GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Molly Crosby was in the perfect spot to watch her husband’s final kick on Monday night, the one that gave the Green Bay Packers their improbable last-second win over the Detroit Lions.
Molly sat high above the south end zone at Lambeau Field.
She watched Mason’s 23-yard field goal sail through the uprights on the last play of the game. It was the only time the Packers led all night.
She clapped, she stood up and she smiled.
One of the first things Mason said after the game was: "It’ll be cool to see what her reaction was to it."
All he’ll have to do is rewatch the Monday Night Football broadcast.
There was Molly, a little more than six weeks removed from surgery to take out a cancerous piece of her right lung, celebrating for everyone watching to see.
What a year it’s been already for the Crosbys.
Earlier in the summer, Molly had a cough she couldn’t shake. Tests showed something abnormal on her lung. They went to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for additional tests and on the eve of training camp, she was diagnosed with a carcinoid endocrine tumor -- lung cancer. In a 32-year-old, non-smoking, mother of five.
"We found out the day before we reported to [training camp]," Crosby said.
"He was like, they found something," Bradley said. "We’re going to keep getting tests, but it was like ‘Hey this is going on, just give you a heads up.’ Thankfully they caught it fast, but he was all ball when he was at the facility and it shows."
Crosby, 35, coming off a down year that included a horrific game in Detroit with five missed kicks (four field goals and an extra point) and in a preseason battle with Sam Ficken (now the Jets kicker), never let it impact his game. He made no mention of it publicly other than to teammates, coaches and close friends.
"I’ve trained a long time in compartmentalizing different situations," Crosby said when talking about it with reporters recently for the first time. "Whenever I was home, I was fully home. The organization was unbelievable through training camp, just giving me time to be with Molly and be with the family and help where I could throughout the day and evening. I just tried to be fully in on both things."
On Aug. 30, the day after the Packers' preseason finale, Molly underwent surgery at Mayo, where doctors took out a cancerous spot in her lung. On the eve of the surgery, Crosby kicked in the preseason finale. A day after the surgery, he was told he’d be the Packers kicker for the 13th straight season.
In the days and weeks since, Molly received an excellent prognosis -- the surgery removed less of her lung than was expected and the cancer had not spread.
Mason is also putting together another solid season. He’s 10-of-11 on field goals and perfect on 16 extra points. If anything was missing from a career that included a Super Bowl title, it may have been a Lambeau Leap.
Crosby checked that off his list, too, on Monday night.
With help from Bradley, who gave Crosby a much-needed boost to make it over the wall, he celebrated in the stands just below where Molly watched the game in a suite with friends.
"It’s not something we practice," Crosby said of his leap. "We talk about it. Like last year, we had even talked about it, the Monday night [win over the 49ers on a last-second field goal], and I just kind of forget in the moment. So it was cool that it happened. And just to be able to finish off a game like that, that we battled back, that was just a such defining win for this team."
In the jubilant moments in the locker room after the game, coach Matt LaFleur presented Crosby with the game ball.
"That was pretty cool," LaFleur said Tuesday. "What he went through with his wife, it was a pretty cool moment. Anytime you see somebody fight through some adversity and come out on the other side of it. Then you talk about his game last year at Detroit. It was just a really great moment for him."
As Crosby retold the story of his night, he wore a stocking cap with a patch on the side that read "Packers vs. Cancer."
"Just the fact that I’m wearing this Packers versus cancer hat and the NFL’s doing a Crucial Catch [campaign], yeah, I couldn’t ask for a better night for something like that to happen," Crosby said. "This team’s special. I’m really happy that it came down to that."