Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears, in my opinion, is still the number one rivalry in all of the National Football League – that’s despite the recent number three ranking by Russell S. Baxter over at The Bleacher Report.
No offense to Mr. Baxter, who admits in his ranking that the Packers vs. Bears certainly deserve to be top 3, but says that because the Packers have dominated the Bears of late that it slips the rivalry out of the top two spots.
Well, if you’re taking the “what have you done for me lately” perspective, I can see Mr. Baxter’s ranking. But if you’re looking at a more broad spectrum – like the past 90-plus years – there isn’t a rivalry that holds a candle to Packers vs. Bears. And that’s considering not just the NFL, but all of sports. Yes, you can argue Yankees vs. Red Sox all you want, but Packers vs. Bears has got to be number one.
I can’t begin to list the great games, the great matchups and the general hatred between the two franchises – the fact that it’s big city versus small town, big money versus blue collar, or Mike Ditka versus Forrest Gregg – those are only a minuscule number of the factors that have made this the greatest rivalry of all time.
The two franchises have been meeting since 1921, and it’s been since 1925 that they have met at least twice each season. That’s a hell of a long stretch of games – providing generations with the taste of blood. Once it’s there, the fans are hooked. Like Mr. Baxter says, all you have to do is take a seat at Lambeau Field or Soldier Field when the two teams take the field to get a feel for what it’s all about.
Yes, there have been many winning streaks by both teams over the years that have given one team or the other the immediate advantage, but that matters not. In the wash, it all comes down to each individual Sunday that these two teams have collided on the gridiron. Every single game has its cast of characters; each indivdidual season has its drama.
When the season schedule is released each spring, you can bet that every Packers or Bears fan worth their salt looks at where those two games fall and make plans to be ready to watch or attend.
What do Packers and Bears fans look forward to most when the season starts – you got it – when they will meet. In fact, even if their team finishes 2-14, it’s a successful season it is if those two wins comes against the other team.
Overall, Mr. Baxter’s list of rivalries is a fun look at the NFL, but I feel there’s no way that the blip on the screen that is Brady vs. Manning or the Steelers vs. Ravens should rank above Packers vs. Bears.
What do you think, Packers and Bears fans?