An open letter to Quay Walker, the Green Bay Packers’ linebacker.
To Quay Walker, linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, you don’t know me. But I know you. Well, I know who you are, anyway.
I wanted to write this letter to you, as a fan of football. I see you play many weeks of the year, and I imagine this last week was a tough one for you. As a reminder to you, and to others reading this letter, it was week 4 of your current season… the Thursday night game… that’s the genesis of the toughness as I would presume.
Your Packers were down by 10 in the 4th quarter. The Lions had the ball and you and your Packers defense had stopped them and forced them into a 4th down. They were in field goal range and elected to kick the field goal to go up by 13. That would not be ideal for you and your team, but at least it would still be a two score game. It would be a game that you and your Packers could still come back and win potentially. But you didn’t want the Lions to go up by 13. You wanted to block this field goal.
You made a move. Some say it is ill-advised. Some say it is a gamble. You decided to leap over a lineman as the ball was snapped for the field goal try. Now, this is allowed… just as long as you don’t hit the lineman on the way over. Your athletic ability was on full display as you cleared the lineman… nearly. Your foot just barely tapped him on the way over. But as mentioned, that’s not allowed. You can’t touch him.
A penalty flag was thrown and the Lions accepted it. It gave them a fresh set of downs, meaning they’d be able to try for a touchdown once again. And in short order, that was just what they did. They ran the ball in for a touchdown, and ultimately went up by 17 instead of just 13. Instead of your team being down by 2 scores, they were now down by 3 scores. In the 4th quarter. As many put it, this was essentially the nail in the coffin. This would be too difficult for your Packers to come back from. And… you didn’t. You lost.
Who knows what would have happened had you not done that move? The psychological impact could have been great on your team. “We only need two scores!” Would have been the mantra as opposed to “Damn, we need three scores?”
So, yes, your move, your penalty, it did put the game out of reach. That’s a tough pill to swallow. Millions watched the game. So many Packer fans were disappointed by the loss to a division rival. I’m sure you can’t help but to feel largely responsible for this.
And for this, I say to you, Thank you.
You probably mainly think about how this affects you, your team, your fan base. But don’t forget about football fans like me… who have no ties to either the Packers or the Lions… with the exception of my fantasy football team. Yes, I have David Montgomery on my team. Yes, the running back for the Lions. Yes, the player who got ONE MORE TOUCHDOWN because you committed that penalty. Yes, the player who got me more points because your foot barely tapped a lineman as you leapt over him.
You likely don’t know how things are going for me in my fantasy league. Why would you? You don’t know me or my team “Jesse and the Rippers” named after Uncle Jesse and his rockin’ band from Full House. Well, we have been having a bad year, Quay. I felt like I drafted well. But my team has been riddled with injuries. I have had some tough matchups. And, of course, I have made some bad decisions when it comes to who to sit and who to start. I was 0-3 entering week 4. I was in last place in my league. I was primed to become the laughingstock of the league… and after a bad year last year… this was tough sledding for me.
Of course I want to win the league every year. But that isn’t feasible. But it would really just be spectacular to not be the worst team two years in a row. I really need some things to turn my way so I can be a respectable team.
Well, you’ll be happy to know, I’m not in last place, anymore. That penalty by you, from that ill-advised gamble, resulting in that touchdown run by David Montgomery, his THIRD of the game, that gave me so many points in my matchup! It helped me tremendously and I won my first game of the year. Not only that, it helped out my point total. I am no longer 12th in a 12 person league. At 1-3, I am 10th in a 12 person league. It’s a small step but it’s a much needed step. The psychological impact on me has been tremendous.
I feel I can continue to win and continue to make good choices as a fantasy team owner. And even though 10th isn’t ideal, the season is early, and I’m not in last like my friend Chad. In our group messages with friends, people can still make fun of my team for being bad, but not as much as we can all make fun of Chad. I won’t though. That feels like it has bad karma written all over it. But Chad’s winless season thus far aside… my team has been given a chance. New life has been breathed into that imaginary locker room with these millionaire players that I pretend to manage all in hopes of winning several hundred dollars by the end of the season.
You did that for me, Quay Walker.
Don’t hang your head. It was rough on you and rough on your team, but your actions have far greater reactions than you can imagine. So many people that you will never meet… your actions will affect… in good ways and bad ways. Your actions affected me in quite the positive way.
I haven’t looked up what your salary is, Quay Walker, I’m sure it is plentiful. You will be fine. You will earn good money throughout your career. You will win more games. You will have moments of glory.
Inevitably, you will have bad moments too. I hope you take solace in knowing that particular bad moment… it improved an aspect of my life tremendously. One simple jump… you may look back and regret it. Maybe not. In any event, that one jump for you was a huge leap for me. Who knows? It could springboard me into more winning. It could be the moment that triggers a winning mentality in my locker room. It could have provided my team with the spark we needed to turn into momentum to carry us through the season.
At the very least, it made this week a lot easier. I don’t have to defend myself against my friends. I don’t have to look at my team name and see 0-4 next to it. Not like Chad does.
Sorry Chad. You need a Quay Walker in your life.