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Packers Fans Don’t Blame Brandon Bostick

January 20, 2015

If Brandon Bostick catches the ball, the game is over and the Packers are going to the Super Bowl. If he follows his assignment and blocks, then MAYBE Jordy Nelson catches the ball and the Packers go to the Super Bowl.

That play is likely to haunt him forever. Fans and critics will blame him, but it should have never gotten that far.

How many times have I written that phrase in reference to the Giants or the Red Sox? Two teams legendary for letting big games slip away, so Packers fans I speak from experience, when I say, please don’t blame Brandon Bostick.

The Giants lost a playoff game in similar fashion back in 1997, and it was all Chris Calloway’s fault.

It was the Wild Card round against the Vikings. I was spared the agony of watching this game, because my boyfriend (now husband) had bought us tickets to see West Side Story at the Providence Performing Arts Center for Christmas (he didn’t know me as well back then). I missed a playoff game to go (I must have really liked him).

When I got home, I saw the look on my father’s face and knew it had been a rough night. He said something to the effect of, “All he had to do was catch it (referring to Calloway). It is his job to catch the ball. His only job and he couldn’t do it and we lost.”

I have a vivid memory of the ball bouncing off Calloway’s chest that I must have seen on a highlight. So we blame Calloway. We still blame Calloway, but the Packers mess on Sunday got me thinking, did the Giants have a chance to put the game away well before the onside kick?

It took some digging on the interwebs, but this is what I learned thanks to Today in Pro Football History and Philly.com.  Remember, I was watching the Jets and the Sharks, but my father confirms that this is how it went down.

The Vikings like the Seahawks were plagued by turnovers early in the game and the Giants built a 19-3 lead by halftime. They like the Packers did not put the game out of reach when they had the chance—a lot of field goals—but still they had control of the game.

With just over two minutes to play, the Giants had a 9-point lead and the ball, and they went three and out and were forced to punt. The kick wasn’t deep and the Vikings led by Randall Cunningham (curse you, Randall Cunningham) scored a touchdown cutting the Giants lead to two points.[1]

Then came the kick. Calloway was sent in as part of the hands team and he dropped it. The rest is history. The Vikings completed the biggest comeback by a NFL road team in the postseason since 1972 and won their first playoff game in nine years. [2] The Giants excited the playoffs empty handed.

The Packers certainly could have scored more points much earlier in the game, but that’s not why they lost. Brandon Bostick is not why they lost. The Packers lost that game, because they had the ball with 5:13 to go and played like they had already won.

Morgan Burnett could have kept running after the interception. You only give yourself up when a few kneel downs will win you the game not with five minutes left and only a 12-point lead against the defending champions. Mike McCarthy could have called a play that could have actually gotten them the first down instead of three totally predictable rushes in a row, and Eddie Lacy could have run forwards. The defense needed to come up with one more stop and they couldn’t.

When you play not to lose, you often do, especially when you are playing a team like the Seahawks.

But if only Brandon Bostick had caught the ball! If only Calloway had! It should not have gotten that far.

Also, please stop saying he “Bucknered” it. An onside kick is not the same as a routine ground ball (sorry Bill).

 

[1]http://articles.philly.com/1997-12-29/sports/25557034_1_vikings-coach-dennis-green-comebacks-stunning-rally

[2]http://fs64sports.blogspot.com/2012/12/1997-vikings-rally-to-edge-giants-in.html

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One Comment leave one →
  1. BERNARD MENDILLO permalink
    January 20, 2015 10:46 am

    Well done, Hollie. Very well done. ================== BERNARD MENDILLO mendillo@comcast.net 3 Elm Street Canton, MA 02021 781-929-7264 http://www.mendillo.net

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