The Battle Of The Bays

Between the two teams I cheer for, Minnesota and Green Bay, today will mark the 17th NFC Championship game that I've watched actually means something to me. The Packers will meet the Forty Niners to determine who goes to the Super Bowl as the NFC representative.

Seventeen. That's a lot of games.
My copies of the XXI & XXXII Super Bowl programs

Of those games though, I've only been on the winning side six times, three each for the Packers and Vikings. That means my disappointments outnumber my euphoric moments by a margin of almost 2:1.

There have been some heart breakers for sure, almost too many to list.

For the Vikings there were:

  • The Cowboys Hail Mary pass
  • The Gary Anderson missed field goal in the Randall Cunningham years
  • The 41-0 stomping at the hands of the NY Giants during the Randy Moss years
  • The infamous Brett Favre interception versus New Orleans
  • The recent beating at the hands of the  Eagles
And as a Packer fan, I've had my heartbreaks too:

  • The pounding by Emmit Smith and the Cowboys
  • The infamous Brett Favre versus the NY Giants (I see a trend here)
  • The Seahawk meltdown of 5 years ago. What a disaster!
  • The 44-21 thumping laid on by the Atlanta Falcons
For the Vikings, their NFC Championship victories were so many years ago, I barely remember what I felt, but I am sure as a young boy, I was thrilled. I lived and died by Tarkenton, Foreman, Osborn, Gilliam, Washington, Eller, Page, Marshall and the rest. It was idolatry at a young age. 

I remember my mom, stepfather and sister once met Gary Larsen at a bar in northern Minnesota when we were at the cabin. (Gary Larsen was the relatively unknown "fourth" Purple People Eater lineman for the Vikes.) He was sweet on my sister and I was introduced to him. I shook his hand and stood there relatively awestruck. But I digress.

Because they are more recent, I do remember vividly the Packer NFC victories however. The first one was when they beat the Carolina Panthers to get to the Superbowl with Brett Favre, Reggie White, Edgar Bennet, Andre Rison, Don Beebe and Desmond Howard. I'd lived in Wisconsin for 10 years and most of them were with brutally bad to mediocre teams, so this one seemed like it was for real. 

That win over Carolina was a fantastic feeling, eclipsed only by the eventual win over New England in Superbowl XXX1. 

This year's Packer team has surprised me again and again. I picked them to go 9-7 this year and they proved me wrong, finishing 13-3. 

And while I realize it's a boys game played by men and the Packers are underdogs today, I will still watch in hopes that they can pull out an upset. They did it against Chicago in 2010 to go on and beat Pittsburgh in Superbowl XLV. Besides, I have a win/loss ratio that needs to be evened out.

Go Pack!

Blogging off...


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