Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Packers Unexpected Journey

First off I’d like to wish good luck to the Green Bay Packers this Sunday when they host the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game. The fact that it’s being played at Lambeau Field is a surprise. The fact that the Packers are in that game is also a surprise.

All Packer fans had hope when they finished the 2006 season with four straight wins, but honestly I didn’t expect the Bears to fall from first place. Of course they still had the Packers’ number during their regular season match ups, but I still figured when the dust settled Green Bay at best had a shot at a wild card spot.

While waiting for last Saturday’s game to come on the tube I went through some of the Packer memorabilia from their Super Bowl winning season of 1996. There’s a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel compendium of the 1996 season, a Sports Illustrated issue from the Super Bowl win and a few videos. I didn’t watch the videos, but did thumb through the Journal Sentinel book.

The 1996 team and the 2007 edition have some similarities and some major differences. The earlier team was expected to win and they played like a team. The latest team, we are constantly reminded, is the youngest in the NFL and wasn’t expected to win. However they have played like a team with different contributions each week paving the way for a winning season.

There’s a lot of national media attention focusing on Green Bay this week and I hope that they don’t melt under the spotlight. I still have nightmares about John Elway and the Denver Broncos beating the Packers in a Super Bowl that Green Bay was favored to win.

One line from the 1996 team that I will always remember is “The Journey is the Reward!” I think to describe this 2007 team you’d have to say “The Unexpected Journey is the Reward!”

Whatever lies beyond next weekend I certainly have appreciated the pleasant diversion the Packers have provided through the fall and early winter months. Hopefully there’s one more chapter for the Packers to write in February. Go Pack Go!


Nett said...

It's only me, but I really enjoyed this!! I was looking to see if you had any current cancellations and didn't find any. Your blog is a great read-it will be one that I frequent.

Julie Nett

Anonymous said...

Sung to "Surfin' USA" by the Beach Boys:

"THE PACK IS BACK" by Spid Pieper and Mark Maga

There's something in the air, you can see it everywhere. It's been a long, long, long time coming, but it's something we all share. It's something you can feel, and it's blowing through Lambeau Field. The PACK IS BACK in Titletown, USA.

Chorus: The PACK IS BACK from the Glory Days, The PACK IS BACK, their back to stay! The PACK IS BACK; they're going all the way! The PACK IS BACK in Titletown, USA.

Curly Lambeau had a dream when he put together those first few teams that eventually become the Green and Gold...

It all became quite clear in the Vince Lombardi years that this was the greatest football story ever told...

Coach Holmgren's here today. And he'll deliver in the same way...

We've got the MVP; he'll go down in history as the greatest quarterback we've ever had...