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That's it, let it out, folks

Posted Sep 25, 2012

Ron from Roberts, WI

Anyone that saw Golden Tate, Pete Carroll and even Russell Wilson's interview after the game was obviously not impressed. They should be embarrassed. What are they teaching our kids? Remember the commercial about sportsmanship, with the kid that told the truth about touching the ball before it went out of bounds? The NFL has wrecked the experience for me and I believe for most of the nation.

This is a very tough day for Packers fans, and please believe me when I tell you that I hurt for you and for all Packers fans. In the moments immediately following last night’s game, I remarked to a colleague that we weren’t the only ones that were going to miss a night of sleep, that a lot of fans were going to go sleepless, but not in Seattle. I feel worse for Packers fans than I feel for anybody else involved in last night’s game, because I understand your feeling of helplessness. I had stories to write, and they helped me kill the time between the end of the game and sunrise. Packers fans only had their sorrow and anger to keep them company. Let’s get through this day, this week, and get to Sunday so we can put this behind us. Forget the 24-hour rule. It doesn’t exist this week.

Toussaint from Columbus, IN

Honestly, I don't want to hear someone say the Packers shouldn't have been in that position. The Packers did just what they were supposed to do. The Packers went into the second half and made adjustments and got into position to win. They did their job. The refs didn't do their job.

I agree completely with you that the Packers made the plays they had to make to win that game. I thought their second-half performance was gutsy, from the way they committed to the run and changed the game, to the coach’s challenge by Mike McCarthy that was coaching genius. You will not hear me say it shouldn’t have come down to that one play. Making plays at crunch time is standard operating procedure in the NFL, and I thought the Packers made all the plays at crunch time.

Will from Madison, WI

Have you ever received as many emails about a single play as you have about the end of the game last night?

No, I haven’t. My inbox counter was over 500 new e-mails by the time the plane landed and I dug into today’s “Ask Vic.” The bulletin game story I wrote contained over a thousand reader comments. That’s true volume and it must not be ignored.

Steve from Ithaca, NY

Time to unretire “The Asterisk.”

That same remark was made to me by a colleague in the press box moments after Golden Tate’s game-winning touchdown catch, and my inbox is loaded with people wanting a return of “The Asterisk,” but we’re not going to do that. We’re going to be gracious, strong and dignified, and cry a lot, too.

Jason from Louisville, KY

After that atrocious last call by the refs last night, couldn't Roger Goodell reverse the decision of the game? I usually don't blame losses on refs, but come on. I was so mad last night, I could barely sleep.

I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I won’t tell you that I haven’t thought about it. This is a tough day for the commissioner, too. It’s a tough day for a lot of people, including the official that made the call. You wanna know what that call was like for me? Well, I had my game story written. Its lead was that Cedric Benson scored the game-winning touchdown in a 12-7 Packers win. I had my finger on the “Publish” button as Russell Wilson’s pass fell from the sky. During that pregnant pause, as the official that made the call signaled nothing, I thought to myself, “Please don’t raise your arms.” He did, and I had to write a new game story and get downstairs for Coach McCarthy’s critical postgame interview. Fortunately, the Seattle press box includes steps, not just an elevator. The extra-point kick also bought me some time. In 41 years, I’ve never covered an ending like last night’s.

Thomas from Ludwigshafen, Germany

First of all, I was really disappointed. I watched the game until six in the morning and couldn`t sleep for another hour because of the call. Aside from that, what are the positives and the negatives for the team?

The negative is obvious: The Packers suffered a loss that’s going to hurt them in their pursuit of an NFC North title and home-field advantage for the playoffs. There were positives in the Packers’ performance, but I found it interesting that when Mike McCarthy was asked to talk about those positives in his postgame press conference, he begged off the question. It just wasn’t in his heart to do that at a time when his heart was so heavy. Here’s what I liked: 1.) The Packers were able to run the ball in the second half when they absolutely had to run the ball, and it was against one of the league’s top run defenses. 2.) The Packers made the plays they needed to make to win the game. 3.) The 81-yard, 16-play touchdown drive that should’ve been the game-winner was a championship-caliber, crunch-time drive that included two third-and-long conversions. Aaron Rodgers was outstanding in that drive and I think it was his coming-out party for the 2012 season.

Mike from LaCrossse, WI

Vic, for future reference, I'll refer to it as the “Fail Mary” play.

That would be pretty good, if it didn’t hurt so much. The Packers will overcome this. They’ll find a place for this game and that play in their glorious history, and one day we’ll look back on last night’s game with a painful, yet, vivid memory of a meaningful night in our lives. We remember when we laugh and we remember when we cry; the rest is often forgettable. Last night will never be forgotten.

Hari from Aurora, ON

I have a simple question: What did Mark Murphy say to Roger Goodell this morning?

Obviously, I don’t know, but I think I can say without reservation that there will be a lot of conversation in the league office today about last night’s game. This one did not go gentle into that good night.

Vince from Freeport, IL

Can we expect the apocalypse soon?

Maybe that’s why the sun was shining in Seattle.

Mike from New York, NY

Vic, I am just as livid as the rest of Packernation, but since your inbox will get flooded with questions about the finish, I'll ask about something else. In an ESPN article, John Clayton mentions you; can you tell me a little bit about your relationship with him? Why did you never become an NFL insider?

John was at the game last night. I was with him in Mike McCarthy’s postgame interview and we compared the chaotic moments immediately following last night’s “catch” to the chaos immediately following the Immaculate Reception. I have no doubt John is going to provide a lot of inside information on last night’s controversial play. John and I began our careers at the same age covering the Steelers. After several years of doing that, John went forward and I stayed behind. It’s about talent. John is a very talented reporter, writer and commentator. I look forward to the information he’s going to provide on last night’s game.

Harry from Waupaca, WI

Jon Gruden mentioned the Packers had as many as five rookie defensive players on the field at times last night. In the last two games, they have all played very good football. Did anyone really expect them all to make such an impact this early in the season?

I didn’t, and I announced that fact in the editorial I wrote on the subject prior to the season opener. I think we start by acknowledging the job Dom Capers and the defensive staff have done in developing these young players. Did you see that crunch-time pass breakup by Casey Hayward? That was impressive. Did you see Nick Perry wait on Clay Matthews to run Russell Wilson right to Perry? That’s not your typical rookie patience; that was taught. I didn’t expect the Packers to play nearly as much two-down-linemen “nickel” and “dime” on first and second down as they did last night. In time, what I was able to determine was that Capers was playing a wonderful game of cat and mouse with the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback. I don’t think Wilson or the Seahawks were expecting all that two-down stuff, either. You want a positive? The play of the defense is certainly a big one.

Steve from Lodi, WI

There's your asterisk for Green Bay.

Shhhh, please. The last one almost got me fired.

Joe from Escanaba, MI

As a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers, I'm embarrassed to be part of the NFL.

No, you’re not. You’re just hurting and you have a right to do that. Just get through today. Let’s start with that, everybody.

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