20 January 2011

Bears / Packers: Let's get it on! (But don't believe the hype)

Quick story - some years ago I was at Wrigley Field with a bunch of friends for one of the Cubs / Sox games.  For those who don't know this is the classic Chicago intercity battle.  If you're lucky you'll get in a section where exited but friendly jabbering will be going back and forth amongst fans.  If not you'll either see a fight, get run over by a fight, or end up in one (story for another day). 

On this particular day things were getting pretty hot in the stands.  It was getting loud and folks were getting antsy with each other.  Further down we heard a huge ruckus - everyone standing watching something and screaming their heads off - but we couldn't see what was happening.  Then we noticed that whatever it was was heading our way.  Looking down we finally realized what was going on - and for a brief moment the whole Sox / Cubs, South / North bitterness disappeared.  For a whole thirty or so seconds we were all unified in collective hate - some dude in a Green Bay jersey was ducking hot dogs and peanuts on his way to the stairs.

For the fans, this weekend's game is a big deal.  It may be the most important game these two teams will be in where they play each other, but all this talk about this being the greatest event in Chicago sports history and the greatest rivalry in professional sports has to stop.  (Correct me if I'm wrong Winsonsinites - in the regular season do you really care more about beating the Bears or the Vikings?)

Granted it may be one of the longest rivalries, but these days most of the trash talking is being done by the fans and not the players.  When your two starting QBs are texting each other congratulations, it doesn't exactly scream bitter rivalry.  Historically the teams really did hate each other, and they weren't afraid to show it.  But these days all those millionaires on the field seem to like each other more than not. 

Still, for the fans this is a big deal.  Especially the closer you are to the IL / WI border.  The talk should start getting crazy the next couple of days.  So if you're a Bears fan deep in Packer country, I understand - you need the Bears to win this one.  Anyone who has Illinois plates and has gotten a ticket because of it in Racine County wants the Bears to win.  For the few in Chicago daring enough to wear the Green and Gold - absolutely this game is important just for trash talking rights.  Anyone working in the offices along the road up to Halas Hall better pick a side.  Cheesehead vs FIB let's get it on!

But the reality is that this is that I doubt any of the players are going to say that winning this game is more important to them than getting to or winning the Super Bowl.  Despite what alot of folks may be claiming, this is not going to be the greatest event in Chicago history - but we can argue the next game might be if we send the Packers back north and start making our travel plans for Texas, discussing why the Black Eyed Peas don't deserve a half time stage that big. 

And for what it's worth (use your Superfans voice) Bears 113, Packers -8
(ok yea, Ditka isn't with the team anymore - the score will be much closer than that)


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