Green Bay Packers Nation is still waiting for a flag.
At least one!
Helmet to helmet hit?
Personal foul? Anyone? Seriously? Ref? Anyone?
Officially, the Green Bay Packers didn't get any help from the NFL rule book or those who enforce it Sunday. Apparently, the defense can hit a quarterback in the head and grab his face mask in overtime ... unless Peyton Manning or Tom Brady are calling signals under center.
Still, before you call up your favorite sports talk show and whine all day for a penalty like Kurt Warner take a deep breath and ask yourself if the Packers really deserved another break?
Didn't they fall behind 17-0 and 31-10? Didn't they fail to take advantage of a missed field goal at the end of regulation in the playoffs for a second straight time? Didn't they lose the turnover battle? Didn't the defense give up 45 points before overtime?
I'm watching the game for a second time as I write this and the middle of the field is still a wide open green meadow for the Cardinals' receivers.
Slant route? Anyone?
Who's got Fitzgerald on the post? Anyone? Seriously?
Defense? Anyone? Bueller?
Thanks to a something-D-O-O performance by the so-called much improved Dom Capers defense Sunday, Aaron Rodgers and Company were on the wrong end of 51-45 Wild Card Classic that left even ESPN's Chris Berman at a loss for words.
The tundra certainly wasn't frozen in Phoenix ... unless you were a safety.
This was basketball on grass, complete with a misfired three-pointer and crucial points off turnovers. This was Arena Football League outdoors, which was probably why Kurt Warner was so good at it.
Usually, 491 yards of total offense would have won the Packers a trip to New Orleans. However, this game was just a tad unusual.
Warner threw just four incompletions in 33 chances and burned the Green Bay secondary for five touchdowns. Even without star receiver Anquan Boldin, the Cardinals finished the day with 531 yards on offense. Warner made No. 3 receiver Steve Breaston look like another Pro Bowl target next to Larry Fitzgerald.
An all-pro kicker missed a 34-yard game-winning field goal. Rodgers threw for 424 yards and four touchdowns ... and lost.
And then the football gods really got crazy. Even though the two teams combined for 1,022 yards on offense, the game was decided by a touchdown due to a turnover.
Ending the highest scoring game in playoff history with a defensive score was slightly offensive, but nowhere near as brutal as whatever scheme the Packers defense tried to deploy Sunday. Talk about an oops!
Warner is probably headed to the Hall of Fame, but even quarterbacks ticketed for Canton shouldn't be human torching a No. 2 ranked defense in the playoffs ... especially when Charles Woodson is in the secondary.
Perhaps I should have known that it wasn't going to be a good day in Sudsville when the local Bay View establishment I watched the game at served red shots after Packers touchdowns.
Now that's a flag!
Emmett Prosser is a former sports producer at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online and has covered the Brewers, Bucks and Marquette basketball in many capacities for 13 years.
Prosser also signed a year's worth of 10-day contracts with the Cleveland Cavaliers' media relations department after graduating from Xavier University so he could get three-point shooting tips from NBA great Mark Price. The son of an English teacher and former basketball coach, Prosser attended Marquette high school.
In his spare time, Prosser enjoys live music and fooling people into making them believe he can play the drums. He also serves on the board of directiors for United Cerebral Palsy.