Friday, January 21, 2011

Packers vs. Da Bearz Championship Week - Part 3

Two days to go before the showdown in, doesn't it seem like an eternity since last weekend's game? Good thing the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears can generate a lot of talk to fill up the time. As noted here yesterday, the talk isn't from the players; they are playing things close to the vest and not generating any bulletin board material for their opponent.

Fans and pundits, on the other hand, well...fugetaboutit.

Predictions generally call for a close game. And depending upon which colors you happen to wear, the nod for the victor goes one way or another. No surprise there. But sometimes it's interesting to notice nuances in the conversations.

For example, I happened to be in Chicago last evening and struck up a brief conversation with a desk security guard at the office building I was at for a meeting. He was wearing a Bears hat. He's seen me before coming in wearing a Packers jacket. We don't know each other's names, but we know we both love football. It's always a friendly and good-natured chat. He picks Da Bearz 24-17, not surprisingly. I said I thought that was probably a pretty reasonable score, although I'd have the Pack coming out on top, also not surprisingly.

But then he started to expound just a bit, ever-so cuatiously, measuring his words so he wouldn't have to reconsider his prediction. He said, "If we had Rodgers....Super Bowl, no doubt. If we had Rodgers...". I quickly reminded him that Da Bearz don't, the Packers do, and that will indeed be the difference. (Oversimplifying, of course, as one does in these types of conversations.) I then opened the conversation door a bit more by saying, "Yeah, Cutler...". That's all it took. He was off to the races on how you never know which Cutler is going to show up. He laughed as he recalled some pundit saying that Cutler is colorblind and that's why he'll throw the ball to anyone.

From other things I've read and heard on the airwaves this view seems to be the general feeling among a good number of Bears fans. They believe in Da Bearz, but they just aren't so sure about their quarterback.

The Packers on the other hand, have it rolling now. And Bears fans know that, too. As huge as this game is for the Packers, in some ways it seems to be even more so for Chicago and its fans. After all, Da Bearz won the NFC North. Yet, they are currently listed as 3-1/2 point underdogs on their home field. They haven't gotten a lot of respect this season. Pretenders not contenders was the tag. But here they are, and here the Packers are, playing for the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. In the longest rivalry in the NFL, there has never been a match up like this before. "This is the Super Bowl," I opined to my security guard compadre. "Ya got that right," he nodded in agreement.

For as much as both teams want to get to and win the Super Bowl -- it is the biggest prize, of course -- at least in this corner of the world, among the fans of both teams that live and die with each victory and loss, this Championship game is THE game. Chances are, a meeting with stakes like this will not happen between Green Bay and Chicago again for a long, long time. Each team's fans want to have the bragging rights. For the losing side, it might be another 70 years before there's a chance for redemption. Some of us (gulp) probably won't be here then.

Go Pack Go!!!