A Football Turning Point?

As one of the lucky few whose satellite package happened to include the NFL network, I stayed up late last night watching the epic confrontation between the Green Bay Packers (my team) and the Dallas Cowboys (America’s team). Though the Packers lost, 37-27, it was a thrilling game, and I realize I may have witnessed a historic turning point. Brett Favre, the Cal Ripken of football, went down with an arm injury early in the game. But his back-up, Aaron Rodgers, came on the field and did a brilliant job, throwing 11 straight pass completions including a touch-down and moving his team up and down the field with alacrity. The Packers came within two idiotic pass interference penalties (from injured Charles Woodson’s backup) from possibly winning the game. Though I hope very much that Favre comes back for the next game to keep his games-played streak alive and to take the Packers to the Superbowl and beyond, the torch may have been passed. And Rodgers didn’t drop it, bringing hope to the Packer nation.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.pagantolutheran.blogspot.com Bruce

    “the Superbowl and beyond”? If Brett wins the Super Bowl, his wife needs to take him far away. Far, far away.

    It WAS a great game! In the Madison area, the cable companies have refused to sign on to the NFL network. So I had a crowd at my house watching the game, as did just about every other satelite-owning game watcher in the county. The real winners were the bar owners, whose places of business were crammed from wall to wall with hungry, thirsty Packers fans. The game stayed close long enough for all of them to remain in their seats to the end, ordering up one pitcher after another of New Glarus Spotted Cow, and heaping platefuls of wings.

  • http://www.pagantolutheran.blogspot.com Bruce

    “the Superbowl and beyond”? If Brett wins the Super Bowl, his wife needs to take him far away. Far, far away.

    It WAS a great game! In the Madison area, the cable companies have refused to sign on to the NFL network. So I had a crowd at my house watching the game, as did just about every other satelite-owning game watcher in the county. The real winners were the bar owners, whose places of business were crammed from wall to wall with hungry, thirsty Packers fans. The game stayed close long enough for all of them to remain in their seats to the end, ordering up one pitcher after another of New Glarus Spotted Cow, and heaping platefuls of wings.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17639370291865261582 Cindy

    Dr. Veith, I can’t believe you called the Cowboys America’s team! Those of us who still live in Wisconsin know that the Packers are the true “America’s team.”

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17639370291865261582 Cindy

    Dr. Veith, I can’t believe you called the Cowboys America’s team! Those of us who still live in Wisconsin know that the Packers are the true “America’s team.”

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  • Joe

    America’s true team hails from Title Town USA! But I think Bret will be back next week. It is a 10 day week with plenty of time to rest up. Packer fans should be very happy to see that Rodgers played well. Now if only we could get some help in the secondary. I love the way Atari Bigby hits but can he really be so dumb as to yank a guys helmet off when you down by two scores with less than 4 minutes to go. That penalty but Dallas into scoring range and guaranteed a loss. I will not blame the lose on him, there were may other problems (including the idiotic play calling in the late first quarter and beginning of the second quarter until Farve) but at that moment in time Bigby needed to think and for the third time this year he proved he can’t.

  • Joe

    America’s true team hails from Title Town USA! But I think Bret will be back next week. It is a 10 day week with plenty of time to rest up. Packer fans should be very happy to see that Rodgers played well. Now if only we could get some help in the secondary. I love the way Atari Bigby hits but can he really be so dumb as to yank a guys helmet off when you down by two scores with less than 4 minutes to go. That penalty but Dallas into scoring range and guaranteed a loss. I will not blame the lose on him, there were may other problems (including the idiotic play calling in the late first quarter and beginning of the second quarter until Farve) but at that moment in time Bigby needed to think and for the third time this year he proved he can’t.

  • PeteS

    While I was disappointed that Favre went down, I was impressed with Rodgers. And he reminded us what a young quarterback can do: scramble! I don’t think this will be like Favre coming in for Majkowski when he went down in ’92, but I agree, there’s hope for the future.

    I like the Pack’s chances should a rematch occur. Not saying they’d win it, but they’ll know what to expect, what needs cleaning up, and (Lord willing) they’ll have some of their players back (KGB, Woodson, Franks, Rouse).

    And not that it made a difference in the game, but the Pack was robbed on Dallas’ first series when Harris stole the ball from TO. “His forward progress was stopped.” That’s about the quickest I’ve ever seen a ref make that call. Oh well. That’s life when the outcome of your actions aren’t solely dependent on you but also on another fallible being. This kind of thing reminds me to be thankful that my life and my final outcome are dependent on my infallible Savior.

    Oh, and I love New Glarus Spotted Cow. They don’t sell it in Saginaw, MI.

  • PeteS

    While I was disappointed that Favre went down, I was impressed with Rodgers. And he reminded us what a young quarterback can do: scramble! I don’t think this will be like Favre coming in for Majkowski when he went down in ’92, but I agree, there’s hope for the future.

    I like the Pack’s chances should a rematch occur. Not saying they’d win it, but they’ll know what to expect, what needs cleaning up, and (Lord willing) they’ll have some of their players back (KGB, Woodson, Franks, Rouse).

    And not that it made a difference in the game, but the Pack was robbed on Dallas’ first series when Harris stole the ball from TO. “His forward progress was stopped.” That’s about the quickest I’ve ever seen a ref make that call. Oh well. That’s life when the outcome of your actions aren’t solely dependent on you but also on another fallible being. This kind of thing reminds me to be thankful that my life and my final outcome are dependent on my infallible Savior.

    Oh, and I love New Glarus Spotted Cow. They don’t sell it in Saginaw, MI.

  • Another Kerner

    General Douglas MacArthur once said:

    “On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seed that on other days and other fields will bear the fruits of victory”.

    Ah, what lessons can be learned watching a fine game of Packer Football for those who desire to reflect on it.

    All across this great land, coaches begin teaching young men to grasp important concepts on the high school playing fields.

    Sometime back, Bruce on Dr. Veith’s blog, asked a question which I think about often.

    For those who believe that a game is a matter of “luck”, perhaps they need to think about the answers to Bruce’s question.

    It was this: “At just what point do you believe God begins to take interest in a game?”

    Thanks, Bruce.

  • Another Kerner

    General Douglas MacArthur once said:

    “On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seed that on other days and other fields will bear the fruits of victory”.

    Ah, what lessons can be learned watching a fine game of Packer Football for those who desire to reflect on it.

    All across this great land, coaches begin teaching young men to grasp important concepts on the high school playing fields.

    Sometime back, Bruce on Dr. Veith’s blog, asked a question which I think about often.

    For those who believe that a game is a matter of “luck”, perhaps they need to think about the answers to Bruce’s question.

    It was this: “At just what point do you believe God begins to take interest in a game?”

    Thanks, Bruce.

  • Joe

    He is God – he has an interest in everything. To what degree he involves himself in the final outcome is beyond our comprehension. He knows all and somehow it all gets woven together too effectuate His will and the mystery of just how that all works and why is part of the fun, pain, etc. of this earthly life.

    That said, every good boy from Northern Wisconsin knows that God is a Packer fan :)

  • Joe

    He is God – he has an interest in everything. To what degree he involves himself in the final outcome is beyond our comprehension. He knows all and somehow it all gets woven together too effectuate His will and the mystery of just how that all works and why is part of the fun, pain, etc. of this earthly life.

    That said, every good boy from Northern Wisconsin knows that God is a Packer fan :)

  • Don S

    The Cowboys were America’s Team in the era of that great Christian coach, Tom Landry. Even though I was (and remain) a diehard Eagles fan (a long and painful loyalty due entirely to geography), I could not help but have a grudging admiration for Mr. Landry and his steadfast walk with the Lord, not to mention his ability to discipline his team and WIN. My admiration was heightened during the Roger Staubach era.

    However, the Cowboys are hardly America’s Team in the era of Jerry Jones.

  • Don S

    The Cowboys were America’s Team in the era of that great Christian coach, Tom Landry. Even though I was (and remain) a diehard Eagles fan (a long and painful loyalty due entirely to geography), I could not help but have a grudging admiration for Mr. Landry and his steadfast walk with the Lord, not to mention his ability to discipline his team and WIN. My admiration was heightened during the Roger Staubach era.

    However, the Cowboys are hardly America’s Team in the era of Jerry Jones.

  • Another Kerner

    Amen, Joe.

    God, in His divine Providence cares for all the universe and for all creatures individually. His Providence embraces all things, even the least.

    Proverbs 16:33 says:
    “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord”

    I was cheering for Green Bay, as I have for more years than I care to remember.

    My father started taking me to professional football games with him when I was a very little girl, when Green Bay still played in Milwaukee……..way,way,way back when.

    Not only do I remember Pearl Harbor, I also remember Packer football players as long ago as Cecil Isbell and Don Hutson.

    (Now *that* was a long time ago and some of my recollection is, admittedly, a little fuzzy.)

    God in His Providence, had another plan for Green Bay last night, apart from my cheering and hope for victory.

    But hope springs eternal because there is still more football to play.

    Packland goes right on cheering.

  • Another Kerner

    Amen, Joe.

    God, in His divine Providence cares for all the universe and for all creatures individually. His Providence embraces all things, even the least.

    Proverbs 16:33 says:
    “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord”

    I was cheering for Green Bay, as I have for more years than I care to remember.

    My father started taking me to professional football games with him when I was a very little girl, when Green Bay still played in Milwaukee……..way,way,way back when.

    Not only do I remember Pearl Harbor, I also remember Packer football players as long ago as Cecil Isbell and Don Hutson.

    (Now *that* was a long time ago and some of my recollection is, admittedly, a little fuzzy.)

    God in His Providence, had another plan for Green Bay last night, apart from my cheering and hope for victory.

    But hope springs eternal because there is still more football to play.

    Packland goes right on cheering.

  • JJ

    I simply hope that Packer fans were not given a false sense of hope like the prosperity Gospel does for so many Christians.

  • JJ

    I simply hope that Packer fans were not given a false sense of hope like the prosperity Gospel does for so many Christians.

  • http://www.pagantolutheran.blogspot.com Bruce

    “Not only do I remember Pearl Harbor…”

    Ok. I’ll bite. Where were you?

    I was maybe a twinkle in my father’s eye.

    I have suspected for some time that Rodgers would do fine, given more than a series to work. He is Steve Young to Brett Favre’s Joe Montana.

    What I remember, watching Vince Lombardi-coached Packers teams back in the day, was the bear in Hamms beer commercials. And that rousing music played whenever the Packers kicked off!

  • http://www.pagantolutheran.blogspot.com Bruce

    “Not only do I remember Pearl Harbor…”

    Ok. I’ll bite. Where were you?

    I was maybe a twinkle in my father’s eye.

    I have suspected for some time that Rodgers would do fine, given more than a series to work. He is Steve Young to Brett Favre’s Joe Montana.

    What I remember, watching Vince Lombardi-coached Packers teams back in the day, was the bear in Hamms beer commercials. And that rousing music played whenever the Packers kicked off!

  • Another Kerner

    Hey Bruce…….

    Isn’t it enough to know that I remember Pearl Harbor?

    I wouldn’t want you to start counting.

    The answer to your question, however, is that I was in
    Wauwatosa, a western suburb of Milwaukee.

  • Another Kerner

    Hey Bruce…….

    Isn’t it enough to know that I remember Pearl Harbor?

    I wouldn’t want you to start counting.

    The answer to your question, however, is that I was in
    Wauwatosa, a western suburb of Milwaukee.

  • Matt L

    No expansion team from the 60s should ever be called “America’s Team.” The Coyboys calling themselves “America’s Team” is about as true as Mormons calling themselves Christian. Heck, they wouldn’t have been granted a franchise had they not blackmailed the Redskins.

    It also should be of note that the Packers have owners that live in every state of the country.

  • Matt L

    No expansion team from the 60s should ever be called “America’s Team.” The Coyboys calling themselves “America’s Team” is about as true as Mormons calling themselves Christian. Heck, they wouldn’t have been granted a franchise had they not blackmailed the Redskins.

    It also should be of note that the Packers have owners that live in every state of the country.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    In calling the Cowboys “America’s team,” I was being bitterly ironic. I think America in general has much more reason to be for the Packers. More Americans live in small towns than cities, despite it all, and there is only one small town represented in the NFL: Green Bay, WI.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    In calling the Cowboys “America’s team,” I was being bitterly ironic. I think America in general has much more reason to be for the Packers. More Americans live in small towns than cities, despite it all, and there is only one small town represented in the NFL: Green Bay, WI.


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