Rivalry heats up ahead of Bears-Packers game

January 21, 2011

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Football fans in Illinois and Wisconsin are gearing up for Sunday's NFC title game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers.

Not since 1941 - just a week after attack on Pearl Harbor - have the Bears and the Packers faced off in the playoffs. On the line this time is a trip to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas and, as Bears Coach Lovie Smith spoke to this week, bragging rights in one of football's fiercest rivalries.

"There's always a team that you have to beat," Smith said "To have to beat the Packers to get to the Super Bowl - our ultimate goal - is the only way it should be and we embrace that."

Everyone from governors to mayors have placed bets on their home team.

Even the Catholic Church has gotten involved - with Chicago's cardinal betting a deep dish pizza against the Milwaukee archbisop's basket of cheese.

Chicago and Green Bay met twice during the regular season - and split the games. Kickoff at Soldier Field on Sunday is 2 p.m.