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Mission Accomplished in Green Bay
Together, they overcame adversity to carry the team to the mountaintop.
The Packers completed their mission with their 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night at Cowboys Stadium. It is the organization’s fourth Super Bowl title and 13th NFL Championship in their long history.
Rodgers won the Super Bowl at 27 years old, the same age as Bart Starr and Brett Favre when they won Super Bowls I,II and XXXI, respectively.
Last week, the Steelers felt that the name “Titletown” should be named after their team because they won more Super Bowls than any other team (6).
For the record, the name still belongs to Green Bay, and the Lombardi Trophy came home to the place where it belonged.
“It feels awesome,” McCarthy said of the Super Bowl win. “It’s great to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay.”
Added linebacker Clay Matthews, “We are so happy and proud to be able to bring a championship to the city of Green Bay. This is great, and we are going to celebrate.”
Bringing that trophy back to northern Wisconsin wasn’t an easy task. The Packers lost starters on offense and defense to injuries during the regular season.
They survived legal matters by some players who didn’t know how to keep their nose clean. The attack on Twitter Nation by two of the key injured players over being left out of the team photo during Super Bowl week almost tore the team apart.
Sports commentators added fuel to the fire when they compared what Favre accomplished as the Packers’ quarterback to what Rodgers is doing. Both quarterbacks won Super Bowls, but the comparison stops there.
No matter what Rodgers achieve in his career from this day forward, no one can take the Super Bowl win and MVP of the game away from him. In the minds of many, he will forever be in the background chasing the shadows of No. 4.
People in Wisconsin will forgive Favre for causing a lot of headaches to the organization by retiring, then asking to compete for his old job that was given to Rodgers.
He stabbed Packer Nation in the back by playing two seasons with their hated division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. It will take time as all wounds need to heal.
This moment belongs to Rodgers, and McCarthy knows that his signal caller deserves the spotlight.
“He played great,” McCarthy said of Rodgers in the Super Bowl. “We put everything on his shoulders. He did a lot at the line of scrimmage for us against a great defense. He did a heck of a job.”
The Pittsburgh defense threw everything they could at Rodgers, and he took the blows. When Donald Driver and Charles Woodson left the game with injuries, he helped rally the troops and kept the Steelers at bay long enough to make his dream of being a champion come true.
Rodgers can add his name to the list of great quarterbacks who led their teams to Super Bowl wins. “It is a dream come true,” he said.
“It’s what I dreamt about as a little kid watching Joe Montana and Steve Young, and we just won the Super Bowl.”
When the Packers’ offense slowed down in the second half of the game, the defense came to the rescue. They forced two interceptions and a fumble and kept the Steelers guessing all night.
The defense saved the offense many times throughout the championship run.
“We have been team defense all season and this was just another case of that (in the game),” Matthews said. I am so proud of our defense.”
Green Bay rode into the playoffs in an armored truck with spare parts. When the Packers were 8-6 and in danger of missing the playoffs, it was time to get nervous.
Their sense of urgency picked up after Rodgers was held out in a loss at New England following a concussion he suffered in Week 13 in their embarrassment at Detroit to the Lions.
When the Packers picked up some momentum after winning their last three regular season games and barely made it, they somehow became the most dangerous team in the playoffs by a lot of people, and they were right.
The magic ride ended in North Texas with the victory in the house that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones built. The Green Bay players better savor the moment right now.
The future is filled with uncertainty as labor talks between the league and the players union is right around the corner.