I don't post here often, but check in on a daily basis. In the past I've really only posted 'season recap' type essays once the Packers are looking forward to the next year. This is going to be a bit different.
An inside joke amongst friends is a made up word we've deemed 'sulnightafulbendin'. A basic definition of which is "self-loathing with a glimmer of hope based on a single event". I fear what I'm about to write fits this all too clearly. I'm caught up with emotion, and just feel like writing something SOMEWHERE. Continue at your own risk.
I just watched a team I love make the Super Bowl for the third time in my life. I'll admit I'm still in shock from what I just witnessed. Twenty weeks of celebration, misery, second-guessing, and hope came to fruition as I watched our Packers march into the locker room with the Halas Trophy; champions of the NFC for the season. Who would have thought, even three weeks ago, that we would be in this position now.
Foremost, kudos to the entire Bears organization. The most historic rivalry in football just faced off for a Super Bowl berth, and managed to do so without any substantial trash talk, attitudes, unneeded violence, or posturing. I felt Lovie Smith showed great class in giving a post game interview, I doubt many losing coaches in his position would have done the same. The game itself was hard fought, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I'm sure we'll be meeting each other in many playoff games to come with that type of effort. Maybe one day the national media will give our rivalry the respect it deserves. For now, as fans, we know how much this meant.
Flashback to the beginning of the year. The Packers were hyped, the NFC was up for grabs, and throughout the season there were too many chances to give up. Our coach and management was constantly harassed by a vocal minority, our quarterback under siege for any mistake he makes. I lost count of how many players we put on IR, and I feel we may have set an NFL record the way no team would want to. I'll happily admit to be proven wrong now that we're headed to Texas- after the Lions game things were looking dire.
And yet, here we are. A defense revamped through unbelievable depth. We start an undrafted rookie at CB. We consistently play a linebacker and nose tackle that were almost out of football before they were signed. A middle linebacker looking for just one chance to make his name known outside of August. A running back who didn't play football for almost two years. Those alone would be enough to bury a team.
The list of contributing players is too many, even extending beyond our 52 man roster. Mid season signings will do that to a team. I couldn't be happier for players like Driver, Woodson, Clifton, and Rodgers. How many years did they spend trying to overcome that last bump in the road of the NFC championship? How many opportunities did they take advantage of to get to this point? They finally have a chance, and I can't wait for the game in two weeks when we'll make a push to be declared the best football team of 2010.
So celebrate! Let's enjoy these two weeks where we focus on bringing home the Lombardi trophy to its rightful home. Let's give respect for those teams that put up valiant efforts, and stadiums I'm fearful of playing in again (looking at you, Eagles, Falcons, and Bears).
I'll leave you with a quote regarding Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy that was just given in the postgame show I'm listening to. "You have to give respect to a guy who knows the direction he wants to go in, and follows that regardless of the critics". If that doesn't describe the 2010 Green Bay Packers, I'm not sure what does. Scratch that, maybe "really injured" describes us better.
Go Packers. Let's bring the trophy home, and immense congratulations on a fantastic season.