INDIANAPOLIS – On the sideline, Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider was prepared to deliver his season-ending speech to a losing locker room.
No matter what optimism Seattle professed afterward, things looked bleak for the Seahawks with five minutes left in the NFC championship game. One month later, Schneider still remembers the feeling,
"I was preparing for what I was going to say to all the players and coaches because it looked like our season was over," Schneider said. "So I was getting myself mentally prepared for that, and things just kind of started steamrolling, and there were like four minutes left in the game."
Slowly, momentum began to shift. You remember what happened next. Five minutes from the Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers coughed up a seemingly safe 12-point lead. Their season ended in shell-shocked devastation.
Schneider, meanwhile, got to deliver a much different speech than he previously planned.
A De Pere native, Schneider said he had family from Wisconsin and Minnesota in the stands for the NFC title game. He'll remember it as "one of the most intense games" he's ever witnessed.
"I'm just very proud of everybody for doing that," Schneider said, "and I was thinking about all those things everybody had to do just to get to that spot for us. That's what I was preparing for and everything. Just, you're extremely excited, obviously. You're going to the Super Bowl, and you're celebrating, but I've also been on the other end of those, and it hurts. That's a very hard deal. You're very excited, and then you feel very bad at the same time."