Sometimes, the best thing about sporting events turns out to be the people you watch them with.
We found that statement to be true (though grammatically incorrect) yesterday as we capped a great girls weekend by gathering in my sister Kathy’s living room to cheer on the Packers.
We wore our lucky jerseys (I even, to our hostesses disdain, brought my lucky Packer Snuggi), positioned chairs for proper juju, ate our lucky popcorn, and said our special game day prayers.
Still, we knew, from our opening drive, it wasn’t going to be our Packers’ day.
What are you going to do? Momentum rules and sometimes it just doesn’t flow your way.
I’ll tell you what we did. We watched the game, munched the delicious food my brother in-law Brian sent our way, monitored texts from friends and family attending the game, and relished the opportunity to hang out together.
In fact, I’d like to thank the Packers for giving us an improbable eight-game run, three extra football weekends and all those opportunities to celebrate with family and friends.
The Packers’ rash of injuries tested their Next-Man-Up philosophy so profoundly that, by the fourth quarter of the NFL Championship game, nose tackle Letroy Guion had to play offensive line. I’m not making excuses for the way they played, I’m just stating facts.
Here’s a partial list of key players the Packers lost for all or part of the season due to injury:
Eddie Lacey RB
James Starks RB
Chris Banjo S
Sam Shields CB
JC Tretter C
Clay Matthews LB
Ty Montgomery RB
Jared Cook TE
Quinten Rollins CB
Damarious Randall CB
Davante Adams WR
Nick Perry LB
Randall Cobb WR
Joe Thomas LB
Trevor Davis WR
Blake Martinez ILB
T.J. Lang G
Jake Ryan ILB
That’s not counting the players who suffered injuries and still played. Did you wince every time you watched Jordy Nelson and his bubble-wrapped ribs catch a pass? We did.
The Packers provide a certain rhythm to our weekends — we enjoy our Green and Gold Fridays with dress down days at school and work, we shop for our tailgate or house party supplies on Saturday and we gather with friends to watch the game on Sunday afternoons or Monday nights. We like that particular dance card to remain full through January, and we like to end it with us bringing home a trophy named for our famous coach.
We expect a lot from the team we own, and, mostly, they deliver.
We almost made it to Houston this year. If we can stay healthy and shore up our defense, we’d like to think we’ll make it to Minneapolis next year.
In the meantime, thanks to the Packers for all the family fun.