Bears vs. Packers: It's never just another game

SportsFootballChicago BearsWalter PaytonBrett FavreJim McMahonSuper Bowl

The Bears and the Packers have played 165 times, at least twice a year every season since 1925 (except during the 1982 players' strike).

With that much water having passed beneath the bridge, it's no wonder that Packer games make a Bear fan's blood boil. OK, be honest now. How many of you have yelled at your wives/girlfriends/children after watching Brett Favre make some impossible throw? How many of you can point to pieces of furniture -- in our case, it was a cheap door -- that were dented and/or broken after a particularly disheartening turnover?

Remember that body slam Charles Martin put on Jim McMahon? Is there anyone in Chicago who wouldn't consign Mr. Martin to life in a Turkish prison for that hit? How about Ditka and Forrest Gregg, who carried the rivalry from the field to the sidelines? Come on, 'fess up -- wouldn't you have wanted to see a Ditka-Gregg cage match on the 50-yard line before one of those games?

See what we're talking about? Bears vs. Packers. It's not just another football game.

With that in mind, we're going to take a trip down Memory Lane, reliving some great Bear-Packer moments. And we invite you to send us yours -- just use the form at the right. We'll post those game stories as we add them to the list (It could take a little longer to get the ones before 1985). And if this ends up looking like a Bear lovefest ... well what do you expect? You don't want to remember any losses do you?

Last point: the Bears lead the series 84-75. There have been six ties.

Now, the memories:

It's not enough to beat the Packers. You want to really beat the Packers. On this Monday night during that glorious championship season, William Perry did that.

Twice he lined up as a fullback and buried Packer George Cumby on touchdown runs by Walter Payton. And he scored a touchdown himself. "I only have one obligation and that's to block the linebacker," said Perry at the time. "Whoever else got in the way I took him out, too. Cumby didn`t say anything. I think I rung his bell." Yeah, we know.

The Bears also knocked out both Green Bay QBs, Lynn Dickey and Randy Wright.

Bears 16, Packers 10, Nov. 3, 1985: At Lambeau, in the rematch of that earlier Perry rumblefest, the Fridge again played a role. This time he caught a touchdown pass that must have elicited roars from Bear fans everywhere.

But the story of the game was Walter Payton, who had 28 carries for 192 yards and scored the winning touchdown.

"I thought Payton`s exhibition was maybe as good as I`ve ever seen a guy with a football under his arm play," said Ditka, who was ticked off at the start because of a special delivery to the locker room before the game. It was a bag of fertilizer with a signed note that read: "Here`s what you guys are full of."

This was the infamous Charles Martin game. Like a lot of Bear-Packer games, it was ugly, emotional, hard-hitting football. Or, as the Tribune's Don Pierson put it, the "Chicago-Green Bay tradition of wind, rain, defense, injury and old-fashioned ineptitude." The game was marked by the two big hits -- one by Martin on McMahon in the second quarter that resulted in Martin getting tossed and the other by Mike Singletary in the fourth quarter that forced a fumble that led to the game-winning field goal by Kevin Butler. "It was a sweet hit," said Bear Dave Duerson of Singletary's play.

Martin's hit drew a lot of post-game anger from the Bears -- another signature of this series. For example:

"I guess he (Martin) ain`t in no position to win the Nobel Peace Prize for intelligence," said Steve McMichael.

"If I had my way, I`d get my Magnum and blow his rear end away," said Otis Wilson.

The Bears have beaten the Packers and Brett Favre only three times since 1993. This game, the first of those three, was marked by a historic performance by the Bear defense, which scored three touchdowns for the first time since beating Washington 73-0 in the 1940 championship game.

The first came when Dante Jones intercepted a Favre pass and lateralled to Jeremy Lincoln, who went 80 yards for the score. The second came when Jones picked up a Favre fumble and took it 32 yards for a score. The third was a 34-yard interception return by Mark Carrier.

The win is especially sweet today -- when you look at how Favre has shredded the Bear defense since.

Bears 23, Packers 21, Dec. 23, 1983: This one's courtesy of Sean Fleming of Dallas. Two weeks earlier the host Packers had knocked the Bears out of the playoff hunt. On this cold day in Chicago, the Bears returned the favor in the last game of the season as Jim McMahon led the Bears to a game-winning field goal by Bob Thomas with 10 seconds left.

Listen to these defensive stats: The Bears sacked Lynn Dickey four times, intercepted him four times and recovered three of the Packers' seven fumbles.

The loss was the last game Bart Starr coached for the Packers -- and it seemed to be a harbinger of what was to come for the Bears. A successful two-minute drill by McMahon led to the winning score and the victory was the Bears' fifth in their final seven games.

The next season they finished 10-6. The season after that: Super Bowl.

Bears 14, Packers 13, Nov. 7, 1999: This one will forever be known as the "Walter Payton Game." In the first game after the death of Bear legend Walter Payton, the Bears, losers of three straight, upset the Packers in Lambeau.

The decisive play was Bryan Robinson's block of a 28-yard field goal by the Packers' Ryan Longwell. Aftwerward, Robinson said, "I think Walter Payton actually picked me up because I know I can't jump that high."

The game was hugely emotional for the Bears, who did it with third-string quarterback Jim Miller at the controls and their best rushing game of the season. Miller's TD pass to Bobby Engram scored the decisive touchdown.

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