To: Michael John McCarthy
From the desk (or couch) of: Chris Lempesis
Hey man – how’s it going? Silly question, I know. You must be on top of the world right now (or, at least, 60 minutes away from it).
Anyways, I’m writing you today to tell you I’m sorry. That’s right – your old buddy Chris is choking down a heapin’ helpin’ of crow.
In case you aren’t familiar with our odd little corner of the Interweb, I’ll fill you in. See, I’m the idiot who wrote, after your team’s loss to the Detroit Lions in December, that you should be “relieved of your duties at season’s end.” I felt then that you had peaked as a head coach, that you’d never be the guy to get this team – and, okay, this diehard fanbase of ours – to the promised land. You seemed capable of pulling things together for stretches, but never long enough to really get us there.
Or so I thought then. Man, how stupid was I, huh?
In my defense, you hadn’t done so up to that point. And, with a battered, bruised roster that had just turned in its most disheartening performance of your tenure, the 2010 season – one that began with “Super Bowl or Die” dreams – seemed destined for all-time worst season status for yours truly. Actually, after your loss at New England the next week, I wrote that this season had been the most disappointing of my lifetime as a fan.
Again, I was wrong. I should have given you the benefit of the doubt…or at least waited until the season was officially over to make such a ridiculous statement. Others, including our own Adam Somers, felt like that was the smart approach. I didn’t. I was completely overreactionary (a sign of the times, I suppose) and wanted your head on a platter.
You’d been pretty good at dodging bullets in the past – you move well for a big guy, kudos – but I never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined you’d do what you’ve done over the past six weeks. But you’ve done it, sir – you’ve really done it.
You’ve gotten this team, this ragtag collection of stars and castoffs, to rally together as one. They never wavered in their belief that they could be the best, that they could get to where they are now. Of course, you’ve had some help in all this – tell Dom I said hi and thanks for everything – but, really, a lot of the credit must go to you. Your confident, steadfast approach was absolutely the right approach to take, even if things were as bleak as they’d ever been in your time as head coach of this team.
A lot of us doubted you. But the 53 men in that lockerroom never did. They bought what you sold. In the end, that’s all that matters, I’ve learned.
In turn, you’ve made me a believer in you, Mike. Okay, so sometimes you still drive me nuts – coaching not to lose instead of coaching to win late in two of your team’s three postseason games this year, for example – but all in all, I’m a believer in the “Book of Mike,” so to speak.
Lord help me – I’ve seen the light!
If I had any advice, though, for this next game, it’d be this: Your best moments have come when you’ve been aggressive, when you’ve really gone for it. Don’t forget that next Sunday. As I wrote after the Super Bowl last year, “in the biggest games of your life, you turn it loose.” That worked for the last NFC team in this game. Something tells me it will work for you, too.
But, really, this letter isn’t about that. If you check us out at all over the next week, you’ll find no shortages of us telling you what your team needs to do to win.
For right now, I just wanted to say, again, that I’m sorry. You’re much smarter than I ever gave you credit for. Keep doing what you’re doing, Mike. It’s working great.
And, oh yeah – go get us that trophy. It belongs in Green Bay. Bring it home.