I personally think that Bears/Packers is the greatest rivalry in the NFL. I know a lot of people will argue that Steelers/Ravens is the greatest, but there is something about the history of the Bears/Packers rivalry that cannot be touched. The history being that they have been playing against each other since the inception of the NFL. Being a Bears fan, it’s been tough the last couple of years, especially back in 2010 when the Bears lost to the Packers in the NFC Championship game. Ugh…. Why did I have to bring that up. This weeks 5 Questions is with Ray Rivard from Lombardi Ave.
As a Bears fan, I truly despise the Packers. Do Packer fans still hate the Bears as much as we hate the Packers?
Many believe that from a Packers fan’s perspective, the rivalry with the Bears has softened and been taken over recently by the Packers vs. Vikings rivalry. This all began a few years ago with the Brett Favre situation and has been intensified this year with Greg Jennings and Desmond Bishop making the move west of the Mississippi.
I’m not one to get sucked into the hype that this has brought about. I’m still a believer that the Packers best rivalry is that of the Bears. Though the Packers have had the Bears number, for the most part, over the past two decades, it’s still a rivalry that defies the ages. It doesn’t matter which team is better on paper, when the Bears and Packers meet you can throw out the records and statistics, throw the ball out onto the field and let them play.
As far as hate … I’m not so sure that’s the right language. We dislike the Bears and will argue until we’re blue in the face that the Packers are the better, more storied franchise. But I don’t hate the Bears. I respect the hell out of the organization, but when it comes to game day I want the Packers to beat the hell out of them. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching the rivalry for the past 50 years that I can say this and maybe it’s because the Packers domination over the past couple of decades that has me feeling this way. It’s a great rivalry, one of the best in all of sports, and in my estimation, it beats the heck out of the Viqueens vs. Packers.
Do you feel that losing Charles Woodson and Greg Jennings will hurt the Packers this year?
The loss of Woodson and Jennings is going to have zero affect on the Packers. It was time for both players to move on. Woodson was making way too much money to keep around and it was clear his play had declined. It was time. As for Jennings – as much as he wants to make a war of words, it was his time to move on, too. While the Packers made a play for him in free agency, it wasn’t a wholehearted effort. If the Packers really wanted him back, he would be wearing Green and Gold right now. Both Woodson and Jenning might have two years left in them before they fade away. The Packers are going with the youth and will be much better off for it.
What did you like and/or dislike about what the Packers did in free agency and the draft?
While the Packers made plays to bring Steven Jackson in, they didn’t want to pay the big bucks for another declining player. They instead went into the draft and picked up two of the best running backs available in the draft. They will be much better served by the younger running backs over the long run. The Packers also beefed up its defensive line, the cornerback position and wide receivers through the draft. Ted Thompson addressed just about every need – except safety – through the draft and the team will show improvements all the way around because of those changes.
Which rookie are you most looking forward to seeing this season?
Everyone’s excited about the running back tandem of Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin, but I’m really excited to see what first round defensive lineman Datone Jones brings to the table. He’s one of those players who was ranked very high, but fell to the Packers at 26. I think he will be a great addition to the Packers defensive line and will help solidify the run defense while bringing an ability to disrupt things in the offensive backfield.
Which unknown Packer do you feel will take the next step and become an important part of the team this year?
He’s not unknown, but tight end Andrew Quarless is poised to surprise a lot of people. He sat out all of 2012 because of a nasty knee injury he suffered in 2011. However, those who have seen him in OTAs and minicamps have raved about him. They say he’s come back stronger than ever. In his rookie season of 2010, he stepped in when Jermichael Finley went out for the year and solidified the Packers blocking during their Super Bowl run. I’m looking forward to what he has to offer this season.
Bonus Question: If the Packers were to create a mascot, what do you think it should be?
The Packers will never create a mascot. As they don’t have the dancers who have taken over the league as team “cheerleaders,” the Packers will never have a mascot. They don’t need one and it would be a sham if anyone ever tried to develop one. Thanks, but no thanks.
I want to thank Ray Rivard for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions this week. Make sure you head on over to Lombardi Ave to find out all about our rival Green Bay Packers.
Topics: Chicago Bears