Garrett from Sioux Falls, SD
Do you think the Packers will make it into the playoffs and, if they do, do you think they will make it anywhere?
I think the odds are strongly against the Packers making it into the playoffs, but I’ve covered teams that made it into the playoffs against much greater odds. The 1989 Steelers lost their first two games of the season by a combined 92-10 score. They had to win out and get lots of help to make it into the playoffs, but they won out and got that help and came within one play of going to the AFC title game. The 1996 Jaguars needed Morten Andersen, who was the most accurate kicker in NFL history at that point in his career, to miss a chip-shot field goal attempt at the end of the game for the Jaguars to make it into the playoffs, and they did go to the AFC title game. I’ll tell you this: The Packers would almost certainly have to be a hot team to make it into the playoffs. That’s the thing about teams that come out of nowhere to make it into the playoffs; they almost have to be on a winning streak.
Ron from Helena, MT
If the defensive scheme is sound, are the Packers players just simply not good enough for that scheme, or should the scheme change to match the players’ talents? Maybe there is no scheme that maximizes the abilities of the current players?
I think you’ve covered the possibilities. In time, we’ll have answers to your questions.
John from Philadelphia, PA
Our local Vic Ketchman equivalent was asked about BAP drafting and he said he is always for it, unless your team needs a quarterback. He said if you don’t have a franchise quarterback, you are better off leaving a better player on the board and taking a lower-rated QB if you believe that QB can be your franchise QB. What say you?
I agree with him, though grudgingly. Quarterback is unique because you can’t have more than one franchise type on your roster; you can’t afford it. You can have complementary backs and there are two or more of most positions, but franchise quarterback is a one-and-only position and you can’t win without one. So, there’s a supply/demand issue that accompanies that position, and it can cause a quarterback to fit higher and be picked higher than you have him ranked on your board. The question becomes: Can we win with this guy? If the answer is yes, and you don’t have a quarterback with whom you believe you can win, then it’s time to bite the bullet and make the pick. I would add this: It still has to be reasonable. You can’t pick a guy first overall and pay him that kind of money unless you believe he has true star potential.
Cesar from Tustin, CA
Vic, I’d first like to state that I’ve grown fond of your column and I enjoy reading every new edition. Well, I sent you probably a couple of emails the past two football seasons stating how I disliked you and your attitude. For that, I would like to sincerely apologize and hope you could forgive me. I was immature and I was going through a tough transition in my life but by no means is that an excuse or a reason to behave a certain way with anyone. Any other feelings that might have arisen as a result of my emails, I’d like to apologize for those as well. I’m sorry, Vic. I do not wish to remain that type of memory in anyone’s mind. I’ve had to struggle and put forward a lot of effort to turn my life around and I wish to patch up whatever damage I have caused between you and myself. Again, I’m sorry, Vic. I hope you have a nice day.
I’ve been angry at you for a long time. This will help calm the waters between us. I’m happy for your better days.
Kurt from Phoenix, AZ
Thank you, Vic, for expressing your disgust with all this quit talk. I was talking to a friend of mine and he was talking about a game in Cleveland many years back when the refs used instant replay after the extra point was kicked. He said the game was against the Jaguars. I can’t recall that ever happening. Do you remember that game, and what were your thoughts?
It's "Bottlegate," the infamous bottle-throwing game in 2001, but replay wasn’t used after the extra point. It involved a catch ruling on a fourth-down play inside the two-minute warning. The replay guy in the booth buzzed down late, right before the snap of the ball on the next play. Referee Terry McAulay said he got the buzz before the ball was snapped but didn’t have enough time to stop the play, or something like that. Hey, what does it matter? There is no justification for what the fans did. The replay went against the Browns and, of course, the fans acted with violent outrage by showering the field with beer bottles. They were these big plastic bottles that made this sickening clink sound as they hit the field. I can still hear them hitting the ground; it’s one of those things you never forget. I was down on the field by that point in the game and I immediately ran to the tunnel for safety. I know I’ll die someday, but I don’t wanna die in Cleveland. By the way, replay clearly showed the guy didn’t catch the ball, and a year later the Browns won in Jacksonville on a Hail Mary catch that a picture in the newspaper the next day clearly proved the guy didn’t make the catch.
Sam from Nashville, TN
What? You crave drama, yet, didn’t enjoy the finale of the Alabama-Auburn showdown? Are you an Alabama fan? Only Alabama fans can’t be entertained by that stuff.
The guy was untouched. By the time he reached his 20-yard line, I could see he was gone. He was running a hundred-yard dash in a track meet. It’s the most stupid play I have ever seen. With the national title on the line, the most powerful football team in America allowed a kick to be returned 100 yards for a touchdown, and I think Spofford would’ve scored on that play.