Ladies and gentlemen, I know last night was difficult. Perhaps that word doesn't sum up how we feel after that crushing end to a marvelous season. But I beg of you: do not forget that this was, in fact, a marvelous season.
Calendar year 2011 saw the Packers lose once in twenty contests (that mattered) over 365 days. Starting with the January 2nd win against the Bears, our beloved team won nineteen football games. They won three playoff games on the road, including one more against our most bitter and respected rival, to earn the opportunity to play on the biggest stage. They then emerged victorious against another storied and respected franchise.
During this season, our quarterback shattered league and team records. The offense was nearly unstoppable for almost the entire season. Young players emerged and played well during important and meaningful opportunities. Do not forget the breathtaking manners in which our team earned victories - a goal line stand on opening night, dominating performances against division rivals, last-minute scoring drives, and a backup standing tall and delivering the final win of the year. These are memories which will last a lifetime.
Yes, our season is over a few weeks before we had hoped. Yes, the defense has many issues which need to be solved before next year begins. Yes, several of our players made mistakes over the course of our final contest. And yes, we are all reeling from a disappointing result in a game which we believed we could win. But do not let your intense negative emotions in the present detract from the positives of the past and the future of our team.
Soon, judgments will be made on the future of the franchise by people far more qualified than you or I. I am certain that none of us will agree with every decision that is made in the next several months, and let us discuss these decisions in a civil manner when the time is right. But now, in the disappointment that clouds the aftermath of defeat, let us not lay judgment on individuals for their performances on one day. Instead, let us take a step back; let us breathe before we react; let us mourn. And let us celebrate. For while we will not taste the ultimate victory this year, remember that taste from the last time, and know that it is well within our grasp for the next.
Do not be overcome by the moment, ladies and gentlemen, for we are the spirit of the Green Bay Packers.