Admit it Packers fans--and Brett Favre haters. With less than 30-seconds left in yesterday's NFC Championship game you had that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. The kind of feeling parents get when there is a knock on the door at 3:00 in the morning and their teenager isn't home with the car yet--or any of us would get when we open the mailbox to find a letter from the IRS stamped "Audit Information Enclosed". You really thought your worst nightmare was about to come true--Brett Favre leading the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl.
It was right there for the Purple and Gold. Yes, they were probably on the outskirts of Ryan Longwell's range for a game winning field goal. But you had seen the classy, former Packer nail long, pressure-packed kicks before--and in the perfect kicking environment of the SuperDome you knew he would probably make it.
Not that Longwell would have been given any of the credit for winning the game. NOOOOOO, Fox, ESPN, CBS--anyone else running highlights of this game would have instead focused on Number Four--the Ol' Gunslinger--who had taken a mighty beating that day--but survived to lead his new team down the field to set up the kick. To make it even more dramatic, The Great One even had to be carried off the field a couple of times--and was shown writhing in agony on the training table (would he be able to continue? Is that Tavaris Jackson warming up on the sidelines?). Deanna couldn't even look.
So there were the Vikes poised to punch their ticket to Miami--but Brad Childress wanted to get just a little bit closer. "The Wizard" got a bit too greedy though--sending 12-men into the huddle and pushing the ball back five more yards. That forced him to actually try to get a bit more yardage than originally thought--and that meant putting the ball into the hands of The Savior--"The Man We Got For This Very Moment".
The play developed just the way "Chilly" probably wanted, his quarterback rolled out--with plenty of blockers in front of him--and an open field that could have allowed for a five to ten yard run. A quick time out and out would trot Longwell to win the game............
But "The Legend" had other ideas. His ticket to Canton wasn't written by running five yards downfield and sliding--his claim to fame is jamming the risky pass into coverage that somehow pays off. So Brett decided to "be Brett" throwing back against his body and his momemtum--firing a perfect strike.........................to a New Orleans defensive back.
The Vi-Queens would never even see the ball in overtime. (Didn't you wish that it had been Brett that had made the "heads" call that lost the coin toss as well?) Losing on a field goal (set up quite honestly by the latest in a never-ending series of questionable pass interference call from officials who seem to have taken over the NFL this season) that sends the ultimate sad-sack franchise to the Super Bowl for the first time ever.
So Old Number Four gives us another storybook ending--an interception costing his team the Super Bowl. Maybe I would like to see him come back to write yet another chapter.