As the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Vikings fans sat home on Sunday because their team wasn't in the NFL playoffs (let's just get that SICK BURN out of the way immediately), the Green Bay Packers and Green Bay Packer fans were gearing up to meet the San Francisco 49ers in a Wild Card Weekend match up. The temperatures were dropping, the blood-alcohol levels were rising, and the confidence was soaring that there would be no way the team from California could compete in the cold weather of Green Bay. The Packers were destined to win this weekend, destined to continue through the playoffs, and destined for another Super Bowl trophy! … Right?
Well, that WOULD have been the case, if the refs would have called the right penalties.
As the game winning field goal from 49ers kicker Phil Dawson sailed through the uprights to secure an early Packers' playoff exit, Packer fans were left with their frozen testicles and ovaries burrowing their way closer to their hearts to stay warm, and confusion over how this amazing team of destiny could have lost this game.
By all accounts, the Packers played perfect. Without fault, and never in error. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a low yardage output, but displayed some amazing feats of sorcery as he eluded one tackle after another in the pocket – without the assistance of offensive linemen holds or illegal hands to the face from Packers linemen, of course – to secure one first down after another. But the NFL must have it out for the Packers and the NFC North, because it critical moments, the refs appeared to eats their whistles, allowing Packers players to get unfairly mugged on offense, and clamping down too hard on Packer defensive players.
It seemed that any time a Packers receiver was off the line of scrimmage, a 49er defender was trying to undo the Packer players' belt buckle, or wrap a cape around them, or dry hump them from every angle, and yet the refs REFUSED to call penalties in favor of the greatest franchise in the NFL! Jordy Nelson, arguably the best receiver in the history of the NFL, was targeted eight times on Sunday, but only caught seven passes. Why couldn't he catch the other one? Because he was fouled likely, and wasn't called for it! And this discrepancy occurred all game long. Whether it was preventing the Packers from catching every single pass, or limiting their longest pass play to only 26 yards, the NFL clearly had a plan in place to hold their whistles when the Packers were on offense. The good old Green and Gold essentially had to play against 12 guys on the field at all times!
And when on defense? Don't get us started. Green Bay was up 17-13 in the 4th quarter when the refs decided they had enough of the cold weather winners. They started calling penalties on the Packers for made up fouls like "Defensive Holding" and "Totally Cheating" and things like that, which helped the 49ers continue to move down the field and score points to take the lead. And the lack of holding calls on the 49ers offensive line?! Complete conspiracy! How do you let penalties so blatant and alarming go by like that? The NFL should be ashamed.
As it is, the Packers now face the long off season of disappointment, discovering that their 8-7-1 record really wasn't that impressive, and they only appeared in a playoff game this last weekend because the Detroit Lions had already made an early tee time. Sorry, Packer fans.