Border Battle More Than Just a Divisional Matchup

Ever since the two teams met in 1921, the rivalry between Green Bay and Chicago has been what I believe to be the best rivalry in the NFL. The history, the backstories, the hate towards one another, all of that encapsulated into a matchup between two of the earliest created teams in professional football makes for a great rivalry.

 

Where it all began

In 1921, Green Bay had the nickname of the Packers, but Chicago was known as something different: the Staleys. The first-ever meeting came during Chicago’s second regular season in the American Professional Football Association, which they ended up winning the league championship in with a 9-1-1 record.

Facing off against the likes of George Halas, Guy Chamberlin and George Trafton (all future Hall of Fame players), the Packers were futile in their offensive output, being shutout and falling 20-0.

 

Green Bay’s uphill battle

Green Bay didn’t record its first victory in the series until the fourth matchup, defeating the now-named Bears 14-10 on September 27th, 1925.

It was tough sledding even after earning its first win in the rivalry, going 1-7-2 throughout its first 10 matchups against Chicago.

After a 12-12 tie in 1928, Green Bay decided to actually become a force in the rivalry, winning the next nine of ten matchups from 1928-31.

 

Key players in border battle

Both sides have had many HOF players (or at least deserving of that honor) play in this rivalry, adding another facet to the already-great rivalry.

From Chicago, 34 former Bears players and coaches have been enshrined into the HOF, the most out of any team in the NFL or any other previous football league. Bronko Nagurski, Bulldog Turner, Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Halas, Trafton, Chamberlin, Red Grange, Sid Luckman, and Walter Payton, among others, have all been given their forever-spots in the hall.

From Green Bay, 30 members have been put into the hall. Bart Starr, Brett Favre, Don Hutson, Forrest Gregg, Herb Adderley, James Lofton, Jerry Kramer (finally), Jim Taylor, Paul Hornung, Ray Nitschke, Reggie White and Willie Davis, among others, have had a hand in this rivalry in some way, shape or form.

 

Current status of rivalry

Currently, players like Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, David Bakhtiari, HaHa Clinton-Dix, Clay Matthews and Mike Daniels have all been on the winning side of the rivalry nowadays.

For Chicago, I feel like there is someone on their defense that is the best player on their team, but can’t quite remember his name. Urlacher? No, he retired. Tillman? No, he also retired. Ah, well, I digress.

The current status of this game finds Green Bay ahead in the overall record. The most surprising part of the rivalry record? Only six ties in the almost-100 year history that’s pretty impressive.

Regardless of what the national pundits or fans say, the Green Bay-Chicago rivalry is one for the ages, one that as a fan I can honestly say I am privileged to be invested in and to be a part of it.

Representing your team during its games is one thing, but to be engrossed in one of the longest-running rivalries throughout all professional sports is a unique feat that not many franchises are able to claim.

Go Pack, and as always, if you have any comments or suggestions for what I wrote about, please leave them in the comment section below!

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Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23

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