Most of the Wisconsin-based coverage of the Packers’ meltdown in Seattle is predictably sour today, as is the Twitter banter about who is really to blame (truth: any number of plays, players, coaches or entities can take the fall for a loss like that).
But the saddest thing you’ll read might be a Q&A with fans on Packers.com by editor Vic Ketchman. The headline: “It’s the most heartbreaking loss I’ve ever covered.” Vic is 63 years old, so that covers a lot of ground. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the questions and answers:
James from Paris, France: Vic, do you think this loss is a case of the Packers getting ahead of themselves in the fourth quarter and starting to think about going to the Super Bowl instead of concentrating on putting the game away? I’ve seen it happen before.
The loss is the result of not making plays at crunch time. I think everybody that reads this column knows how I feel about crunch time. That’s when games are decided. That’s when championship teams play their best football. The Packers played their best football at crunch time on several occasions this season – the Cowboys game immediately comes to mind – but something happened in those final seven minutes of yesterday’s game that I can’t explain. It felt as though a switch was turned off, and I’m not referring to Coach McCarthy’s play-calling. A pass was dropped on third-and-4; let’s not forget that. I’m referring to performance. It wasn’t there at the end. I don’t know why it wasn’t.
Tim from Rosario, Argentina: Did the team lose its edge after the Burnett interception? Not much went right afterwards.
Yeah, the Packers lost their edge. That’s the only explanation I can offer. I think I lost mine, too. At that point in the game, I was in the interview room, watching the game on the TV monitor and writing my bulletin story. After Morgan Burnett made the interception, I wrote in my story that the “win was clinched when Morgan Burnett intercepted a Russell Wilson pass that deflected off his receiver’s hands.” Shortly after that, I deleted those words from my story. I thought it was over. Maybe the Packers did, too.
Robby from Loma Rica, CA: Vic, I’m wide awake at 2:30 a.m. It’s dead silent outside, and the game is starting to settle in along with some thick fog in these California foothills. When’s the last time you’ve covered such a heartbreaking loss?
I’ve never covered a game that hurt as much as that one.