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I'm not on the ledgePosted Monday, January 11, 2010, at 2:15 AM
Today, after watching the Packer's season carom off Aaron Rodgers' foot and into the arms of Karlos Dansby, I got three different concerned texts and e-mails.
One was from my wife, another from my editor and a third from our ad manager. All expressed the same sentiment: I'm so sorry.
Yeah, so am I.
I'm obviously a sports freak in general, but few things in sports mean more to me than Packers. Look at my favorites in other sports -- the Cincinnati Reds, IU hoops, Notre Dame football and Pacers basketball -- and you'll see teams experiencing some down times. I can't live and die with every game because it would involve way too much dying.
I also enjoy Detroit Red Wings' hockey, but I don't get Vs. anymore, so I can't properly follow hockey.
So the Packers it is. And as the game goes, so my week very often goes. Their concern wasn't unfounded.
With this in mind, let me get this message out to those who care about me: I'm doing fine. In fact, I'm just ready to move forward.
As I watched Sunday's game, the Packers looked so awful early, that I pretty much gave up hope. Even as they crept back into the game in the second half I knew it was too good to be true.
Then they forced OT and got the ball first and I decided maybe something nice could happen.
But as the last play unfolded in slow motion, I just sort of felt numb. The outcome was obvious. At least we hadn't lost to the Vikings again.
And as I reflect on the season, I have to look back on what my goals were for the year and this team. I wanted a playoff team. Anything after that was gravy. This was a young team learning a new defense. There were going to be struggles.
Certainly I was disturbed when they lost to previously winless Tampa Bay in November, but I hoped for improvement.
And improve they did. Only one loss over the second half of the season carried the Pack to Sunday's matchup with the Cardinals.
Then the "experts" all started picking them, and I started to buy in. I was worried about the possibility of a first-round loss, but didn't really prepare myself for it. When the game started to go sour, I wasn't doing so well.
But now? I'm good. I'm neither on the ledge nor considering jumping. If anything, I'm relieved. As much as I love my team, I spend way too much time fretting about them.
I'll probably choose a team to follow in the coming weeks. I'm an NFC guy, so that narrows it to four teams. But I also hate the Vikings and the Cowboys.
That leaves me the winner of next weeks' Cards/Saints game. I'll take that team. Lots of points, suspect defense. Should be a fun ride.
My heart is still in Wisconsin, though. I'll take a page from the book of you Cub fans: There's always next year.
...and the beat goes on...
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.