On the night of the Bears most important game since Superbowl XLI, I wanted to preach on about what the Bears/Packers rivalry means to me. I think I speak for a lot all Bears fans when I say the teams I cheer for every Sunday are: 1) The Beloved and 2) Whoever is playing the Packers. Some people want to say the ViQueens are right up there too, especially with Gramps and his walker manning the helm of the Love Boat, but their not even close.
Words like “hate,” “despise,” “detest” are the ones that immediately jump to mind. Though probably the best words to describe the rivalry are “pride” and “respect.” We share a border with the enemy, so it gives the rivalry are real sense of closeness, perhaps too close for comfort. When The Beloved take the field against the Packers, they aren’t just playing for themselves, they are playing for a city built on hard work and one that lives and dies by the team it loves so dearly. I firmly believe productivity in the city of Chicago dips for a day or two during a week following a Bears loss.
Add to that, if the Bears lose to the Packers and then our fellow Chicagoans who may have to work north of the border or who have co-workers who work south of the border have to deal with hearing it from Packer fans that they probably wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire (and vice versa). The rivalry is something taught from father to son and so on and has been that way since it began and will be that way forever. My 7 year old son has been conditioned that whenever he hears the word, Packers, he spits. Now his mother doesn’t like it, especially if we are in Church or something and someone, for whatever reason utters the P-word, but I digress…
I know, the players say that they focus on the Packers as just another opponent, but deep down they know there is more to it, especially the ones who have been around for a while. The players that came before them, many of whom seem to always show up on the sidelines at Soldier Field when the Packers come to town; I’m talking about Butkus, Sayers, Hampton and Walter when he was still walking among us (because Walter is ALWAYS with us). These guys lived the rivalry for many years and they share the same sense of pride when the Beloved are victorious over the Packers.
One of the darkest days I ever had as a Bears fan was when my favorite Bear of all time, Steve McMichael, donned the green and gold as number 90. No more was he number 76 in blue and orange, but now he was an enemy. I don’t hold it against Mongo (although I still hate the fact that he didn’t get to retire as a Bear), but seeing him in that disgusting colored jersey made my stomach turn. A funny story I heard, from a very reliable source, was that when Mongo first showed up in the Packers locker room, he simply stated, “I should piss all over this place.” Mongo understood the rivalry, but he had to do what was best to continue his football career and I get that.
We can’t forget that this week’s game against the Packers has a little added incentive…it is for sole possession of 1st place in the NFC North and the Bears are still looking for respect from all the naysayers out there who think there 2-0 start is a fluke. So the Bears need to show some PRIDE and earn RESPECT. I think a win in this game will satisfy both and I certainly look forward to how it unfolds.
CAN I GET AN AMEN?!?!?!?
The DeCon has spoken, so let it be written, so let it be done…