"You just want to thank everyone in every state," says Nancy. "Then you think, It's a good world. It really, really is."
At one point she jokingly told her husband, "You're making everyone forget Kato Kaelin. You've started Gilmania."
And Haskell, being a no-nonsense guy, just snorted.
"Gil's the type of guy who could never understand why this mattered to anyone," says Bob LaMonte, a longtime friend from San Francisco. "Gil's attitude is, Hey, I'm a coach. I got knocked down. Now I'm home and the rest doesn't matter."
Which is wrong, of course. It was football that suddenly didn't matter—not when somebody's best friend, somebody's husband, somebody's dad had slammed his head so violently on the turf that the main concern was whether he was going to die. And now that Haskell's home? The Packers can smile and say they lost to Dallas, they fell one win shy of the Super Bowl, and they still got a happy ending.