A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Green Bay Packers are Super Bowl XLV Champions. A Fan’s Look Back.

Crazy isn’t it?

To think back to some of the games throughout the season and know how little hope some Packers fans (me) had in the team making the playoffs is crazy.

Those back-to-back overtime losses against Washington and Miami seemed like backbreakers. And considering I’m stuck in Redskins country, I had to hear about it more than I needed to. Actually, Skins fans will continue to bring up beating the eventual World Champs.

That’s fine, though, because the Packers are the World Champs.

What a great Super Bowl. My heart started pounding through my chest around the top of the 6 o’clock hour. The family was having burritos, and the TV was left on in the kitchen to watch the pregame festivities — rarely is the TV ever left on during dinner.

After inhaling three burritos, I raced back upstairs to watch the game. I declined an invitation to watch the game downstairs on the even-bigger screen. Chalk it up to superstition.

I posted the same “Go Pack Go” YouTube video as my status as I had done before the previous playoff games. I donned an Aaron Rodgers jersey and black sweatpants and put on a Packers hat backwards. The hat was a new addition to the regular lineup, and it didn’t disappoint (more on that later).

My computer was off to the side with Twitter and the ESPN comment section for the Super Bowl open. I enjoy reading instant reactions.

So with the annoying Glee product placement singer and botched National Anthem out of the way, it was time for kickoff, which seemed a bit rushed; Joe Buck didn’t have time to do the what-seems-like-usual “..And Super Bowl 45 is underway…*ball kicked*).

It was a decent return, like many other kickoff returns against the Packers. O, Packers special teams, how many games hast thou forfeited?

The Steelers go three-and-out and punt. Packers punt returner Tramon Williams muffs the catch and my heart drops. “Are you kidding me?” I asked out loud.

Luckily, the Packers recovered. Now looking back, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the Steelers did? Cue alternate history timeline.

The Steelers use the short field to go up 7-0. Aaron Rodgers drives to midfield but a dropped pass ends the series. Pittsburgh, now sensing even more Packers nerves, converts a deep pass to the five-yard line. Rashard Mendenhall runs it in, and it’s 14-0 Steelers early. Rodgers attempts to make a valiant effort for a comeback but it’s too late. The game eventually ends 37-21 for Pittsburgh, and the world hears about the Steelers every minute of the offseason. Ben Roethlisberger is immediately crowned a future Hall of Famer.

Yuck. Even imagining that is hard to do.

It just so happens it’s the Packers who go up 7-0 first on a perfect pass from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson on 3rd and 1. I scream like a banshee (S.L.A.B., remember that). I can’t take being down in any game, not even down by one. I just like knowing that the other team has to score somehow to tie or go ahead.

My pounding hearts calms a tad until WOOSH! Nick Collins swoops in to intercept a Roethlisberger pass, and Collins streaks toward the endzone. Now, I’ve always had an irrational fear of a fumble after any and every interception I witness. So this feeling is multiplied by 1,000 since it’s the Super Bowl.

Collins dives from inside the five and into the endzone sending me into SLAB mode. UNBELIEVABLE! IS THIS REAL LIFE? DOUBLE TOUCHDOWN ALL THE WAY!

14-0 already? NOICE! Oh, and I also have a ridiculously stupid fear of seeing my team miss extra points after each score. I hate myself for it. But the point is made, and I’m feeling great.

Games are so much more enjoyable when your team is up by 14, wouldn’t you say?

As a fan of the San Jose Sharks, I know a thing or two about choking. Naturally my brain’s tainted logic lobe started working and reminded me, “Ray, these two touchdowns were way too early in the game. Think about all the football and hockey games you’ve watched where one teams jumps out on top before getting slaughtered the rest of the way.”

Here come the Steelers marching down the field to score 3 points. My mind fast-forwards to the end of the game where the Packers are down by 3 and need to kick a field goal to send the game to overtime. All because of that second-quarter field goal. It ruined EVERYTHING. (Clearly Mason Crosby missed the tying FG in my fast-forward daydream.)

This is how my brain operates during a game. Fun, huh?

No.

So I decide to turn my hat forwards to get some new mojo, and alas, it’s another Packers interception! Jarrett Bush! Jarrett Bush? Gotta be some mistake. You mean the Jarrett Bush who rivals Ahmad Carroll as worst defensive back in the history of mankind? You mean the Jarrett Bush that gets burned even by putting his hand on a room temperature piece of papers? YES. SLAB! I love you, Jarrett. Never doubted you for a second, buddy.

OK, but can the Packers capitalize? They do. Rodgers to Greg Jennings over the middle, and Jennings gets walloped by Troy Polamalu.

SLAB. 21-3. 21-3! Over my most hated opponent in all of sports? Simply stunning.

Things can’t remain this good for my team, though. I see Donald Driver out with an injury. Sam Shields goes down with a shoulder injury. And then Charles Woodson goes down with a shoulder injury. Wow. Really? This is happening to my team. At the Super Bowl. Three critical players all injured. They had enough injuries in the regular season to last a decade.

Maybe they can play after halftime, though. The score is 21-10. Then the reports come in: Driver, questionable. Shields, questionable. Woodson, out. WHAT?! WOODSON OUT? This can’t be. A broken collarbone.

It’s over. Give the title to Pittsburgh. The defense has now reverted back to the 2009 days when Roethlisberger threw for over 500 yards against the Packers.

I change my hat back to backwards to try to regain some of the first quarter magic.

And it starts. The Packers can’t get anything going on offense in the third quarter, and Pittsburgh scores on their first possession. 21-17, just like that. I reminisce about the 21-3 lead. It was so young. Where does the hour go?

Enough of the backwards hat. Let’s go sideways to the left.

Pittsburgh starts driving at the end of the third quarter and I’m feeling awful. As far as I’m considered, the entire East Coast was just hit with a tsunami of pessimism. I think ahead.

“Can I really make it through a year (a lifetime, really) of Steelers fans bringing up this game?”

“Why am I a fan of teams who constantly choke on the big stage?”

“Why isn’t Roethlisberger in jail?”

“FML.”

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is Clay Matthews and his hair is the Sun!

Forced fumble by the Claymaker! Packers recover! SLAB.

It would be stellar for my heart health for the Packers to score a touchdown here. But it’s now 3rd and 10. Hopefully they can gain a bit of ground for a coffin corner punt. Jordy Nelson says No. He catches a pass and takes it 38 yards to the Steelers 2. Rejoice.

Two plays later it’s a touchdown to Jennings. Putting the team on his back! 28-17. I can live with an 11-point lead this late in the game. Well, 4:23 later, Pittsburgh scores. AND they make the two-point conversion. 28-25. Wow.

If you’ve learned anything so far, you know where my mind’s at.

“W”

“H”

“Y”

“?”

Yes, I think one character at a time in situations so dire.

Time for another hat change. Sideways and to the right (which would be the last position it would be in).

Next drive, the Packers are looking at a 3-and-out. Here it is. The breaking point. Pittsburgh will take the next drive and go up 32-28. Watch. WATCH.

Nope. Rodgers on another 3rd and 10 completes to Jennings for 31 yards. Man, Rodgers is good. How is he doing this? How is he not throwing late-game interceptions that cost playoff games?

Now with 1st and Goal, I’m feeling optimistic for the first time. We’ve been scoring touchdowns easily. No way they stop us and make us a kick a field goal. NO WAY I TELL YOU.

“…And Crosby makes it 31-25 with a 23-yard field goal.”

This is why I can’t have nice things. No more optimism pour moi.

I’ve seen this situation before. If the Steelers score, they win by one point. December 2009. Steelers defeat Packers, 37-36. Ah yes, of course.

So here we go. Go ahead Roethlisberger. Two minutes left. I know you will drive them down to at least the Packers 20. You’ll probably have a good 45 seconds left too. Stick the dagger in me now, America.

Easy pass to Heath Miller for 15 yards. Yep, I told you. Five-yard pass to Hines Ward. Here it is, setting something up. Incomplete pass. That means nothing. Here comes the deep ball. Incomplete deep ball. Whoa. What’s going on? It’s 4th down ALREADY? Eh, no sweat. Go ahead Ben, make this the first of 3 fourth downs you convert on the game-winning drive.

Incomplete pass.

SLAB. SLAB. SLAB. I break my bed. Bedlam. I cannot believe…what I just saw. Super Bowl Champs! Wait, is there a flag? No flag! Super Bowl Champs! We just beat the freakin’ Steelers!

There was about a full two minutes of yelling in excitement before I settled down to watch the trophy presentation. Nothing but smiles on my end. I patiently waited to see the only commercial I want to see: “Packers fans! Your team just won the Super Bowl! Here’s your chance to own…” When it finally came on, the victory just barely started to sink in.

The Aaron Rodgers “I’m going to Disney World!” commercial came on the next day and it became more real.

What a great feeling. And the feeling won’t leave for another year. That’s a great feeling about another great feeling. Sorry, that’s confusing.

Anyway, that was my stream of consciousness during the game. My voice was raspy a couple days later, and I probably burst a few blood cells.

It was worth it.

Oh, and the hat? That’s all true. I changed right around those times.

Crazy isn’t it?

February 11, 2011 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT – Week 10 (Ray)

We’re keeping this short.

Minnesota 28 Green Bay 27

Blow up the run defense. They couldn’t stop John Madden in a wheelchair.

Tennessee 21 Chicago 14

The Titans are the worst team in football.

Miami 21 Seattle 19

Seattle should fold. Nobody cares about that team.

New England 20 Buffalo 10

Learn how to beat the Patriots if you want to win the AFC East.

Indianapolis 24 Pittsburgh 20

Who cares who won? Lose/lose situation.

New York Giants 36 Philadelphia 31

Man, I did really bad this week.

No comment.

No comment.

November 9, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Week 10 Picks!

Last Week’s Results:
Nathan: 8-6 (82-48)
Ray: 6-8 (74-56)

Games Nathan Ray
DEN @ CLE BROWNS BRONCOS
STL @ NYJ JETS JETS
JAX @ DET LIONS JAGS
GB @ MIN PACK PACK
BAL @ HOU RAVENS RAVENS
NO @ ATL SAINTS FALCONS
TEN @ CHI TITANS BEARS
SEA @ MIA DOLPHINS SEAHAWKS
BUF @ NE PATS BILLS
CAR @ OAK PANTHERS PANTHERS
IND @ PIT STEELERS STEELERS
KC @ SD CHARGERS CHARGERS
NYG @ PHI GIANTS EAGLES
SF @ ARI CARDS CARDS

November 8, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT – Week 9 (Mac Daddy [Nathan])

So, now that we have chosen our new president (who it is no one knows currently, but we’ll find out eventually) it’s time to look back at this past Sunday when all was good and there was a Republican in the White House fo sho!

Cincinnati Bungals 21 vs Jacksonville Jaguars 19 – A failed two point conversion was the difference in this game. The Bungals winning actually kinda hurts the NFL because that means the Lions will be the only winless team in the NFL this season. Wouldn’t it be great if we had 2 teams finish winless!? Oh well. The Bengals actually did something good. Well no they didn’t, they just got really lucky.

Tennessee Titans 19 vs Green Bay Packers 16 – Another disappointing week for a Packer fan. We came so close to winning, and then all of a sudden we had to tack another loss in the L column. The Titans really don’t deserve to be undefeated. Luck is just on their side. They have a QB who should be part of the AARP and yet, has not lost a game yet this season. Talk about luck.

Arizona Cardinals 34 vs St. Louis Rams 13 – Just when it looked like the Rams were doing something good this season, they are back to being the normal Rams we have grown used to seeing. The Cardinals are a good team this season, and I truly should not have picked the Rams. The Cardinals have my pick from now on, as long as they have a chance.

Indianapolis Colts 18 vs New England Patriots 15 – Where is Tom Brady? If he had started perhaps the Patriots would be celebrating a victory and not suffering from another loss to the annoying and big-headed Peyton Manning. If this game would have been in New England, the Pats would have had a chance. Hopefully this is the only meeting between the teams this season. Time for two other teams to face off in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh Steelers 23 vs Washington Redskins 6 – Redskins were up 6-0 and then allowed the Steelers to dominate the rest of the game. Byron Leftwich led the Steelers in the second half and looked like the quarterback we were used to seeing in Jacksonville. Big Ben will be back next week, but it was good to see him get off the field for a little while.

– Nate aka Mac Daddy!

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT – Week 9 (Ray)

Well, it’s back to the grind of churning out a lot these posts. I got a lot wrong this week so I won’t waste anymore time with the anecdotes.

New York Jets 26 Buffalo 17

Buffalo. Buffalo. Buffalo. What happened? You had a chance to pull away a bit from the Jets but let them back in with your loss. You held Favre without a touchdown pass which is good but you just couldn’t get things done. Trent Edwards’ 2 INT did not help the cause either, nor did the pitiful offensive line performance. I really want to see Buffalo succeed but right now, they are acting as another of the many Jekyll and Hyde teams.

Baltimore 37 Cleveland 27

Allow me to issue a formal apology to Mr. Flacco. I do not know what I was thinking picking Cleveland. I am deeply sorry and my condolences go out to you. Ray Rice had 154 yards on the ground which is amazing. Not much else to say about this game. Good job Baltimore.

Tampa Bay 30 Kansas City 27

Come on Chiefs! What are you doing choking away the game! Tyler Thigpen even had a TD reception off a WR reverse pass! It was perfection. You deserve it. Go play the Lions and have 0 fans. Your effort disgusts me, much like Nathan does every time he wakes up in the morning. You allowed Jeff freaking Garcia to throw for 339 yards. Despicable. You’re dead to me Kansas City.

Tennessee 19 Green Bay 16

Congratulations to the Titans for being cemented as worst 8-0 team in NFL history. Man, this team is bad. They are nowhere near contenders. They will lose in the first round of the playoffs. You heard it here first. The Packers cannot play defense worth a lick. For some reason they released Kabeer Gbaja Biamila. That made no sense. Al Harris’ injury is still hurting the pass defense. Atari Bigby should go back to riding pine and let Aaron Rouse play more. This just makes me sick that a team such as the Titans is undefeated when they are clearly a 4-4 team at best. They will get what they deserve. I am sticking to my word — not picking the Titans until they lose.

LenDale White getting in his weekly buffet, eh, I mea workout

LenDale White getting in his weekly buffet, eh, I mean workout


Miami 26 Denver 17

Now here is a game that was truly disgusting. The Broncos, known for an amazing rushing attack year in and year out, put up a phenomenal 14 yards rushing! That meant the game was on Jay Cutler’s shoulders, but unfortunately those shoulders were able to throw 3 interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. There was so much promise in this team early on, and now they are going down the toilet. At least Eddie Royal got a touchdown today.

Atlanta 24 Oakland 0

Props to me for picking a team to score 0 points. I feel honored. The Raiders were able to put up 77 total yards during the game and only had the ball for 14:45. If anybody can find a more crappy performance, be my guest. It is time for the Raiders to fold and go away for good. Let’s play a little game of Russian Roulette with the Chiefs, Lions, and Raiders. Hopefully, the ball can split, via fission and land on all three teams. I’ve got no problem with deadweight loss.

Raiders owner Al Davis trying his hand at trivia.

Raiders owner Al Davis trying his hand at trivia.

– Ray

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Week 9 Picks!

Don’t forget to set your clocks back..

Last Week’s Results:
Nathan: 7-7 (74-42)
Ray: 9-5 (68-48)

Games Nathan Ray
NYJ @ BUF
DET @ CHI BEARS BEARS
JAX @ CIN JAGS JAGS
BAL @ CLE RAVENS BROWNS
TB @ KC BUCS CHIEFS
HOU @ MIN VIKINGS VIKINGS
ARI @ STL RAMS CARDS
GB @ TEN PACK PACK
MIA @ DEN DOLPHINS BRONCOS
DAL @ NYG GIANTS GIANTS
ATL @ OAK FALCONS RAIDERS
PHI @ SEA EAGLES EAGLES
NE @ IND PATS COLTS
PIT @ WAS SKINS SKINS

November 2, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT- Week 8 (Nathan)

Me thinking the Cowgirls would lose.

Me thinking the Cowgirls would lose.

So, I’m seriously questioning what the hell I was thinking.

1. Picking and starting the 49ers’ players for my fantasy team? Fail

2. Thinking a team from Pennsylvania would actually do something to make me happy? Epic Fail

3. Thinking Dallas would lose again? Failtacular


New England Patriots 23 vs. St. Louis Rams 16
– Just when times were getting good for the Rams, the NFL declined the contract of Jim Haslett, stating that it was an illegal contract due to the agreement on Haslett winning 6 games, and then the Rams had to travel to New England, which is never a good thing (just ask Peyton Manning).  The Patriots won another game without Tom Brady and without a dominant rushing performance by anyone. Matt Cassel had two interceptions, and yet still led his team to a victory. Maybe he is that good… Maybe!

Dallas Cowgirls 13 vs. Tampa Bay Bucs 9 – So I pick Dallas and they lose. I pick against them and I lose. Brad Johnson led his team to victory and the Buccaneers just couldn’t get anything going. Maybe next week I won’t pick the Cowgirl game.

Reactions from Cowgirls players were positive after the W

Reactions from Cowgirls players were positive after the W

Miami Dolphins 25 vs. Buffalo Bills 16 – Chad Pennington threw for over 300 yards and the Dolphins withstood the offense of the Buffalo Bills, and survived to win. The Bills, maybe looking overlooking these next few games due to the easy schedule, just could not get any rushing going, and Trent Edwards is not proven enough yet to lead his team by just throwing the ball. Congrats Dick Jauron getting a contract extension. Well Deserved!

Cleveland Browns 23 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 17 – HEY LOOK THE BROWNS WON A GAME!!! I guess the state of Ohio has something to cheer about after The Ohio State Buckeyes lost and watched their National Championship chances implode right in front of their eyes! Congrats Joe Pa and Romeo Crennel.

Houston Texans 35 vs Cincinnati Bungals 6 – HELLO BENGALS… ARE YOU THERE? Its time you show up to give your opponents a game. You just let the Houston Texans walk all over you. I think its time for a change somewhere on the sidelines. When will y’all get sick of losing? Hopefully, its soon.

She isnt very happy with losing to Houston.

She isn't very happy with losing to Houston.

New York Giants 21 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 14 – Who thought a long snapper would decide the game? Well, the Steelers lost their long snapper due to injury, and his replacement took the word “long” literally and hiked the ball over the punters head and that led to a safety which tied the game. Then Eli Manning led his team to their first and only TD of the game and the Giants D stopped Big Ben and the Steelers offense to clinch the game. This is the beginning of a very tough road for the Giants.. Thanks, Steelers. You let me down again!

Seattle Seahawks 34 vs. San Francisco 49ers 13 – A new coach, a new attitude, the same result. Another L in the loss column for the 49ers. Seattle, depleted by injuries, dominated from the beginning and never looked back. Hopefully Mike Holmgren goes out strong in his final games as head coach for the ‘Hawks.

P.S.: This was written before Ray!!! Nathan Wins!!!

-Nathan

October 27, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment