After a long week (and two days) of mourning, fans of the Green Bay Packers are forced to turn their attentions elsewhere for Super Bowl week.
There isn’t much consolation for Packers Nation, in a win for either the New England Patriots or the Seattle Seahawks. People like to say, “if we had to lose, let it be to the eventual winners of the big game.”
I am certainly NOT of that mindset.
I am more in the company of those who would rather cheer for a team that, not only did the Packers get a win against in the regular season, but who also has the unique opportunity to go out and embarrass the team that just embarrassed us.
It may be petty – but I am still not far enough removed from the pain to care.
For me, this week means nothing.
On Sunday, I’ll be wearing my brightest reds and blues.
The media lead-up to this year’s Super Bowl will be unlike anything the league has seen before. The Seattle Seahawks come-from-behind-win was in dramatic fashion; the first 57 minutes of the game was pedestrian at best for the Seahawks.
Russell Wilson threw four terrible interceptions, the Packers recovered a special teams fumble and the Seahawks defense gave up the length of the field to the Green Bay Packers offense over and over again … but were stingy in the red zone, allowing only one touchdown to FIVE Mason Crosby field goals.
The Packers couldn’t even punch it in on two trips inside the Seahawks’ one-yard line.
The last three minutes of that NFC Championship game tell the real story.
The Packers inefficiencies on offense, special teams blunders and the defense’s inability to keep the Seahawks out of the end zone on back-to-back touchdown drives in under four minutes (including a “Hail Mary” 2-point conversion), led to an overtime period that was over before the Packers offense ever touched the ball.
If the surplus of media and analysts aren’t talking about how the Seahawks were “destined” by every conceivable sense of the word, they will be talking about the latest Patriots’ controversy, “deflategate.”
After the AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts (45-7, mind you), the Patriots’ win was shrouded in mystery and clouded by debate. Patriots team members, narrowed down to a locker room attendant, were accused of deflating 11 of the 12 footballs used in the first half of that game.
Under adverse weather conditions, a flatter ball would have been easier to throw, kick and catch. However, the winning margins were so INFLATED that it is hardly cerebral to view this win as attributed directly to ball air pressure.
With or without touchdowns thrown by Tom Brady, LeGarrette Blount still accounted for three rushing touchdowns on the day, and the Colts’ offense couldn’t score or move the ball against the staunch Patriots’ defense.
Ball pressure is essentially neither here nor there.
However, these two topics will be analyzed and over-analyzed the entire week leading up to Sunday’s kickoff. It’s perhaps the most bizarre meeting of two teams in a game of this caliber, in history.
Packers Nation is no doubt tossing a coin for this one.
Heads, Patriots … Tails, Seahawks.
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I can see the validity in that; we have no stake in the game and our hearts are still pretty broken. While our jerseys will stay neatly hanging in our closets on Sunday, it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy what is left of football for this 2014-15 season. Maybe it will serve as some sort of closure; closure that a lot of us are desperately looking for, having our post-season hopes dashed in the span of three measly minutes.
We are wholly Green Bay Packers fans … but above all else, we are football fans, aren’t we?
Let’s take this time to reflect back on the ups and downs of 2014 and give ourselves the ending chapter with which we need to move on.
I, for one, plan to watch the Super Bowl as a fan of the game … one with big dreams and aspirations for the Packers and the NFL throughout the ensuing offseason.