Down in the Lone-Some Ravine

You’d think, after all these years, I would learn to temper my enthusiasm in times like these. But I have not. When The Packers emerged as a true Super Bowl contender I threw caution aside and put all of my chips on the top of a mountain. And on Sunday, like many of you no doubt, I fell a long, long way. Turns out the mountain is evil and slippery as a goose.
Here I am, dear readers: a deflated heap of disbelief at the bottom of a lone-some ravine. Like Brett Favre, I’m sure, I thought defeat was not possible until that strange and awe-ful moment when the Giants won our NFC Championship at Lambeau Field. I leaned back in my rocking chair and the room got real quiet and I stared at the score board for a while like a hypno-tized panda bear. Then I evaporated into a fog and woke up the next morning with flu-like symptoms. I guess I’m mourning. My dinner went unfinished tonight and this result is frankly too painful to think about.
A good place to start, probably, would be with an apology to Eli Manning, who was far from ‘wee’ in his leadership, Sunday. I was wrong about him and basically the whole Giants team going into this thing. Boy, they played a helluva game. They really beat us up; just look at the time of possession, folks. I’m still not going to watch the Super Bowl, though. Just won’t be able to enjoy it, and I suspect I’ll still be bitter even a few months from now. Geeesh that’s a long fall.
Our Packers didn’t play a very good game, let’s face it. I thought we’d have our way on offense, but General Grant never found so much as a breath of clean air our there. Twenty nine yards. That number keeps haunting me today. I keep pretty detailed notes during a typical game, and I’ve got that scribbled all over the pages before me: “Running tough so far.” “No ground attack at all.” “Rushing attack worth-less today.” And so on. This hiccup became more pronounced in the second half, throwing a real kink in the passing attack, which stressed out the rest of the system on down the line. It’s like a bad knee. You start limping but you don’t notice it at first, and then your hips and your back and your ankles start creaking and pretty soon you’re rambling around like a rusty El Camino with bald tires. Somehow that Giants defense broke us down and made us look down-right silly in our own neck of the woods and I still don’t understand. I already erased the game tape and so I probably never will.
The defense didn’t do much aside from Brady Poppinga, who had a spirited showing. Al Harris really looked bad and he’s a guy I never even thought to worry about. Ah, heck.
Well, folks, as you can see I’m still feeling gloomy, but I’ll try my best to leave you with some positive thoughts. Things to look forward to:
Ice fishing season is still a couple months long. The Packers are a young and talented team with no huge problems on the free agent horizon. Maybe we can use some of that salary cap room to sign a few from other teams, even. Mike McCarthy, even with this scuff on his record, appears a coach ready to take a team to the next level. Ted Thompson will have another great draft in the spring. Thursday is still bowling league and there is an adorable kitty sleeping on my feet. The hot wings batch I turned out for the game was my finest yet and it is snowing outside, so things aren’t so bad. Right? Ah, heck.
Well, readers, I’m sorry it had to end like this but I’ve had a great time sharing my thoughts with you all this season. I’ll make sure to keep up with semi-regular off-season dispatches on the internet, and soon enough, August will be here again. Fourteen and four was a pretty good run, and I’m sure I’ll be able to enjoy that more in a few weeks. I just need to get away from football for a while and let that enthusiasm rise on back up a bit. Until next season, then.