When the usually affable and exceedingly diplomatic Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields steps to the mic and rips someone or something, you know there’s something deeper than football at play.
“Their fans are gonna be loud because there’s not much to do in Green Bay except watch football,” Fields recently told media, in reference to the Bears’ upcoming game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field
Before that, though, former Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers lobbed another grenade into the rivalry, proving that the Packers-Bears quarrel is a forever thing.
“Is it a rivalry anymore? If they can’t beat us, is it a rivalry?” Rodgers mocked in a recent appearance on The Pat McAfee Show.
Well, this honestly hasn’t been much of a rivalry in recent years– the packers are 9-0 leading into this Sunday’s regular season finale. Overall, Green Bay is up 105-94-6 in head-to-head battles with the hated Bears during their roughly 103-year feud.
There’s some added intrigue coming into this upcoming game, though. Not only are the Bears surging on both defense and offense, but they could also totally mess with the Packers’ chances to make the playoffs. A Packers win guarantees a spot in the postseason. A Bears win, however, complicates matters greatly, taking Green Bay’s playoff fate out of their hands and forcing them to depend on what other teams do during the final week of the season.
But what’s up with this heated rivalry that has burned bright for over a century? Here’s a look at a timeline of Packers-Bears bad blood.
The Packers-Bears Beginnings
– On November 27, 1921. The Bears (then called the Chicago Staleys) beat the Packers 20-0 at Cubs Park in Chicago in the first matchup between the two franchises. Rowdy Packers fans reportedly swarmed into Chicago and created havoc downtown. During the game, Chicago’s Tarzan Taylor punched Green Bay’s Cub Bruck, breaking his nose and officially turning the rivalry into a blood feud.
– On November 23, 1924, the Packers-Bears feud produced the first-ever ejection in league history. The Bears’ Frank Hanny and Packers’ Walter Voss were escorted off the field after an argument came to blows. The Bears would win the game 3-0.
– The first of only two playoff meeting between the teams happened in December of 1941. The Bears would beat the Packers 33-14, eventually going on to win their fourth NFL Championship.
Lombardi vs. Halas and Beyond
– On September 30, 1962. The Vince Lombardi-led Packers crushed George Halas’ Bears 49-0. Green Bay would go on to win the NFL Championship that year, going 2-0 against the Bears.
– On September 13, 1964. Vince Lombardi pulled off a strategic shocker by calling for the rarely-used “free kick” attempt at the end of the first half of the Packers’ game with the Bears. Elijah Pitts called for a fair catch of a punt with just a few seconds left in the half. Bart Starr then held for Paul Hornung to kick a 52-yard uncontested field goal. Green Bay would go on to win the game 23-12.
– On December 7, 1980, the Bears massacred the Packers 61-7 at Solider Field in Chicago. Packers coach Bart Starr would run across the field to confront Bears coach Neil Armstrong for continuing to blitz even in the final minutes of the game when the contest was well out of reach.
The Refrigerator Embarrasses
– The iconic 1985 Super Bowl Bears would go 2-0 against the Packers that season, led by their mighty defense. However, it was an offensive play that would prove to be an attempt from Chicago to show up their rivals. On October 21, at Soldier Field, 300+ lb. defensive lineman William “The Refrigerator” Perry would get the call from head coach Mike Ditka to run his first career touchdown through the Packers end zone defense. Green Bay responded to the shot with a delivery of horse manure to the Bears locker room at Lambeau Field when Chicago came to town on November 3.
– On November 23, 1986, Packers nose tackle Charles Martin delivered the cheap shot heard ‘round the world when he picked up Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, after a play, and slammed him to the ground, separating his shoulder and causing him to miss the rest of the season. The 14-2 Bears, who were heavily favored to repeat as Super Bowl champs, would go on to be eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs. Martin’s offense only resulted in a two-game suspension.
Favre, Then Rodgers, “Own” The Bears
– Packers quarterback Brett Favre established himself as a verified Bears killer on October 31, 1994. On the night beloved Bears greats Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers had their jersey numbers retired at Soldier Field, an injured Favre led a 33-6 blowout over the Bears
– On January 23, 2011, in only the second post-season meeting of the two franchises, The Packers, led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, would win 21-14 at Soldier Field in Chicago, paving the way to a victory at Super Bowl XLV.
– On December 29, 2013. Aaron Rodgers firmly established a reputation as another Bears killer, coming back from injury to lead his team to a 33-28 victory to claim the NFC North championship. With Green Bay down by one point, Rodgers would throw a 48-yard touchdown pass to another Bears killer, Randall Cobb, on 4th and 8 with just 38 second left on the clock.
– On October 17, 2021, on the 100th meeting of the two teams, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers earned his spot as, perhaps, the Bears’ most hated foe when he led his team to a 24-14 victory in a crucial divisional game. Rodgers, after running for a game-breaking touchdown, delivered the all-time diss at Chicago that has earned him his “most hated” status: “I’ve owned you all my f**king life. I own you. I still own you!”
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers: A New Era?
– On January 31, 2022, newly-hired Bears general manager Ryan Poles declared his intention to focus on the Bears-Packers rivalry, vowing to the world, “We’re going to take the North and never give it back.”
– On July 28, 2022, Bears quarterback Justin Fields affirmed his franchise’s priorities, telling media: “I want a Super Bowl. That’s all I care about, and I want to beat the Green Bay Packers.”
– On September 10, 2023, in the 25th Packers-Bears season opener of all-time, The Packers, led by new starting quarterback Jordan Love, would defeat Justin Fields and the Bears 38-20 at Soldier Field, making it nine straight Chicago losses against their hated division rivals.