Bostick's in the Herd, but He's Not Green Bay's Lead Goat
The Packers didn't lose the NFC championship because Brandon Bostick tried to go beyond his pay grade.
Green Bay blew it because it became the team version of that dude in the red shirt next to Captain Kirk.
It's a fate worse than death.
Unless of course, you're the dude in the red shirt. In that case ... well ... at least there aren't any replays. Only re-runs.
Why did all these dudes get zapped? Simple.
They weren't prepared for what was about to happen.
Why isn't their the same clamor to mount goat horns on AJ Hawk? How does he miss the human equivalent of a Seattle Metro bus go lumbering by him?
It was 4th and 10, for chrissakes! What? Hawk didn't think CB Devon House could spot a Canadian holder those yards plus another seven behind the line of scrimmage? That cost the Pack seven points.
The reality is Hawk didn't think. He clearly wasn't prepared to consider a fake, falling into the vanilla state of mind that is the NFL norm.
So how does McCarthy order two field goals inside the two-yard line on 4th and Microscope? In essence, he not only wasn't trusting an offense that got him into the title game, he wasn't trusting Dom Capers' defense that would've had 99 yards behind it.
Maybe McCarthy isn't gonna re-visit the situation, but NFL vanilla-think in those situations left up to eight points on the table.
Of course, the Alabama Crimson Tide hasn't always distinguished itself in preparedness for unusual moments.
How does Nick Saban & Co not account for the possibility of a return on a two-zip-code field goal attempt? And how does Ha Ha Clinton-Dix not have it burned in his memory banks that this stuff happens?
But he does not. What in the name of Vince Lombardi was he thinking on Seattle's two-point conversion?
That was just possibly the first ever Hail Mary from the two-yard line. Rain clouds might've been lower than that arc. Clinton-Dix had time to ask for directions and then just knock it down. If so, Mason Crosby's field goal before time expired would've won the game. It was an expensive two points.
All of which takes us back to Brandon Bostick botching a catch on an onside kick he wasn't supposed to make. And sure enough, Jordy Nelson was right where he was supposed to be, ready to do his job.
What if Nelson secured the pigskin? McCarthy's play-calling at that point was so conservative, it made Ann Coulter look like a Democrat. Odds are a three-and-out would've happened, just like it did moments earlier, and Seattle would've called the same swing pass, followed by the same Marshall Lynch dash to paydirt.
Don't forget Morgan Burnett's version of stop, drop, and roll on Russell Wilson's fourth interception of the afternoon:
He might've been able to romp right into Crosby's comfort zone, a possible three points that could've made this game a wrap.
So, does Bostick really deserve the reputation as Green Bay's Steve Bartman?
Well, yes, but the point is, he's not alone. If any one of these moments would've been accorded the luxury of forethought and execution, the Packers would be on their way to Super Bowl XLIX, which is 49 for non-Romans and pompous NFL types.
With that many breakdowns, it's on the coaches. Big time. By not instilling a mentality where all possibilities must be taken into account, the team let its collective guard down.
As a result, they deserve to be the dudes in the red shirts.