Green Bay Packers safety M.D. Jennings is trying to forget that October night in 2012 when the nation was shocked by the call in the end zone on the final play of the game in Seattle between the Packers and Seahawks.
He thought he had the interception as he jumped and seemingly secured the ball before falling to the ground in a tussle with Seahawks receiver Golden Tate.
We all know what happened. One referee signaled the ball dead, the other signaled touchdown.
The touchdown call ruled the night and signaled the end to a several-month long lockout by the NFL of the “real” referees. The call turned the league upside down and probably will go down in history as one of those, like the tuck rule, that will never be understood – no matter which side of the aisle you find yourself.
The Packers play the Seahawks again this Friday night, this time in a preseason game that has no ramifications in the standings nor any impact on rules or who enforces them.
This game means nothing.
And because of that, Packers fans, put the signs away, forget about the “Fail Mary” and move on. Friday night’s game will impact only those players on the bubble of making both teams’ rosters.
By this time next week, several of these and others may already be gone. By Aug. 28, 15 players have to be gone as the league-wide cutdown from 90 to 75 players on the roster must be made. Over the course of the final 10 days of training camp teams will have to eventually get down to the 53-man roster. Tough cuts for every team will be made. Players will be trying their hardest to impress coaches.
The furthest thing from Packers players memories will be the “Fail Mary.”
So, too, it should be forgotten by Packers fans. What’s done is done. We can’t change it. We shouldn’t want to try to change it.
The only thing we as fans can do now is forge a new future. It’s the start of a new campaign and it’s time to charge ahead toward a championship. That goal starts once again this weekend as the Packers have an important test run against the read-option – an offensive scheme the team will face several times in the coming season and a scheme that ended their dreams last year.
More important than the “Fail Mary” is the need to figure out ways to stop that scheme. Their game this Friday is the first attempt in 2013.
So, forget the “Fail Mary.” Concentrate on what we can do today. That’s what can be controlled – not a distant call that makes no difference today.
Stay tuned …