I know the Packers didn't make it into my top five great moments, but they will be well represented in my worst five, I guess Green Bay really knows the art of the heart breaker.
5. Brett Favre's last pass as a Packer
Much like many of his playoff appearances in the 21st century, Brett Favre's last pass was a disappointment. Overtime, at Lambeau Field, NFC Championship game and he threw the ball away. I was still working in the media that week and had covered the press conferences that week, the team was confident. That night I was anchoring the 10 o'clock news after the game and was all set to wear my Packer jersey on the air and announce to northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin that
the Green Bay Packers were going to the Super Bowl. And then he threw it away.
4. Jerry Rice's fumble that wasn't
Also known as "The birth of Terrell Owens." I guess it's some consolation that I can't blame any one player on the Packers for this play but it doesn't make me feel any better. If you remember, the Pack held a tenuous lead in the last several minutes of the 1999 wild card game. Steve Young hit Jerry Rice over the middle for a first down and Rice inexplicably fumbled the football.
It was obvious, everyone watching the game could tell, but the officials saw it differently. They called Rice down by contact and the drive ended with Young hitting an underachieving Terrell Owens in the end zone for the game winning touchdown. The play made then Green Bay Coach Mike Holmgren a believer in instant replay, but what does it do for Packer nation? Not a damn thing.
3. Brett Bell out of position
It was November 2001, and the Badgers were tied with the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines late in the fourth quarter. Bucky had just stopped the Wolverines and had forced a punt. The Badgers had all the momentum and were set to play for overtime, they didn't even send someone back to receive. Just let Michigan down the ball and we'll head to OT.
But Brett Bell, one of the two gunners, didn't get that message. Bell played the gunner role and the punt bounced off his leg. Michigan jumped on the ball and kicked a chip shot field goal for the win. Did I mention I was at the game? We canceled our family's season tickets not long after that season (too expensive) and to this day I have never seen the Badgers beat the Wolverines live.
The video is long, so jump to the 8:40 mark to see the play.
2. Derrick Turnbow Sucks
In my opinion baseball is the greatest sports in the world. Nothing else compares. It's a goal of mine to see a game played in every single baseball stadium, so far I've made it to just four... Miller Park, Old Busch Stadium, The Metrodome and Great American Ballpark. It's my visit to Cincinnati that comes to mind here.
There was a group of us, fellow poster Dustin included and we drove nine hours to get to Cincy in time for the game, through Chicago construction, through Indianapolis. We thought we'd be late to the game but because of a rain delay we didn't miss an inning.
The Brewers were cruising, they were up 5-1 through five and we were sufficiently lit up. It was Geoff Jenkins birthday that day so we sang 'Happy Birthday' to the right fielder. Needless to say, we were not the most courteous fans.
Finally, with a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning Derrick Turnbow came in to nail it down. He did not. In fact he blew the game. I couldn't even watch... turning my back on the field and watching the river instead.
1. 4th and 26
This one hurts. January 11, 2004 and the Packers have Philadelphia pinned with just over a minute to play and a three point lead. Donovan McNabb hits Freddie Mitchell for a gain of 28 yards and the Eagles would go on to tie the game. Then in overtime, Brett Favre threw yet another costly playoff interception and the Eagles win the game.
So what hurt the most? Was it Darren Sharper way out of position as usual? Was it the three yard spot that the officials gave to Mitchell. I can't point to one particular part of that play, but it was one of the most heartbreaking moments of the last ten years. You know it's bad when a play has it's own wikipedia entry.