These were the best words I could muster to comment on the fact that the Green Bay Packers will be hosting the NFC title game next Sunday. I can’t imagine there is one person in the state that thought our team would be in this position back when the season started.
I tried to find it on the webs, to no avail, but I could have sworn there was a poll on the Urinal-Sentinel early in the fall, when the Brewers were still playing, and the Packers and Bucks were just getting started in camp– it asked some version of the question, “which of these teams is going to win a title in their league first?” Now granted, hosting the conference championship does not a Super Bowl champion make, but back in September, the answer to that question seemed obvious– the Brewers were the best-looking of WI’s pro franchises.
Too many question marks existed for the Pack, too many miles on Brett’s arm, and too many others in the NFC looked better on paper. I didn’t think I would need to watch nearly as many Packer games this year as I did. I admit that I was a nay-sayer.
That is what makes this so surreal– when Green Bay hosted the conference title game after the 96 season, I think we all felt that we were riding some sort of wave of destiny– Brett had boldly proclaimed they would win the Super Bowl early in training camp, and we believed, and then they dominated– for the best part of 17 weeks, the Packers were the best team in the NFL. It just felt like there was no stopping them. The following year, even though they traveled to San Francisco, I think there was still a feeling of entitlement– like there was no way the Packers were NOT going to be in the Super Bowl again.
There’s been no feeling of the sort for me this year, and maybe that’s for the better. On one hand, I have no expectations, and just to be in this position is remarkable accomplishment. On the other, I feel like I should have enjoyed the ride even more. I think most Green Bay fans had given up on the idea of another Favre-led Super Bowl team, but with the opportunity now within grasp, you start to think “maybe destiny has come back around again.”
In any case, way to go, Packers. Two games between you and Ultimate Glory, and as unlikely or impossible as it seems, this year has proven this much to me: you just never know what’s going to happen.