super Bowl in Green Bay? No! I’ll send towels for all of your fans to cry on! The cream rises to the top, again.

Hey, that sounds great. Will the press box in your new stadium have a rest room with more than one toilet in it? You guys sure have come a long way.

Tim from Spokane, WA

How much do you think the “Fail Mary” motivates this team on Sept. 4?

Very little or not at all. Players are motivated by the need to do their job. If they do their job, only then can they fully enjoy victory.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Vic, your big-letters promise is too vague. What type of records do you see the Packers setting?

The Packers? They can fend for themselves. I was talking about “Ask Vic.”

Robbie from Charlotte, NC

Vic, what is your take on steroid use in professional sports? One argument against it is that it would create an unfair advantage for the users. Personally, I believe players should be able to do what they feel they have to in order to be competitive.

In my opinion, performance-enhancing drugs are the single greatest threat to the game. They either directly violate or encourage violation of every tenet sacred to the game’s integrity, and they are especially threatening to the players’ safety. That’s where the NFLPA must be accountable. Players injure other players, and when some of those players’ ability to strike has been illegally enhanced, that’s a danger for which the NFLPA must be accountable if it in any way obstructed the NFL’s means for detecting PED usage. What I’m writing is in direct opposition to my politics and my nature, but I support a much more aggressive drug testing program than currently exists. I support random and repeated drug testing, not only to protect the game’s future, but to also protect players that play by the rules from the cheaters that don’t.

Harry from Rochester, NY

You were in the 1973 NFL draft? Or you’re just being sarcastic? No disrespect to you but, I can’t see you ever being a football player.

No disrespect to you either, but I can’t see you ever being a football player and you were also eligible or will be eligible, depending on your age, for a draft. Everybody has a natural year of draft eligibility.

Trent from Mishawaka, IN

A coach is only as good as his players allow him to be. Is the GM similarly only as good as his scouts? Scouts, not GMs?

You need a scouter and a picker. The picker is no good without the right information, and the right information is a waste of effort if it doesn’t have a picker that knows what to do with it. Scouting requires a feel for evaluating talent. Picking requires a feel for working the draft.

Scott from Portland, ME

Vic, your column on Wednesday had a picture of Aaron Rodgers being tackled. What is the black, grainy stuff that was being kicked up from the field?

They’re little pellets of black rubber that are loose within the Field Turf weave. I guess the intent is for the pellets to simulate dirt. It’s either that or the intent is for the pellets to collect in my shoes and then be transferred to the carpet in my house, which is what always happened in Jacksonville when I went home and took my shoes off.

Willie from Hayward, WI

It can be just as cold in Minnesota as it is in Green Bay. What do you think they are going to do with the bodies piling up at the gas stations when they host the Super Bowl?

Have you ever seen the movie “Fargo”?

Jacques from Horicon, WI

This could be one of my favorite/best rosters the Packers have had: potentially six deep at WR, a good running game, and the secondary has a chance to succeed because on paper Coach Capers has a lot to work with in terms of a pass rush. Oh, yeah, and we have arguably the best QB in the league. Can you further expand on why I am excited about this year?

I looked up Horicon on Google maps. I could only find one golf course. Maybe that’s the problem. Nice town; nice course. I might need to take a road trip.

Ross from Stephenson, MI

I think another possible reason for misspelling Chuck Noll’s name is because of subliminal confusion with Chuck Knox.

How many Super Bowls did Coach Nox win?

Tom from Birmingham, MI

Vic, I understand how and why the Packer sweep wouldn’t work in today’s game. Nonetheless, I miss it because I feel it always had some grandeur about it. Is there a play in today’s game that has that feel to you?

The stretch play is essentially the same play, but instead of pulling the guards out in front of the ball, the line walls and slides out in front of the ball.

Leonardo from Las Vegas, NV

Boobie Clark, huh? What are the funniest names/nicknames in NFL history?

Wonderful Monds is my favorite. Wonderful is his real name and his middle name is Terrific. I remember interviewing him after he was drafted in the fourth round of the 1976 draft. Those are the kind of flavorful draft stories that have made me a draft lover through all these years. The draft is a travelogue. You learn about young men from different places and different backgrounds.

Simon from Mountain View, CA

Bo Jackson was drafted twice.

Good catch, Simon. When a player is drafted but doesn’t sign with the team that drafted him, he goes into the following year’s draft pool, but he may never play college football again. That’s what I was attempting to convey. Whether a player is draft eligible because his college eligibility has expired or because he has applied for early entry, once he’s draft eligible, his college days are over. Jackson was the first overall pick of the 1986 draft, but elected to pursue a baseball career. He then went back into the 1987 draft pool and the Raiders picked him. When a player is draft eligible and isn’t drafted, as I wasn’t in ’73, he’s then free to sign with any team in the league. He is never draft eligible again.

Nick from Phoenix, AZ

Vic, you credited the secondary for Seattle’s meteoric rise. How much credit would you give to the intensity that Richard Sherman brings to their locker room? If there was one thing they had in spades last year, it was intensity and swagger.

Swagger is the result, not the cause.

Mark from Wausau, WI

Have you ever considered flannel-lined khakis? My brother is fond of saying, “There is no bad weather, just bad equipment.”

Your brother’s wrong.

Randy from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Vic, I read your answer to why the Lombardi sweep wouldn’t work today and my very first thought was were defensive coaches stupid? I’m pretty sure they weren’t. He ran that play for nine years, and in that time no one came up with a way to stop it. That makes me think it would work today. Is your answer still the same?

Yes, it is. You need to do more homework on the subject. What you’ll discover will help you enjoy the difference between the game in the Lombardi era and the game that’s played today. Lombardi said football is first and foremost a running game, which it was back then. The best means for stopping the run back then was to hold the point of attack. Engage, defeat and shed blocks. That’s what they did back then to stop the run, which was the No. 1 objective. Today’s game is a passing game. The focus is on rushing the passer. Gap-control fronts are a means for playing the run on the way to the quarterback. Gap-control defense, which is common among 4-3 teams today, would’ve been vulnerable to the big play in the Lombardi era because everything was quicker in the run game. Lines came off the ball lower, harder, faster. Linemen weren’t permitted to use their hands to block, so they did a lot of influence blocking, brush blocking and cut blocking back then. It was not a violation for one man to block a defender high as another blocker cut the defender’s legs. With all of the trap blocking they did back then, getting a three-technique tackle caught up the field would’ve sent the back into the secondary within a bat of an eye. Defensive linemen back then were told that if they weren’t blocked, take one step across the line of scrimmage and turn to the inside because you were about to be trapped. That kind of stuff is laughable these days. It was just a different game. Linemen were first and foremost run blockers, not pass blockers, as evidenced by the fact that the best tackles were right tackles, not left tackles. You don’t have to trust my answer. Study the two eras, then see if your opinion changes. Here’s a question for you to answer: If the Packer sweep would work today, then why don’t we see much of it? Are offensive coaches today stupid? I’m pretty sure they’re not. It makes me think it wouldn’t work today.

Gerald from Karlsruhe, Germany

Vic, interesting point on the Seahawks lesson, but what is the difference between this back-end defense and the answer the Giants found in 2011 by dropping seven regularly?

The end result is the same, but the means for achieving it are diametrically opposed. The Giants rushed four and dropped seven. The Seahawks had four that could cover, which allowed them to rush seven. There is no one way to do it. Whatever it takes.

Tim from Normal, IL

Vic, I remember a player named Joe “Turkey” Jones picking up Terry Bradshaw and dumping him head-first into the ground. I thought Bradshaw was dead or paralyzed. It was frightening. What do you recall about that play?

I remember Bradshaw being brought onto the plane on a stretcher. He was wearing a neck brace and his eyes were closed, and I remember a cornerback named J.T. Thomas saying, “Dang, Brad looks like he’s dead.”

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