As a father of three, I can't imagine the sadness and heartbreak Joe Philbin must be facing today in light of the news that his son Michael's lifeless body was pulled from the icy waters of the Fox River yesterday.
Watching the story unfold in what seemed like slow-motion via Twitter was gut-wrenching. I don't even want to think about how the Philbin's went about their Monday, hoping against hope that the reports of a search going on in the Fox near Oshkosh would turn out to have nothing to do with their missing son.
Sadly, it was not to be. Michael's body was reportedly pulled from the river late yesterday afternoon and the Oshkosh police are preparing for a press conference this morning to announce what has been reported since early last night - Joe Philbin's son is dead.
I never met Michael. I've met Joe twice in passing during training camp. He comes across as an extremely genuine and thoughtful individual. He and his wife Diane have five other children that they need to take time to grieve and heal with.
Whatever Philbin decides he needs to do this week both for himself and his family, the Packers and football will be there when he's ready. I hope he takes the time he needs to heal without feeling he needs to return to coaching due to a pending playoff game. And of course, I'd also understand if he and his family feel his being at Lambeau preparing for the game is the best place for him to be.
More than anything, I'd like to extend our deepest sympathy from all of us here at Cheesehead TV to Joe Philbin and his family. As Mike McCarthy said yesterday, the Packers truly are "family first" - and that extends to a fan base that sometimes feels that they are as close to their team as they are their own family, even if that is more of a projection than a reality.
Our condolences to the Philbin family.