My father passed away on October 25th, 2016. That’s a date I will never forget. He was a Cowboys fan and we used to spend Sundays together, religiously watching as many football games as we could handle in a single day and with a single screen. When I discovered football and the NFL, seven years ago, he was a bit surprised but happy to tag along for that ride.
He had watched the game before when my older brother was a kid, and both the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins were huge in Mexico. Now, he would listen to every story I told about the Green Bay Packers. He would care about the statistics, the changing rules, the name of every wide receiver, cornerback and backup quarterback that I mentioned. He would look around and try to buy for me any piece of Packers merch he could find in Mexico City stores. Scarves, tumbler cups, action figures, plushies, gloves too large for my own hands.
Then he got sick, went to the hospital, and died. And I almost quit football.
AND they did it AT Lambeau. It could be said that the Packers did well at only keeping the Vikings to 16 points, but that would be one of those statements where you’re really stretching to find something positive to say about this game.
Yes, there are parties for hosting, marshmallows for roasting, and caroling out in the snow.
But there’s also football for watching and talking and tweeting about. Nothing says “Home For The Holidays” like when the Cowboys Fan Faction of your family meet up with the Redskins Fan Faction of the family, mixed in with the Steeler fans and the trash talking ensues. (Which is really my family Y’all!)
And there’s also Christmas lists for wishing and hoping. For our inaugural Christmas, I asked the OurTurf writers what they wanted most for their teams for Christmas. The answers were great and I hope that these wishes go straight from this post to Santa’s ears. So, for everyone’s enjoyment, here are what some of the ladies from OurTurf’s Christmas Wishes want for their team!
I think my breathing might JUST be returning to normal today. Some people like close games, but if you’ve been reading my column for anytime, you know I can’t stand them! Two weeks in a row winning in overtime? NOT fun for me!
Sundays OT win was the third overtime win of this season – never before has that happened in Green Bay franchise history. Never before have the Packers won more than two overtime games in a single season. Another record? Sunday was the first time in Green Bay history that the team has won back-to-back games in overtime.
The Packers got a walk-off win for the second straight game when wide receiver Davante Adams ran for a 25-yard touchdown in overtime after first tying the game with 17 seconds left. At this point, Adams has to be one of the best receivers in the entire league.
I hate to say this because just a few weeks ago I said that the Packers had a great chance to turn things around for the rest of the season. Alas, they haven’t. And from the looks of it, they won’t.
So, what went wrong? It’s hard to tell, but besides quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone, things never quite picked up on the turf for the Green Bay Packers. Heck, they even lost tight end Martellus Bennett back to the New England Patriots. He started seven games and then the team played a very odd game of injury-waive-goodbye with him.
It’s odd to me that the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have almost an even record against each other. Going into Sunday’s game, the Packers were just one game ahead in one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL. Thankfully, that number went up one with the Packers now winning 14 of their past 16 games against Chicago.
This was the first time I’ve ever been nervous when facing the Bears. The Packers have been on a three-game losing streak since quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, and the way Green Bay had been playing, it seemed like the Bears (favored to win this game) would get the win.
I never cared about football until January 9th, 2011. Growing up in a country with its heart set on soccer, and born within a family of soccer enthusiasts, football was always the odd sport for me.
Even when I went to study at a football-crazed high school and college (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education), I never attended a game. I went out of my way to avoid interacting with players, coaches, and matches. Why, then, am I now writing an article about my love for the Green Bay Packers?
It was supposed to be the perfect Packers watching day. I was at one of my favorite client’s sports bars and was going to watch the Packers vs Vikings game with my favorite Vikings fan. Before he even arrived, he was smack talking my team, and I was pretty smug, *knowing* I would easily win the day.
Within only seven minutes my perfect day was shattered along with quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone. At first, when Rodgers went down after being tackled by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr, it looked to me like perhaps he had hit him hard in the stomach, and maybe he got the wind knocked out of him. Then the replays began and I saw just how hard Rodgers landed on his right shoulder. His right shoulder. His throwing side.
I woke up this morning with a gut feeling that if the Packers beat Minnesota today, the road to claiming the NFC North would be a walk in the park. A few hours later, the game began and it didn’t look too bad for the Packers. True, the team’s injury roster has gotten longer with each passing week, but the presence of amazing rookie players and the optimism that invaded the fans after that Dallas game seemed enough to get us through.
And then quarterback Aaron Rodgers got sacked and injured on Green Bay’s second drive in the first quarter. The shoulder injury turned out to be a collarbone fracture that could keep him off the field anytime from four weeks to the rest of the year. Worst news of the 2017 season.
While watching the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, I was already thinking about writing my weekly article, and the title for this piece that kept coming back to me was “We’re Better Than This.” It was frustrating to watch the Packers and Cowboys trade the lead over and over, knowing that the Packers should have a larger lead.
It seemed like kicker Mason Crosby’s two missed field goals would make the difference between a win and a loss and it hurt thinking that this game might come down to two simple points. In all the years in the league, Crosby has never missed two extra points in a row. At the same time, this might be the first game in years where I wasn’t nervous during the times Green Bay was down.