Before reading the rest of this short article, I recommend opening another window and playing Green Day’s Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), the official soundtrack of things coming to an end everywhere (especially if you graduated from high school in the late 1990's).
It’s a simple anthem that has helped an entire generation "get over" the difficult parts of life by reminding us not to cry because something’s over, but to smile because it happened.
The true power of this ubiquitous ballad comes from Billie Joe Armstrong pouring his heart and soul into every line. He seems to carry the burden of emotional pain so that you don’t have to. When you write about the things that hurt you, you literally see them in a different perspective. You can arrange your thoughts into new patterns, ones that finally make sense to you, ones that even might make sense to others.
You get the feeling that happened to the wise-beyond-his-years Armstrong as he composed this piece. In the end, he may be have been singing it for himself as much as the audience.
And that’s how I feel about this article.
As I turned my thoughts to the playoff loss from two days ago, I realized I actually felt good about this season. About a fourth straight division win, about going 9-0 at Lambeau, about getting as close to the Super Bowl as you can get without buying a plane ticket.
It was fun watching Eddie Lacy prove 31 other teams wrong for not drafting him. Fun to watch the rest of the league ask, "who?!" as Davante Adams, Ha-Ha Clinton Dix and Richard Rodgers proved Ted Thompson’s still got it. Fun to watch Julius Peppers prove that there’s something in Green Bay that brings out the best in all of us.
I’ll never forget the back-to-back 50-burgers we dropped against the Bears and Eagles in back-to-back weeks. Or Jordy Nelson diving into the pylon at the end of the first half against the Patriots, after Darrelle Revis had apparently shut him down. Or Clay Matthews stuffing the Bears on one of Marc Trestman’s hopeless end-arounds in a game that was 40-0 at halftime.
How about 50 hours of MVP-quality quarterbacking, too? Can’t forget that, either. Aaron Rodgers polished his all-time-great legacy with some major milestones this year, including the fake spike comeback in Miami, not to mention a gritty playoff performance against Dallas that proved he’s better on one leg than most big-name quarterbacks on two.
These moments don't just drift away into the ether because the team didn't win the Super Bowl. As the song goes: "It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right, I hope you had the time of your life."
I couldn’t say it any better.