I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet about the Packers this season. This is mostly because watching an undefeated season unfold is kind of like holding your breath for a really long time and after awhile you’re just waiting and watching and turning blue and wondering how much longer it can last.
We answered that question yesterday. Well played, KC.
Now, I am not of the persuasion that a loss can be a “good” loss. When you only play 16 games in a season every game counts. I also don’t think that, as some have suggested, the loss was beneficial because it alleviated perceived pressure on the Packers to go undefeated. True to their roots, I don’t think the Packers are the type to cater to that kind of pressure in the first place, so losing the potential for the perfection doesn’t matter as much as losing in general. Also, as a fan, it was nice living in a dreamworld for almost an entire calendar year. It was a fragile place to live, but a nice one nonetheless.
However, lessons can still be learned from losses. While listening to post-game commentary I learned to further appreciate the leadership that has brought the Packers into such a successful run. Here are some quotes from Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s press conference, and some reasons why I think he’s so good at his job.
He knows what the big-picture looks like: “Really, what is disappointing to me is that we didn’t clinch home-field advantage. That was always the goal. I personally always viewed the undefeated season as, really, just gravy. The goal was to get the home-field advantage and win the Super Bowl.”
He doesn’t use injuries as excuses: “I don’t think anytime you have struggles you look to individuals that are not on the field. You look at the game. I’ll go back, I’ll look at the way it was called. We didn’t catch the ball like we normally catch the ball.”
He calls it like it is: “We talked about it being a spirited football game, and we didn’t answer the bell. We were beaten today. The Kansas City Chiefs outplayed us. We were beaten.”
He stays focused and consistent: “We’ve got our 15th game coming up. We’re fighting for home-field advantage. I say the same thing as every day. We need to improve as a football team, and we need to play our next game better against the Chicago Bears.”
Thanks, Coach, for being such a good leader. We really like you. We think you’re swell.
It should be noted the perfect season came to an abrupt halt in Week 15 by a deficit of 5 points. Sorry Pack, apparently 5′s still hate me.
It should also be noted that I will be leading the charge to get Mark Tauscher back on the frozen tundra. We need offensive linemen like whoa. We miss you, Mark!