Matt, Eddie, Tramon and Sam were making plays. Ridiculous, insane and you-have-no-business-being-human plays. Midway through the frenetic fourth quarter on Sunday, right after one such play, I was pacing up and down the living room like a man awaiting his cancer screening results. I was sweaty, pale and paying no attention to anything other than the game on the TV screen. The wife would have none of it and tried to bring some perspective to the situation. “You’re not going to make the playoffs…Aaron’s not coming back this year, is he? It’s just a game…”, she said in a voice that clearly indicated she didn’t “get it”.
“It’s not just a game. It’s not just about the playoffs. It is about rooting for what is good versus what is evil!!!”, I hollered back hyperbolically during the next commercial break. I gave her the 30-second version of the Jerry Jones story and how it felt wrong for a team that did it the “right way” to lose to one that didn’t. I am not sure she remembers any of it now. I even remember her laughing.
By winning a game they had no business winning followed by the Detroit Lions losing a heartbreaker at the hands of the Ravens, the Packers are now 2 wins away from a spot in the most open NFL playoffs in a long time. By winning a game they had no business winning, the Packers injected relief, life and joy into a fan-base that had been drained of cheer and luck for nearly two years. By winning a game they had no business winning, the Packers reminded me again why I love sports and have loved sports for all of my life. By winning a game they had no business winning especially when led by a quarterback who neither the Raiders nor the Bills wanted, the Packers showed me that miracles do happen.
There are absolutely no guarantees in sports and in a season where they have lost their starting quarterback and an incredulously high number of key contributors to injury, the Packers are one play and one Sunday away from elimination into the vast NFL wasteland. But after a game that defied history, momentum and logic, the team just made December and possibly January very interesting. If you don’t think the 14-2 Seahawks are not suddenly waking up to a cold wet dream that Aaron Rodgers, Mike Mccarthy and M D Jennings may be making a visit to the Clink in a month, you don’t know much about sports.
Twenty minutes after I had gotten off my good vs. evil soapbox, Eddie Lacy would steamroll six Cowboys on his way to a touchdown that gave the Packers a 37-36 lead (first lead of the game) followed by a Tramon interception that sealed the deal. “What a badass. What a badass team.”, the wife said in a voice that clearly indicated she got it.
This is the team that made her “get it”.
Go Pack, Go