Christmas Day is set aside for family and friends and very rarely has the National Football League been in action … including the Green Bay Packers.
But there have been a couple of occasions in the past nine years that the Packers have played on Christmas Day – with both of those games coming against the Chicago Bears.
The first was in 2005, when the Bears beat the Packers at Lambeau Field 24-17.
Green Bay got the upper hand in 2011, again at Lambeau Field, when the Packers easily defeated Chicago 35-21.
Unlike Thanksgiving, when the NFL now has three games, Christmas has not been a popular day for games. There have been some games through the years when Christmas falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday … but those games have been few and far between.
In that 2005 season Christmas Day game, the Packers were on their way to a 4-12 season – and as it turned out, it was Mike Sherman’s final season as head coach.
With the temperature a balmy 34 degrees, the Packers got a touchdown from Noah Herron, an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown from Antonio Chatman and a Ryan Longwell field goal. The following week, the final week of the season, the Packers would beat the Seattle Seahawks 23-17, but it wasn’t enough to save Sherman’s job.
Mike McCarthy would be hired in the offseason to replace Sherman.
In 2011, the Packers were coming off their only loss that year to the Kansas City Chiefs and took it out on the Bears by beating up on Chicago 35-21.
So, as you relax today and look forward to the Packers showdown against the Detroit Lions this coming Sunday, rest assured that Christmas Day is, for the most part, set aside for family.