SEATTLE—Mike McCarthy's voiced quivered. Aaron Rodgers said what his coach wanted to say.
"It was awful," Rodgers said of the play that caused one of the most heartbreaking defeats in the long and storied history of Green Bay football. "It was awful. That's all I'm going to say about it."
You know the play. I'll spare you the hurtful details. What you know, and everybody else in America knows, is that Packers safety M.D. Jennings appeared to have intercepted a pass that ultimately was ruled a catch by Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate.
It gave the Seahawks a 13-12 win, until the officials were ordered to bring both teams back onto the field for a conversion kick. With that complete, the real final score became 14-12.
Had he ever suffered a worse loss?
"No," Rodgers said.
"I saw the ref in the back moving his hands over his head, which is touchback," he said, indicating that he believed the call was that Jennings had intercepted the pass.
"It would be nice not to have a kicking ball to have to throw on that conversion," he added of a two-point try following a Cedric Benson touchdown that gave the Packers a 12-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
His coach's voice trembled. McCarthy did everything in his power to hold back his emotion, his frustration, probably a lot of anger.
It's a fine line to walk, a reporter said, which caused McCarthy to blurt out: "I'm not walking it. Don't ask me questions about the officials. So let's cut it right there."
Enough said. Point made.
What about the play? It was a question that had to be asked. Hey, we're talking about one of the great moments in Monday Night Football history. We're also talking about one of the most awful moments in Packers football history, and not an especially great moment for the league, considering current events.
"I didn't see it. Just saw the reaction. The communication from our players is that they had the ball. I was told M.D. Jennings had the ball," McCarthy said.
"I've never seen anything like that in all my years in football."
It's also likely that neither Curly Lambeau nor Vince Lombardi saw anything like that in all their years in football, and they combined for a lot of years in football. Has football even seen anything like that in all its years?
"Our defense was outstanding. Very hard to swallow," McCarthy said.
Swallow, the Packers must, for it's too early in the season to allow this woeful moment to collapse a season.
"It's important for us to get back and get ready for the Saints," McCarthy said.
How do you do that after a game like this? That was the question everyone was asking as they headed home. As bad as it was in the moments immediately following the game, how much worse will it be for the Packers, and their fans, as they toss and turn with the events that cost the Packers such misery? Additional coverage - Packers vs. Seahawks