The Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears.
Gives you goosebumps just hearing that doesn’t it?
The longest running rivalry in the NFL, going on an unbelievable 92 years this season, the Packers and Bears games have become the stuff of legends. Every contest a bitter struggle to claim superiority until the next meeting.
During much of the 1980’s however, these games were no contest.
For the early part of the decade, the Packers were average at best. Short on talent compared to the rest of the league, not even former Super Bowl hero Bart Starr could rescue the Packers from the being one of the worst teams in the NFL. During his tenure, a total of two winning seasons and one playoff appearance were the best the team could muster. 8-8 would become known as a successful season.
After nine seasons on the job, the torch was passed from one Super Bowl hero to another. Forrest Gregg, a seven time all pro tackle who Vince Lombardi called “the best player I ever coached” was hired in 1984 to try and rescue the Packers.
Unfortunately for Gregg, he would suffer the same fate as Starr.
His teams could not match up talent wise against the rest of the league. His first season as coach of the Packers in 1984 would be a repeat of Starr’s final season. 8-8. Average. Very average.
While the Packers were trying to become better than average, approximately 200 miles to the south, something was brewing in the city of big shoulders.
The Bears had become good. Very, very good. Led by former Bear Mike Ditka, the Bears had assembled a nucleus of talent the likes of which had not been seen for some time. Their offense, centered around Walter Payton, was servicable. But their defense, incorporating the Buddy Ryan led 46 defense, was downright scary.
In 1985, the Bears were off to an 8-0 start by the time they headed to Lambeau Field for their second game of the year against the Packers. Having already dismissed the Packers by a 23-7 score during a Monday Night Game, the Bears were rolling. The Packers on the other hand, were reeling. Sitting at 3-5, the Packers knew they could play spoiler to their hated rivals if they could find a way to stop them, ending their perfect season in the process.
And they almost did stop them. Almost.
The low powered Jim Zorn led offense was no match for the 46 defense. Nor was the George Cumby led defense, who allowed for a second consecutive meeting between the teams, a touchdown to 325+ pound DL William Perry.
It was the epitome of 80s ineptitude against the Bears. And it was painful to watch.
Although the final score read 16-10, the sight of Perry scoring hurt more than the scoreboard did. It sent a dagger through the hearts of Packer fans, who viewed Perry crossing the goal line as the ultimate middle finger from Ditka to his former field enemy Gregg. It hurt, and still does to this day.
The 1985 season would also see a complete shift in the rivalry. For the next seven years, the Packers would win a total of two games against the Bears.
So grab your favorite beverage, sit back, and try to enjoy this trip back to less enjoyable times with this game from 1985, featuring the Packers against the Bears at Lambeau Field.
When you are done watching, be sure to head over to AllGBP.com and check out this week’s installment of Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived. It is a must read every Sunday during the off season.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers out there! Hope you have a great day today!
GO PACK GO!
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com and co-host of Cheesehead Radio. To contact John follow him on Twitter @jrehor or email firstname.lastname@example.org