Lambeau Leap of Faith

April 30, 2010 3:07 PM

Memorable Packers Games: The Bad

Welcome to the second edition to my series on the most memorable Packers games I have attended. The theme of this series is in honour of one my favourite movies of all-time, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. To see my other editions, please check out my articles at PackerChatters and Bleacher Report.

I should make a point that it was very hard to find the bad game. Green Bay rarely loses at home or against San Francisco, and those are the only two places I regularly see a Packers game. I can only think of one loss at home I attended, and I have decided to go with that game because it was more memorable than the loss I witnessed in the 110° Arizona heat of Sun Devil Stadium a few years ago.

This game was also bad for a completely different reason: Walter Payton had died that week.

I grew up hating the Bears. I grew up hating what Walter Payton did to the Packers.

But I never had anything but admiration and respect for Sweetness. In fact, my biggest problem with Charles Martin's late throw-down of Jim McMahon in the 80s was his "hit-list" towel had #34 on it.1308646153_0ed17d3ef4.jpg

And the Packers opponent the week following at Lambeau Field was none other than the Bears. At halftime, the Packers had a band tribute to Payton as, one at a time, they came out with banners on their instruments: #34-S-W-E-E-T-N-E-S-S. I wondered aloud whether we should be invoking a Packers killer in an important game.

Then, at the end of the game, Ryan Longwell lined up for a chip-shot to win the game. In those days, I often teased my wife, a Forty-Niners fan, by saying, "Have I thanked you lately for Ryan Longwell?" each time he hit a field goal because he was released by San Francisco and was money on kicks under 50 yards.

Finally, I felt confident in the game. Unfortunately, my original worst fears were met: It was as if Sweetness reached up from the grave to block that field goal, and we lost at home to a lesser team. We also missed the playoffs by that one game.

That is a bad week: Probably the classiest and best running back of all-time, who was an intricate part of the longest-standing rivalry in the nation's most-loved sport, dies. Then my team loses a game that cost them the playoffs. Ouch!

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