The Vic Ketchman Mailbag Throwdown

mailbag By Jon Meerdink

On Tuesday, Vic Ketchman, the curmudgeonly editor at, threw down the gauntlet to Packers fans, telling him to answer HIS questions for once in lieu of his usual daily mailbag column. I figured I'm a fairly regular reader of his mailbag ruminations, so what the heck? Here's the back and forth, which generally focus on what appear to be some of Vic's pet peeves as far as questions he gets from readers.

1. If you were the head coach, would you switch to a 4-3 defense?

No, I would not. Firstly, the Packers have an all-world pass rusher in Clay Matthews, and moving to a 4-3 would move away from his strengths. Secondly, a 4-3 defense places an even higher burden on the defensive line than a 3-4, and the defensive line is anything but a strength as the Packers' roster is currently constructed. Thirdly, the Packers hardly line up in their base 3-4 anyway, and the league as a whole seems more interested in hybrid schemes that don't necessarily conform to traditional 3-4/4-3 dichotomies.

2. If you were general manager, what's the first thing you would do?

I'd keep getting ready for the draft, but I'd have a couple free agent safeties on the horn as well. There are still too many holes to be plugged just through the draft.

3. In your unbiased opinion, who's the best quarterback of all-time?

Depends what you're looking for. If you want unmatched statistical production (albeit in an era that featured rules specifically written so he could succeed. No, I'm not kidding), you have to go with Peyton Manning. If you want the "it factor," you have to go with Joe Montana. If you want excitement, probably Brett Favre. If you want championships, Bart Starr. No, seriously. He's the only QB in history with five championships.

4. Why do you get angry at me when I give you my opinion? You asked for it.

Because your opinion, Vic, is frequently not based in facts and research, but on a gut feeling you've developed over a long time covering football. That's fine, but sometimes that gut feeling leads you astray. Also, sometimes you answer people's questions by creating a straw man version of their argument to deconstruct in their answers. That's not fair.

5. In your unbiased opinion, who are the best fans in the league?

The Packers and the Steelers, because we travel the best, aren't frontrunners, and don't think a loud stadium means we're successful.

6. Are you winsome?

No, I'm not, because I don't think I'm appealing because of my "childlike innocence." I think it was a bad idea that you picked that word to describe Packers fans in the first place.

7. When you go nuts after a Packers loss, do you regret it a few days later?

Yes, almost always, which is why I make it a point to avoid getting bent out of shape after a loss. Just enjoy the ride, folks.

8. In your unbiased opinion, who’s the best quarterback in the game today?

Again, it depends what you want. If you want a lot of volume stats, Peyton Manning is your guy. If you want championships, it's Brady. If you want skills, it's Aaron Rodgers without question.

9. Were you angry when the Packers didn’t sign Jairus “Bird Is The Word” Byrd?

Are you kidding? Did you see how much they paid that guy? You can have him for that price.

10. Should the Packers maximize Aaron Rodgers' years by loading up on free agents as the Broncos have done?

I think the Packers have every reason to try to maximize Aaron Rodgers' prime , but I'm not sure signing everybody under the sun is the way to do it. I don't think the Broncos have necessarily "loaded up" either, but they're certainly maximizing every possible talent acquisition avenue. It's possible the Packers might want to explore.

11. Were you one of the ones last spring that said the Packers should sign Steven Jackson? Do you feel silly now?

Yes, I was, and no I don't feel silly. Not in the slightest. Signing Steven Jackson wouldn't have precluded the Packers from drafting Eddie Lacy, and it would have represented the Packers being willing to do whatever it takes to get better. That's what I argued then and I stand by that argument now.

12. In your unbiased opinion, what’s the best stadium in the NFL?

In no particular order, Lambeau Field, Heinz Field, AT&T Stadium, and CenturyLink Field.

13. Why do you dislike Colin Kaepernick for trying to do to you what you’re trying to do to him?

Because he carries himself like the world owes him something and the media has made him into something of a demigod, which is a whole lot of praise for a guy who's barely completing 60% of his passes.

14. Why do you dislike Jim Harbaugh? He always speaks highly of the Packers and Lambeau Field.

Because he acts like a petulant child on the sidelines (guys, he wants his cake NOW). You're a grown man, Jim. You should be able to act like one even when something doesn't go your way. I don't understand why he can't have even a modicum of decorum on the sideline.

15. What would you change about “Ask Vic?”

Honestly? Without being snarky? I'd say you wouldn't have to run it every day. Just take the weekly highlights from your inbox and focus on the higher quality questions. That way you wouldn't end up with some of the bickering that you do. Unless you like stirring the pot, that is.

Gary Zilavy