Wrath of the Football Gods - The Cold, Dark End of the Harlan Era
Back in November of 2005, Spooky Action broke the news about a curse on the Green Bay Packers
"Green Bay Packer Fans: Do you get the feeling the Pack is cursed this year?The specifics of the curse:
I have good news and bad news for you.
The bad news is that the team IS cursed.
The good news is that the curse could end as soon as 2007."
"I don't like what I'm seeing here. At least they didn't include a team beauty salon. But they're turning this place from a stadium teams used to fear into the Green and Gold Resort and Day Spa. Those guys are about this far away from invoking my wrath!"
"That's the last straw!!"
"See that little plaque in the middle there?
It marks the fact that we are standing in Harlan Plaza!"
"But isn't he still alive?"
"Very much so, but he and Sherman are going to get the Moses treatment for all this. They'll never get to the Promised Land of football. In fact, they'll never win another playoff game!"
And aside from two wins over Mike Holmgren (who committed the larger sin of making Super Bowl XXXII all about him), Green Bay has played in four playoff games (3 at Lambeau where the team had never lost), and each has ended in bitter disappointment.
Harlan, who extended his term as President of the club after unspecified 'issues' forced him to fire his hand-picked successor, is now officially retired after the Packers' season ended in a 23-20 overtime home loss to the New York Giants.
But is this the end of the curse? Let's check in with Vince and Curly...
"Well Vince, no mercy for Harlan?"
"What part about 'The Moses Treatment' wasn't clear, Curly?"
"But now he's retired. Is this the end of the curse?"
"Technically, yes, but there's another problem."
"The new Lambeau Field has been an economic boon to the community as a year-round attraction - a sort of football theme park, but as a venue for professional football it's about as intimidating for opposing players as a trip to Disneyland. The new Lambeau turned out to be a Faustian bargain for the team and the community.
Take the preparation for last night's game. Both teams knew it was going to be very cold. So what did the Packers do to prepare?"
"Practice outside to prepare for gametime conditions?"
"Not exactly. That would have been the obvious choice, but instead Mike McCarthy had them practice indoors with footballs that had been stored in a freezer!"
"That's just wrong..."
"Too clever by half, if you ask me. But McCarthy and Ted Thompson have made a lot of good moves this year, and progressing this far with the youngest team in the league was great work! Hopefully they'll learn from this experience. If you're going to play home games in January in Green Bay, you'd better be able to handle those conditions..."
"...but I hear the weather in Tampa is nice in February. That sounds like a nice place to plan a team trip next year!"
posted by Mike at 6:25 AM