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Never soil your tradition

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Charles from Jacksonville:
In Cincinnati, there is a number you can call if a fan violates the code of conduct to report him without having to go find an officer and point him out. Is there any plan to do that here?

Vic: I hope not. I just hate to hear that kind of stuff; fan against fan. That's awful. What's happened to the American sports fan?

Gary from Jacksonville:
I agree with you completely about the way the Packers should have handled the situation with Favre. In your opinion or knowledge, what soured the Packers on a sure Hall of Fame player in Favre? I think it was about his last pass in the playoff game; that was the last straw. I also think Favre could not walk away from the money; $12 million is hard to walk away from, but no one will admit that. Thoughts?

Vic: It's about the money. It's always about the money. Even when it's not about the money, it's about the money. If Brett Favre's contract was to pay him $2 million this year, instead of $12 million, the Packers would've been trying to coax him out of retirement. Anybody who thinks this is about anything else is really naive.

Gordon from Cairo, GA:
I once read an analysis of a football game. "What I saw was 22 men in desperate need of rest being watched by 65,000 people in desperate need of exercise." If fans would keep this in perspective, it would probably alter the behavior in the stands.

Vic: I'm not sure that analysis applies to this training camp season.

Izzy from Green Cove Springs, FL:
You might want to tell Derrick Harvey he better make a decision quick. The more he holds out for the money, the more the fans will get bitter about him. He and Aaron Rodgers will be in the same boat (start off doing great things or you will face the angry mob of fans who pay your salaries).

Vic: So, what are you going to do to him, Izzy? Are you gonna boo him? Oh, no, please don't boo me. That'll make me feel real bad about that $18 million check I just got.

Tommy from Jacksonville:
I almost agree with you on something except I would have gone a bit further by threatening Favre with not retiring his number or putting his name in the ring of honor (or whatever they call it there) if he did not forget about this. Also, he would not come back and sign for a day and retire as a Packer. Sound harsh enough? He caused that franchise too much trouble and I have lost respect for him.

Vic: Never, ever soil your history and tradition. The Packers are the perfect example of that. That's what they sell in Green Bay; history and tradition, and Brett Favre is a big part of the Packers' history and tradition. When you're dealing with players of that magnitude, you must deal with them respectfully. In my opinion, the respectful thing for the Packers to have done would've been to release Favre, wish him well and move on to the next era of Packers football. It would've been a way of closing the book on the Favre years in Green Bay without a bad chapter having been written. You don't want to keep him out of your ring of honor. You don't want to make him a bad guy. He's your history and you long for the day when he might return for a celebration of his career. That'll still happen in Green Bay. Nothing was ruined, but I think this final chapter that was written this summer will leave a bitter taste in people's mouths.

Tyler from Jacksonville:
If you are so against the loud "we must protect this house" philosophy, does that mean you prefer fans to quietly sit in their seats sipping on tea and nibbling on crumpets?

Vic: Oh, that's funny. How coy of you to take a position of lucid thought and mock it. Hey, Tyler, do whatever you want. I have no expectation for your performance. I sit in the press box, where it is air-conditioned and quiet. I get free hot dogs and I get paid for being there. You won't bother me. The point I was attempting to make in yesterday's column is that it would be a good idea for fans to seriously consider their behavior at games, because the league has announced that there is going to be a heightened scrutiny of it this year. If you want to protect your house, go ahead, but if you go too far, it could cost you some serious embarrassment and costly punishment. Chew on that crumpet.

Robert from Las Vegas, NV:
How has Fudge done in training camp?

Vic: He's made a strong impression. He's in the process of winning a roster spot. Now he's got to follow up with a strong preseason showing.

Zach from Erie, PA:
In a recent poll on ESPN, it asked which team would win the AFC and it included the Patriots, Colts, Chargers and Jets. Just adding Brett Favre and now the Jets are better than the Jags?

Vic: Mystiques die hard. I can remember covering the Steelers in the years immediately following their four Super Bowl wins. They were old and in steep decline, but they were favored to win every week. Age is inevitable. It can not be avoided. It's not about if you'll go over the hill, it's about when you'll go over the hill, and the indicators are subtle. I don't know how much Favre has left in the tank. Maybe he has a year left. The Jets didn't take any steps in the offseason at fixing their quarterback situation long-term, so trading for Favre isn't going to slow the process. The question is: Does he still have something left?

Robert from Chicago, IL:
You surprised me with your answer to the Brett Favre question. I thought for sure you would have liked that the Packers got a draft pick for an old QB at the end of his career and potentially a pick in the early rounds, at that. Do you really think the distraction is going to make that much of an impact for the Packers this year?

Vic: Yes, I think it's a killer. They turned a two-day story into a two-month story, and it's not going away any time soon. Had they dealt with it quickly and courageously, they would've been able to move on without distraction. In my opinion, the pick they got is not worth the circus they created. I could be wrong. We'll see.

Jared from Jacksonville:
Why don't they let any guys on the ROAR? I've been wanting to tryout for ages.

Vic: Because we don't want to see you in a halter top.

Wade from Orange Park, FL:
I think you are wrong about body language being misleading as an indicator for the love of the game. If you truly love the game you can't help but be animated. Examples: Paul Spicer's hammer, Mike Peterson's flex, Fred Taylor pounding his chest/heart on TD at Pittsburgh last year, and me in the stands. If you truly love the game it comes out; you can't control it.

Vic: You might want to take a look at some film of Jim Brown after a run. Tell me what you think of that body language. Or Johnny Unitas' bowed head as he left the field following a touchdown pass. Are you telling me they didn't love the game?

Tyler from Warrensburg, MO:
Do you like football?

Vic: I love football. Wanna see me beat my chest?

Brett from Jacksonville:
Where do you think Mike Walker will end up on the depth chart? Could he pass Dennis Northcutt?

Vic: If he can achieve full health, Walker can be the best receiver on this team.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
With your knowledge and experience of ticket sales, I'd like to ask an estimate of home game television blackouts.

Vic: I don't think there will be any. I think all of this year's home games will be sold out. That's my expectation and I said that immediately following last season. I just didn't expect tickets to still be on sale the day before the first home preseason game.

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