Green Bay Packers and their fans have endured  Green Bay Packers and their fans have endured  Green Bay Packers and their fans have endured 

Green Bay Packers have an incredible fan base

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers and their fans have endured one of the most difficult stretch of days in franchise history.

First, the Packers go into Seattle, play like champions for 58 minutes, then collapse like never before in playoff history and miss out on a trip to play for the Lombard Trophy once more.

It was a crushing defeat that will be talked about for years to come. Those of us who witnessed it and have continued to struggle with the implications will never forget that day.

But the sting of that loss was amplified Wednesday afternoon when we learned of the death of Packers head coach Mike McCarthy’s younger brother, Joe III.

Suddenly the loss of a football game that will no doubt be remembered for years is set aside because of Packers Nation’s grief for the team’s coach and his family.

We can only imagine what coach McCarthy is suffering today and we can only reach out with our thoughts and prayers and hope that his knowing we have his back will help soften the blow.

In fact, while the anger from the loss on Sunday was prevalent across the nation, with so many calling for the cutting of Brandon Bostick, as well as the heads of coaches from top to bottom, there were a few fans who put pen to paper to put things into perspective.

Mike McCarthy. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

There have been a few of these writings circulating the Internet … documenting how many in the nation have felt about the game.

Surely, today the sympathy and empathy that we feel for coach McCarthy will surface over the coming days and weeks as he works through his grief, but in the meantime I put together a few of those writings that help soften the blow of missing out on a Super Bowl appearance and put a face on the nation … a face of understanding and humanity.

Next: A letter from the heart