I woke up this morning with that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach that manifests itself when something traumatic happened the night before, like the time I smasked in the fender on my truck while going through the car wash and waking up the next morning to the realization that yes, it did happen and the smashed fender is still out in the garage awaiting scrutiny by the body shop guy.
But this morning's roiling in the stomach was caused by something much worse than a fender-bender. When I awoke this morning, the Packers were still defeated by the Arizona Cardinals yesterday and there will be no more Packer football until next August.
However (and I don't think this is rationalizing) it is pretty difficult to be totally bummed out in defeat! In Aaron Rodgers we have truly found a replacement for that guy who moved on to the Minnesota team. Look - Aaron set a National Football League record by accumulating over 4000 yards in his first two complete seasons at the helm of the spinach and mustard. That is nothing to sneeze at.
And yes, he didn't play his best game yesterday (he missed a wide open Greg Jennings on the first play of overtime that would have gone for a touchdown and game over), but look at what the boy did accomplish yesterday. Down almost instantly by 14 points in the opening minutes of the first quarter, he very cooly and inexorably brought his team back to eventually tie the game late in the fourth quarter.
Donald Driver inexplicably dropped a couple of passes yesterday - that's very, very rare. And for the first time in a long time, Charles Woodson did not pick off a pass. He did, however, strip the ball, turning it over to GB. Here's my post season prayer:
"Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray that Clay Matthews is a player to keep
If I should die before I wake
Please God, Ted Thompson you should take!"
I keep thinking of all the oddities that can happen with a ball that has points on both ends - it sure can bounce funny! And the game lends itself to the fates, again and again.
Examples: Rackers misses a farily short field goal to send the game into over time. Charles Woodson calls tails -- AND WINS THE TOSS! Green Bay attempts an onside kick and succeeds!
So we'll see how the Cards deport themselves against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
Aaron Rodgers is one cool customer. The Packer nation has much to look forward to in the coming years.
Yesterday's game was the first of the playoff games that was truly nail-biting entertainment. The rest of the games were real yawners!