I hate the Green Bay Packers. I just don't know why.
Today I bring you the essay I just did for Eight Forty-Eight on why I hate the Green Bay Packers. I give it to you here, because, well, I love you. Also, I've attached the mp3 above if you want to listen to it with all of the cheesy music.
I hate the Green Bay Packers.
I am a die-hard Bears fan. I bleed blue and orange. I watch every game, every press conference, every post game show.
And when it is Packer week? All bets are off. I actually had a hard time sleeping before the NFC Championship game last season. I was so keyed up that actual tears were flowing.
And this week will be no different. Because I hate the Green Bay Packers.
But I’m not sure why.
I get it. There is a historic rivalry that goes as far back as the NFL. I get it. Both of these teams are from the same division and there has been chippy play. I get it. Brett Favre and Refrigerator Perry. I get it.
But as we get ready for the game on Sunday, I really don’t have hatred for this Packers team. Rodgers is good. Charles Woodson is great. Greg Jennings and Donald Driver are gamers. There’s no polarizing player that unites the opposition.
So I have to lean back on the rivalry. So why do I hate the Packers?
I decided to reach out to Packers fans to try and help me soul search. What do they think of the rivalry? What fuels their hatred? And most importantly, what do they think of me, the Bears fan?
I turned to an old friend first. Tom Teuber was my first boss here at WBEZ. He left our station to go work for the legendary WMMM in Madison. He was born in Chicago. His Dad has Bears season tickets. He now owns part of the Packers.
Okay, I’ve heard that before. We’re arrogant big city folk. We use our size to will upon our opponents a competitive advantage. But another former colleague says it’s not as much arrogance, but aggression that defines a Bears fan. Ben Calhoun is currently producing for This American Life in NYC. He grew up in Milwaukee and was a political reporter at WBEZ for years:
Okay, so we are aggressive too.
Olivia Schreiner was born in Green Bay and now lives in Chicago. What pops into her head when she thinks of a Bears Fan?
For the final say on Bears/Packers, I turned to public radio’s resident Green Bay Packer backer, Michael Feldman. Feldman hosts the live quiz show Whad'Ya Know in Madison.
Wow. So this is what Packers fans think of me? I’m obnoxious, aggressive, arrogant and too loud.
Am I obnoxious? Yes. I’m so obnoxious I’m doing a whole essay about my obnoxiousness right now.
Am I aggressive? Yes, I sought these Packer fans out.
Am I loud? Hell yes. Overmodulated, even.
And am I arrogant? No. I’m just better than you.
But at the end of the day, I do have one thing going for me: I don’t live in Green Bay.
And I hate the Packers.
An extra to the story: Tom Teuber told me why we should probably let the Packers win. Actually, it's more about why the Bears need the Packers and Green Bay. Hint: It's about toilet paper.