DALLAS TX - FEBRUARY 04: The Vince Lombardi Trophy is displayed during a press conference with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 4 2011 in Dallas Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
From Mike McCarthy's final pre-game press conference on Friday:
Q: On how long he has dreamed about winning the Super Bowl and what it will mean to him.
A: "I've always dreamt about championships. The opportunity to be in the National Football League since 1993 - this is definitely the goal. It's obvious that it's heightened with my opportunity of being the head coach of the Green Bay Packers; and the opportunity to bring the trophy back home is something that we all think about as a football team and organization on a daily basis."
It's a question that's been asked to him many times over the past couple weeks. He's spoken several times about bringing the Lombardi Trophy back home. Since this is his first Super Bowl as a head coach, and as a member of the Green Bay Packers, I can imagine his excitement. But this isn't my first Super Bowl as a Packers fan, and it doesn't hold the same feeling that it held fourteen years ago.
What's on your mind (except it can't get here soon enough) as you await Super Bowl 45?
By 1996, I had been a fan for over sixteen years, but the Super Bowl seemed out of reach. I was proud of their victories in Super Bowls I and II, but that was before I was born. Growing up a fan in the 1980s, when the Packers seemed light years behind the perennial NFC Super Bowl teams like the 49ers, Giants, and Redskins, it seemed impossible that the franchise would ever be able to reach that level. I would have just been happy with a playoff appearance.
After they made the playoffs in 1993 through 1995, I knew they were good, but they still couldn't get past the 49ers and Cowboys. So when they finally made the Super Bowl at the end of the 1996 season, I was in disbelief that the Packers finally made it.
Ever since they made it to two consecutive Super Bowls, it hasn't been a matter of IF they can make it back, but WHEN. Now I expect them to make it back to the Super Bowl this season. And again next season.
It's certainly different for those young fans that don't remember or weren't alive the last time the Packers made it to the Super Bowl. And I'd imagine they feel differently about this Super Bowl appearance than I do.