Sunday, November 9, 2003

Things Getting Interesting

Well, things are getting pretty interesting around the NFC North. Going into last week's game, the Vikings were leading the division at 6-1, the Packers were 3-4, and the Packers were almost certain to lose the Sunday night game to the Vikings. It was in the dome, Favre's personal house of horrors, and with a broken thumb, yet. I really could not think of a reasonable scenario under which I could convince myself that the Packers would win the game.

Plus, I was in New York with my kids, and despite the Eastern time zone start, I figured I would miss a good chunk of the game. I just hoped that there would be something worth watching by the time I got back to the hotel.

I made good use of my cell phone checking the score with my wife, and when I rolled into the hotel in the third quarter, amazingly, the Packers were leading, 20-17. I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the game, including Favre's "bat out of hell" block on Ahman Green's run. (I call it that because he took off like a bat out of hell, just aching to get a block. And what a block it was.) I also loved Javon Walker's touchdown catch of the ball thrown, probably intentionally, a bit behind him. And when I eventually saw his other TD, the one where he cut back to the right to get into the end zone, I liked that one even better.

So, the Packers pulled within two games of the Vikings. My brother-in-law called me early Monday morning, on my way to the airport, to say "Just when you are about ready to count the Packers out, they pull out a game like that." And he certainly is right. I had prepared myself for the Packers' loss, and realistically, that would have knocked them out of playoff contention. And then they won, under the most improbable circumstances.

And now, as I type this, the Vikings are in the process of losing their third game in a row, which will leave them at 6-3, while a Packer victory tomorrow night would bring them to 5-4. Now THAT would be interesting.Which means, of course, they probably will lose. But sitting here today, there is reason to hope that the Packers can pull within one game tomorrow night. That is much more than I would have expected just eight days ago. I can't wait for the game.

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