Saturday, December 5, 2015

(I Wish) I Went There - Rodgers-to-Rodgers

I know it is cliche to write about how much technology has changed how we consume sports but it bears at least a mention following the Thursday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions in Detroit.  The game ended on arguably the most improbable regular season throw-and-catch in franchise history when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers found tight end Richard Rodgers for a 61-yard touchdown for the Packers to take the lead for the first time in the game with no time left on the clock.  For the next 24 hours, I clicked through my Twitter feed and ran countless Google searches to relive one of the most exciting moments in Packers' franchise history.  Here are my five favorite screenshots/tweets/videos of Rodger-to-Rodgers:

#5) Dean Blandino: Some say that the Packers should not have even had the chance to run that play because the referees should not have assessed Lions defensive lineman Devin Taylor with a face-mask penalty on the previous desperation play to give the Packers an un-timed play to end the game but Dean Blandino, the Vice President of Officiating for the NFL, points out in his tweet that it looked like a face-mask in real time.  This seems like the perfect time for me to explain my "Gold Ticket Challenge" idea.  Simply put, every team would have one Golden Ticket Challenge each game that they can use on one play to review any aspect of that play.  In this instance, assuming Lions head coach Jim Caldwell did not already use his Golden Ticket Challenge, he would have challenged whether it was actually a face-mask penalty on Tayor.  Even reviewing the play in slow-motion it looks like the defender grazed Rodgers's face-mask.  After watching the replay at least a dozen time sin slow-motion I can't deny it was probably not a face-mask on Taylor but I totally understand why the ref threw the flag.  Sadly for the Lions and their fans, the NFL still has not implemented my Golden Ticket Challenge rule yet since certain aspects of plays (e.g. pass interference, face-mask, and other judgment calls that potentially have large consequences) are not currently reviewable.

#4) BigCat: Let's not forget that the Lions beat the Packers in Green Bay a couple weeks ago for their first win in the state of Wisconsin since 1991 so this improbable win actually feels like payback despite the fact that the Packers have dominated the Lions for the last couple decades given that the Packers won 26 of the last 33 games between the two teams.

#3) Albert Breer: I appreciate Breer's honesty but it might be a little aggressive for him to call-out the Lions like that given that he is a national reporter for the NFL Network so I presume that Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and possibly the rest of the Lions organization will not be very forthright with Breer going forward.

#2) Deez Nuts: Oh, so sad for Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford.

#1) Brandicle: I tried to check whether the person that shot this video secretly works as a videographer for NFL Network but he has a protected Twitter account so let this serve as a thank you Brandon, you shot the best (possibly) amateur video of one of the greatest regular season moments in Packer franchise history.

If the Packers lost to the Lions on Thursday, they risked becoming the 3rd team in NFL history to miss the playoffs after starting the season 6-0.  Thankfully the 2015 Packers will now not join the 2003 Minnesota Vikings and the 2009 Denver Broncos since they beat the Lions in dramatic fashion to improve to 8-4 unless they lose out.  Every Cheesehead sports fan hopes Rodgers-to-Rodgers is the play that rights the ship and gives them a chance to march towards a Super Bowl 50 win.

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