Dear Packer Joe,
Well, we have had the displeasure of knowing each other for our entire lives now, and yet another NFL season has come and gone… well, at least for you anyways… as marked by your record-setting loss to the Cardinals on Sunday.
I would like to pass along a few sentiments, the first of which is sympathy. It is tough to see your team completely implode in the first three minutes of a game and be forced to dig themselves out of a hole so deep that most of your kin folk probably turned off the AM radio and just headed back to the cheese factories.
Then, to have them come so close only to have your quarterback be crunched in half while dropping the ball was a sight that had to make you cringe. Then, as if some sort of karma was at play for that Antonio Freeman catch way back when on MNF, watching your new heroic quarterback inadvertently kick the football into the air had to make your heart leap. And then comes the heartbreak, watching a defensive player snag the ball out of the air and run it into your endzone… ending what was indeed a very impressive late-season run.
Now you must have an empty feeling inside you. There is nothing left for you to do besides bitch about how the refs jobbed you on so many plays. Those are tough breaks, and breaks that Viking Joe is all too familiar with, as well. I do hope, for your sake, that your grief is as brief as your playoff run was.
The next sentiment I would like to extend to you is gratitude. If it weren’t for your team giving us not only your Hall of Fame quarterback, but two fairly easy wins in the regular season, it would probably be your team that earned the playoff bye week instead of ours. But alas, thanks to your generosity and kindness, the Vikings have not only taken the NFC North Championship two years in a row, but our season has also lasted longer than yours. Regardless of how our season ends, it’ll be very comforting to know that, at the very least, we out did our most hated rivals… again.
Lastly, I want to ensure you that your offseason will be just as exciting for you as the regular season was. With Chad Clifton, Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz, Ryan Pickett, Alfred Malone, Johnny Jolly, Aaron Kampman, Will Blackmon, Nick Collins, and Atari Bigby all possibly having played their last game as a Packer I am sure you will be plenty capable of upgrading a roster that went one-and-done in the Wild Card round.
Oh, and you’ll be able to celebrate Mark Tauscher and Charles Woodson’s 33rd birthday. Not to mention Clifton will be turning the big 34 this year! Woo Hoo! As usual, however, Donald Driver is not to be outdone. In what will surely be his last season as a Packer, and possibly in the NFL, Driver will be turning 35 this year!
Looks to me like your team leaders, McCarthy and Thompson, will have quite a bit of unrest in the roster this year. As you know, however, I am sure they’ll be up to the challenge. Oh, and don’t fret if they forget to upgrade the offensive line… again. I am sure next year Aaron Rodgers won’t have the ball get knocked loose in overtime of your season’s most important game and end any hopes you had of establishing your club as one of the NFL’s elite… or would he?
So, I am sure we won’t talk for a while seeing as how I’ll be watching my team in the playoffs and you probably wouldn’t have much to say anyways. So, until we meet next time, don’t forget…
There Is Always Next Year! Oh, and GO BREWERS!