Top story: With all the political heat and city news brewing, I will defer to an age-old rivalry as today's top story. It's funny how many Chicagoans are transplants and don't realize the significance of the game tonight. I'll be honest and subjective here: I hate the Packers so much. And I'm not even sure why.
My wife asked me yesterday if I disliked the Packers without Brett Favre. Even before Brett Favre, the Pack were hated in my household. Maybe it was my Dad or the fact that we lived right on the Wisconsin border (Bears fans in Packer country), but there was no mistaking it: we hated them. As a matter of fact, I believe I tossed my first swear word out in the living room after Packer players were celebrating a late touchdown. I found this on a Google search from a Packers site. I forgot this happened in 1986. For anyone looking for why Bears fans can't stand the Pack:
1986: The Charles Martin Hit List: Packers defensive tackle Charles Martin wore a towel with numbers of specific Bears players he planned to "get" Walter Payton and Jim McMahon topped the list. Aftter a McMahon interception, as he was looking to walk off the field, Martin came up behind McMahon and body-slammed him to the turf. McMahon's shoulder was separated and he was lost for the season. Martin was suspended for two games, at the time the longest suspension in NFL history for an on-field incident. The Bears still finished the season 14-2, but were upset in the playoffs leaving many Bears fans wondering what might have been if the Bears still had McMahon. If Martin was sorry for his actions, he took it to his grave, as he never apologized for the incident. To Bears fans, Martin is surely one of the most hated Packers of all time.
And we blame Ditka for not being able to win it all after the 1985 season. Imagine if somebody did that to Drew Brees. That would be it for the Saints repeat chances. That's how important that was. Don't get me wrong, Brett Favre single-handedly ruined my 20s. I remember kicking my girlfriend (of course, ex-girlfriend now) out of my place during a particularly bad Packers/Bears game during the Wannstedt era. She was from Kenosha. For those who want to fire Lovie, remember that he has brought one great thing to the table: He knows how to beat the Pack. Between Ditka and Lovie, we had a few coaches that would say "this was just another game." Lovie has always understood this rivalry and brings his best against them. And I'll take that. Because football is all about the story-lines and this one is as good as it gets. The Packers countered by hiring McCarthy because they needed a coach that could solve Lovie's Cover-2 Defense. It's one big chess move.
Of course, this rivalry runs deeper than the football field. If you are going to be at Soldier Field tonight, watch how many neon-clad security guards there are and how when a fight starts, how fast they gather to one spot. \
Whenever I watch this year's Packers, it's like I'm watching my high school reunion on a football field, sans the jean jackets and the Megadeth CDs. Seriously, someone tell the Packer linebackers that their long, blonde hair under the helmet look is not retro, but just stupid. So tonight, you can have your long, stringy hair. You can wear your hunting outfits. You can have your green and yellow colors and your small town chip on your shoulder. You go ahead and pull your pick-up truck up to the trails and drink your 40 packs of Milwaukee's Best. I'll sit back and enjoy my micro brew and my metropolitan sensibilities, remembering that this isn't just a game. It's a way of life. And I win.