January 22, 2011 by staff
Bears Packers, (CP) – Love those great rivalries anything you want – Lakers-Celtics, Yankees-Red Sox, Ohio State and Michigan. They have nothing on Packers-Bears sand. For 90 years, from a time of leather helmets these days of instant-replay challenges and penalties excessive-celebration, the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears played rough. With cold winters and wind and snow and bitter, bloody knuckles these two pioneers of the NFL and its founder, Curly Lambeau and George Halas, have left their mark on the game that will never disappear. Twenty-one NFL championship between them, dozens of Hall of Fame that line the walls, in the canton and a robust combat history, emotional confrontations.
The only names resonate throughout the game.
There Lambeau Field and Halas Hall. This Sunday, when the Bears and Packers meet for the 182nd, they will play for the championship trophy Halas NFC. From there, the winner goes to the Super Bowl trophy named to hunt for the legendary coach Vince Lombardi Packers.
“When I think of Green Bay and Chicago, I think the football at its best,” said former linebacker Mike Singletary Bears, now an assistant coach with the Vikings.
“I think that’s what it is. I think the rivalry, the tradition, George Halas, Lombardi, Butkus; I mean all the names and the greatness of Fame. It’s a story there. So it will be very interesting. ”
Halas and Lambeau Bear Packers made it a point not to shake hands after games; competitive rage already in these early years, laying the animated series that has not diminished over the decades.
A season, as the former star running back Paul Hornung Packers he said, Halas knocked Green Bay locker room, asking to speak to and then telling the Lombardi Packers coach who built a dynasty in the 1960s that the Bears were about to whip his behind, a psychological ploy if ever there was one.
Dick Butkus meanness set to middle linebacker with his tubes of bones in a pot and play hard. Butkus remembers preparing for the Packers during a practice at Wrigley Field and Halas said was carefully watching the buildings that surround the home district of Chicago Cubs. There was nobody north of watching his team.
“The old man (Halas) would have a security guy there. We have always been concerned about spies during the week Packers,” Butkus said. “I’m sure that Green Bay did the same thing.”
Hornung, the centerpiece of Lombardi Packers sweep that included the famous incident pulling guards Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston, recalls several conversations with Halas in a game at Wrigley Field.
Coach Halas paid me the greatest compliment I ever had, “said Hornung, adding that he originally hoped to rejoin the Bears after winning the Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame.
Hornung pointed out that Halas had strayed too far from the margin of the judiciary and, as the Packers’ star, the car was almost in the end zone when he was “Raising Hell” with the referees.
He said: “Shut up Hornung. ”
“I came and did a block near the Bears bench and said,” Hornung, you SOB. And I approached him after the game and said “Thank you.” He said, “What for? I said,” You made me the nicest guy in the world, you ‘ have called an SOB. ”
With all their confrontations over the years, the Bears and Packers – their cities separated by about 200 miles – have met only once before in the post-season, making Sunday’s game at at Soldier Field all the more significant.
The game of the playoffs in 1941, challenged one week after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, saw the Bears win a 33-14 victory when they limited Green Bay wide receiver Don Hutson in a single dose.
There are so many memorable games since the series began in 1921. In this first meeting, the Bears, then known as Staley, blanked the Packers 20-0.
-In one of the most bizarre endings ever, try Chester Marcol field goal in overtime was blocked by the Bears ‘Alan Page and somehow the ball bounced right to the Packers’ place-kicker, who caught it and ran into the end zone to give the Packers the 12-6 win in 1980.
-In a game at Lambeau Field in 1989, Don Majkowski passed Sterling Sharpe for a TD with about half a minute, but officials ruled the Packers quarterback was on the line of scrimmage when he threw. But a closer examination, and after a recovery, they ruled that Majkowski had not crossed the line of scrimmage and the Packers ended up with a victory 14-13. The Bears were so angry they originally marked the score with an asterisk in their media guide; it indicates that the game instant replay.
-One of the craziest games ever came to Soldier Field on Halloween night 1994, with winds of 50 km / h and heavy rain turned the game in a virtual monsoon and to all forms of kicking and pass almost impossible. Rightly, the teams wore uniforms back and Green Bay has Brett Favre played like a happy child on a sandy rainy hurdles in the end zone after a long and TD leader of Green Bay to a 33-6 victory.
And what about when the Refrigerator, William Perry, Chicago, more than 300 pounds defensive lineman, was used as a battering ram strokes per backfield coach Mike Ditka? Perry rumbled into the end zone for a touchdown in a game Monday night to call a victory over the Packers over the Bears’ run to Super Bowl after the 1985 season, they celebrate an anniversary this season.
It was the time when the bitterness between the teams really degenerate, as did a fight between Ditka and Packers coach Forrest Gregg, both former members of fire as players. As coaches, they have entered into an altercation during an exhibition game at Milwaukee County Stadium in 1984 when both benches were on the same side of the field.
The animosity reached a peak in a game in 1986, when Green Bay defensive lineman Charles Martin slammed quart Bears Jim McMahon on the turf after he released a pass, injuring his shoulder McMahon and leading to a suspension for Martin.
“We always wanted to beat Green Bay. It was part of our behavior,” said Ditka. “They went after some of our players. We never did that. It is part of what happened. Why it happened, I do not know. We had the best team at the time. ”
Dan Hampton, the Bears’ Hall of Fame defensive end, put it this way: “It was a long time ago there was much bad blood, and he was favored by both head coaches Shamelessly…”
Ditka previous memories of the series as a race-to-defender-tight end centered on how many great players, he participated cons and some tough physical battles with the Green Bay Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke.
“It is what it is. As good as it gets. You’re talking about a small town like Green Bay and Chicago. I think our rivalry has never been based on flawed, it is based on respect. I really do. I do not hate anyone, “said Ditka.
Butkus said he also held no grudge against the Packers, who were as a championship in his debut.
“It’s always a challenge, just to see how you could do against teams in the championship. Do not play for a championship is no reason not to play hard, “he said.
And not to complain about the ground conditions, whatever, no matter how difficult they might be.
“You can drop a ball on the ground on the pitcher’s mound and he would go to the end of the end zone,” said Butkus winter days at Wrigley Field, where the Bears have played before leaving after the 1970 season. “You do not hear anyone complaining. You get what you get. That’s why you’re a professional. You play in all weathers. Even if it was a field of study upper corner, it does was not much? ”
Bart Starr, the Packers’ Hall of Fame quarterback who led Green Bay to wins in the first two Super Bowls when the NFL was mounted on a victory over the upstart AFL, remembers the game very cozy Wrigley Field, where the Bears played their first 51 years before moving to Soldier Field for the 1971 season.
“The south end zone at Wrigley Field, which was a danger. Oh yes,” Starr recalled. “It was a unique competition. The ferocity of it was sometimes part of the tradition. Games were just very intense and at a high level. ”
If Ditka and Butkus and Nitschke were among the hardest players of all time, so was Packers Hall of Fame running back Jim Taylor.
“You had to defend yourself and meet the challenge,” said Taylor. “Sometimes it was cold, sometimes snowy. Whatever the conditions. ”
Longtime-safety LeRoy Butler Green Bay came to Green Bay in 1990 by the Florida sun. It did not take him long to discover that the game was the Bears a larger deal that he could have imagined, both fans and participants.
With influenza during a “week of the Bear” at the beginning of his career, Butler said coach Mike Holmgren approached him, then, who delivered an impassioned speech to go well his defensive back talent.
“Putting on 10 pounds, they’ll run the ball. This is the division into black and blue,” Butler said he was told. “I said,” OK. “He said,” You do not understand. It’s the most physical game you’re ever going to play yourself, because we do not lose to the bear. ”
AP National Writer Nancy Armour AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski contributed to this story.
Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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