Packers XLV

The NFL's Greatest Rivalry Is Back

Posted January 18th, 2011 @ 03:01pm

How perfectly fitting that Brett Favre officially retired (again) on the first day of NFC title week between the Pack and Bears. If we needed a more emphatic exclamation point on the end of this silly tryst we were having with the Vikings, we've got it.

Now that Favre has left the land of lutefisk forever, the Vikings will become what they've been for the past 40 years or so: our second biggest rival. The fact that the Packers and Bears are meeting for a right to go the Super Bowl serves notice that the game's oldest rivalry is back.

And it's not going anywhere. Yes, the Bears are old defensively and have holes to fill to stay competitive over the next handful of years. They stayed injury-free this year: reason #1 why they're still alive. But with Jay Cutler and Mike Martz continuing to get on the same page, their offense is bound to improve.

Barring injury, the Rodgers-Cutler rivalry should last a while. This will be meeting number five in this burgeoning duel and it officially kicks off on Sunday. Which ever QB leads his team to a Super Bowl berth will have a major leg up and his fans will have bragging rights for at least a year.

Rivalries like this are the reason we love the NFL more than any other. Our grandparents and parents lived and died with this rivalry. Packers-Bears goes back to the infancy of the game and represents the classic big city vs. small town dynamic.

For the fan bases, there is nothing better than this. But to many of the players? Not so much. Here's Greg Jennings on the rivalry, a guy who grew up in Michigan, on Monday: "I didn't become aware of it until I got here...I started to understand how in depth the rivalry is to not only the players, the organization, but to the fans."

It feels like a great college rivalry. The setting in Green Bay may factor into that. AJ Hawk compares it to Ohio State-Michigan. "When I first got here, I noticed the feeling throughout the week each time we played the Bears was really how it was when were were playing Michigan."

These two NFL originals first faced off in 1921. Here were are 90 years later and they're meeting for the NFC Championship. It's how it should be between two bitter rivals. Sorry for straying a bit these last few years, Bears fans. The combination of your team's ineptitude and Favre's return will do that.

They're playing Sunday for the George Halas Trophy. Win that, and you get a shot at the Lombardi. The greatest prizes are named after our teams' two greatest coaches.

The Packers-Bears rivalry is back in full force. And it's not going anywhere for a long, long time.

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Comments (19):

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on December 9th, 2011 at 12:42pm

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on February 14th, 2012 at 12:45pm

thanks for share!

on February 26th, 2012 at 09:41am

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on February 27th, 2012 at 10:55pm

Who was straying? I try and I try to explain to Vikings fans: we don't hate them. It's not worth the bother, and they do the job for us anyway.

on January 18th, 2011 at 09:29pm

Upon closer look it has been determined that Paul Allen, aka PA, is really Brad Childress in a really bad whig with one eyebrow and two chins. A younger Sid Hartman homer. Closed circuit to PA: They call it the "Lombardi Trophy" !! Not the "Grant", " Finks" or "Wilf Trophy" No one in Purple ever has or ever will hoist a "Lombardi Trophy" And to quote Wayne Laramee "That is Your Dagger "

on January 18th, 2011 at 09:53am

Perfectly stated Siny. I was just trying to explain to a colleague about the depth of the Bears/Pack rivalry from a Packer fans perspective. Living in the Twin Cities and having all the Viking crap makes that rivalry a big deal (and then you add in #4) for obvious reasons, but deep down in the heart of most Packer fans, the Bear hatred runs much deeper!!! Great article about the rivalry/game on Sunday in today's Chicago Sun Times. The Bears Still Suck!!!

on January 18th, 2011 at 09:56am

I grew up in Eau Claire so the closest border battle was the Vikes, but after reading this I understand how much more the Bears rivalry is and was. I guess it's just one more time the Vikings come in second.

on January 18th, 2011 at 11:55am

Bergermeister, that was beautiful man! Although I have a feeling that the Viqueen's are going to struggle to finish even 2nd for the forseeable future. That team has problems. Go Pack!

on January 19th, 2011 at 07:26pm

Good Game Pack! Maybe next year you can make the Super bowl and you played well.

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on March 28th, 2012 at 12:14am

Nice List as usual and I fully agree with it. Can't argue with the Jets being ahead of the Bears. NYJ earns its props after taking out two diisvion champions At their hizzy! Also, the Bears beat a sub .500 squad at home. That game will be Epic. Also, I like the Steelers being Number 1 because they have the most talent on one team of any team remaining. The Steelers will have a successful game but it won't necessarily be a cake walk with playmakers like Cromartie and Edwards on the Jets squad.

on May 18th, 2012 at 02:51am

I could have pushed more for the Packers to be #1, they beat the Falcons coinvncingly where as I feel the Ravens gave up the game to the Steelers more than anything else...but hey, thats just my opinion.

on May 18th, 2012 at 04:47am

Wow, some amazing shots on this page! It was a baiuteful day and you managed to capture every ounce of its magic in these photos. Great job! Congratulations Lauren and Andy!

on May 18th, 2012 at 05:56pm

I recall that Dad queotd Lambeau as saying, while the players were sitting under a tree after the game, Let's get together and play DePere. I know where we can get uniforms. What I like about the story is that this must be how the Packers started: some young men sitting under a tree after a sandlot game .

on May 20th, 2012 at 03:59am

Ha, I'm not a big Kenny Moose and Goose fan either, but they're betetr than a lot of FOX's other options. If you look at the difference between FOX's and CBS' broadcast teams, it's comical how much betetr CBS' are.

on May 20th, 2012 at 04:26am

I've never REALLY gotten into fobtlaol, but I know that I have to pick a team. It was easy meeting James because he already had his team, or should I say, his guy. See, James is a Brett Favre fan. Of course, now that the man has retired, I daresay for the last time, I'm not really sure which team will get our cheers this year. Most of our friends are diehard Vikings fans, so I guess we'll cheer for the Vikings when we're over at their place and probably just not care when we're home. Now hockey on the other hand

on May 20th, 2012 at 07:41am

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