GREEN BAY — With temperatures below zero along with even lower wind chills during the week of Jan 5, the Green Bay Packers playoff game at Lambeau Field against the Dallas Cowboys Jan. 11 had all the makings of a very cold and perhaps miserable day for watching a game. But luckily for fans and players, a heat wave came through to bring the temperature to the mid 20s, which is pretty normal for Wisconsin this time of year.
Several Packer die hard fans from our area made their way over to the game including Colfax Middle School teacher Tim Devine who attended the game with Andy Meade, a retired high school history teacher and former varsity boys’ basketball coach for the district. The tickets were Meade’s and not only was he attending his first playoff game (it was Devine’s third), the two of them saw the Packers win the game 26-21.
“Temperature wise, it was no Ice Bowl,” Devine, the spokesman for the two said, referring to the 1967 NFL Championship game against the same Cowboys. “It actually was very seasonal. I was colder at the Bears’ game I went to in December.”
When asked about any Dallas fans in his vicinity, Devine replied: “There was a splattering of blue and white Cowboy jerseys throughout the throng of Packer fans,” he said. “You could hear them cheering, mostly in the first three quarters. The cold weather didn’t seem to bother them much. I think the inspired play of their quarterback, Tony Romo helped keep their mind off the weather. As it turned out, the crowd of 79,704 was a Lambeau Field record but the large crowd of Packer fans was pretty quiet most of the game because there wasn’t much to get excited about,” he added.
All that changed in the fourth quarter however as Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers, playing with an injured calf muscle no less, moved his team downfield twice, completing a touchdown pass to Davante Adams and the go ahead score to Richard Rodgers. Dallas had a chance to regain the lead, but on a fourth and two, Cowboy’s wide receiver Dez Bryant made what appeared to be a leaping catch, according to the referees over Packer defensive back Sam Shields at the two yard line. But Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy threw the challenge flag out and after reviewing the play, the call was reversed as Bryant didn’t have control of the ball, (there was a long explanation to go along with the call), giving it to the Packers. Rodgers and company then controlled the ball the remaining four minutes to preserve the win.
“Watching live, I thought Bryant made the catch,” Devine said. “But when I saw it on the Jumbotron (large screen), I knew the call would be reversed. At the game, you have no idea how challenges will turn out and you don’t have the benefit of listening to the announcers and “experts” discuss the call. You just wait for the referees to make their announcement.Watching Rodgers move the team for touchdowns in the fourth quarter, then using up the final four minutes was icing on the cake of what I think is an MVP season,” he added.
Green Bay will play against the defending Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks this weekend for the NFC Championship game on the Seahawks’ loud home field.
“I’m a little nervous about the Seahawks, but beating them would be poetic justice for the “Fail Mary” game the Packers lost against them two years ago with the replacement referees,” Devine said. Green Bay also lost to Seattle in the first game of this season, 36-16.