Saturday, January 22, 2011

Packers-Bears From My Perspective

Sports Guy had a chat yesterday on and there were many questions surrounding the Packers-Bears rivalry. For the first time in I don't know how long, I had to quit reading something Bill Simmons wrote. He basically dismissed the Packer-Bear rivalry, saying it wasn't a rivalry because they haven't been good at the same time on a lot of occasions.

He, and anyone that doesn't live in Wisconsin or Illinois just doesn't understand how much this game means. Teams being good doesn't make something a "rivalry". Having games on ESPN six times a year doesn't make something a rivalry. History, familiarity, locale and hatred make a rivalry.

Would a non-rivalry game produce what is reported to be the "toughest ticket in Chicago sports history"? Would a non-rivalry produce some of the classic You Tube videos I've just shown? Would a non-rivalry make me physically ill about an upcoming game? Can a matchup that pits two franchises against each other more than any other two teams in NFL history, and two teams with the most championships and hall of famers not be called a rivalry? The answer to all of these is NO.

The four games on the schedule every year that matter most to Packer fans are the two where we play the Vikings and the Bears. Admittedly the Viking rivalry was taken to a new level in the past 20 years, but that doesn't mean the Bears rivalry went away. And I would argue that today, the roles have been reversed pretty significantly. Someone that hasn't had an entire life of dealing with FIBS and living in NFL North country cannot understand. Just like I don't consider any other rivalry above Packers-Bears, even though there may be bigger ones. So I would kindly ask Bill Simmons to concentrate on what he knows: Boston sports, the NBA and pop culture references, and keep the Packers and Bears out of his mouth. Because he just doesn't understand.