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Packers fans in San Francisco go viral re-creating famous image as Green Bay stunned 49ers

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Nelson A. Liborio couldn't even take video of Mason Crosby's kick, nor could he finish the quiz he was working on for class. His phone was basically shutting down from texts and other notifications.

A lifelong Packers fan from Stockton, California, the 20-year-old Liborio was sitting in section 222 at Levi's Stadium when his post on Twitter assured the masses there was no reason to panic when the Packers fell behind the San Francisco 49ers with 37 seconds on the clock Sunday, 28-27. After all, the Packers had Aaron Rodgers.

And sure enough, Green Bay rallied for a 30-28 win.

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Nelson A. Liborio poses with his Packers flag at Levi's Stadium in San Francisco on Sept. 26, 2021. His post to Twitter displaying calm when the 49ers went up with 37 seconds left went viral after the Packers stormed back to win.
Nelson A. Liborio poses with his Packers flag at Levi's Stadium in San Francisco on Sept. 26, 2021. His post to Twitter displaying calm when the 49ers went up with 37 seconds left went viral after the Packers stormed back to win.

"They left too much time on the board," his post read, just a 4-second clip of Liborio looking calmly at the camera while 49ers fans celebrated in the background.

The video has been viewed more than a half-million times on Twitter

"There were no Packer fans in my section at all," Liborio said, noting his Packers fandom was handed down from his father, who he took to the game. "All the Packer fans were on the other side; (the 49ers fans) were quiet all game until that final minute, tapping my shoulder and everything."

Elsewhere near the same south end zone, 19-year-old Norman Gratz of Poplar Grove, Illinois, was sitting in section 126 and experiencing the same thing as Liborio. Both were wearing Jaire Alexander jerseys in a sea of red.

"San Francisco has the momentum and they're just driving down the field on Green Bay, and if they score, I want a little bit of time left to be left on the clock for (Aaron) Rodgers," said Gratz, who flew to California on Friday to catch the game and see San Francisco for the first time with his mom.

"We all know what he's capable of and we've seen this movie plenty of times before. Right when (the 49ers) scored, everyone was going crazy around me, mocking me, calling me this and that. I'm all relaxed. Thirty-seven seconds, and I have instant flashbacks to that dude's picture. 'I've got to re-create this.' It's the same exact scenario. It worked out perfectly."

He's talking about an iconic Snapchat post by Oshkosh man Kevin Speigl from a 2017 Packers game in Dallas.

Kevin Speigl's image from the Oct. 8, 2017 Packers-Cowboys game became an internet sensation.
Kevin Speigl's image from the Oct. 8, 2017 Packers-Cowboys game became an internet sensation.

With the caption, "They celebrating with 1:13 left in the fourth lmao," a confidently smiling Speigl is shown surrounded by Cowboys fans cheering a late score. The image became instantly identifiable among Packers fans when Rodgers found Davante Adams for a touchdown with 11 seconds left, giving the Packers a 35-31 win.

An opportunity to re-create that same vibe? You've got to go for it.

"I wasn't trying to be funny or anything; I genuinely was calm, collected," said Gratz, who mouthed the message "It don't matter" into the camera as 49ers fans celebrated Kyle Juszczyk's touchdown in the final 40 seconds. The video racked up more than 300,000 views on Twitter.

"Whenever you have 12 under center and Davante came back (from potential injury) ... who knows what they can do with any time left on the clock? They're magical."

Indeed — Rodgers found Adams twice for two long pass plays that racked up a total of 42 yards, and Crosby's 51-yarder rescued the Packers for the thrilling Sunday Night Football win.

Norman Gratz (right) poses with his mom, Becky, at the Packers game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 26, 2011, at Levi's Stadium. Gratz's post to Twitter right after San Francisco took a late lead went viral when Green Bay stormed back to win.
Norman Gratz (right) poses with his mom, Becky, at the Packers game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 26, 2011, at Levi's Stadium. Gratz's post to Twitter right after San Francisco took a late lead went viral when Green Bay stormed back to win.

Liborio said he also had Speigl's immortalized Snapchat message in mind. He initially intended to share his version just with a fantasy-football group chat with buddies, all of whom have 49ers allegiance, but decided to also tweet it before the Packers had won the game.

Liborio began getting recognized for the post, even before leaving the stadium.

"I had a couple people recognize me, asking, 'Can I get a picture?' I'm like, 'Yeah man, go Pack go,'" he said. "My dad doesn't understand the social media thing, he's an old grandpa, man. I told him my post was up on ESPN, and he asked, 'Are you sure it's ESPN?' And I said, 'Yeah, I'm pretty sure.'"

The only problem? Liborio had to email his professor to let her know the influx of notifications had prevented him from finishing the class exercise he'd been working on during the game on his phone. He included links to the websites that had aggregated his tweet as proof.

"It was probably irresponsible of me, but I still was going to try to take that quiz," he said.

He also didn't get a chance to record Crosby's kick.

"For a second, I thought Mason missed the kick from where I watched it ... and then complete silence in the stadium."

It was Liborio's first Packers game, and he bought his tickets — one for him and one for his dad — at 1 a.m. the day of. He'd been saving up the money by frantically delivering for DoorDash, with added urgency because he anticipates it'll be Rodgers' last year in the uniform. He said he someday hopes to see his first game at Lambeau.

Gratz, who said he tries to get to one road game a year, runs an independent Packers-centric Instagram account called "Green Bay Today," which has racked up more than 12,000 followers.

This was different, though. He said he had no choice but to turn off his phone because of the notification influx.

"I woke up this morning, and ESPN had reached out to me and asked if they could re-post it," he said. "Pat McAfee shouted me out on his show this morning. My DMs are all blowing up. It was over 10,000 likes; it's hilarious."

lmao, you might say.

JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or jradcliffe@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Packers fans at 49ers game go viral re-creating famous 2017 meme