A Violent Femme’s View – What Might Have Been
On to the second round of the playoffs, baby! The Packers are headed back to the house of the Dirty Birds, this time to pluck and roast them, in order to make that title game in Seattle. Come ON Seahawks! (I know that is SO not going to happen, but if it does and the Packers win I can go to the NFC Championship game. Which would not, as they say, suck.)
For quite a while now as the Packers have become stronger I have heard a lot of comments along the lines of “just think what we’ll be like next year when everyone’s back.” The thought of having Jermichael Finley back makes me giddy, I’ll admit; I’ve said “Wait until next year” too.
What if the Packers hadn’t been decimated by injuries this year? What if the defense hadn’t gone down one by one? What if Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley had made it out unscathed?
I think the Packers might not have been in the playoffs.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve missed all of the guys on IR and I will be delighted to get them back. This team had a lot of pressure and expectations, both internally and externally. There was Super Bowl talk in the locker room. McCarthy even uttered those words. This was supposed to be a cake walk through the NFC North and into a first round bye. There were going to be home playoff games this year. There seemed to be perhaps a bit too much confidence, which can be a season killer, oddly enough. In a room full of superstars, egos can flare and conflicts that hobble a team can arise. The number of so called “superstars” in the Packers locker room has dwindled alarmingly this season.
This team has seen their hopes of a post-season run potentially dashed with every injury, and with every injury someone has stepped up and shown the “right stuff.” Sam Shields for heaven’s sake? Tom Crabtree (much as I love him, he was a surprise making the team)? John Kuhn? ERIK WALDEN????
Because of fate and “bad” luck, we’ve got a bunch of hungry young men out to prove themselves. In that sense, Shields, Starks, Kuhn, Crabtree etc. are much the same as QB 1. They’ve got fires in their guts and chips on their shoulders. The better they play and the further the Packers go, the brighter their futures will be.
Because of the adversity they’ve faced, the need for so many to work so hard just to prove worth that is not assumed because of past performance, this team really is functioning as that – a full team. It’s great to see.
It can carry them all the way to Dallas.
Forget next year. I’m enjoying right now.