Monday Musings: Go, Pack, Go!

For those of you who don’t follow American football, you can skip this post, because Imma talk football today! The first thing I have to say is: Go, Pack, GO!

I have two teams, to be honest. My personal team is the Oakland Raiders. How in the world did a Pennsylvania girl who now lives in New England end up cheering for a California (soon to be Las Vegas, it seems) team? Glad you asked. And if you didn’t, I’m gonna tell you anyway! I grew up in sports family. There was sports on the TV all the time, especially weekends. We watched it all: baseball, football, basketball, golf, the Olympics, you name it. Except hockey. I don’t remember a lot of hockey, but I’ve never been a fan of hockey so I may just have shut it out. Once I got to understanding how football works, I became a fan of kickers. I really don’t know why. I can’t remember one defining moment when I said: “Ah ha! Look at those kickers!” But this was back when George Blanda played for the Raiders, and was both kicker and quarterback. He was hitting 50 yard field goals in days when that was unheard of. Of course, now it is not so rare. I started following the Raiders because of Blanda, and then along came Kenny “The Snake” Stabler and the rest of that era team, and I’ve been a Raiders Girl since.

But there has also always been the Green Bay Packers. Both my parents were Packers fans, and I grew up watching the Packers. I learned the game watching the Packers. They are still a favorite team for me. The BaldMan and his family lived in Milwaukee when he was young, so there is a big Green Bay connection there, too. My Raiders did quite well this season (finally!), but a run of bad luck injuries had them out of the playoffs early. The Packers are still going. Oh, boy, are they going!

Yeah, they hit a bit of a rough patch in mid-season, but they once they got through that, they have been on fire. Even with injuries plaguing the team and keeping starters out for multiple games, they keep marching on. Having Aaron Rodgers, arguably one of the best quarterbacks to play the game, at the helm doesn’t hurt. There is talent across the board on the team. They definitely deserve to be in the playoffs this season, and to go on to the Super Bowl.

For the most part, the playoff games have been rather one-sided up until this weekend. We’ve had some really good games there. The Packers-Cowboys were no exception. It looked like the Packers were going to dominate in the first half, but the Cowboys rallied in the fourth quarter and tied the game at 31-31. It was looking like we were going into overtime. The Packers were up against the clock at 3 seconds, and brought Crosby on for a 50 yard field goal attempt. He kicked it straight through the uprights, but Dallas had snuck in a time out just before the ball was snapped, so they had to re-kick the attempt.

Now, we all know that Dallas did that to try to rattle Crosby. But, as someone said online this morning, he’s got ice in his veins. He stepped up and kicked again. Yeah, it looked for a second or two like it wasn’t going to make it, but it went through just inside the goal post. Packers win, 34-31. That’s what a playoff game should be, even if it nearly gave me a heart attack! Yeah, there were a few calls that probably should have been made, against both teams. But, as a lot of analysts will say, it seems in championship games, the refs can be a bit more willing to just “let them play” and not call every little thing as quickly as they do in the regular season. Good? Bad? I don’t know. I do know that was the kind of game I love to watch- both teams battling right down to the last seconds and giving everything they’ve got all game long. I hope we get to see more football like that before Super Bowl LI comes and goes. Till then:

Go, Pack, Go!

(Photo from usatoday)

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