After spending plenty of time trying to begin and title this article, it hit me that it's just difficult to put into words what this Super Bowl victory means for this Packer fan and I can only assume plenty others.
Ever since the 2007 run to the NFC Championship, it's been a tough ride for Packer fans basically starting with that game.
The Packers weren't expected to do well in 2007, but Brett Favre led an improbable run deep into the playoffs where an interception in overtime ultimately setup the winning score sending the Giants to the Super Bowl.
In hindsight, I don't think the Packers would have beaten the then undefeated Patriots.
As it were, the Giants were the better team while the Packers weren't quite ready for prime time. But a great run revived the Packer faithful only to be a bit blindsided when Favre retired following one of his best seasons.
And by now, we are all well aware of how the rest unfolded.
Consider the loyal Packer fans, forced to choose sides in a messy divorce.
A period of over the top media scrutiny on the smallest market in professional sports.
The non-stop Favre/Rodgers comparisons.
It was bad enough we had to witness Favre in a Jets uniform, but then going to Minnesota?—that was really a cannonball into the drama pool never before seen in pro football.
Packer fans, some of the most loyal fans in pro sports, didn't deserve that.
Good kids caught up in a bad divorce.
Sure, some Favre supporters were able to enjoy him beat his former team and take the Vikings to the NFC Championship last season, while loyal Packer fans had to endure the fact that their former hero had gotten the best of them.
Again, this was such a shocking turn of events that I don't think any reasonable Packer fan would have ever seen it coming.
Then, for awhile, it seemed the best part of the Packer 2010 season was watching the Vikings unravel.
Rodgers had endured his second concussion late in the season during a Packer loss at Detroit.
That turned into a two-game skid following a defeat at New England where backup QB Matt Flynn had to replace the concussed Rodgers.
With two games left, it became "win and your in" for the Packers.
Wow. Does that seem like a lifetime ago already.
Since that gutsy performance against New England, the Packers asserted themselves as the best team in the NFL.
Not only did we Packer fans get to enjoy the demise of the Vikings, we beat (handily in most cases) the Giants, Bears (two times), Michael Vick and Philly, Matty "Ice" and the Falcons and ultimately Big Ben and all that experience the Steelers brought to the Super Bowl.
That's six victories, four away from Lambeau, all against teams with ten plus wins.
Front line QBs, solid defenses, and most of the time, at their place.
Sounds to me like some pretty solid bragging rights for now.
This Super Bowl is particularly sweet because there aren't any excuses.
No "what ifs".
No "coulda shoulda woulda" for anybody.
The Packers took the most injured team and rolled through the NFL playoffs against every disadvantage.
I really appreciated Steeler head coach Mike Tomlin's comments following the game where he basically said (and I'm paraphrasing a bit) "No excuses guys, the Packers played a really good game tonight".
It was a great game, where you cannot really debate who was the beater team that day.
Just like the previous five elimination games for the Pack.
After a tough three year stretch where people liked to ask upon finding out you were a Packer fan, "What did you think of that whole Favre thing?", it is quite the relief to know that like the longest of snowstorms, its finally over.
It was tough watching a Packer team in transition go 6-10 in 2008.
It was tough trying to have faith in the future while Favre was doing the old gunslinger routine in 2009.
It was tough for Packer fans to endure the taunts of friends and family who started showing up with purple Favre jerseys at game day parties. Constantly reminding you of how few big games Aaron Rodgers had won.
It was tough supporting the team when they were "one and done" in the 2009 playoffs, while the Vikings seemed destined for the Super Bowl.
But then, similar to 2007, it seemed to all turn on a Favre interception again.
All the drama, all the division of Packer fans.
It's all gone now.
In one sweet victory, the Green Bay Packers finally put to rest all the second guessing and tavern debates.
In addition to soundly beating the Vikings, the Packers totally redeemed the Packer faithful with two huge January victories over the division rival Bears as well.
I like what one fan said following the NFC Championship: "I guess we don't have to worry about Bear fans bragging about winning the division."
We heard a fair amount about that from the Vikings fans in 2009 and it wasn't pleasant.
Now a few days removed from Super Bowl XLV, it just seems the sun is brighter, the air is fresher, the smiles are bigger here in Packer country.
Talk about closure.
It seems a bit calmer on the stormy blogger front too.
I mean, what trash talking can be done at this point?
I would encourage the Packer fans to enjoy this prize with humility, because the results speak for themselves.
I'll still admit that I had plenty of doubts about head coach Mike McCarthy over this season, but let me say job well done and thanks especially for this one coach. It feels great.
Now get that CBA done and do not interrupt football. Not after this.