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Cheeseheads squeak by There was a sound of revelry by night (01/07/2004)
By John Edstrom

John Edstrom
Well fans, it appeared until the very end of the game that the Cheeseheads would have to spend a long, weary winter of deep sighs and what-ifs, victims of the fluke play (the tipped ball down at the goal line) along with their neighbors to the west. Instead, Al Harris gambled, made a great interception in OT, and now the Pack is heading east to Philadelphia.

You could hear the sound of Cheesehead revelry and see the lights winking in the taverns across the river far into the night. In a sharp break with precedent, many a toast was offered up to the Purple, (their benefactor thanks to the collapse whose infamy will never fade), something we won't see again soon.

I say let them have their fun. If they are still smiling after they follow the Pack down the road that leads through Philadelphia and, most probably, St. Louis, it may well be that the ghost of Big Irv is guiding their destiny, or at least pulling a few strings in the hereafter. More likely, if the squeaker at Lambeau against the Seahawks was any indication, they too will soon be crying in their beer. The higher up the playoff ladder, the harder the fall.

Still, although the Eagles have the better record, their schedule was not as tough as the Pack's. Their stats are decidedly inferior on offense, but only about equal on defense where Green Bay is much improved since the arrival of Grady Jackson. Unlike other teams, playing outdoors in Philadelphia in January will seem like a southern vacation to the Cheeseheads, and above all, Brett Favre rates a big advantage over Donovan McNabb in terms of playoff experience and as a gamer.

So I wouldn't be too surprised if the Cheeseheads are still in it next Sunday night. Vikings fans can take heart in this; their pain, though sharp and bitter, is behind them, and the future can only bring pleasure, that of seeing the Central Division champ proceed deeper into the post season, or the hopes of the Cheeseheads tumbling down, down, down, from such dizzying heights, to smash like rotten fruit on the hard pavement of reality. Hmm...which would I prefer?



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