The swing of emotions
The game featured a whirlwind of emotions, now mostly a blur that is painful to remember.
I remember being truly impressed by Eli Manning, performing as he did in that weather. I remember thinking that Plaxico Burress was a tough cover. I remember the color of Tom Coughlin’s face.
I remember the two missed kicks by Lawrence Tynes, especially the second one, as it gave us life again. I remember jumping up and down and hugging colleagues John Schneider -- now with the Seahawks -- and Reggie McKenzie -- now with the Raiders -- when those kicks were missed (in the next booth, general manager Ted Thompson sat stoically).
And I remember the Packers having the ball and driving for the Super Bowl berth in overtime. And I remember the interception by Corey Webster.
Time stood still after that play. We all knew that Tynes was not going to miss another field goal. He made it. It was over; the Giants celebrated on the frozen tundra and then went on to upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl in Arizona. I parted with the Packers a couple weeks later, and a much more well-known employee -- Brett Favre -- retired a month after that, only to try to return that summer followed by, well, you know.
So close yet so far
One of the more powerful emotions in working in the NFL is when your team is so close to the ultimate prize yet doesn’t reach the goal. Usually you “know” you have the team with the talent to win it all and hope that the circumstances fall right; you never know if or when you’ll be back.
At the Packers, in my nine years there, I thought we had three teams poised to win it all: (1) the 2002 team that lost at home in the playoffs to the electric Michael Vick and the Falcons; (2) the 2003 team that lost to the Eagles in the playoffs in the “4th and 26” game; and (3) the 2007 team that lost in the Arctic conditions to the Giants at Lambeau on the day described here.
The Giants come to Lambeau again Sunday and although the championship isn’t on the line, advancing to that game is. And that means the chance to get to the ultimate prize will be there for the winner.
I know I’m biased, but I do think the Packers, unlike 2008, will win this one.
It should be a game to remember…once again.
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