Packers-Bears Rivalry: A Fan’s Perspective

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Bears Packers Rivalry
The Green Bay Packers have finally taken control over their rivalry with the Chicago Bears.

Editor’s Note: A long-time reader and commenter here at AllGreenPackers.com, “Bearmeat” has been kind enough to provide us with his own perspective of the rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. Perhaps many of you share a similar view of this storied history…

—–

I’ve been following the Packers since I can remember. My first words were “S#!%! S#!%! S#!%!” which I said to copy my angry father’s words while watching the Packers suck in the early 1980’s. My first Packers memories were the early Lindy Infante teams in the late 80’s. They were bad. I mean… Really. Really. Bad.

I remember thinking before one Packers-Bears games in 1988, “If Green Bay can just win this game, they’ll only be 3 games back in the division and who knows what could happen from there.” They got crushed. The Bears won the division and finished 12-4. The Packers finished dead last at 4-12. Again. I remember watching the Packers lose to the Rich Kotite coached Jets in 1990. In overtime. On a Jeff Query fumbled punt. (The Jets finished 2-14 that year, I believe. We were 6-10.)

My entire youth as a football fan sucked. The Packers sucked. The Badgers sucked. Even my high school football team annually sucked. To put in context how bad the Packers were compared to the well-run organizations at the time, by the time I was 11, the Packers record against their arch rivals (the Bears) was 57-81-6. An atrocious .395 all-time winning percentage.

Then Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren, Reggie White, and one Brett Favre showed up in 1992. Since Favre took the reins as Green Bay’s quarterback, the Packers are 31-11 against Chicago. The all-time series is still in the Bears favor, but the record is now only 92-88-6. Let that soak in: the Packers have beaten the Bears 31 times in their past 42 games.

Making matters worse for Bears fans, Green Bay has only had 2 different quarterbacks play in those games: Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Both are destined to be remembered as members of the best 10 to ever play the position. Both will be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on their first ballot. Meanwhile the Bears have had 22 quarterbacks play for them in that same timeframe. (Go here for reference. I’m not going to list them all, but suffice it to say not many of the names exactly passes the “Who?” test.)

Favre had a .688 winning percentage against the Bears. But as devastating as Favre was to the Bears (He was once titled “The Bear Hunter” by the Chicago Media), Aaron Rodgers has been better. Rodgers has an astounding 9-2 record against Chicago, which equals a .818 winning percentage. It is among the best records by one QB against another team with a minimum of 10 games played in NFL history, and it is the best winning percentage by one QB against another team in the Packers-Bears rivalry by a full 13 percentage points!

Now, to prognosticate the future: even assuming Rodgers’ winning percentage against the Bears regresses to the norm somewhat, by 2016, Green Bay will likely have achieved an all-time .500 record against the their arch rivals. Perhaps more importantly, because of the relative strengths and ages of the teams right now, Green Bay will also likely have wrested the all-time division titles record (16 held currently by the Bears) from Chicago, (Green Bay has 13 and is in second place all-time right now) by the time Rodgers retires somewhere around 2020.

Further, considering ARod’s superior ability at the most important position in all of sports and the youthful talent that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have surrounded him with, it is likely that the Packers will win another Super Bowl Title before he retires. Possibly two or even three or four more, thus extending their own NFL record of 13 titles.

How the tables have turned in this rivalry indeed! Saying that it is a good time to be a Packer fan is quite possibly the understatement of the decade!

Now Aaron, go hunt some Bear on Monday night!

——————

Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

——————

  • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane Chad, it was excellent. It sounds as though I’m a few years older having remembered those bad Packers teams of the 70’s and 80’s. We did have those few seasons with Lynn Dickey and a offense that could score 35 on you any night. Problem was the defense gave up more and they’d finish 7-9 or 8-8 for the season. Born in Madison but moving to Minneapolis in 1969 just when the Packers run was over and the Vikings run was starting SUCKED! Then the Bears of the mid 80’s, more sucking! But, along came Wolf, Holmgren, and Farve, and then Thompson, McCarthy, and Rodgers followed and the Packers have had just 2 losing seasons, 3 SB appearances, and 2 more Lombardi Trophy’s since 1992. Wolf played the FA game and Thompson drafts and develops. Both have been extremely successful and it’s been awesome to be a Packers fan. Personally I think Rodgers gets at least 2 more Lombardi Trophy’s.

    • Chad Toporski

      Give all the props to Bearmeat! He wrote it. :-)

      • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

        Thanks guys! I’m in a FF league that is comprised of 11 Bears fan buddies from undergrad and me.

        I put this “article” up the FF message board to bug them. It worked. :D

        • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

          Thanks Bearmeat excellent Job, it’s always good to hear a Bears fan is irritated!

  • David

    Thank you for this. It really is amazing.

    • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

      Thank you!

  • http://Jkevinturner@comcast.net Kevin

    Great piece. I think I have a little more history to offer. My family moved to GB in 1965 and the team was loaded with storybook names like Golden Boy Hornung, Bart Starr, Nitchke, Davis and Wood. When Lombardi left it was the start of 25 years in football wilderness. My North Dakota cousins were, of course, Viking fans.
    When Packer fans later turned on Holmgren (he shouldn’t have left) and then on Favre, I concluded that they hadn’t really seen how dark and gloomy Green Bay had been before those two, and Wolfe showed up. To follow up with TT, MM, and Rodgers is just magnificent. Favre especially could have exercised a little more grace, but what he did to return GB to prominence, and to kick the Bears where they needed to be kicked has earned him undying appreciation from Packer fans everywhere. Greatest QB of his era and has the hardware to prove it.

  • Two Bears, One Cup

    Great article Bearmeat! I’m about the same age as you; I grew up in the waning years of the Packers’ Dark Ages. I remember the Bears’ dominance and Mike Ditka contrasted with Infante and players such As Roland Mitchell (who? Exactly). The hoopla surrounding the Bears during and after their Super Bowl was insufferable and my hatred of the Chicago Bears grew. I don’t have much memory of the Vikings of the era, and not one single pre-Barry Sanders Lions memory. I remember one weekend when the Packers and Badgers both won and my dad telling me to be grateful, for that kind of weekend may never happen again in my life. Then came Harlan, Wolfe, Holmgren, and Favre. All of a sudden we weren’t doormats. Then Reggie White came to town. Thank God (literally?) for that! We were great. LeRoy Butler, one of my all-time favorites, invented the Lambeau Leap. Thus, the best TD celebration in football (because it directly involves the fans) was invented by the only team owned by the fans. This is when I knew I wasn’t just a fan, but a fan of a truly great organization. Meanwhile Barry Alvarez had turned around the Badgers, too. Now it’s almost an aberration when both the Badgers and the Packers DON’T both win on any given weekend. As someone who doesn’t really care about baseball and who shuns the NBA, I believe this to be a Golden age of Wisconsin sports. Our. Badger basketball team even made a Final Four. I love it. I love being fans of these teams. But there’s one thing I just don’t understand – why anyone would consider The Vikings our biggest rival.

    • Two Bears, One Cup

      Wow I need to use paragraphs. Sorry. Typing on an IPad I sometimes forget. . . .

      • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

        I don’t consider the Vikings our biggest rival. I hate them more than I hate the Bears – because their fans literally have nothing to brag about – but somehow they manage to brag.

        The Bears are Green Bay’s historic rivals. Period.

        • Two Bears, One Cup

          Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that you considered the Vikes the bigger rival. Just that some do.

          • http://Jkevinturner@comcast.net Kevin

            Great comments on the Packers you grew up with Two Bears.

  • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

    Addendum: 4 of those 11 wins for the Bears over that time featured highly unusual and unrepeatable fluke events that slanted the games heavily in Chicago’s favor: The blocked FG in 1999 (Walter Payton’s Game), the Wind Bowl in 2007, and the penalty fests in 2008 and 2010.

    That means that the Bears have only beaten GB in a repeatable and sustainable manner 7 times in the past 20 years.

    Further, of the Bears 11 wins SEVEN have been decided on the last possession of the game.

    Green Bay has absolutely owned Chicago for two decades and counting!

    • Stroh

      Is Chester Marcols FG blocked into a TD repeatable? Or what about Majiks replay call? Those kinda things tend to even out over a series as long as Packers/Bears.

      By the time this series reaches 200 games played the Packers should have a bit of an advantage. Having Great QB’s in an era of passing certainly will do that. Bears will be starting about 30+ QB’s now during the Favre/Rodgers/Flynn era.

      • Stroh

        Oh we also lead in NFL championships/SB titles. Bears fans can take solace in having more HOF players, for whatever that means!

        • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

          Yeah – too bad I didn’t think of the most obvious stat to bug my FF buddies. Oops.

          Stroh I freely acknowledge you are right. Weird things happen. But my point is that as much as GB has owned CHI over the past 20 years, when CHI HAS managed to beat us, 1/2 the time it’s been through weird circumstances that aren’t repeatable.

          That is not the case for any of our victories that I can remember in the past 20 years…

  • Since ’61

    Growing up in the Bronx, NYC I began to follow the Packers when they crushed the Giants 37-0 in the ’61 NFL championship game. In 1962, the Packers beat the Bears in both games during the season, 49-0 at home and 38-7 on the road. A combined score of 87-7 for both games. Despite the scores the Bears were not a weak team. They would win the NFL title the following year. But as I followed the scores from long distance in NY on TV and the newspapers (no internet or cable then) I became more and more solidified as a Packers fan and have never looked back. Go Pack Go. Thanks, Since ’61

  • http://jersyal.com tim

    Great to hear about packers teams of bygone years. From your posts, you and I are are year or two apart Since ’61, wish I had more memories of the championships of the early 60s, those were great years. but I remember the first two superbowls, and after that a lot of lean years under bengston, Devine, Starr and Gregg. As nick Perry said, for many of those lean years the Vikings were the power in the division. Bud grant and the purple people eaters. I hated them more than the bears, but they were good. The funny thing is, I always liked Infante. The packers under Gregg had a hoodlum image, much worse than the lions of today. That changed with infante. We even made the playoffs one year I believe. He struggled the last two years, and was fired when wolf first came to green bay. Packer fortunes really turned with wolf. He brought on Holmgren, Favre, Reggie white….etc. sterling Sharpe and Leroy butler were already there. The rest has been gravy.

    Lot of really good players in those lean years, Larry mccarron, gale Gillingham, Fred Carr, Willie Buchanon, James lofton, Paul Coffman, dickey, Ezra Johnson ,Tim Harris. Always had crappy running games back then. Ryan grant is a superstar compared to what we had then. Fans of today, appreciate these teams we have now!

    A lot of the players of yesteryear would have been all time greats on a different team. Too bad for them that their teams sucked.

  • White92

    Thanks for the great article Bearmeat!

    It sounds like we grew up in the same era. I was never more disappointed when the Packers had the underwhelming Randy Wright as their QB. I suffered through him at Madison and thought no way he’d make it to the NFL.

    Now working in downtown Chicago, and living in the suburbs, it’s been a sweet ride the last 20 or so years. Here’s to at least 20 more!

    • Bearmeat

      I know I watched Randy White play. But I don’t remember him. I was born in 81. So the earliest memories I have is the early Majik Man in 87. That was depressing enough!

  • FITZCORE1252

    I grew up in bare country. While most of my childhood friends are bare fans, they are not tomorrow… They can eat a D! Thankfully my parents were born and raised in Wisconsin, and raised me right.

    Pack win, in a big way

  • Savage57

    The 1960’s – The decade that defined the rivalry. Butkus, Sayers, et al for the Bears, vs. the Pack’s pantheon of HOF’ers. Great football every game.

    The 1970’s – Both teams mired in futility and the games were quirky and unsatisfying.

    The 1980’s – Bears begin to dominate, Packers devolve to thuggery to respond for inferior play. Living in Chicago at the time, I have to endure the nightmare up close and in person as the Bears shuffle off to the Super Bowl and the fat guy runs for touchdowns as the Bears torch the Pack 61-7.

    The 1990’s – Favre dominates. The Halloween Monday night game sets the table for what we’ll see during the decade.

    The 2000’s – Favre continues his ownership, then the rock gets handed to AR, and the song remains the same.

    The 2010’s – Could there have been a sweeter NFC Championship game result than being awarded the Halas Trophy at Soldier Field? Just wish they would have had the ceremony on the field so that a little extra salt was available to the wounded Bears faithful.

  • http://jersyal.com tim

    This has been a great history lesson. Ancient history was kind to the bears, but jeez, we’re talking Ditka, Fridge, McMahon and Payton when the bears were last dominant over the pack. That’s gotta hurt for bears fans.