RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Podcast Open in Mobile App

« Player Preview: Brian McCann | Main | Cowboys Vikings Playoff 2009 - Do you remember the Hail Mary? »

When It's Over...


The Green Bay Packers 2009 season came to a heartbreaking and abrupt end Sunday, when the Arizona Cardinals defeated them 51-45 in overtime.

It was a game for the ages, an instant classic. But the Packers ended up on the wrong side of history when Karlos Dansby returned an Aaron Rodgers fumble for the game winning touchdown in sudden death overtime.

The Packers showed their heart, coming back from a 31-10 deficit in the second half. Rodgers played arguably the best game of his young career and Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley also had career games. It was an amazing game to watch, with an amazingly difficult outcome for Packer fans.

It was a game that, unfortunately for Packer fans, will live in playoff infamy for years to come, along with 4th and 26th and "Owens, Owens, Owens!" No matter how hard we try, we won't be able to shake it from our memories. So many close calls and bad breaks, we'll have to relive until training camp rolls around next summer.

All the months of hard work, from OTAs to minicamps to training camp and finally the season, all thrown away on one game-changing play. Now Packers fans and players will have nine months to think about how close they were to moving on to New Orleans and how it was all so painfully yanked away.

The Packers departed the Arizona desert night to return home to a frosted over and desolate Green Bay, a town lost without its beloved football team. Another end to another season in the storied Green Bay franchise, one that has been no stranger to playoff heartbreak in recent years.

The Packers' last playoff game before Sunday ended in similar agony, when New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes won it on a field goal in overtime to send the Giants to the Superbowl and the Packers home for a long off-season.

The dawn of each new season brings promise, a fresh start and high expectations. But each January brings disappointment and emotional turmoil for 31 teams. When the season finally ends with the Superbowl, only one team can say they have achieved the ultimate goal. Only one team gets to go home happy.

When all the tailgate parties, high fives and friendly rivalries are halted until next year, the cheeseheads put on the shelf and Sundays once more become a day of rest, there is no doubt a sadness that spreads over the bitter cold Wisconsin winter.

Yet, falling short of a Superbowl victory doesn't necessarily mean the season was not a success. Each game, each step along the way was a lesson learned, a memory made, experience gained. The journey is the reward, especially if in the end that's all you have.

Things change rapidly in the NFL. Teams can easily go from a Superbowl victory, to not evening making the playoffs the following year (i.e. 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers). No team is ever exactly the same from one season to the next. Free agency, trades and draft picks alter each team significantly throughout the off-season.

Which is what makes a loss like this one so hard to take. No one knows what the future will bring for the Packers. For aging veterans, like Donald Driver, Aaron Kampman, Charles Woodson, Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, there may not be many opportunities left. They had their chance to achieve greatness and came just inches short in a valiant comeback effort. So many what-ifs and could-have-beens cloud the blatant reality that it's over. It's all over.

No more chances to get it right. No more Mondays spent analyzing game tape. No more practices. No more Lambeau Leaps. No more games. Just months of empty days spent thinking about what could have been.

The players will clean out their lockers, have their post-season meetings and head to their offseason homes and begin the long, arduous task of preparing for another NFL season. Lambeau Field will sit empty, dark and cold until next August when the thunderous roar of eager Packer fans desperate to erase the memory of Arizona from their minds, will awaken it from its slumber.

For now, we are left to wait for the healing hands of time to ease the pain of another playoff heartache and reflect on the past season, good times and bad. The hard is what makes it great. Without the struggles, close calls and heartbreaks, we could never truly appreciate the triumphs.

Besides, there's always next season. Just ask the Chicago Cubs.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference When It's Over...:


The comments to this entry are closed. Video Corner

MTR Radio: Click Below to Listen Online Now 24/7!

blog advertising is good for you


View My Stats