The Tears Fall a Year Later: A Packer Fan Remembers the 2007 NFC Championship
The date is Jan. 20, 2009.
My fellow Packer fans, can you believe it has been a whole year since we lost in the NFC Championship game?
I can't, because I've thought about that loss every time I see the Packers play. I can't help but remember how close we were. Just how close we were to realizing the perfect dream. Brett Favre going out in the Super Bowl.
I remember how close we were to shutting all his critics up.
I remember how close I was to blowing two grand on a ticket to watch the master of quarterbacks compete in the biggest game ones last time.
I remember how close we all were to the dream.
But this is not a dream. This is real life, and we woke up when the final score read 23-20 New York Giants.
Needless to say, my emotions were mixed.
From the absolute joy of Donald Driver's 90-yard touchdown reception.
To the agony that was Lawrence Tynes' game-winning field goal in overtime.
After I watched the video, I watched it again.
Only this time, I watched it with a purpose. I watched it hoping I could find something or someone to blame other than Brett Favre. Desperately I searched for a scapegoat. Desperately I denied that our Brett Favre had cost us a Super Bowl trip.
My thought process ranged from the logical to the irrational.
I first blamed Al Harris for allowing Plaxico Burress to use him as a towel all game.
Later, I blamed the secondary as an entirety for failing to perform anything near a tackle.
Or maybe it was Harris' fault for not intercepting Eli Manning's pass in the end zone with seven minutes in the fourth quarter.
No, it was surely Jarrett Bush's fault. When the Giants fumbled a punt with two minutes remaining, Bush tried to scoop up the ball instead of secure possession. He would get shoved aside like a rag doll, and the Giants would recover the ball.
My emotions were all over the place; I started to blame our very opponents.
Why was Brandon Jacobs so big? Who the hell made him a running back? And why couldn't Plaxico Burress shoot himself in the leg a year earlier?
Why did Eli Manning have to finally play to his potential THIS year in THIS game?
I will never forget the final two minutes of that game.
I am not a religious person at all. However, when Lawrence Tynes set up for the game-winning field goal in regulation, I prayed to someone, anyone—as long as it was answered, I didn't care.
He missed it. It was as if I had just found God. I leaped for joy and immediately became the biggest Christian on the planet.
But as they say, God is a fair God. Somewhere there was a Giants fan praying just as hard as I was.
That's when it happened. The interception that shook the very foundation of my heart. I didn't see it coming; I fully believed Favre was going to lead us to the win.
The interception has replayed in my mind a thousand times. Each time it breaks my heart just a little more. Almost to the point where anytime I see a quarterback pass to the sideline, it reappears in my mind.
When Tynes made good on his overtime field goal, I simply stared in shock. I didn't speak for what seemed like hours. I woke up the next morning and didn't say a word until the middle of the day.
I didn't shed one tear.
Despite all my anguish and pain, I never showed it.
That was until I saw the picture you see above.
A whole year after the interception, a small little tear streaked down my cheek.
The tear that held 365 days worth of agony.
The tear that held the dreams of every Packer fan alive.
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