Packers and Vikings: Rivalry Heating up

Adrian Peterson has made the Vikings competitive the past few years, but the Packers still lead the overall series between the two teams that goes back to the early 1960s.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

When you think of rivals of the Green Bay Packers you almost always think first of the Chicago Bears. It is a long and storied competition that dates all the way back to the first contest between the two clubs in December 1921.

Names like Lombardi, Halas, Nitschske, Payton, Butkus, “The Fridge”, Charles Martin, Majkowski, and Favre come to mind. Physical contests between two teams with winning traditions that give it all they’ve got when they line up across from one another.

Packers vs. Bears is the longer-running rivalry and still provides games with more mean than do the Packers vs. Vikings.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

But there is another inner division foe that is becoming more a rival by the minute. Across Wisconsin’s western-most border the Minnesota Vikings and their fans seem to be getting more concerned about the team that calls Titletown home. I cannot fault them for paying attention to how the Packers have built a winning organization and a devoted fan base.

I suppose it should agitate me that when former Packers players’ services are no longer needed in Green Bay that they often end up wearing purple. Many times it seems as if these players intentionally go to Minnesota just to “stick it to” the Packers. But in most cases these defectors are in Minneapolis, or wherever they are playing these days, because their best days are behind them.

I will certainly give credit where credit is due – the Vikings play the Packers hard and have been very successful verses the green and gold. Despite beginning the first 10 games against Vince Lombardi and the Packers at 1 and 9, the Vikings are now only six victories behind Green Bay all-time at 48-54. Last season’s Packers loss to Minnesota in the last game of the year was especially bothersome, as it required the Packers to play wild card weekend again against the Vikings. A game that saw the Packers easily defeat Minnesota, 24-10.

Despite the success against the Packers they have yet to bring a Super Bowl Championship back to Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, or the “Glad Bag” for short.

Randy Moss will forever be despised in Green Bay for his childish celebration.

And for Vikings fans that has got to burn down deep inside them.

I may be a prude, but for a rivalry to really have traction there has to be some context to it, some history. And I’m not talking about history like the time Randy Moss “faux mooned” the faithful at Lambeau Field. I’m talking about playing games that had meaning, games where the Vikings came out victorious against the Packers, which played a hand in enabling the Vikings to go on to a Super Bowl Championship. Like the Packers have done on four different occasions.

The series between the Packers and the Vikings is certainly a competitive one.

Is it a rivalry?

I suppose it is, but it just doesn’t have the same feel as the rivalry between the Packers and the Bears. When there are two franchises with a championship pedigree, there just seems to be a bit more on the line.

What do you think, Packers fans … tell us who you think is the bigger rival?

Topics: Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Rivalry, Vince Lombardi

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  • Josh Smith

    This article is a joke and so are you.

  • Jake

    I guess you’ve spent the last several decades in a cave or perhaps it’s just that you’re from Wisconsin but the Vikes and Pack have been fierce rivals for a very long time. This rivalry really heated up in the 90′s when the NFC Central title was usually a battle between the Vikes and Pack. I think you’re about 15-20 years late with this article. Good job though.

  • Michael Much

    I disagree with your statement that packer’s players go to the Vikings when their best days are behind them. Favre, Sharper, Longwell all made the pro bowl wearing the purple and gold.

  • Tommy Yarbrough

    I agree with Jake in that there has been a pretty doggone good rivalry between the Vikings and Peckers for some years now, even though the Bears – Peckers history is much longer. That fact alone doesn’t impress me much. It doesn’t matter who plays who in the NFC North, or when, it’s going to be a bloodbath. There’s a reason they’ve always called it the black and blue division. Although, back in the day, when you had Bart Starr against the Purple People Eaters, there were indeed some highlight reel games.
    Patrick, though you may be correct in saying that some Green Bay players have come to Minnesota in the past to finish out their careers with their best years behind them, Michael is also correct in that there have been some cheeseheads come to play for the Vikings that had a few very good seasons left in them. As Michael states, they were good enough to make the Pro Bowl.
    I think you did a very good job writing this article, Patrick. Being as how I’ve bled purple for 40 years, it waxes rather nostalgic, and brings back some exciting, and some not so exciting memories. Being a Viking fan, I’m sure you can guess why some of my memories were not so exciting.
    I can’t understand the attitude Josh has over the article AND you. I liked it. I guess ours is not to reason why.

  • disqus_moG0NgiiTe

    The conduct of the Vikings on and off the field do not place them in the light of a great team. They are rivals of the Packers-but not in the sense that the Bears are–the Bears have a tradition of playing good football and a good Coaching Staff behind them-and they have won Super Bowls. Hey, somebody has to sign those “other guys”–I guess that is what that “other Team” does. Go Pack!