The Packers vs. the Bears
Whether you are a football fan or not, if you live in either Green Bay or Chicago, you know what this match up means.
Packers/Bears week has been a time honored tradition for generations. Long before computers, decades before the Internet, and predating the living room television to watch the game, the battle between these two intense rivals has permeated the atmosphere of the Midwest. Big city vs small city, steel vs cheese, the mention of Packers versus Bears stirs up emotions that are often buried, and come out only twice a year when they play each other.
The rivalry has changed over the years. Long gone are the days of fistfights on the field, and in the stands. The memory of Ken Stills crushing Matt Suhey well after a play was over now exists as a bad memory, much the same as does watching William Perry run over George Cumby on Monday Night Football. Distant memories from a time when hatred can be the word used to describe how the teams felt about each other.
The current players acknowledge the rivalry exists, but choose to battle on the field in the 60 minutes on the clock. The most uttered phrase is we dont like them and they dont like us and this is a far cry from the public thrashing both sides would hurl at each other leading up to the game in years past. Instead, a quasi mutual respect has formed between the two teams, and the trash talk has been between the fan bases more than the players.
Recently there has been discussion whether the Packers and Bears rivalry has softened between the fans. While some think the rivalry is strong as ever, others think it is almost dead, replaced by a hatred of the Vikings, due in part to a certain quarterback who played for the Vikings.
This could not be further from the truth.
While out at a local watering hole with a Bears blogger, we started talking about the best games in the series. I said my favorite game ever was the Instant Replay game, because after losing to the Bears fro so many years, the Packers squeaked out a victory, and the proverbial monkey was off the Packers’ back.
Without missing a beat, the Bears fan responded with the most common response heard about this game, some 22 years after the fact.
“He was over the line.”
It is amazing that all these years later, Bears fans still have issue with this play. The seemingly never ending wait that anyone who was watching this game, waiting for the call from the replay booth to confirm what Packers fans already knew, was excruciating. Touchdown to Sharpe, Packers win. We all knew it, we just had to hear the official word.
Even the Bears Media Guide has had a asterisk placed next to this game until two years ago, as a symbol of protest of the call that supposedly cost them this game.
If that is not proof of a rivalry in full effect, I don’t know what is.
What I do know is it is time for Bears fans to move on from this game. You lost the game. Life moves on, time to move on with it. Stop talking about something that happened decades ago. It’s old and tired.
But isn’t living in the past what Bears fans do best?
Bonus: For your viewing pleasure, here is the infamous “Instant Replay” in it’s entirity.
Filed Under: John Rehor