An Open Letter to Green Bay Packer Fans
Dear Green Bay Packer fans,
I am among your hurting masses this morning. Like you, I wear my fandom on my heart sleeve. Nothing brings me as much joy in the world of sports like watching old #12 sling the pigskin all over the field, making defenses around the league look silly. But sometimes you run into an opponent that simply has all the answers. Or perhaps you don't play up to your own high standards. That again, is what bit the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.
Green Bay last won a Super Bowl ten years ago. Many fans and football prognosticators thought it was the beginning of a dynasty fueled by the talents of Aaron Rodgers. The quarterback has held up his part of the deal for a decade now, only to be let down by an organization not wanting to get him a final piece on offense to make his journey easier. But that is another article altogether. Lets talk about why the Packers lost on Sunday, because if you read social media, it was a conspiracy by the refs to get Tom Brady back to the Super Bowl. Sorry fans, it was not.
Lets start with the officiating. Yes, there were some questionable calls, but mainly lots of non-calls. Then, when the game was on the line and the Packers seeming make a crucial defensive stop, Kevin King is called for a penalty. First down Bucs, game over. Packer fans were certain this was a mistake. But replays clearly showed King grabbing the jersey of the wide receiver. Yes, I know that happened to Packer wideouts with no penalties called early, but that's football. And besides, it didn't cost Green Bay the game!
What did cost the Packers the game was the late touchdown they gave up right before halftime. A failed two point conversion. Kicking a field goal instead of going for it on 4th down from the 8 yard line. Only scoring 6 points on 3 straight Tom Brady interceptions in the second half. And while Aaron Rodgers fell to just 1-4 in NFC title games, it was hard to put a lot of blame on #12. He had the one interception, but played well enough to win that game.
So another off-season has begun in title town. Without another title. Another chance to win with #12 has been wasted. How many more shots does Rodgers have at winning? He'll be 38 years old next year and his comments during last night's post game sound like this year's wounds are a bit deeper than normal. He's getting tired of seeing an organization not do everything it can to win now.
But for Packer fans, fret not. You enjoyed a season that saw your team win 13 regular season games, win a division title, host the NFC Championship game, and watch your quarterback win his 3rd MVP. It could be worse. You could be a Bears or a Vikings fan!