To me, this is the biggest Packer game in my generation. With the uncertainty surrounding the future’s of soon-to-be back-to-back MVP Aaron Rodgers, this could be the last dance with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
It has been nearly 3 decades since the Green Bay Packers acquired Brett Favre from the Atlanta Falcons on Feb 10, 1992. I am nearly three decades old myself and have been a lifelong Packer fan. It’s been an absolute blessing to be a Packer fan, with MVP quarterbacks and countless postseason appearances across my lifetime.
The reality for the rest of the NFL is that MVP quarterbacks and division titles are hard to come by. In Green Bay, I feel that that could become a cold and harsh reality for the Packers and us fans. For now, I’m savoring the game Saturday night, and I am hoping and praying that the ghosts of 49er past don’t haunt Green Bay, and we can keep the dream alive.
Pampers were still my pants of choice during Favre’s lone super bowl victory in Green Bay, so I don’t remember much about team or postseason run. I was in high school and very engaged during the Packers incredible run to Superbowl XLV. With Rodgers leading the offense and Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson providing playmaking on defense, the 6 seeded Packers won three straight road games en route to Dallas and knocking off the Steelers in the Superbowl. It was a magical and memorable run and it felt like the beginning of a dynasty.
Now, here we are nearly 11 years later, 11 years filled with incredibly high expectations and countless playoff disappointments. Back-to-Back NFC championship losses in the last two years. The 2015 NFC Championship game in Seattle where a 19-0 lead late in the third quarter wasn’t enough. The 15-1, 2011 season ended with a home playoff loss to Eli Manning and the Giants. And who could forget postseason losses at the hands (and feet) of Colin Kaepernick and these same 49ers in back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014.
So why is this the most important game in my generation? This game is a chance for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to exorcise their 49er playoff demons and take the next step towards the Superbowl. A victory would set up the next biggest game of my generation, and this could be the last time in a long time that Green Bay gets this close to glory.
It will be a long cold winter in the frozen tundra if this postseason doesn’t culminate in a trip to SoFi stadium in Los Angeles for Super Bowl LVI.